Disable AutoCAD InfoCenter

Over the years, I and others have provided instructions for turning off the AutoCAD InfoCenter (or Communication Center in older versions). The instructions are different depending on the AutoCAD version. To make things simple, I decided to roll them all up into a single one-size-fits-all MSI file that disables InfoCenter for any and all versions of AutoCAD  or AutoCAD LT in one fell swoop.

The AcadInfoCenterOff.msi file on the ManuSoft Freebies page contains a custom action that disables InfoCenter during installation. Uninstall restores all previous settings. No actual files are installed, as all changes are made in the registry. Packaging the custom action into an MSI is just a convenient way to ensure that you can uninstall in the future from Windows Control Panel even long after the MSI is lost or forgotten.

Why would you want to disable the InfoCenter? Faster startup, for one. Fewer crashes  and lockups, for another. This feature of AutoCAD actually starts an invisible background task that runs as a separate process (named either WSCommCntr1.exe or WSCommCntr2.exe), which establishes inter-process communication with the running AutoCAD. This type of inter-process communication channel is notoriously unreliable, and it’s not unusual to see the background task orphaned in memory after AutoCAD closes in an unusual way, sometimes consuming a lot of CPU cycles and sometimes preventing an AutoCAD restart until it is forcibly ended.

37 Comments

    • The answer to the question “Still don’t understand why InfoCenter is forced on users” is:

      AutoCAD’s Info Center is a site/user tracking tool, pawned off as a “feature”. With it, Autodesk knows when your copy of AutoCAD is running, your local and public IP, machine name, license info, basically everything. It’s basically a “back door” to your PC.

      This is also true for most other free-bees you get like Google Desktop, the various Web toolbars from Google, Bing, Yahoo, Ask.com, Comcast, Verizon. Nearly all toolbar apps for Web browsers are tracking tools. And don’t get me wrong here…I love Google, but I don’t tollerate tracking.

      Windows and the Internet has become nothing more than a marketing tool for vendors, and as Microsoft says, they “enhance the user experience”. Sure they do.

      If you really want to see just how much traffic goes OUT your Internet connection, and to where, install the free version of ZoneAlarm and let it learn for a while. Then review all the foreign (as in – who-the-heck is this) sites your PC goes to without your knowing it.

      And after a lot of experience with less-than-flattering blog posts on Autodesk web sites, I’m sure this one won’t get posted, or will simply disappear shortly.

      You asked.

  1. Pingback: Outside The Box » Blog Archive » Disable InfoCenter in AutoCAD 2010

  2. Pingback: Outside The Box » Blog Archive » AutoCAD 2008 Slow Startup Fix

    • I recommend disabling it for production users unless there is a specific need for it. This recommendation is based on the feedback I have received from CAD administrators who almost universally keep it disabled once they see the improvement in stability and performance.

      • Correct Owen, we have had multiple users on multiple occasions experience seemingly random lockups and virtually all can be attributed to an ‘enabled’ Communication Center or InfoCenter. I have been disabling this for years now.

  3. Thanks Owen
    This infocenter executable has been driving me bananas, The ammount of times 2011 has hung and I have had to task kill
    Acadlt and start again has been a big problem.
    Autocad peaked at ACAD 14 its been all downhill since.

  4. Pingback: AutoCAD 2012 InfoCenter « Outside The Box

    • If you disabled it by installing AcadInfoCenterOff.msi, then you can re-enable it again simply by uninstalling AcadInfoCenterOff.msi (from Windows Control Panel). That is one of the reasons for packaging the code into an MSI, to make it simple to undo the changes in the future if needed.

  5. Thank you very much for this. I came to your page after searching for the reason that AC2012 was hanging / pausing for a few seconds every time I Alt-Tab switch between drawings. Installed this to turn InfoCenter off, and now I can switch between drawings with no lag.

    Thanks again for the time invested – you’ll save me lots of time waiting!

    Best. Dave.

  6. Does this work for Autocad 2012 in both 32bit and 64bit?

    How does this affect having multiple installations of Autocad on one machine… i.e. I have 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012

    Is it going to disable wscommcenter for all versions at the same time?

    Lastly, will this affect Navisworks Manage at all?

  7. c3d 2011 was freezing during startup.
    Almost fixed it. using xp pro x32 sp3, c3d/ldd 2008, c3d 2011. user is limited rights. ran the msi as admin. verified that the expected regedits were done within hklm. rebooted. login as user, run c3d 2011, freezes during startup, kill wscommcntr2.exe with task mgr, then kill it again, then all is well. hmmm?

  8. Thanks for publishing this Owen. I have not been able to get into Civil 3D 2012 for 2 days and then C3D 2011 also would lock up when trying to start the program. I tried repair installs, hotfixes, etc. with no success. I then noticed in the task manager that wscommcntr2 had the cpu pegged. I found your posting here and downloaded and installed the MSI and now I can get Civil 3D 2012 open again!!

  9. hi,
    I want to edit the existing section view max and min elevation by COM API c++, where should I do that?is there a function to do that ,for example: set_ElevationMax, I know there is function ( or property) for getting max and min ( ex: get_ElevationMax)but I want to set the max Elevation of the grid to anew value,and I tried searching the net but there is no ansewer ,even Just afew (you can say: no one) work with COM API c++ ( not COM API Net)
    why? is that so hard making people do not work with it??! if just one tell me the name of the function I will be gratefull.

    thanks

  10. Pingback: Turning off InfoCenter (aka WSCommCntr4.exe) in AutoCAD 2013 « Outside The Box

  11. Hi Owen Wengerd, I tried to install the AcadInfoCenterOff.msi file but didn’t get any success, i got windows 7 professional.

    The error message ocurrs is:” There is a problem wi this windows installer package. A script required for this install to complete could not be run. Contact support personnel or package vendor. ”

    I Tried to update the windows installer but i already got the latest version.

    Could you please help-me fix it ?.. Thanks

  12. Just an FYI for anyone else running AutoCAD 2013 products… you will need to sign out of the AutoDesk 360 services (online settings sync, cloud storage, etc) if you plan on using this. Also – if you decide to try out the 360 stuff later uninstall this first or AutoCAD will crash. I had some of those new features enabled to test them out a bit, but wanted to get rid of the infocenter stuff in the title bar. After installing this program AutoCAD MEP would get a fatal error and exit out before it even finished loading.

  13. Pingback: Autodesk folder added to favorites - Free Online Articles Directory

  14. You are a genius!! everytime I started autoCAD to do a drawing under stress because work wanted it yesterday! that damn message came up that really drove me mad!! Thankyou for that little fix you have saved my sanity!!

  15. I’m having a similar issue with 3D Studio Max (also an autodesk product) any chance there is something in the works to disable it for max? this all started after a recent windows update. After closing max correctly, no crashes or anything. I cannot open a new instance of max. Max, though not running is still showing in the process tab. force closing the task does nothing. After about 10-15 minutes I get a runtime error and a dialog appears that Autodeskinfocenter has stopped. Only after closing this dialog box is max freed from the memory.

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