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.
57 thoughts on “Disable AutoCAD InfoCenter”
Thanks Owen. Still don’t understand why InfoCenter is forced on users.
To clarify, I don’t care if it’s enabled by default, but there should be a way any user can disable it using the UI. There should not be any need to google it and then have to resort to registry hacks…
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.
Thanks Owen! I’m sure more people will benefit from this than you will know.
One of the reasons I decided to invest the time is that every day a substantial number of visitors to this blog arrive via Google searches with terms like “disable infocenter” and “wscommcntr1.exe lockup”, so I know this thing plagues a lot of AutoCAD users.
Even Owen is tracking us!
Thanks Owen for the freebie.
Would you recommend disabling the info. center on production machines now, or is it still suggested for developers?
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.
Nice tool; thanks!
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.
Thank You! You’ve done a great humanitarian service for us all (well atleast all of us AutoCAD users, CAD Managers and the IT people who support them)
Thank you Owen. Is there any way to to put switch Info center back on without the autocad reset option?
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.
Thank you Sir Owen for this blog.
Can you help me make a single lisp command for audit+purge+regen+save?
I can help you with your lisp code, but not here in comments and not for free. Please email me if you want to discuss costs.
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!
Love your .MSI
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?
I don’t know if it will affect Navisworks Manage, but otherwise it will work in one fell swoop on all installed instances of AutoCAD, both 32 bit and 64 bit.
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?
Maybe that user’s HKCU settings are overriding the ones in HKLM. If not, then something else is starting it despite it being disabled.
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!!
Thanks for the feedback!
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.
Technical questions can be posted in the relevant Autodesk discussion group at http://www.autodesk.com/discussion .
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
Sorry, I have no experience with this error. Did you try disabling your antivirus? Did you in the past configure Windows to not allow scripts?
Thank you! that annoying baloon is now gone!
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.
Ok does this effect a hmmm how shall we say, crackted version? as you mentioned it is a tracing program that gathers when you are using Autocad and your IP…
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!!
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.
I did originally attempt to support Max as well, but testing at the time showed that Max ignored the user settings and loaded InfoCenter anyway (and I believe Max crashed if you got serious by e.g. renaming the file.)
Great tool, thanks Owen!
I am able to uncheck boxes in my Autocad infocenter – does that do any good? I’m running Civil 3d 2012 and experience almost daily crashes and many lages – blue circles – very slow plotting for some reason – also lag when printing until I move my mouse which may not be related at all.
If you’re able to uncheck boxes, then InfoCenter is running. That’s not good.
I’m running Map3D 2012. I ran the .msi file, but still get WSCommCntr3.exe, description- Autodesk InfoCenter process in the task manager. Any ideas?
If the MSI installed without error and you’re still seeing the WSCommCntr3.exe start when Map starts, then there must be something else starting it, but I don’t know what that might be.
I ran into an issue where the info center crashed my autocad LT 2011 every time it was opened. I simply created a shortcut to kill the program. I had to type in the command prompt: taskkill /F / PID WSCommCntr2.exe
It says on the command line that access is denied, but it still works. It’s really easy to make a .BAT file for this, command, and then you can even make a shortcut that executes the batch file every time you open autocad.
Startup my AutoCAD now faster 😀
It seems to hang at “Installing Managed Software” when deployed via GPO as a Computer Policy. Installs fine manually. Anyone have any suggestions?
Hi, I have now tried many times to change the info centre from on to off by changing the numerical value from 1-0 as recommended in another blog. Then restarting the computer before opening Revit 2012. But it always generates another Reg_word (InfoCentre file)’beneath the one I turned off, but this time it’s on. I have even deleted the file from the Regedit, but another one is generated and can be seen in the Regedit.
I am doing this to try to solve a freeze on startup for Revit 2012 which is happening after a fatal crash occurred.
Any recommendations please.
For stubborn cases like this, you can resort to using restrictive access privileges on a specific registry key to prevent the application from changing it.
Hi, I am using AutoCAD 2014 on server. I am accessing AutoCAD to read files through my desktop application which is actually a scheduler. When i am logged into system, AutoCAD is working fine, but when system is locked, it does not respond.
am i missing something ? please suggest.
Indeed, it’s not complicated but I am not sure as getting some error.
I have tried to disable it by pressing WINDOWS-R on the keyboard to bring up the Run window, enter REGEDIT and click OK.
Navigated to and select the following folder: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Autodesk\AutoCAD\Rxx.x\ACAD-xxxx:40x\InfoCenter
But I ended with an error. Am I doing any mistake here? Kindly help!
Thanks for your advice. It helps us a lot. I will definitely try to apply them in the next protected or unprotected mock. Please keep us updating with your immense knowledge