AutoCAD 2015: Managing the Application Manager

AutoCAD 2015 includes a new feature called Application Manager. I’m sure it serves a lofty purpose, but it comes across a lot like the slimy Norton and Adobe updaters that are really just Trojans in disguise. It gets installed by default, with no option to prevent installation. To Autodesk’s credit, they do provide instructions for preventing installation of Application Manager, and instructions for removing it after the fact. Uninstalling requires several additional clicks, as if they really, really want you to think twice before taking such a drastic measure.

I don’t want anything starting when I log into Windows except the bare minimum, so I uninstalled Application Manager forthwith. It can be installed and started manually if I decide to use it later.


If you decide to use Application Manager, there are some configurable settings. There is even a UI for most of the settings (such as disabling the automatic startup), but there’s a catch: to use the UI for changing settings, you first have to agree to the Autodesk Privacy Statement (and give Autodesk access to information about your installed software). I’m sure this is just an oversight, but the paranoid will not find it comforting.

Application Manager settings are stored in a plain text file, located by default at:

“%AppData%\Autodesk\Autodesk Application Manager.ini”

If you don’t want to agree to Autodesk’s terms, you can still change settings by editing the .ini file in a text editor like Notepad (just enter the file path above in Start -> Run). For example, change the line to AutoRun=false if you want to disable “Automatically start when you log into the computer”. Note that this setting is somewhat misleading: Application Manager always starts regardless, but it quickly exits again if AutoRun is set to false. If you already agreed to the privacy policy, but have since changed your mind, you can set PrivacyPolicyLevel=0.


  1. You can stop it before installing by hacking the setup.ini file (or the ini files in a deployment). Remove the instances of ADAPPLICATIONMANAGER to do this. I’ll be doing this in all our deployments.

  2. Thanks for the info! Had to disable this from starting for all of my users (our policy prevents them from installing/changing anything on their machines). A quick group policy object to deploy this text file with autorun disabled and we were good to go.

    • There is an undocumented switch (–mode unattended) that you can add to the end of the uninstall command, but it didn’t work when I tested (in fact, it *started* Application Manager instead of removing it). For example, on Windows 64 bit:
      C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Autodesk Shared\AppManager\R1\removeAdAppMgr.exe --mode unattended

  3. Windows 7 x64 environment: the --mode unattended parameter does work for me with Autodesk Application Manager (installed with AutoCAD LT 2015) but I kill the “AdAppMgr.exe” task (taskkill /F /IM "AdAppMgr.exe" 1>nul 2>nul) and stop the “Autodesk Application Manager Service” service first (net stop "Autodesk Application Manager Service")

  4. Regarding silent removal of AD Application Manager …

    Running the uninstaller with the “–help” switch specifies that “–mode win32 unattended” is allowed.

    “C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Autodesk Shared\AppManager\R1\removeAdAppMgr.exe” –help

    Unfortunately, this is not recognized as well (faulty BitRock uninstall scripting?)

    Checked generated uninstall log with the “–mode unattended” switch … and the following log was generated in user’s AppData > Local > Temp folder (AdApplicationManager-uninstall.log)

    Log started 11/06/2014 at 09:35:46
    Preferred installation mode : unattended
    Checking Autodesk Products…
    Executing C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Autodesk Shared\AppManager\R1\AdSdsCheck.exe
    Script exit code: 1

    Script output:

    Script stderr:
    Program ended with an error exit code

    Error running C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Autodesk Shared\AppManager\R1\AdSdsCheck.exe : Program ended with an error exit code

    Does anyone know what AdSdsCheck.exe does … and how to get a clean (0) exit code from it?

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