Monday, June 13, 2011

How to disable/enable Autodesk Exchange

Do you want to enable Autodesk Exchange or learn to know how to disable Autodesk Exchange?

Upon installing and starting the AutoCAD 2012’s family of products Autodesk Exchange is automatically started. Many AutoCAD users, administrators or CAD Managers might want to avoid the dialog at start-up and will uncheck the Show this window at start up. This will also speed up start of AutoCAD.

Registry location is:
and when LaunchNFW is 1 Autodesk Exchange will auto-start. When the LaunchNFW is 3 Autodesk Exchange will not show when AutoCAD starts.

Autodesk Exchange can also be started manually by clicking on the Exchange icon in InfoCenter, pressing F1 for help or run the EXCHANGE command. This will also give access Autodesk Exchange Apps.


To disable Autodesk Exchange uncheck “Access online content (including Help) when available” in Options>System.

To disable Exchange for all users at deployment, uncheck the option "Use Online Help from Autodesk when available" in the deployment wizard. The end-user can easily enable it the Options dialog though.

Another trick to disable Autodesk Exchange is to edit this registry key where R18.2 is for the 2012 version and ACAD-A001:409 is depending on the product and language. See also AutoCAD registry details for more explanation:


And then edit the value name HelpBaseURL to anything other than the default value

When that is done Autodesk Exchange will show this:

Server Connection Unavailable

You must be connected to the Internet to access the Autodesk Exchange server.
Most problems are due to one of the following:

Your Internet connection is currently unavailable
You can display the offline Help system in your current web browser by pressing F1.

The Autodesk Server is temporarily unavailable
You can reload the current Autodesk Exchange page by clicking here to "Connect"

Your Proxy server is blocking Autodesk Exchange
Contact your network administrator.

It is also possible to block or unblock the Autodesk Exchange base url: in your proxy server. Here is what TS16732564 says:

2012: AutoCAD requests to Autodesk servers blocked by proxy servers

Applies to: AutoCAD 2012, AutoCAD Architecture 2012, AutoCAD Civil 3D 2012, AutoCAD Electrical 2012, AutoCAD Map 3D 2012, AutoCAD Mechanical 2012, AutoCAD MEP 2012, AutoCAD P&ID 2012


You are using AutoCAD 2012 and notice that some requests to Autodesk servers are being denied.

AutoCAD requests to Autodesk servers can be blocked by proxy servers. The following components can be affected when proxies block requests to Autodesk servers:

  • Exchange: Access to help when user is online.
  • Sign in to Autodesk: Single sign-in to Autodesk Servers.
  • Content Explorer: Accessing SEEK from the Content Explorer AutoCAD plug-in.

If your network uses proxy servers to access the Internet, the following proxy mechanisms should be implemented to help avoid access issues for AutoCAD 2012 components:

Transparent proxies:

An intercepting proxy (also known as a forced proxy or transparent proxy) combines a proxy server with a gateway or router (commonly with NAT capabilities). Connections made by client browsers through the gateway are diverted to the proxy without client-side configuration (or, often, knowledge). Connections may also be diverted from a SOCKS server or other circuit-level proxies.

Transparent proxies will not prevent access to Autodesk Server components.

Exception Rules:

Adding an exception to the Proxy Settings to allow will bypass requests from the proxy server and will allow access to servers (after making sure your network is setup to route requests directly to the domain).

Disable Exchange App

This is a tool for CAD or IT Managers to disable the AutoCAD Exchange window to prevent users accessing the Apps tab (thereby preventing them downloading Plug-ins without permission). The tool requires Administrator privileges to run, but will disable the Exchange Window for all users on that computer.
This is a supplement to the CAD Managers Control, which provides the same functionality.
Note that this plug-in disables the entire Exchange Window. This reverts AutoCAD help to being displayed in your local browser. (download link or search for the app Disable Exchange within Autodesk Exchange)

Do you have any other trick to share?


  1. AnonymousJune 28, 2011

    Do you have a LISP file available for disabling the AutoCAD Exchange?

  2. None created but if you let me know what method as described above you prefer I might have time to do something.

  3. AnonymousJune 28, 2011

    Jimmy, Thanks for getting back to me so quickly, i'm ideally looking for a Visual LISP routine to run in the same manner as the Communication Centre LISP as previsouly posted by yourselves. We would like to include the LISP file with the deployment image via a custom mnl file rather than decline the user access as they can only re-assign the Exchange link after.

  4. Here is how you can do it:
    (vl-registry-write (strcat "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\\" (vlax-product-key)) "HelpBaseURL" "dummy")


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