Remove the Burden of Add-Ins in Inventor

Windows applications are notorious for becoming bloated with extensions, add-ins and services that are necessary some of the time but often, not all the time.  For example, look at all the extensions and add-ins you have installed on your favorite internet browser or in Outlook - Autodesk Inventor is no different; Add-Ins can become excessive over time and even the out-of-the-box tools that are unused can cause a performance hit.  Every time you start Inventor these add-ins load but are often only rarely used.

To be clear, I love to have all the features these add-ins bring to my Inventor experience but I do not like the delay as I wait for them to load especially when I only use them occasionally.  It is better for my workflow to remove the add-ins until I need them.

First, look at all the Add-Ins you have loaded by opening the Add-In dialog box.  Select Tools > Add-Ins to bring up the list.

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You will probably be surprised at the number and the purpose of each and notice that they are probably all automatically loaded. You can read a brief description of each in the "Description" box on the lower left side.

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Here I only have the add-ins I need every time I use Inventor loaded - The rest are always available and can be loaded at any time by visiting this dialog box and selecting the "Loaded/Unload" check box under Load Behavior. Because I have not checked "Load Automatically” my Inventor application now has that little performance “boost” that enhances my experience. No, the gains are not exponential by any means, but every little bit helps.

When I do need an Add-In I check the box "Loaded/Unloaded" and do not select the "Load Automatically" to assure that my standard Add-In selections are the only ones loaded the next time I use Inventor.

It should be noted that some of the Add-Ins will be unloaded at once, but others will need a restart. Also, if you check "Loaded/Unloaded" to some of these to make them available during your Inventor session, they cannot be "Unloaded" manually, but they will be unloaded the next time you restart Inventor (if the "Load Automatically" box is not checked of course). For example I have loaded the iCopy add-in below, and you will notice the "Loaded/Unloaded" check box is grayed out, indicating that it is active for the duration of the Inventor session.

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Please remember to check which Add-Ins are running to avoid a support call if you cannot find your Frame Generator or Assembly Bonus Tools!

About the Author

Carl Smith

Manufacturing Solutions Manager<br><br>Carl's analytical abilities and problem-solving expertise have made him a key member of many successful teams, particularly in the manufacturing and electro-mechanical engineering industries. Working as lead consultant, project manager and head trainer, Carl has in-depth knowledge of Autodesk products and their application in manufacturing plants across the U.S.

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