Setting an Environment Variable for ADSKFLEX_LICENSE_FILE with a Group Policy

March 17, 2023 Ken Williams


A change has been to the Autodesk network licensing server and you would like to point the Autodesk product(s) to the new Autodesk network license server(s) without uninstalling and reinstalling using Group Policy.


This problem can be due to a change to the Autodesk licensing server. Changing from a single server to a distributive, a redundant server or changing back to a single server. Also, if you have created a new Autodesk license server and need to point the Autodesk software to the new server(s).


Use a domain group policy to create an environment variable for ADSKFLEX_LICENSE_FILE.

*The following should ONLY be done by a system administrator* 

  1. Open GPMC (Group Policy Management console) on the domain controller. On the domain controller, you can click “Run” and type “gpmc.msc” (without quotes) then click “OK” to open it.
  2. Select your Domain.
  3. Create a new policy.
  4. There are 2 ways to do this:
  1. You can use an existing OU that you want the group policy to apply to
  2. Or you can create a new OU in GPMC and move the computers that will need this group policy applied to. You will use Active Directory Users and Computers after the policy is created to move the computers to this OU.
  1. Right-Click the OU that you want the policy to apply to.
  2. Choose “Create a GPO in this domain, and Link it here…”
  3. Enter a name for this new GPO and leave “Source Starter GPO:” and (none)
  4. In the right side of the panel in GPMC Right-Click the new policy object and select ‘edit’
  5. Go to Computer Configuration > Preferences > Windows Settings > Environment
  6. Right-Click “Environment” and choose New > Environment Variable
  7. Set the “Action” to Create, make sure “System Variable” is chosen.
  8. For “Name” type ADSKFLEX_LICENSE_FILE
  9. For “Value”, enter the names of one or more license servers, in this format:

2080@server1;2080@server2;2080@server3 (where server is the hostname or IP address of your license server).

Note: 2080 is Autodesk reserved port number for adskflex, Autodesk vendor license daemon.  To specify a custom port for a server, include the custom port number in this format: port@server. For example, if the IP address of your license server is and you are using custom port 27009, enter 27009@

  1. Hit Apply, and OK.
  2. If you chose Item 4 b from above. This is when you would move the computers into the new OU you created using Active Directory Users and Computers.
  3. Go to a computer that has the new Group Policy is attached to and do a gpupdate /force in an elevated command prompt to make sure your Group Policy worked.
  4. To run a gpupdate /force in an elevated command prompt.
  1. Go to search and type CMD
  2. “Command Prompt” should appear above search
  3. Right-Click “Command Prompt” and choose “Run as Administrator”
  4. Type gpupdate /force and hit enter
  1. You can go to “environment variable” on the computer you did the gpupdate /force on and see your new environment variable.
  2. To get to “environment variable” on a computer.
  1. Go to search and type environment variable
  2. Choose “edit the System environment variables”
  3. Choose the “Environment Variables…” button above “Cancel” and “Apply”
  4. From here under “System variables” you should see the new ADSKFLEX_LICENSE_FILE name and the value you entered.


About the Author

Ken Williams

Installation Technical Support Specialist<br><br>Ken Williams has over 20 years of experience as a systems administrator helping organizations with installation, configuration, and maintenance. At IMAGINiT, Ken puts his knowledge of Microsoft, SQL, servers, and Autodesk to work ensuring clients are able to stay up-and-running, install their software easily, and maintain their solutions.

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