Controlling the AutoCAD version to Launch.

Ever wondered why you can’t change the version of AutoCAD to fire off when opening a file from Vault Explorer or Windows Explorer? Or even the wrong Application is launching?

This can be a common issue and is especially prevelant after installing new versions. Most times its not as simple as changing the file association, as Autodesk use the DWG Launcher to control the program and version that is opened. So how can you change this?

It seems the fail safe version is to do a registry modification.
As a note of caution, please treat modifying the registry with respect and if you are in any doubt, get the assistance of an IT professional.

Open RegEdit and navigate to the
[HKCU]SoftwareAutodeskDwgCommonshellexapps key

You can see above we have many programs installed that could be used to launch AutoCAD drawings. When you have identified the program you would like associated with DWG (in our case AutoCAD), make a note of the Key Name (the easiest way to to this is Right Mouse Click on the key and from the menu select the option “Copy Key Name”

Then select the “apps key” and note the Default field. If the wrong Application is being fired off, this will be different to your desired key name. Edit the Default and past in your previously copied Key Name.

Alternatively if the wrong version is being launched (AutoCAD 2009 instead of 2010), you can edit the values in the Key to point to the correct AutoCAD. If you do need to do this, it is very important to contact your VAR or Autodesk on the values to use. If you are still struggling, then please post a comment and we will endeavour to assist

We would like to thank John Evans for his post for much of the inspiration behind this post.

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