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Friday, January 24, 2014

I Forgot to Add Express Tools to AutoCAD! Now What?

“There is a way in which the collective knowledge of mankind expresses itself, for the finite individual, through mere daily living... a way in which life itself is sheer knowing.”

One thing that can easily happen when installing any version or flavor of AutoCAD is to forget to install the Express Tools.

It's easy to miss them, but if they need to be added after installation, it's not hard at all.

Here's the steps to do it!

The first thing to do, is locate Add/Remove Programs in the Windows Control Panel.   Find AutoCAD, and right click on it.  Choosing Uninstall/Change

I'm using AutoCAD Mechanical 2014.  Keep in mind you may have a different version or flavor of AutoCAD!

Choose "Uninstall/Change" from the control panel

AutoCAD's installer will start.  Choose Add or Remove Features on the first screen that appears.

Choose "Add or Remove Features"

Click through the screens until a list of AutoCAD Features appears.  If Express tools has a red 'X' on it, check the box so it has a green arrow like in the image below.  Once Express Tools is selected, click Update.

Make sure to select Express Tools and choose update.

 AutoCAD will update.  Let it run, finishing when it completes.

Updating the feasture
 Once the update is complete close the installation dialogs and start AutoCAD.

If the Express Tools don't load, there may be one more step that has to be done.

Type CUILOAD at the AutoCAD command line.  Choose browse and locate the file acetmain.cuix.  The default location in Windows 7 is:

>\AppData\Roaming\Autodesk\AutoCAD Mechanical 2014\R19.1\enu\Support\acetmain.cuix. 

But bear in mind that the location can vary slightly with different versions of AutoCAD, and system configurations.

Click Open to close the first dialog box.

Choose , followed by Close to load the *.cuix file and then close to dismiss it.

Loading and closing the menu

After these steps are done, the Express tab should appear in your AutoCAD installation, and you're ready to go!

Ta Da!  There it is!
And for a video showing the above procedures, take a look below!

****************Edit 31-October-2014 HAPPY HALLOWEEN! ************************

Just yesterday, I used this very technique to add Express Tools to a users machine.  And while all the toolbars were added successfully, I received a "Unknown Command" warning when trying to execute one of the Express Tools functions.

Fortunately a quick Google search found the following result on the Autodesk Website

The steps I used was to type OPTIONS, and on the files tab, choose the Browse button.

 Browse to the path

Navigate to the following directory \Program Files\Autodesk\AutoCAD 20XX\Express, and choose the Add button to add the path to the support directory.

The path added in

Once I had done that, the Express tools were working just fine!


  1. Thank you very much

  2. Thanks sorted first go!

  3. Great.
    Thank you.

  4. Is there a process for doing this on a Windows 10 machine? "Modify" is ghosted out in "Apps & Features" in Windows settings and I don't want to reinstall Autocad.

    1. I haven't had to do that on a Windows 10 machine yet, we're still on Windows 7 at work.

      A couple of thoughts I can offer...
      1) Do you have Admin rights?
      2) You might try running the installer for ACAD directly. It may give you the "add/remove" option from there.

      I hope helps! If I think of anything else I'll post a reply!

    2. Thanks for the reply. I do have admin rights. Running the installer didn't offer "add/remove".
      I used to use a couple of the extra features that are included in express back when I used R14. Once in a while, it would be handy to have them back.

    3. Happy to help where I can. Was there an "Add/Remove Features" on the screen? Sorry, I should have been clearer. My fingers were working faster than my brain.

      FWIW, I tried right clicking on a couple of other programs I have on my Win 10 box (I don't have ACAD installed), I couldn't find one that had change grayed out. Weird....

    4. After some digging, I found that typing "Control" in Windows 10 search gives you access to the previous version of the control panel complete with "uninstall/change" function. I followed the instructions and it works. Fortunately, I have the original installation disks. I was surprised by how long it took (30-40 minutes), but it worked.

    5. I'm glad you got it figured out! And thanks for sharing what you found! Ironically, typing "Control" is how I usually go to that menu, so I've never encountered that before.

      It looks like you came here looking for help, and instead ended up enlightening me!

      Thanks! :)

  5. Is there a way to do this on a Windows 10 machine? "Modify" is ghosted out in "Apps & Features" in Windows settings and I don't want to reinstall Autocad.