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Friday, August 15, 2014

Help! My Autodesk Vault Icons Are Having an Monochromatic Attack!

“Simple solutions seldom are. It takes a very unusual mind to undertake analysis of the obvious.”
 Alfred North Whitehead

I know I sound like a broken record, but still, I manage to remain busy, so creating videos has been forced to the back burner.  I am hoping to change that soon!

However, I'm still going to try keeping up with some simple tips.  And here is another one for those of us using Vault.  I ran into it just today.

I fire up my trusty seat of Autodesk Inventor, and go to grab a file from Autodesk Vault using the "Open from Vault" option.  And what do I see?

Nearly all my icons are grayed out!  I can log out, and log back in, but trying that doesn't do a thing!

Wait?  What?  Noooooo! 

What causes this?  Why would my Vault suddenly prevent me from getting to my files?

The solution is often, fairly simple.  Many times, and when I say many, I mean nearly every time, it's that the project in use isn't a Vault Project.

First, close all files.  Strictly speaking, this isn't necessary, but this will save you a step or two as we journey down this particular path.

Once all files are closed, go to the Get Started tab inside of Inventor, and choose Projects.

Time to pull the cover off. 
This step opens the project screen.  Check the active project. This is the one with the check mark by it.  Look in the lower pain, and see if it says "Vault" or "Single User".

If it says "Single User", you've found your smoking gun.

The project setting of "Single User" tells Inventor that Vault isn't being used by this project.  As a result, Inventor turns off the Vault mapping and tools relating to Check In and Check Out while this project is active.

Okay.  Now that the problem is known, how is it fixed?

There's two ways, and the solution depends on what's gone wrong.

Fix 1:  If this project is indeed the Vault project.  Right click on the "Single User" setting and choose "Vault".  If the project is checked into Vault, it's going to have to be checked out.

Switching the project

Fix 2: This is probably the most common cause that I've seen.  Make sure that the project hasn't been accidentally switched to a "Single User" project.  For example, if you've recently migrated to a newer Inventor version, the project may be switched to "Default", which is by nature, a "Single User" project.

If this is the case, double click on the correct project to activate it.  If you don't see it in the Project Editor screen, you may have to browse to it in your Vault working folder.
Resetting the project.

Believe it or not, that's it.  It can really be that simple.  But I have seen it happen more than a few times, and it's befuddled more than one user.

So if you see that your Vault icons are acting in shades of gray, check the project first.  It could be as simple as one little selection!


  1. That's awesome. Thanks for the info. I can't tell you how many times I've tried unloading/reloading and uninstalling/re-installing the add-in as recommended on pretty well every other site before I finally found your post!

    1. I'm glad this helped, Dan. It certainly be confusing when the Vault icon grays out. Good luck going forward!

  2. That's awesome......................I have been looking for a solution for a long time. Had to make copy off machines the hard/long way. Now I can use the Vault again....................THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU VERY MUCH. Greetings form Holland

  3. I have a question for you. When I try to switch from Single User to Vault, the option for Vault is greyed out. Do you have a solution for that?

    1. 1) Make sure your folders are mapped. It might be that Vault can't sort out which folders it's using.

      2) You might also follow the steps in the blog post here:

      It could be that you're addins aren't starting.