Install and Uninstall Plug-In Applications

The plug-in auto loader mechanism allows for the easy deployment of custom applications using a package format.

The package format is a common folder structure than contains the extension .bundle in its name and has an XML file that defines the various components of the plug-in. By deploying custom applications as a BUNDLE, it makes it easier to target multiple operating systems and product releases since the parameters of your plug-in are defined in the XML file of the package. A BUNDLE can be used as a replacement to creating complex installer scripts when deploying a plug-in.

The plug-in defined by each package is loaded into AutoCAD by placing it in one of the ApplicationPlugins folders on your local drive. There are two different ApplicationPlugins folders that you can use:

  • <drive>:\Program Files\Autodesk\ApplicationPlugins
  • (Windows XP) <drive>:\Documents and Settings\<user name>\Application Data\Autodesk\ApplicationPlugins
  • (Windows Vista or Windows 7) <drive>:\Users\<user name>\AppData\Roaming\Autodesk\ApplicationPlugins

When AutoCAD starts, both ApplicationPlugins folders are checked for plug-in applications. The packages found are automatically registered and loaded based on the metadata in the XML file of each package.

Install Plug-in Packages

A package can be deployed using an installer, such as MSI, or manually copying the files and folder structure to the ApplicationPlugins folder. For AutoCAD Connect downloads, deployment of the package is done using an MSI installer.

Loading Plug-ins

By default, plug-ins are automatically registered with AutoCAD and when a new plug-in is installed during the current session. The load behavior for plug-ins is controlled with the APPAUTOLOAD system variable. When APPAUTOLOAD is set to 0, no plug-ins are loaded unless the APPAUTOLOADER command is used.

Uninstall Plug-in Packages

A package can be uninstalled by removing the appropriate folder with a .bundle extension from the ApplicationPlugins folder. This can be accomplished by offering an uninstall option with the original installer or to manually delete the .bundle folder.

NoteA plug-in downloaded from the Apps tab on Autodesk Exchange can also be unistalled by going to Apps and then re-downloading the plug-in. When the download completes, you are prompted to uninstall the plug-in.

Lists or reloads all plug-ins in the application plug-in folder.


Controls when plug-in applications are loaded.