Restore the classic Workspace in AutoCAD 2016 and 2017

Autodesk has abandoned its old classic workspace from AutoCAD 2015 and later versions but you can easily bring it back to its full glory with a few tweaks in your new AutoCAD software. You can restore the classic workspace in AutoCAD 2016 and 2017 versions (including 2015 version) using the tips mentioned in the article.

Although I will also recommend you to embrace this change and move on with the new workspace but if you are still not comfortable enough with the change then read on to find the ways of restoring classic workspace.

I have also prepared this video which explains this tip in detail, but if you prefer you can read the article instead by scrolling down.

Import from the previous version:

Open AutoCAD 2014 or any previous version which has classic workspace and change workspace to Drafting and Annotation. Now type CUI on the command line to bring Customize User Interface window, from this window go to transfer tab and select Save As from Main customization file (acad.cuix) drop down menu as shown in the image below.

Specify a location where you want to save this file and give it a name, I am naming it as My workspace and click OK. If you don’t have any previous version of AutoCAD then you can use cuix file I created, download it here.

Restore the classic workspace in AutoCAD 2016 and 2017

Now go to AutoCAD 2015 or 2016 and type CUI again to bring Customize user interface window. Go to transfer tab and click on the open button from Customizations in new file panel as shown in the image below. Locate the cuix file saved in steps above and open it.

You will find all workspaces including AutoCAD classic in the workspaces tree on right. Drag and drop AutoCAD classic workspace from right panel to left in the workspaces tree, refer image below. Click on OK to save the settings and exit CUI window.

Restore the classic workspace in AutoCAD 2016 and 2017

Now, when you click on workspace switching you will see classic workspace in it and you can seamlessly toggle between classic and other workspaces.

Migrating Custom Settings:

Restore the classic workspace in AutoCAD 2016 and 2017

You can also migrate custom settings of AutoCAD directly using it’s Migrate Custom Settings option from the start menu. This migrates AutoCAD classic along with other workspaces of the previous version.

Click on Migrate From a Previous Release option from the start menu as shown in the image above and check user profiles radio button. You can keep other buttons checked if you want to migrate those settings also.

Make sure that previous version of AutoCAD containing classic workspace is selected in the drop-down menu. In the image above AutoCAD 2013 is selected in the drop-down menu. Also make sure that previous release of AutoCAD is installed from which you want to migrate settings, look at the image above for reference.

Restore the classic workspace in AutoCAD 2016 and 2017

Now open new AutoCAD version and type CUI on the command line and press enter. Customize user interface window will pop up, select customize tab in CUI window if it is not already selected. You will see that four new workspaces will be listed there as shown in the image above.

Now delete all migrated workspaces except AutoCAD classic by right clicking on workspaces and selecting delete option from the contextual menu. You can also rename migrated AutoCAD classic workspace to a shorter name by selecting rename from the contextual menu.

Once you have made all these changes click on OK button to close the window, now you will see AutoCAD classic listed in workspace drop down menu.

Do you have questions related to this tip? Let me know in comments below.


  1. Hi Jaiprakash. I have a very question. I am new to Autocad and have just purchased my first Mac, a MacBook Pro. It does not have a dedicated graphics card but has an onboard “Intel Iris Pro 1536 MB” card. Can that be an issue for Autocad 2017?

  2. Hi Jai. Further to my comment re twitching drawing pane I have just noticed that the layout tab bar at the bottom of the screen keeps increasing in height when I pan and then a short time later it reduces again. Each time it changes size the drawing pane also changes size and the drawing moves. It is very annoying! Do you know how to stop this?

  3. Hi Jai.
    I’ve just updated from 2006LT to 2017LT and didn’t like the ribbon set up. I’ve followed both of your options. Option 1 is straight forward and worked well. Option 2 was a bit different to how you described so I thought I would let you know. There was no AutoCAD Classic workspace in my 2006 CUI so I saved the whole folder, including the workspace I had created as a CUIX file. When I tried to load this into the 2017LT CUI transfer pane I couldn’t see the file when searching specifically for CUIX files. I had to change the file type to All files *.* in order to see it. After it opened in the right hand pane I copied my own workspace into the left workspaces folder and then opened it in an open drawing. It worked!
    The only problem I still have is that I don’t like the new icons. There was nothing wrong with the old ones which I have been using for 20 years – they seemed much clearer – not all change is progress, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it!
    I have another issue which I am waiting for a response from Autodesk. The drawing pane on my screen keeps twitching and when I pan it jumps and flickers a couple of times after I have released the mouse button – any ideas what might be causing this? I’ve tried different mice and never had this issue on 2006LT or previous versions. I am running it on Windows 10 64-bit.

    1. Thanks Darren for your inputs, this article was prepared for AutoCAD and some of the steps mentioned in the articles might be different for AutoCAD LT.

      About the screen flickering issue, I don’t think the issue is related to your mouse. Have you tried toggling hardware acceleration on/off? this generally solves the issues related to the graphics. Type 3DCONFIG for graphics performance option and toggle on/off hardware acceleration option, more can be found in this article.

      Also, make sure you have updated graphics drivers.

  4. Hey Jaiprakash,
    I had the same problem with My AutoCad 2017 and thanks to your advice, it’s now solved.

    Nonetheless, i’ve got a different matter as well; I have a 4K screen Computer and when i launch my Autocad 2017, the display is so Odd, the icons appear so small and some layers overlapp on others.
    I read from different forums that the solution was to download from Autodesk desktop App ( update 2017.1.1), unfortunately I can’t find it there.
    Could you please help me on this too.

    my Computer is :

    ASUS N552VW
    Windows 10 64 bits
    8Gb Ram
    resolution : 3840×2160 (32 bits)
    intel HD grqphics & Nvidia Geforce Gtx 960m

    1. You seem to have changed the default windows font settings which are causing this error, reset every custom setting to default in windows 10 OS and also choose a preferred resolution for your monitor possibly 1920 X 1800 or closer value.

  5. Is it possible to export the “Drafting & Annotation” workspace from an Autocad 2017 version to an Autocad Mechanical 2017 version with this method? Thx for a short reply!

  6. I’m a Classic workspace lover but feel it is time to warm up to the “new” interface. I use 2016 LT and have already converted it to a classic CUI. Is there a way to easily toggle between the two even though there isn’t a drop down menu like earlier versions had when the new interface was released? I just don’t want to delete my classic setup and have to redo it if I’m unable to efficiently adapt.

  7. Thanks a lot bro… It worked for me also and i did not install previous version too..

    Good work.. Keep it up unchanged..

  8. Thanks Mr.Jaiprakash Pandey. As per your instruction I customise Acad Classic Workspace in Acad2016. It works excellent. Thanks a lot to your efforts.

  9. Hi, thanks for the above steps, however when I typed in the CUI on the command line, nothing pops up.
    did i miss out on something? please help

    thanks much.

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