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 to 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.

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About the Author:

I am a mechanical engineer and I have worked with Design, Manufacturing and Training industries but now SourceCAD is my full-time work and I use it to train students all over the world. I also train corporate clients and help them develop the skill set of their workforce. I am Autodesk AutoCAD Certified Professional and an Autodesk expert elite member. I am a regular contributor of AUGI World magazine and apart from SourceCAD I also develop AutoCAD video courses for Pluralsight and other E-Learning businesses.


  1. yash December 3, 2018 at 8:40 am - Reply

    hey thank u so much , even i was facing same prob. thanks to provide ACAD.CUIX previous version file

  2. allunx November 6, 2018 at 10:06 am - Reply

    Thank you for the information, sir, success always

  3. KHIN KYAW October 30, 2018 at 7:46 am - Reply

    Thank YOU so much.SIR

  4. Joe Gulley October 25, 2018 at 6:04 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the help

  5. Unneen kutty October 21, 2018 at 4:24 pm - Reply

    Thanks Mr.Jaiprakash Pandey

  6. Sandru Viorel October 8, 2018 at 11:14 pm - Reply

    Thank you very much, YOU SAVED ME !

  7. Waheed October 5, 2018 at 10:56 am - Reply


  8. jawad September 10, 2018 at 7:48 pm - Reply

    importing cui file is unresponsive.. it just does not displays any differences

  9. Modi G August 19, 2018 at 4:03 am - Reply

    Im using your “my workspace” file. But still i can not use all the icons. Can you create another workspace file with all icons?
    Thank you

  10. Davi August 9, 2018 at 12:17 am - Reply

    Thanks a lot!!!

  11. Patricia May 9, 2018 at 9:27 pm - Reply

    Thank you so much!! I Have literally lost all morning trying other ways and this one worked perfect. You saved me! God bless

  12. Peter P P December 15, 2017 at 10:27 pm - Reply

    Thank you you saved my day
    dont understand why Autodesk omitted it on recent versions

  13. Gilang October 12, 2017 at 6:15 pm - Reply

    Thank you verymuch, its very helpful

  14. Shekhar Deshpande March 8, 2017 at 2:13 pm - Reply

    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?

    • Jaiprakash Pandey March 9, 2017 at 11:35 pm - Reply

      Sure you can use AutoCAD 2017 mac version for the specs mentioned above.

  15. Darren February 27, 2017 at 10:54 pm - Reply

    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?

  16. Darren February 27, 2017 at 9:51 pm - Reply

    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.

    • Jaiprakash Pandey March 1, 2017 at 1:06 pm - Reply

      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.

  17. Patrick February 22, 2017 at 2:32 pm - Reply

    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

    • Jaiprakash Pandey February 22, 2017 at 8:45 pm - Reply

      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.

  18. rob February 6, 2017 at 4:26 pm - Reply

    can you make and older verion with new work space?

    • Jaiprakash Pandey February 7, 2017 at 2:51 pm - Reply

      Rob, I am not sure what exactly your question is?

  19. Theodore January 16, 2017 at 12:47 am - Reply

    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!

    • Theodore January 18, 2017 at 6:38 pm - Reply

      FYI – It works!

      • Jaiprakash Pandey January 18, 2017 at 7:38 pm - Reply

        Thanks for letting me know 🙂

  20. Jay January 10, 2017 at 10:31 pm - Reply

    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.

    • Jaiprakash Pandey January 12, 2017 at 3:29 pm - Reply

      You can easily switch the workspace from status bar as well, there is a gear like icon which has options for workspace switching.

  21. hussain December 29, 2016 at 1:11 pm - Reply

    what about 2017 autocad

    • Jaiprakash Pandey January 4, 2017 at 7:30 pm - Reply

      Yes you can restore workspace in 2017 version of AutoCAD as well.

  22. Anonymous December 18, 2016 at 11:51 am - Reply

    than u so much bro

    • Jaiprakash Pandey December 21, 2016 at 2:55 am - Reply


  23. Mohamed Nazeem December 7, 2016 at 6:35 pm - Reply

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

    Good work.. Keep it up unchanged..

    • Jaiprakash Pandey December 12, 2016 at 6:43 pm - Reply

      Welcome Nazeem, I am glad it worked.

  24. Anonymous October 18, 2016 at 6:42 pm - Reply

    Very good…i was struggling to find my shortcuts in 2015.. Thank you very much

    • Jaiprakash Pandey February 9, 2017 at 11:28 am - Reply


  25. murphynnm August 22, 2016 at 9:23 am - Reply

    bro can you assist I couldnt double click on my text to edit any of the text. could you please assist

    • Jaiprakash Pandey September 2, 2016 at 3:18 pm - Reply

      Try TEXTEDIT command for editing your text, it might help.

  26. Anonymous August 19, 2016 at 9:36 pm - Reply

    Thanks dude…

    • Jaiprakash Pandey August 20, 2016 at 6:08 pm - Reply


  27. Anonymous August 8, 2016 at 8:54 pm - Reply

    what you so so so so much, life saver! very appreciated!

    • Anonymous August 8, 2016 at 8:54 pm - Reply


      • Jaiprakash Pandey August 12, 2016 at 1:15 am - Reply


    • Jaiprakash Pandey August 12, 2016 at 1:14 am - Reply


  28. Anonymous July 10, 2016 at 6:33 am - Reply

    OMG.. you are genius MAN!!! Thank you… 🙂

    • Jaiprakash Pandey July 11, 2016 at 11:25 am - Reply


  29. Anonymous July 3, 2016 at 12:01 pm - Reply

    I love you man!!! Literaly!! tnx for thiss!!!!! godbless you bro

    • Jaiprakash Pandey July 3, 2016 at 5:02 pm - Reply


  30. Anonymous June 28, 2016 at 2:39 pm - Reply

    Thanks a Bunch!

    • Jaiprakash Pandey June 29, 2016 at 1:14 pm - Reply


  31. Anonymous May 22, 2016 at 2:39 pm - Reply

    thank you very much, used your acad.cuix file and worked perfectly well. Greatly appreciated 🙂

    • Jaiprakash Pandey June 2, 2016 at 6:45 pm - Reply


  32. Mohamed Appas April 13, 2016 at 8:07 pm - Reply

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

    • Jaiprakash Pandey April 13, 2016 at 10:11 pm - Reply

      Welcome Mohamed, I am glad it helped you

  33. ilm imthiyas March 22, 2016 at 7:28 pm - Reply

    i try all but i cant any way tnx if u have any plz tnk u

    • Jaiprakash Pandey March 22, 2016 at 8:53 pm - Reply

      Have you tried video as well. If you are not comfortable with the article then try watching video too.

  34. Anonymous March 14, 2016 at 8:09 am - Reply

    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.

    • Jaiprakash Pandey March 14, 2016 at 11:20 am - Reply

      It may happen because of some custom LISP routines, you can activate it from ribbon as well. Go to Manage tab and customization panel and click on CUI icon on it to activate it.

  35. Gena March 12, 2016 at 12:10 pm - Reply

    what about AutoCad 2016 for MacOS?

    • Jaiprakash Pandey March 12, 2016 at 7:46 pm - Reply

      For mac there is no classic or drafting and annotation workspace. Its default workspace looks a lot like classic workspace of AutoCAD

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