How to install ANSYS Student (Currently ANSYS 16)

If you don’t know yet, ANSYS has made their ANSYS Student free for use with some limitations. The company has made the license available for the student to get some experience on using one of the best engineering software in the world. As of writing, the version is ANSYS 16.2. I copy-paste here the methods to install the software as available in their webpage, for the purpose of archiving.

Just in case their page is updated, you can always look into the source below:

Source 1 & Download Page:
Source 2:


ANSYS Student is an introductory software package for engineering students who are interested in learning the fundamentals of simulation while gaining exposure to our state-of-the-art ANSYS Workbench simulation workflow, pre-processing, post-processing and solver products.

The renewable six-month product license is free and can be downloaded and used by students anywhere in the world. It provides access to versions of ANSYS Mechanical, ANSYS CFD, ANSYS Autodyn, ANSYS Workbench, ANSYS DesignModeler and ANSYS DesignXplorer that are limited only in the size of the problems that can be solved. The product can be installed on any supported MS Windows 64-bit machine.

The ANSYS Student license is for personal educational purposes. The analysis work performed with ANSYS Student must be non-proprietary, and the product may not be used for competitive analysis (such as benchmarking) or for any commercial work.

The ANSYS Student product license provides access to problem-size, limited versions of ANSYS Mechanical, ANSYS CFD, ANSYS Autodyn, ANSYS Workbench, ANSYS DesignModeler and ANSYS DesignXplorer. The product is only supported on MS Windows 7, 8, 8.1 64-bit machines. The current release is 16.2 and has the following problem size limits:

    • Structural physics – 32,000 nodes/elements
    • Fluid physics – 512,000 cells/nodes

Before installing ANSYS Student:

  • Ensure that your computer meets the technical requirements necessary to run the software. Please see the product data sheet for details.
  • Ensure that you have Administrator privileges for the computer you are installing this product on.
  • Uninstall any existing ANSYS, Inc. products present on your computer. The ANSYS Student installation will overwrite any existing installations.
  • Make sure that you have your license key available. This is a separate download covered in the “Free Download” section.

Installation Steps
After downloading and installing ANSYS Student, you should then install the ANSYS Student License File, following ALL of the installation steps in sequence (follow the steps in both Part 1 Part 2 and Part 3):

Part 1 – ANSYS Student Installation:

  • Extract (Unzip) the downloaded installation files.
  • Run setup.exe from the extracted files. Right-click on setup.exe and select Run as Administrator.
  • Click the Install ANSYS, Inc. Products text.
  • Read and accept the click wrap to continue.
  • Click the Next button to accept the default values throughout the installation.
    Important: Skip over the “Enter License Server Specification” step. DO NOT enter any port information or otherwise install the ANSYS LIcense Manager.
  • After the installation is completed, click Next and a message marked ***Important*** displays indicating that the installation is complete.
  • Check the survey box at the bottom if you wish to submit the survey.
  • Click the Exit button.
  • Your are now back to the Release 16.2 Installation home page. Be sure to NOT select any other options as these aren’t supported by the ANSYS Student license. Do not select License Manager Installation.
  • Click the Exit Button to close the installer.
  • The ANSYS Student software is now installed.

Next, follow the steps in Part 2 below.

Part 2 – ANSYS License File Installation:

  • Download the license file – ansys_student_.lic – to your computer. The portion of the filename indicates the expiration date of the license file.
  • Extract the downloaded license file and note the location where you save it to:
    We recommend moving the license file to C:\Program Files\ANSYS Inc\Shared Files\Licensing, but you can also put the license file on your desktop.
  • Do not put the license file in a Temp directory
  • Do not save this license file using the MS Word format.

Set the ANSYSLMD_LICENSE_FILE environment variable to the location of the ansys_student_ .lic file, including the filename. For example:
C:\Program Files\ANSYS Inc\Shared Files\Licensing\ansys_student_20160131.lic

Follow these steps to set an environment variable in MS Windows:

  1. Open the Control Panel
  2. Select System and Security
  3. Select System
  4. Select Advanced system settings
  5. Click the Environment Variables button
  6. Select the New button under System variables


Note that there will be several environment variables with very similar names already present. Be careful to use this EXACT environment variable name.

Next, follow the steps in Part 3 below.

Part 3 – Running ANSYS Student:
After completing Parts 1 and 2 of the installation, we recommend rebooting your machine. Then the best way to run ANSYS Student is from the start menu.

  • Go to the Start Menu and either select Workbench 16.2 OR select All Programs, then select theANSYS 16.2 folder, and select Workbench 16.2.
  • The ANSYS Student Workbench 16.2 project page will launch.

Congratulations you are now ready to start using ANSYS Student!

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