Can You Run AutoCAD on an iPad?

Can You Run AutoCAD on an iPad?

If you are an architect, engineer, or designer, you are likely familiar with AutoCAD, the industry-standard computer-aided design (CAD) software. It offers powerful tools for creating and editing 2D and 3D designs. With the growing popularity of mobile devices like the iPad, many users wonder if it is possible to run AutoCAD on their favorite tablet.

The short answer is no.

AutoCAD is a complex and resource-intensive software that requires a high-performance computer to run smoothly. While the iPad has come a long way in terms of processing power and capabilities, it still falls short when compared to desktop or laptop computers.

Why can’t you run AutoCAD on an iPad?

AutoCAD is designed to take advantage of the processing power and graphics capabilities of desktop computers. It requires a significant amount of RAM, a dedicated graphics card, and a powerful processor to handle complex designs and renderings.

The iPad, on the other hand, has limited resources in comparison. Most models have less RAM than what AutoCAD recommends, and they rely on integrated graphics chips rather than dedicated cards. While iPads have made great strides in terms of performance over the years, they still cannot match the raw power of a desktop computer.

So what are your options?

If you need to work with AutoCAD files while on the go or away from your office setup, you do have alternatives:

1. Use AutoCAD web app:

Autodesk offers a web-based version of AutoCAD that works well on iPads and other tablets.

The AutoCAD web app allows you to view, edit, and collaborate on your designs using only a web browser. While it may not have all the features of the desktop version, it is a convenient option for basic tasks.

2. Try AutoCAD mobile app:

In addition to the web app, Autodesk also provides a mobile app specifically designed for iOS devices.

The AutoCAD mobile app allows you to create, edit, and annotate drawings on your iPad. It offers a simplified interface and works seamlessly with cloud storage services like Google Drive and Dropbox.

3. Consider alternative CAD apps:

If you need more advanced CAD capabilities on your iPad, there are several third-party apps available in the App Store.

These apps offer features similar to AutoCAD and can handle complex designs. Some popular options include Procreate, Shapr3D, and Morpholio Trace.

In conclusion,

While you cannot run the full version of AutoCAD on an iPad, there are alternatives available that allow you to work with CAD files on your favorite tablet. Whether it’s using the web app or exploring other CAD software options, you can still be productive while on the go.


  • An iPad is not a replacement for a powerful desktop computer when it comes to running AutoCAD.
  • The AutoCAD web app and mobile app offer convenient ways to work with CAD files on an iPad.
  • Consider exploring alternative CAD apps for more advanced capabilities.

So go ahead and unleash your creativity even when you’re away from your desk!