Windows-based Diagnostic Software
for VW / Audi / Seat / Skoda
for generic 3rd-party interfaces

VCDS-Lite is our low cost solution for older (pre-2006) VW-Audi Group cars that do not require a direct CAN diagnostic connection.

The free shareware version does quite a lot and it's, well, free.

The fully registered version does pretty much everything the older dealers' tools could do on those cars, but even when fully registered, it will not have quite all of the functions that the full (non-lite) version of VCDS would provide.

Some of the differences between versions and between the free VCDS-Lite Shareware and the Fully Registered version:

Free Shareware:
  • Cannot do AutoScan
  • Won't display text for all fault codes
  • No Basic Settings (so no TBA, Xenon leveling, etc or checking timing on TDI's)
  • No Adaptation Saving (so no changing of locking/lights/horn behavior)
  • No Output Tests
  • No tech support from Ross-Tech

Limitations of VCDS-Lite compared to VCDS even if Fully Registered:
  • No Generic OBD-II
  • Won't work with CAN-Bus vehicles
  • Fewer fault code definitions and label files
  • No built-in Activation (you'll be limited to a single PC)
  • No Advanced Measuring Blocks
  • No Acceleration Measurement

Refer to our VCDS Function Chart for more details.

Click here for the Interactive Demo/Manual for VCDS-Lite.

We do not sell interfaces for VCDS-Lite.

If you're considering VCDS-Lite, then you obviously have a very limited budget for tools and we can't compete on price with Chinese eBay sellers. When choosing an interface for VCDS-Lite, we recommend getting one that's based on an FTDI FT232 Chip. They almost always work well if you manually configure the virtual COM port into an unused port in the range of COM1 - COM4 and set the latency timer to 2, as shown here.

Frequently Asked Questions About VCDS-Lite

5.1 How do I permanently move VCDS-Lite from one PC to another?

We understand that PCs sometimes fail in a manner where it is not economically feasible to repair them, so we will allow ONE change of PCs per license. Use it wisely!

This also applies to reformatting your hard drive, installing new OS or performing other system overhauls:

  1. Download and install VCDS-Lite.
  2. Test it to make sure it works properly on that machine. Contact us for support if you have any difficulties.
  3. Fill out the appropriate Registration Form using the serial number from the About screen and we'll send you a new Activation Code, subject to the following caveat:
    • You have only registered VCDS-Lite on one other PC.

Additional notes:

5.2 What's the De-Activate button for? Why would I want to do that?

Old versions of our software contained a De-Activate button. This is no longer present in With VCDS-Lite, we will allow ONE change of PC per license.

5.3 Why has VCDS-Lite become De-Activated on its own?

If your previously-registered installation of VCDS-Lite has become De-Activated:

  • Make sure the Activation File ( *.vca ) is present in the folder where VCDS-Lite has been installed.
  • Contact with your contact information and details about your PC.

Remember that we HIGHLY recommend you purchase one of our Current Interfaces for use with VCDS (as opposed to VCDS-Lite). Upgrades for existing registered users are also available.

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"VCDS", "VCDS-Mobile" and "HEX-NET" are Registered Trademarks of Ross-Tech, LLC.
Ross-Tech is not affiliated with the Volkswagen Group in any way.