SOLIDWORKS Installation Guide

Buying new software is always exciting, but understandably intimidating. You’ve got the software but how do you get it up and running? If you just Googled “How to install SOLIDWORKS”, then it’s sent you to the ultimate guide! Hopefully by following the steps below, you will be a pro at installing SOLIDWORKS all by yourself on any machine!

The major stages are listed below:

  • Downloading SOLIDWORKS.
  • Installing SOLIDWORKS.
  • Activating your SOLIDWORKS licence.

In this guide we will go through each process, step-by-step, to ensure your installation is done hassle free so you’re ready to use your new toy as soon as possible.

Downloading SOLIDWORKS

First step is simply downloading the software on your machine. To do so, you must go to From here, navigate to the top-right of your screen and click on the Login which will give you a pull-down menu. Select the SW Customer Portal.

Here you will have to sign in with your SOLIDWORKS ID. If you do not have one, you can create an account by selecting “Create a SOLIDWORKS ID”.

Now that you are on the Customer Portal, locate the DOWNLOAD section and select ‘Downloads and Updates’. This link is your go-to place for all your SOLIDWORKS download needs.

Once the new page has loaded, ensure that you are selecting the correct ‘Version’ from the drop-down menu and clicking on the SOLIDWORKS Products link for the relevant Service Pack.

NOTE: Please remember that SOLIDWORKS is backwards incompatible, meaning your SOLIDWORKS will only be able to open files of the same Version 20(XX) or older, regardless of the Service Pack.

Now you’ll arrive at the SOLIDWORKS Download End User License Agreement page (I know everybody will definitely read that!). Once you have gone through the EULA, please click the ‘Accept Agreement & Continue’ button.

Finally, we come to the Download and Install SOLIDWORKS Products page, click on the Download link and continue to the next section.

NOTE: If this is a standalone machine installation, it is suggested to keep the downloaded files in your Documents > inside SOLIDWORKS Download folder.


Still with me? Congratulations! Let us move on to installing your SOLIDWORKS…

Browse to the location of the SOLIDWORKS downloaded files and locate the SOLIDWORKS setup.exe, RMB and select Run as administrator. This will ensure that you have full permissions and will not come across any potential installation failures.

When you launch the setup.exe, you will come across the Installation Manager window. Select ‘Install on this computer’ for individual installations and click Next.

The next page is where all the Serial numbers should be entered. In the case where you have a previous version of SOLIDWORKS already installed, the serial numbers would be prefilled, if not, you will need to type it in for all the products which you are entitled to. Once done, press Next.

NOTE: If your serial number starts with 0010 or 9010, you have a SOLIDWORKS Network License and not a Standalone License.

Between the Serial number stage and the next, SOLIDWORKS Installation Manager performs a system check to verify if there is an existing SOLIDWORKS installation detected. If there is, you will be asked if you would like to either ‘Create a new installation’ or ‘Upgrade a previous major release’. Please select the relevant option and hit Next.

Lastly, we will come to the Summary page of the Installation Manager. This is where you can review and make desired changes.


I understand that by now, you just want this over with and want to start using your shiny new software. Patience padawan, there are some recommended actions which could potentially save the future you some trouble. Let us go over them below:

  1. In the Products section, click ‘Change and review the products’. Select or deselect the required products and then press Back to Summary.

2. In the Installation Location section, click CHange and do yourself a favour by adding the SOLIDWORKS Year at the end to avoid any confusion in the future. The reson being, once you start having multiple installations, you will start seeing multiple folder locations for SOLIDWORKS Corp (2), SOLIDWORKS Corp (3), etc.

3. In the Toolbox/Hole Wizard Options, click Change and do the same as above (step 2). SOLIDWORKS Data will also create incremental folders (if Create a new SOLIDWORKS 20XX Toolbox option is selected) with names SOLIDWORKS Data (2), SOLIDWORKS Data (3) etc.

NOTE: If you have customer parts stored within your Toolbox, it is recommended to make a copy of the folder before Upgrading your existing Toolbox just to have as a backup.

Now that we have made all the desired changes within our Summary page, you may read the License Agreement, select the I accept the terms of the SOLIDWORKS and hit Download and Install.

Followed by.

Guess what? You are on the home stretch now! Just wait out the downloading/installation, depending on your internet speed, this could take somewhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours approximately.

Once the installation is completed, the Installation Manager will ask you if you wish to see What’s New in SOLIDWORKS 20XX, furthermore, you will have a chance to join the SOLIDWORKS Customer Experience Improvement Program. My suggestion is to join the program since this will only help SOLIDWORKS improve the quality of this product for yourself and all the fellow SOLIDWORKS users out there.



Now that you have SOLIDWORKS installed, the final step is the activation of your software. All you need to do is launch SOLIDWORKS (any product), it will pop open the SOLIDWORKS Product Activations window. Select I want to activate my SOLIDWORKS product now and click Next.

Select all the products you wish to activate and ensure you are entering your email address where required, followed by clicking Next again.

This will start the activation process followed by the Result page where you will be able to see all the Currently activated products. Click Finish and you are done.

NOTE: If in case you do not have internet access and you wish to activate the product, please select Manual Activation which will give you instructions on how to activate your product manually.



What comes next?

With everything done, you can now enjoy the limitless possibilities that SOLIDWORKS has to offer plus the bragging rights to installing your own software!

I hope this blog has been the perfect recipe for you to successfully download, install and activate your SOLIDWORKS Products. If at any point you are hesitant about the steps, or cannot be bothered to own the bragging rights, please feel free to reach out to our experienced Technical Support Team at CADspace for help with the above steps, understanding the functionalities of SOLIDWORKS in greater depth or even information about the trainings. Enjoy!

By Raza

(Application Engineer)


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