Converting your Standalone license to an Online license

Want to convert your Standalone license to an Online license? Ask yourself these questions: Are you a workaholic who takes their work home? Are you always travelling and do not wish to carry your heavy laptop with you? Are you sharing one license between multiple machines? If the answer to any of the above is yes, then you should consider Online licensing.
Gone are the days when you must remember to deactivate your license every single time otherwise risk a long drive back to do so. SOLIDWORKS Online Licensing, has come to save the day!

Difference between Standalone and Online license

Standalone or Machine Activation is when SOLIDWORKS is activated on one machine for one user. This type of activation attaches itself to the customer’s computer ID until it has been manually deactivated. Whereas, an Online license, introduced in SOLIDWORKS 2018, can jump from one machine to the other in a matter of seconds. What does that mean? Let us discuss the benefits below.

Benefits of Online license


  • Forgot to deactivate license from the other machine? With Online license, you can save and remotely log yourself out on the other machine.
  • No need to use copy settings wizard to take your personalized settings, Online license does the job for you.
  • Cannot always be online? Take your license offline for up to 30 days.
  • Conversion between Standalone and Online license can be done as many times as you want.
  • It is free. Who does not like a free service?


  • Must have SOLIDWORKS 2018 or above.
  • Compatible with all products of SOLIDWORKS except for SOLIDWORKS PDM.
  • Need to have SOLIDWORKS ID attached to the license.
  • Only one SOLIDWORKS session at a given time.

How to convert to Online License, and back.

If you have read till this point and you are happy to continue, let us get right to it.

  1. Launch SOLIDWORKS on your machine with the Standalone license.
  2. Proceed to deactivate your license from either Help > Deactivate Licenses (2018 / 2019) or select the icon > Licenses > Deactivate (2020 SP3 onwards).

Want to convert your Standalone license to an Online license?

Want to convert your Standalone license to an Online license?

3. Once you have successfully deactivated your license, go on to , log in using your SOLIDWORKS ID.

4. After you have logged in, you will see your name appear. Click on the name to have a drop-down menu and select Admin Portal. NOTE: By default, the first member from the company to log in and access the admin portal gets “Admin” rights.

If you are unable to navigate to the Admin Portal, that means you have a CAD Admin. Details of Admin will be provided. If that CAD Admin does no longer exist/works for the company, please contact us and we will help you out

5. Assuming you are Admin and have access, once we enter the Admin Portal, you will have a few tabs to pick from. The one that matters to us is Products.

6. Under the Products window, Select the option Change to Online Licensing.

If you are unable to select the option of Change to Online Licensing, hover your mouse cursor over the  to find out why. Normally, it should say To change, you must deactivate this product. This would only happen if you forgot to deactivate the license. In which case, just follow the steps 1 – 2.

7. Once you select the Change to Online Licensing, a confirmation window will pop up. Just select OK to continue. You will now see Change to Machine Activation instead of Change to Online Licensing.

8. Now, we shall assign this Online license to a member within the company. To do this, go on to the Members

9. First, select the member you wish to assign the product to, then from the list of Available Products, click and highlight the product and select Assign Product. The member has now been associated with the specific serial key. You may remove the member in the same way as well from a serial key

10. Now that we have converted to Online license and assigned the product, we will proceed to activate the said license. Upon launching SOLIDWORKS for the first time after the conversion, SOLIDWORKS Product Activation will pop up. Select all and activate. This will produce an error window letting us know that the license has been changed to online licensing. Select No, and simply close the SOLIDWORKS Product Activation

Want to convert your Standalone license to an Online license?

11. Launch SOLIDWORKS once more, this time a Sign in window will pop up. Just sign in using your SOLIDWORKS ID. Once logged in, we are done and ready to enjoy the freedom that comes with Online licensing!

12. If the step above fails, please modify your installation. When you go to control panel, click change on SOLIDWORKS product and then remove the license you see. Once you remove the license, Click log in and log in using the SOLIDWORKS ID of the assigned user and simply follow the prompts. Once modified, fire up SOLIDWORKS and it should prompt you with Log in Windows.

Want to convert your Standalone license to an Online license?

Troubleshooting Online licensing

Like any software, SOLIDWORKS may encounter hurdles on occasions. Worry not, you may call us at CADspace, and we will look after you, or you can read below to troubleshoot for yourself.

Without going in much details, the two most common problems can occur when an incorrect credential is stuck on your machine or FLEXnet License management tool for SOLIDWORKS has faltered. This can lead to an online license transaction failure. To resolve this:


  1. Browse to ‘C:\Users\\AppData\Local\SolidWorks\Credentials`.
  2. Delete the ‘ud.xml files`.

FLEXnet Files:

  1. Browse to ‘C:\ProgramData\FLEXnet`.
  2. Delete or rename all the files which start with ‘SW_D`.

Once the steps have been carried out, launch SOLIDWORKS. You will need to log in again using your SOLIDWORKS ID.

Another frequently faced issue that customers may face is not being able to use their SOLIDWORKS with Online Licensing due to their log in credentials. This can happen when they are using SOLIDWORKS with Machine Activation while logged in as a user, and then they just deactivate the license on the machine to convert to Online Licensing. The issue is triggered if their SOLIDWORKS was logged in using one Credentials, meanwhile Online Licensing is trying using a different ID. To fix this issue, just follow the steps below:

  1. Convert the license back to Machine Activation.
  2. Fire SOLIDWORKS and log out from the current ID and close SOLIDWORKS.
  3. Convert License back to online Licensing
  4. Go to Control Panel and modify your SOLIDWORKS installation.
  5. To modify, just select the SOLIDWORKS installation, and click on Change. This should pop up the Installation Manager
  6. Use the correct Log in detail of the assigned user, hit Next until you can Modify.
  7. Once completed, launch SOLIDWORKS and it should prompt a window asking for your SOLIDWORKS ID. This time, once you log in, SOLIDWORKS should be up and running.

If the troubleshooting steps are followed correctly, you should now be able to use SOLIDWORKS again!

When all is said and done

SOLIDWORKS and Dassault Systemes are very customer oriented and so they are always evolving by listening to its customers’ demands and making life easier for them. With the introduction of Online Licensing in 2018, we no longer must suffer the headache of continually deactivating/activating our licenses manually. SOLIDWORKS has given us the control to take work/hobby wherever we desire without being restricted.

Now imagine, after a tiring day at work you get back home where you wish to continue the outstanding work. Then you recall, did you deactivate the license from your work machine or forgot again? Well, in the famous words of Donnie Brasco, forget about it!

Please feel free to reach out to our experienced Technical Support Team at CADspace if you need help converting your licences to online licenses and enjoy these benefits.


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