Resetting SolidWorks Windows registry entry

Longtime Windows users are likely familiar with the debilitating effects of even a single Windows Registry key becoming corrupted.  SolidWorks is by no means immune to such a situation.

Perhaps you may have experienced some of these effects before.  SolidWorks showing only the splash screen and not actually launching, toolbars missing and unable to be retrieved and a number of other bizarre and seemingly random errors can all be symptoms of a corrupt registry key.

SolidWorks Splash Screen

SolidWorks Splash Screen

You may be able to correct this by performing a reset of the SolidWorks registry.

WARNING: Please be very careful when editing or deleting any entries in the Windows Registry as changing the wrong entry can lead to major issues on your system.  Also if you have Enterprise PDM installed on your system do not follow these steps, instead please contact you SolidWorks Value Added Reseller’s customer support for additional instructions.

Resetting SolidWorks windows registry steps:

1.  Close all instances of SolidWorks

2.  Launch the Windows Registry Editor.  (In Windows XP go to the Start menu and click Run and type: regedit ; In Windows Vista or Windows 7 go to the Start menu and type: regedit)

3.  In the Registry Editor expand HKEY_CURRENT_USER then Software, right click the SolidWorks entry and select Rename.  Rename the entry something like SolidWorks_Backup.

Windows Registry Edit

Windows Registry Edit (click image to enlarge)

4.  Launch SolidWorks.  When the program starts it will create a new registry entry in this location called SolidWorks.  Once SolidWorks opens, it will be as if the program is starting for the first time.

SolidWorks first launch

SolidWorks first launch

How to undo this operation

If the problem you were experiencing is gone, great!  If not, and you want to undo what you just did, no problem, that’s why we only renamed the SolidWorks entry and didn’t delete it. Simply go back into Registry Editor and rename the new SolidWorks entry (again best not to delete it until you are sure everything is back exactly as before) then name the old one back to SolidWorks.

If the issue is fixed you are now left with essentially a fresh copy of SolidWorks, meaning any customization you have performed will be lost.

Restoring SolidWorks Custom Settings

However, if you have made a copy of your custom SolidWorks settings ( then you will be able to re-import these after the reset has been performed.

DO NOT, however, perform the Copy Settings operation when you are already experiencing issues, this will just copy the old problems back into the registry.  Make a back-up of your settings when everything is working correctly and save the resulting .SLDREG file in a safe location.

This way performing a reset of the SolidWorks registry in the future will be an easy and quick procedure with no time consuming side effects.

Become a SOLIDWORKS Expert User

If you want to become more efficient with SOLIDWORKS then learn SOLIDWORKS live over the web with Javelin. Classes include Drawings, Surfacing, Sheet Metal, Simulation, plus GD&T.


  1. Jamie Chinn says

    When your done, Right click the Solidworks key to save the Solidworks Key to a safe place so you can fix this when it happens again. Later, as needed, just double click on your .reg file that you saved when exporting your Solidworks Key to fix the registry.

  2. Con says

    My solidworks file thumbnails won’t display when I see them in windows file locations

    I know that you can make them appear again by modifying icon registry , but I don’t know how

    Look forward to help with this situation


  3. Anonymous says

    Thanks so much! I reinstalled solidworks and still had a problem launching. Doing this fixed it!

  4. ARISTOTLE says

    Can someone help me on how to fix this problem Please? I bought solidworks 2009 and installed it in my windows 7 32bit PC. I copied the system32 into the windows directory and the .lic file into the solidworks folder in program file C- directory and doubled clicked the .reg file as instructed. But after all these, the solidworks was successfully installed but could not run in my computer. It only prompt an error message saying: could not obtain a licence for soliworks standard. Cannot find licence file (1,359,2). Please I seriously need help here.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *