SOLIDWORKS 2017 Update Frequently Asked Questions & Answers

Article by Scott Durksen, CSWE, last updated on November 29, 2017

Get your SOLIDWORKS 2017 Update frequently asked questions answered below:


SOLIDWORKS 2017 Update General Information

Review our SOLIDWORKS 2017 update general topic questions:

How can I learn about the new features in SOLIDWORKS 2017?

What Windows Operating Systems will be supported by SOLIDWORKS 2017?

IMPORTANT – SOLIDWORKS 2017 is not supported on any 32-bit operating system.

The following operating systems are supported by SOLIDWORKS 2017:

  • Windows 7 SP1, 64-bit
  • Windows 8.1, 64-bit
  • Windows 10, 64-bit

*Windows Home Editions are not supported
*Only Microsoft Windows networking is supported.  Novell networks and non-Windows network storage devices are not supported

Please see the SOLIDWORKS System Requirements for additional information.

Are Virtual Environments Supported?

Only select Virtual Environments are supported.  Please see the SOLIDWORKS Virtual Environments support page:

NOTE – Virtual environments require a certified GPU for good performance of SOLIDWORKS, eDrawings and Draftsight.

Certified GPU drivers for virtual environments can be found on the SOLIDWORKS testing page (choose “Virtual Desktop” from the Computer Vendor dropdown).

Will SOLIDWORKS 2017 files open in previous major releases (i.e. in SOLIDWORKS 2016)?

The Previous Release Interoperability functionality allows 2017 parts and assemblies to be opened in SOLIDWORKS 2016 SP5, with limited functionality. Learn more.

Can I run any third party add-in or custom program with SOLIDWORKS 2017?

  • SOLIDWORKS Gold Partner companies have 30 days from the release of SOLIDWORKS 2017 to support the latest version. Check with the Gold Partner that their add-in product is compatible before upgrading. Click here for Gold Partner product details.  Select “Refine your Search with Criteria” and click the checkbox “Show Certified GOLD Partner Products Only”
  • Support Partner (Non-Gold) companies support the latest release on their own schedule. Check with the Solution Partner that their add-in product is compatible with SOLIDWORKS 2017 before upgrading. Click here for Solution Partner product details
  • Custom programs/add-ins should be checked to ensure they are compatible with the latest release.


SOLIDWORKS 2017 Installation

Review our SOLIDWORKS 2017 update installation frequently asked questions:

What is the SOLIDWORKS 2017 Installation Manager?

Each release of SOLIDWORKS has its own Installation Manager.  It is a standalone application that can download/update/upgrade/install/modify/repair all SOLIDWORKS products.  It can be used to create and manage administrative images and standalone installs all within the same user interface.  The Installation Manager can be downloaded from the SOLIDWORKS Customer Portal for each version/service pack.

How does the SOLIDWORKS 2017 Installation Manager work?

The SOLIDWORKS 2017 Installation Manager uses Windows Installer and installs all products silently passing the required parameters to the installations.  You can specify a folder location for the installation.  This location will be used as the root folder for the installation of all products.  The advantage of using the Installation Manager is that it keeps all Products under the same folder in the Startup program list as well as creating one listing in Programs and Features in the Control Panel (listed as SOLIDWORKS 2017).

What should I do before I upgrade to SOLIDWORKS 2017?

  1. Update your graphics card driver to a SOLIDWORKS certified version. SOLIDWORKS recommends the use of certified graphics cards and systems. A certified graphics card and system is tested and supported by the vendor. A listing of the latest certified drivers may be found on the graphics card testing page.

NOTE – If you are running a specific brand of workstation (i.e. Dell, HP, Lenovo), be sure to select the Computer Vendor when making your video card selection.  The standard graphics cards for these models will be available.  If your installed graphics card is not listed as an option, then set the Computer Vendor as “— Any System Vendor” to obtain the generic driver for your graphics card.

  1. Check System Requirements to ensure successful installation and optimum performance, verify that your system complies with the requirements.
  2. IMPORTANTLOCAL Administrative rights are necessary on the local system to perform SOLIDWORKS installations or upgrades. System DLLs and drivers are updated which require administrative privileges. The necessary permissions must be obtained to ensure a successful installation of SOLIDWORKS. Windows Power User status is sufficient after installation as only read and execute permissions are required to use SOLIDWORKS.
  3. Disable any anti-virus or anti-spyware applications that you may have running.  Some anti-virus programs have been known to interfere with the installation.  Review a list of anti-virus products that SOLIDWORKS has tested for compatibility while installing SOLIDWORKS.
  4. Disable Windows User Account Controls (UAC) to avoid conflicts:
  5. IMPORTANT – If you are NOT using a PDM product which retains all your previous revisions (i.e. PDM Professional), then it is recommended to save or backup active projects, including all associated parts, assemblies, and drawings, in your current version prior to upgrade. We recommend creating a backup copy of your SOLIDWORKS Data folder as well (i.e. Toolbox). Once the files are converted and saved in SOLIDWORKS 2017, these files cannot be opened and edited in a previous version of SOLIDWORKS.

NOTE – Previous Release Interoperability is available between SOLIDWORKS 2017 and 2016 SP5. Learn more

  1. Backup all your custom document templates, sheet formats, etc, from previous releases before installing SOLIDWORKS 2017.
  2. Review our Installation Guides from our FAQs page.

What’s the recommended installation procedure, to upgrade or to perform a new installation?

Both installation methods are supported. Updating your existing SOLIDWORKS installation can be done if users no longer require the prior version still on their system.  A new installation will leave existing installations and install separately.

Can I have more than one version of SOLIDWORKS installed on my system at the same time?

Yes, it is possible to have multiple versions of SOLIDWORKS on the same system.  During install, choose the option for a new installation and specify separate paths for the install directory and the Toolbox directory.
Review the section “Installing SOLIDWORKS with Unique Install Directories” in our Installation Guides found in our FAQs page.
To ensure complete separation between installations, follow these instructions:

Can I upgrade to the latest release if I currently have a version that is two or more years behind?

If you are skipping a version, it’s typically best to uninstall your current version and install the latest version as a new installation. For detailed instructions on how to uninstall SOLIDWORKS, click here for our Clean Uninstall Procedure.

What if I am upgrading and have Toolbox installed in a shared environment?

When the Toolbox files are located on a server location and not on the local machine, upgrading the client SOLIDWORKS installation will not update the toolbox.  The preferred procedure is to copy the toolbox files to a local machine, point the toolbox options to the local folder, then run a repair of the installation. Please review the following post for detailed instructions (applies to SOLIDWORKS 2017 as well):

Where can I find more information about installations?

Review our Installation Guides on our FAQ page:

For more detailed information on installations, download a SOLIDWORKS Installation and Administration Guide.


SOLIDWORKS 2017 Standalone Licensing – Locked

Review our SOLIDWORKS 2017 update frequently asked questions for standalone licensing:

Do I need to obtain a new serial number to install SOLIDWORKS 2017?

Registration of SOLIDWORKS 2017 will be handled automatically through online Product Activation.  If your license is on active subscription, your serial number will automatically be upgraded to the 2017 version.

What is Product Activation?

Product activation is a secure, hassle-free process that authenticates licensed users during the installation process. For more information regarding product activation please refer to the SOLIDWORKS Activation FAQ.

I do not have internet or e-mail access on my SOLIDWORKS workstation, how will I activate my product?

Activation requires that you have internet or email access. After activation, you do not need to be online to use the products.

If you do not have internet access on the computer where SOLIDWORKS is installed, you can choose the Manual method to save an activation file, transfer to another computer with internet access (i.e. via USB key) then email the file to activation@solidworks.com.  Instructions will be provided during the activation process.

The server that receives the activation email will automatically process it and email back an authorization file within minutes.  Upon receipt of this activation file, simply move it back to your SOLIDWORKS workstation and run through the Manual Activation process again and read the file.  If you have any activation problems, please contact Javelin’s Support Help Desk.


SOLIDWORKS 2017 SolidNetWork Licensing (SNL) – FLOATING

Review our SOLIDWORKS 2017 update frequently asked questions for SNL:

How is network (floating) licensing handled in SOLIDWORKS 2017?

SOLIDWORKS 2017 continues to use the same SolidNetWork License Manager to provide network licenses for all SOLIDWORKS products.  PDM Standard and PDM Professional licenses use the same SolidNetWork License Manager in 2017.

  1. Network licenses can include SOLIDWORKS, Simulation, Composer, Electrical, Visualize and PDM products
  2. Network licenses of SOLIDWORKS Visualize 2017 now utilizes the SolidNetWork License Manager
  3. Allows for license borrowing when disconnected from the network

What Operating Systems are supported for the SolidNetWork License Manager?

Please review the section “SOLIDWORKS Network License Server” on the SOLIDWORKS System Requirements page.

Can SOLIDWORKS, Simulation, Composer, Electrical, Plastics, Visualize and PDM products run from one license manager tool?

Yes, users can manage all SOLIDWORKS product licenses using one utility.  During installation, you can enter multiple serial numbers separated by commas.  You will need to install the License Manager on a server, accessible by all clients.  Please review the “SOLIDWORKS Installation Guide Network License” on our FAQ page.

Starting with SOLIDWORKS 2017, network licenses of SOLIDWORKS Visualize now utilize the License Manager.

Why are the clients not able to obtain a SOLIDWORKS license from the server?

There are most likely firewalls preventing the communication between the client and server machines.  Please review our troubleshooting article.

Do clients have access to the SolidNetWork License Manager to view licenses currently in use?

Yes, to access the SOLIDWORKS SolidNetWork License Manager on a client machine, go to Start > SOLIDWORKS 2017 Tools > SolidNetWork License Manager Client 2017.

Can the 2017 License Manager (SNL) support prior versions of SOLIDWORKS?

The SOLIDWORKS 2017 License Manager will support earlier versions of the software back through SOLIDWORKS 2008.

Why do I see extra SOLIDWORKS Standard licenses on the “License Usage” tab in the SolidNetWork License Manager?

A SOLIDWORKS Standard license is always required to be checked out when opening SOLIDWORKS.  When an add-in that requires a higher license is enabled, the Professional or Premium license is checked out, but it keeps a Standard license checked out at the same time.

What is the “License Order” tab in the SolidNetWork License Manager?

The License Order tab allows you to change the order of product taken from the server if multiple levels of SOLIDWORKS Simulation products are available on the network (e.g. SOLIDWORKS Premium, SOLIDWORKS Simulation, SOLIDWORKS Simulation Professional, SOLIDWORKS Simulation Premium).  If you need access to SOLIDWORKS Simulation Professional level studies and use SOLIDWORKS Premium, then SOLIDWORKS Simulation Professional must be listed above SOLIDWORKS Premium.  Otherwise only the SOLIDWORKS Premium license will be used and just give access to Static studies. Get more information.

What is the “License Borrowing” tab in the SolidNetWork License Manager?

If you will be away from your network connection due to travel or working from home, you can borrow a license for a specified period.  This keep a SOLIDWORKS license on the computer and allow you to launch the program without being connected to your work network.
Borrowing a Professional or Premium license automatically borrows the pre-requisite SOLIDWORKS Standard license.

Can I upgrade the 2017 SolidNetWork License Manager?

You can upgrade an existing SolidNetWork License Manager to a new version using SOLIDWORKS Installation Manager, rather than removing the previous version and then installing the new one.

Can I use a remote desktop application to install and activate the License Manager on a server?

Avoid using a remote desktop application as this can cause a change to the Computer ID of the server during activation. This may cause a mismatch of the hardware ID at the SOLIDWORKS Activation Centre.  An Activation Exceeded Count error may occur and the activation will fail. Please contact your SOLIDWORKS Technical Support Help Desk if this has occurred.  Get more information.

Where can I find more information about SolidNetWork License installations?

Review our “SOLIDWORKS Installation Guide Network License” on our FAQ page


SOLIDWORKS 2017 Activation

Review our SOLIDWORKS 2017 update activation procedures for standalone and network licenses.

Standalone License:

To activate a standalone license:

  1. Start SOLIDWORKS and add-on required (i.e. Simulation).
  2. If you have not yet activated your license, the Product Activation dialog box appears.
  3. Choose the Automatic (recommended) or Manual option.
  4. Supply your email address.
  5. Obtain the activation online or by email
    Automatic – Submit the request automatically over the internet (requires internet connection)
    Manual – Click Save to create a file, and then send the file to activation@solidworks.com from another computer that has internet access. When you receive the response file, typically within minutes of the initial submission, copy to the client machine and run the activation procedure again and click Open to load the response file.
  6. The Activation/Reactivate Succeeded dialog box displays the products that have been activated.

To transfer a standalone license:

  1. Open SOLIDWORKS on the activated computer
  2. Go to Help > Deactivate Licenses
  3. Choose the license to transfer (or select all)
  4. Choose the Automatic or Manual option and follow the steps (similar to the  activation procedure)
  5. Once the transfer is successful, install and activate on the new computer

Network Licensing:

To activate a network license:

  1. Install the SolidNetWork License Manager on a server.  Through the Installation Manager, choose Server Products > Install SolidNetwork License Manager.  During the installation of the License Manager, you will be prompted to enter a SOLIDWORKS Network Serial Number.  This is the same serial number used on all client machines as well.  You can enter more than one serial number by adding commas (,) between licenses.
  2. You can update an existing SolidNetWork License Manager to a new version using SOLIDWORKS Installation Manager, rather than removing the previous version and then installing the new one.
  3. After the installation is finished launch the SolidNetWork License Manager from the Start Menu in the SOLIDWORKS Tools folder.
  4. Choose Yes when prompted “Would you like to activate now?”
  5. Choose the Automatic (recommended) or Manual option.
  6. Supply your email address.
  7. Obtain the activation online or by email
    Automatic – Submit the request automatically over the internet (requires internet connection)
    Manual – Click Save to create a file, and then send the file to activation@solidworks.com from another computer that has internet access. When you receive the response file, typically within minutes of the initial submission, copy to the client machine and run the activation procedure again and click Open to load the response file.
  8. The Activation/Reactivate Succeeded dialog box displays the products that have been activated.

To transfer a network license from a server:

  1. Open the SolidNetWork License Manager on the server
  2. On the ‘Server Administration’ tab, click Modify
  3. Choose to Transfer/Deactivate license
  4. Choose the Automatic or Manual method and follow the steps (similar to the activation procedure)
  5. Install and activate the License Manager on a new server
  6. Point all client machines to the new server by opening the License Manager Client on each machine and change the server name in the Server List tab

For more information, please review our “SOLIDWORKS Installation Guide Network License” on our FAQ page.

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Scott Durksen, CSWE

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