Frequently Asked Technical Support Questions


General FAQ's

What should I do before I upgrade to SOLIDWORKS 2010?

  • Update your Video Card to a SOLIDWORKS Certified Driver. SOLIDWORKS recommends the use of certified graphics cards and systems. A certified graphics card or system is tested to a higher standard and is supported by the vendor. A listing of the latest Certified Drives may be found at the link:
  • Please note, if you are running a DELL or HP workstation, please be sure to select them when making your video card vendor selection even if your video card in your system is from nVidia or ATI. 
  • Check System Requirements to ensure successful installation and optimum performance, verify that your system complies with the requirements:
  • Administrative rights are necessary on the local system in order to perform SOLIDWORKS installation or upgrades. System DLLs and drivers are updated which require administrative privileges. The necessary permissions will have to be obtained to ensure a successful installation of SOLIDWORKS. Only read and execute permission are required to run SOLIDWORKS.
  • Disable any Anti-virus or Anti-spyware applications that you may have running.
    This step must include terminating any anti-virus or Anti-spyware services that are running. Certain anti-virus application do not allow for system resources to be updated if they are in use.  For a list of Anti-Virus products that SOLIDWORKS has tested for compatibility with installing SOLIDWORKS, please see
  • Save copies of all SOLIDWORKS parts, assemblies, and drawings in your current version prior to upgrade. We recommend the creation of a backup copy of your SOLIDWORKS Data. Once the files are converted and saved in SOLIDWORKS 2010, these files are no longer accessible in previous versions of SOLIDWORKS software.
  • Backup all of your custom document templates, sheet formats, or design library items from previous releases before installing SOLIDWORKS 2010.

I want to learn all the new SOLIDWORKS 2010 features.  What can I do?

There are a few things you can do:

  • Visit the SOLIDWORKS 2010 Launch Site here,, for overviews of some of the new features.
  • Review the “What's New in SOLIDWORKS 2010” PDF manual that can be found in SOLIDWORKS, under the Help menu pick What’s New.

What Windows Operating Systems will be supported by SOLIDWORKS 2010?

The following operating systems are supported for SOLIDWORKS 2010:

  • Windows 7 32-bit (2)(6)
  • Windows 7 64-bit (2)(6)   
  • Vista 32-bit (3)  
  • Vista 64-bit (3)(4)   
  • XP Professional 32-bit (5)(1)    
  • XP Professional 64-bit (4)(1)

(1) Support for Windows XP Professional is ending. For details see the Release Notes or Technical Alerts.
(2) Supports SOLIDWORKS 2010 SP1 or higher (based on Windows 7 availability).
(3) Windows Vista Ultimate, Business and Enterprise editions only (SP0 or higher).
(4) Windows Vista 64-bit is supported for SOLIDWORKS 2008 SP3.1 or higher. The Education Edition, Student Edition, and Student Design Kit are supported after the 2008-2009 academic school year.
(5) Supported for Windows XP Professional SP2 or higher.
(6) Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate editions only.

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, specify separate paths for the install directory and the common files directory. Please be aware that SOLIDWORKS does not support backward compatibility.

Will SOLIDWORKS 2010 files open in SOLIDWORKS 2009?

No, SOLIDWORKS is not backwards compatible.  Once a file has been saved in SOLIDWORKS 2010, it cannot be opened in SOLIDWORKS 2009 unless it is exported as a neutral file (i.e. Parasolid).  Note that when importing a neutral file all feature data history is NOT included.

Can I run any third party add-in or custom program with SOLIDWORKS 2010?

  • SOLIDWORKS Gold Partner companies have 30 days from the release of SOLIDWORKS 2010 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
  • 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 2010 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.

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Registration FAQ's for stand-alone licenses

Why has my old 16 digit SOLIDWORKS serial number (Prior to 2007) changed to a new 24 digit serial number for SOLIDWORKS 2010?

All standalone 16 digit serial numbers were converted to a new 24 digit serial number format in order to support online Product Activation that was introduced with SOLIDWORKS 2007.
Do I need to obtain a new registration code to install SOLIDWORKS 2010?
Registration of SOLIDWORKS 2010 will be handled automatically through online Product Activation.

What is Product Activation?

Product activation is an anonymous, secure, and hassle-free process that authenticates licensed users during the installation process. For more information regarding product activation please refer to the SOLIDWORKS Activation FAQ:'s-Activation.html

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 email access on the computer where you use this product, you can save the activation file and send it from another computer that has email access.

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Registration FAQ's for SNL (network/floating) licenses:

How is network (floating) licensing handled in SOLIDWORKS 2010?

It is the same as the new system that was introduced with SOLIDWORKS 2009.  SOLIDWORKS® 2010 has a unified approach to network licensing:

  1. Network license files can include both SOLIDWORKS and Simulation products
  2. One network license administration tool
  3. Provides Licensing Borrowing for SOLIDWORKS Simulation products.

If I skipped upgrading to SOLIDWORKS 2009, now that I am upgrading to 2010, do I need a new serial number for SOLIDWORKS Simulation 2010 if running a network license?
Yes, you will need to request a new serial number (16 digits).  To request a new serial number and license file:

  1. Visit:
  2. You will receive:
    • 16-digit serial number(s)
    • License file(s) (*.TXT)
    • Instructions for licensing (*.TXT)

Can SOLIDWORKS and SOLIDWORKS Simulation products run using the same dongle?

Yes, just like with SOLIDWORKS 2000, in SOLIDWORKS 2010, users will be able to manage SOLIDWORKS and SOLIDWORKS Simulation licenses using one administrator tool and one dongle.  To access the SOLIDWORKS network license administrator, go to the Windows Start menu, All Programs, SOLIDWORKS 2010 SPx.x, SOLIDWORKS Tools, then select the SolidNetwork License Administrator

What is the “License Order” tab in the Network License Administrator?

The License Order tab allows the IT Manager to change the order of product that are taken from the server if they want to use if multiple levels of SOLIDWORKS Simulation products found in the network (e.g. SW Simulation, SW Simulation Pro, SW Simulation Premium, SW Premium (contains SW Simulation & Motion too).

I have different SOLIDWORKS Simulation products, which Serial Number do I use when installing SOLIDWORKS?

If multiple SOLIDWORKS Simulation 2010 products are to be used (e.g. SW Simulation Professional and SW Simulation Premium), enter the serial for the most advanced version.


Registration Procedures

Standalone License:

To activate a license:

  1. Start the application (SOLIDWORKS, SW Simulation, PDMWorks Enterprise)
  2. If you have not yet activated your license, the Product Activation dialog box appears.
  3. Choose the Internet or email option
  4. Choose the Home or office option
  5. Supply your contact information
  6. Obtain the license key online or via E-mail:
    Online - Submit the request.
    E-mail - Click Save to create a file, then send the file to When you receive the license key, run the activation procedure again and click Open to load the response file.
  7. The Activation/Reactive Succeeded dialog box displays the products that have been activated.

If you experience any difficulty with product activation, please contact us at

Network Licensing:

The process of SNL Activation on the license server:

  1. Via the Installation Manager, download and install the SNL Administrator. During the installation of the SNL Administrator, the user will be prompted to enter a SOLIDWORKS SNL Serial Number.  This number may already be populated assuming the Installation Manager was used on that same machine to obtain the installation files.  If the serial number field is not populated, then type in the 24-character SNL Serial Number before clicking “Next” to continue through the rest of the install.
  2. After the installation is finished launch the SolidNetwork License Administrator that was installed at Step 1.
  3. Reply “Yes” to the question “Would you like to activate now?”
  4. Proceed through the following screens to complete the activation process.

Please visit our SNL FAQ area for more information

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Installation FAQ's

What's the recommended installation procedure?  To upgrade or new installation?

Both installation methods are supported. Updating you SOLIDWORKS installation is likely the most straight-forward approach if users no longer require SOLIDWORKS 2009 on their systems.

I have a version of SOLIDWORKS that is two releases old. Do I need to do an intermediate step to upgrade to the latest release?

It is best to uninstall the current version of the software.  Then install the latest version using the DVD or downloaded installation. For detailed instructions on how to un-install SOLIDWORKS please review the following PDF file:

What is the SOLIDWORKS 2010 Installation Manager?

SOLIDWORKS 2010 uses a new version of the Installation Manager.  It is a standalone application that can download/update/upgrade/ install/modify/repair all your SOLIDWORKS products.  It can be used to create and manage administrative images and standalone installs all within the same user interface.
Please note that the SOLIDWORKS 2010 Installation Manager is a different application than the SOLIDWORKS 2008 Installation Manager.  The SOLIDWORKS 2008 Installation Manager cannot be upgraded to 2010; however, both versions can co-exist on the same machine.   You can continue to use the SOLIDWORKS 2008 Installation Manager to download service pack updates for your 2008 installation if it needs to be retained.

How does the SOLIDWORKS 2010 Installation Manager work?

The SOLIDWORKS 2010 Installation Manager uses Windows Installer and installs all products silently passing the required parameters to the installations so the installations do not have to query the user for anything.  You can now specify only 1 file location for installation; this location will be used as the root folder for the installation of all products.  The major advantage of using the SOLIDWORKS 2010 Installation Manager is that it keeps all Products under the same in the Startup programs list as well as it creates one listing in Add/Remove Programs (listed as SOLIDWORKS 2010 SPx.x)
The SOLIDWORKS 2010 Installation Manager components are listed below:

  • sldim.exe launches the Installation Manager.  Found in <downloaded file location,source>\sldim folder
  • sldIMdownloader.exe process used to download the files, verify the file’s checksum, and extracts the files.  Found in C:\Program Files\Common Files\SOLIDWORKS Installation Manager\16.0
  • sldIMscheduler.exe always runs in the background and is required to allow download later, install later; and ‘Check for updates’ option in SOLIDWORKS to functions.   Found in C:\Program Files\Common Files\SOLIDWORKS Installation Manager\Scheduler
  • sldadminoptioneditor.exe utility used only within admin images to assign products and serial numbers to users or groups.  Found in <admin image location>\sldim

What is the SOLIDWORKS Administrative Director?

The SOLIDWORKS Administrative Director is a wizard that:

  • Creates and customizes the SOLIDWORKS installation data by using an administrative image
  • Provides the option to log each client machine's installation for analysis
  • Allows system administrators to specify additional commands to execute on client machines before and after the installation
  • The SOLIDWORKS Administrative Director includes the installation of SOLIDWORKS Simulation, SOLIDWORKS Workgroup PDM, SOLIDWORKS Explorer, and SOLIDWORKS eDrawings. 

Where can I find more information about SOLIDWORKS Admin Images /Admin Director?

Click here to download a help file for more information (

Can the 2010 License (SNL) support both 2008 and 2009?

A license file is no longer required for SOLIDWORKS 2010.  A 2010 License Manager will support earlier versions of the software.   For more information, please visit our SNL FAQ are

Where can I find more information about SNL installations?

You can visit the link below, under Licensing & Administration:

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

When upgrading or doing a new installation of SOLIDWORKS 2010, in the Destination Folders dialog box, make sure the install SOLIDWORKS 2010 Common Data Toolbox contains the correct shared folder that you used in the previous version of the SOLIDWORKS software. Be certain to backup your original Toolbox files in case you are ever required to use your current version of SOLIDWORKS.

Can SOLIDWORKS Workgroup PDM 2010 run with SOLIDWORKS 2009?

Yes, SOLIDWORKS Workgroup PDM 2010 can run with SOLIDWORKS 2009.
What should I do with my SOLIDWORKS Workgroup PDM vault if I want to test SOLIDWORKS 2010 while running SOLIDWORKS 2009?
For testing PDMWorks Workgroup with a new version of SOLIDWORKS:

  • Backup your existing vault.
  • The next step is to upgrade the existing PDMWorks Workgroup 2009 Server to SOLIDWORKS Workgroup PDM 2010.
  • If the user needs to return to 2008, uninstall 2010, retrieve the backup and re-install the PDMWorks Workgroup Server 2009.

Can SOLIDWORKS Simulation 2010 run with SOLIDWORKS 2009?

No, SOLIDWORKS Simulation 2010 cannot run with SOLIDWORKS 2009.

Can COSMOSWorks 2008 run with SOLIDWORKS 2010?

No, as of SOLIDWORKS 2009, older versions of COSMOS are not permitted to run with this version. SOLIDWORKS Simulation 2010 must be used inside SOLIDWORKS 2010.
Where can I find more information about installations?
For more information on installation related questions, go to:

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