How to avoid lost references to custom SOLIDWORKS Toolbox files

Article by Scott Durksen, CSWE updated May 9, 2011


Starting in SOLIDWORKS 2011, a new option was introduced to help avoid SOLIDWORKS Toolbox lost references.

Under Tools > Options > System Options tab > Hole Wizard/Toolbox, there is now a check box “Make this folder the default search location for Toolbox components“.

SOLIDWORKS Toolbox Lost References Search Location

SOLIDWORKS Toolbox Search Location

When is this option useful?

When this option is enabled, assembly files that are referencing Toolbox components saved outside of the Toolbox database are automatically changed to have the references point to the Toolbox for the fasteners.  This is useful when you run a File > Pack and Go of your assembly.  All of the Toolbox components are included in the new folder as standalone part files (if you didn’t exclude them).  With the “default search location” option enabled, the Toolbox component references are automatically forced back to your Toolbox database.

When can this option cause difficulties?

Since this option is enabled by default, some users are finding that their custom fasteners that were saved out of SOLIDWORKS Toolbox are now losing their references back to the default Toolbox files.  There are two solutions to stop SOLIDWORKS Toolbox lost references from happening:

  1. Simply disable the “Make this folder the default…” option under the Toolbox options.  This will stop your references from switching to the Toolbox.  However if you have opened any assembly with the option turned on, and then saved the assembly, this actually modifies and keeps the references to the Toolbox.  You will need to correct the references back to your custom parts.  With the option disabled, you will have no further troubles in the future.
  2. A better option is to remove the Toolbox attribute from standalone part files.  To remove the Toolbox flag from custom fastener parts, follow the instructions on the blog post Removing the Toolbox Internal Flag.
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Scott Durksen, CSWE

Scott is a SOLIDWORKS Elite Applications Engineer and is based in our Dartmouth, Nova Scotia office.