Restoring SOLIDWORKS File Associations in Windows

Article by Andrew Lidstone, CSWE updated July 25, 2011


When you double-click SOLIDWORKS files within Windows Explorer do they open up in a new, separate instance of SOLIDWORKS? If they do, then this is one of the symptoms that something is wrong with the SOLIDWORKS file associations in your Windows OS.

SOLIDWORKS files in Windows Explorer

SOLIDWORKS files in Windows Explorer

You can probably fix this by performing a repair of the SOLIDWORKS installation.

However, if this process does not resolve the behavior then the corrupted file associations will have to be manually deleted. You have two methods to choose from to delete corrupted file associations, both methods are described below:

SOLIDWORKS file associations

Set Associations

SOLIDWORKS file associations — Method 1

You can remove SOLIDWORKS file associations directly through the command prompt:

  1. Open an elevated command prompt with administrator privileges – do this by right-clicking on the Command Prompt from All Programs and execute using the ‘Run as administrator’ choice.
Run as Administrator

Run as Administrator

  1. Remove the file extension association from its assigned file type with this command:
    assoc .sldprt=

    NOTE: that after disassociation of file extension from file type, the default program for the file type will no longer been shown in the “Open With” list for the file extension.

  2. Then, clear and delete the default program used for the open command when launching files of this type with this command:
    ftype SldWorks= 

    NOTE: that if you don’t know the correct “FileType” to type, simply type assoc (associated file type will be shown after the extension) or ftype to get a listing of all file types defined in the system.

  3. Right-click on a .sldprt file, and choose the “Open With… option”, then select SOLIDWORKS from the list of installed programs to open the file, setting the correct and proper file association again.


  1. You will have to repeat the process for each SOLIDWORKS file type.
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Andrew Lidstone, CSWE

Andrew Lidstone is a SOLIDWORKS Elite Application Engineer specializing in Data Management systems. He has been working in the SOLIDWORKS reseller channel since 2010 helping clients get the most from their CAD tools.