SOLIDWORKS Corrupted? Try Resetting SOLIDWORKS Windows Registry Entry

Article by Andrew Lidstone, CSWE, last updated on May 31, 2016

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 unable to be retrieved, and a number of other bizarre and seemingly random errors can all be symptoms of a corrupt registry key.

SOLIDWORKS 2016 Splash Screen

SOLIDWORKS Splash Screen

You may be able to correct this by resetting SOLIDWORKS Windows registry entry.

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 SOLIDWORKS PDM installed on your system do NOT follow these steps, instead please contact your SOLIDWORKS Value Added Reseller for additional instructions. Note that Javelin is not responsible for any changes that you make to your system, the following is just a guideline.

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, or Windows 10 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.
Resetting SolidWorks windows registry

Windows Registry Editor (click image to enlarge)

  1. 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 Initial Startup

SOLIDWORKS Initial Startup

How to undo this operation

If the problem you were experiencing is gone, great!  If not, and you want to undo the process of resetting SOLIDWORKS Windows Registry, no problem, that’s why we only renamed the SOLIDWORKS entry and didn’t delete it.

Simply go back to the Registry Editor, refresh the display by pressing F5 to show the new entry, 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 backup 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.

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Andrew Lidstone, CSWE

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

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