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Complete Uninstall of SOLIDWORKS

Article by Scott Durksen, CSWE created/updated August 19, 2013

Sometimes you may need to completely uninstall SolidWorks, including all Program Files and Registry Keys.  Perhaps the computer will be used by someone else who doesn’t use SolidWorks and you need to free up some hard drive space.  This can also be required if the original installation was performed without following best practices (restricted user permissions, antivirus running, User Account Controls enabled).  If you don’t plan on reinstalling SolidWorks on the same computer again, ensure that you have transferred the SolidWorks license to free up the activation (http://www.javelin-tech.com/blog/2012/03/transfer-sw-license/).  This blog post runs you through the options during the Uninstall process.

Before uninstalling SolidWorks be sure that you have:

  1. First logged in as the LOCAL admin account,
  2. The antivirus has been disabled (http://www.javelin-tech.com/blog/2011/06/disable-antivirus/)
  3. And the Windows User Account Controls have been disabled (http://www.javelin-tech.com/blog/2011/01/uac/).

Choosing to Uninstall SolidWorks from the Control Panel will bring up the Installation Manager:

Uninstall Summary

Complete Uninstall of SolidWorks Summary

Under “Advanced Options” you can choose the Uninstall Method.  Click “Change” to edit these options.  You have the choice of removing Program Files and Folders, Registry Entries, Data Files and Folders, and Download Files and Folders.  A list of locations that will be removed is given.  With everything selected, this will remove much more that just the standard program and free up more hard drive space.

Uninstall Advanced Options

Uninstall Advanced Options

NOTE: If your original installation was corrupted due to improper permissions, bad registry keys, unregistered DLLs, etc, we’d recommend following our Clean Uninstall & Reinstall Guide to ensure absolutely everything is removed.  This will also include the removal of the Microsoft prerequisite programs that are automatically reinstalled with SolidWorks, as these programs can become corrupt themselves

IMPORTANT: Before reinstalling SolidWorks, ensure you have have read documentation on best practices.  These can be found on our FAQ page by downloading the “SolidWorks Installation Guide” PDFs. 

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Scott Durksen, CSWE

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

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