SOLIDWORKS 2017 Uninstall will complete even when DLL files cannot be unregistered

Article by Chris Briand, CSWE updated December 19, 2016


This little bit of functionality does not seem to be something that most folks would be interested in at all, until this SOLIDWORKS 2017 Uninstall message appears:

SOLIDWORKS 2017 Uninstall Error

SOLIDWORKS Installation Manager Error

Prior releases of SOLIDWORKS would ask you to pick up the saved log files and forward them along to your VAR for further diagnosis. Many times what is discovered through examination of the installation log files, is that the DLL files are unable to be unregistered. This is typically due to complications involving permissions within the windows registry.

SOLIDWORKS 2017 uninstall will assist some of these issue by bypassing errors that are due to an inability for a related DLL file to become unregistered. We will then see a list of DLL files at the end of the process that we can investigate further if we so choose.

Once we have the list of errant DLL files we can login as an administrator and attempt to unregister the DLL file manually.

Clearing all of these issues out of the way, leads us to a beautifully clean installation of the latest release or Service pack of SOLIDWORKS.

For more information regarding DLL files please see the following Microsoft Article on the REGSVR32 command

CAUTION: I have noted the procedure below to manually unregister DLL files on a client system – If you are not comfortable with the procedure below, please request assistance from your VAR or local IT Professional. Unregistering shared DLL file can have unintended consequences upon a system.

To manually Unregister the DLLs:

  1. Log into Windows as a full LOCAL Administrator Account
  2. Browse in Windows Explorer to find the noted .DLL files.
  3. Run the Command Prompt as Administrator (Start > All Programs > Accessories > right-click ‘Command Prompt‘ and “Run as administrator“)
  4. Enter the following text and press Enter after each (*note these are the default installation location folders)
    regsvr32 -u “C:\Program Files\Common Files\SOLIDWORKS Shared\swdocumentmgr.dll”
    regsvr32 -u “C:\Program Files\SOLIDWORKS Corp\SOLIDWORKS\sldthumbnailprovider.dll”

SOLIDWORKS 2017 Resources

Access our resources page to get everything you need to learn what’s new in SOLIDWORKS 2017; including tech tips, demonstrations, and upcoming product webinars.


SOLIDWORKS 2017 Resources

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Chris Briand, CSWE

Chris has been educating and supporting Engineers, Designers and IT Personnel within the 3D CAD industry since 2002, and was adopted into the fantastic team of applications experts here at Javelin Technologies in early 2006 and migrated along with his team members to the TriMech Solutions team in 2021.  Chris enjoys the continuous learning driven by the ingenuity and challenges Designers bring forward. Innovation using 3D Printing, 3D CAD and other technologies, combined with a diverse background as a technologist, allows Chris to find solutions that accelerate Designers, and take Design Teams to new heights. Chris is currently being held at an undisclosed location, near Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.