Edit all of your File Locations Options at once in SOLIDWORKS 2017

Article by Chris Briand, CSWE updated December 7, 2016


When I think I have found what is to be my favorite feature within SOLIDWORKS 2017, along comes something better. The new SOLIDWORKS File Location option reviewed in this article promises to be one of those “better” somethings…

SOLIDWORKS File Location View/Edit Technique

Here at Javelin, we often preach about file locations and best practices regarding where to store them and what to do with them.

The big secret has always been that there is no easy way to see all of your file locations at once; unless you were willing to export your settings out of the registry and work on them from a notepad interface (again, not very easy). Originally this article was going to be about that old-school registry file / notepad editing procedure, however SOLIDWORKS 2017 came along and changed my plan.

File locations from registry

File locations from registry

New SOLIDWORKS File Location View/Edit Technique

I am pleased that I can now share with you an alternative method to edit all of your SOLIDWORKS File Location Options in one, easy to use, table. To access the table:

  1. Access Tools > Options > System Options
  2. Select File Locations.
  3. Within the File locations Section of the Options dialog, pick the “Edit All” button
File Locations

File Locations

The new “Edit All” option will present you with a fully populated table that will list every stored file location that SOLIDWORKS uses, as well as the locations assigned to each of these options. This has great comparative benefit for those of us who diagnose issues with SOLIDWORKS installations on a regular basis, as any issues with the file paths can be readily seen in the list.

A sample of the new File Location Table is below:

SOLIDWORKS File Location Table

SOLIDWORKS File Location Table

Edit File Locations

Of course there are quite a few file locations listed, and editing these can be a daunting task, until one notices the “Find / Replace” button that is located at the bottom of the window.

Using Find and replace you can perform batch re-direction of any similar file-paths within your list.

This function is great for anyone administering SOLIDWORKS as they can readily re-direct a single user’s directories in one shot (for multiple users we need to start thinking about administrative options and applying a settings file).

In the example shown below, we have many directories pointing to “C:\MY CUSTOM SOLIDWORKS FILES.   Using the “Find / Replace” option we might change all of those to read “C:\MY DIRECTORY”

Find and Replace file locations

Find and Replace file locations

With the new tabular form, the results from this change are easy to see in green, before committing to any changes.

File locations changed

File locations changed

Hopefully everyone will be able to use this as one of their first stops when checking out a freshly installed release of SOLIDWORKS 2017!

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.