An Alternative Method to Restore SOLIDWORKS File Associations

Article by Ben Crisostomo, CSWE updated September 21, 2017


Are you experiencing issues with SOLIDWORKS file associations when accessing SOLIDWORKS files by clicking on File > Open? The open dialog allows access to Windows File Explorer by default file type is set to All Files. However, some users may have the default file type set to Inventor, CATIA, or different CAD software.

This can be troublesome as you have to manually select the “all file” type option to open your particular SOLIDWORKS file. What should you do in this case?

Default File Type

Default File Type

Follow the steps below to set the default file type to “All Files”:

Step 1:

In Windows > Control Panel > Default Programs > Set Associations/Associate a file type or just search Associate files in Start menu.

Default Programs

Default Programs

Step 2:

Make sure all .sld files are set to SOLIDWORKS Launcher as shown in the image below. In this case, all SOLIDWORKS Part, Assembly and Drawings have SOLIDWORKS launcher selected as the default app.

Associate a file

Associate a file

Associate a File in Windows 10


What if .sld file type is not selected as SOLIDWORKS Launcher? Click on that particular .sld file > Change program > Click on More apps >Select SOLIDWORKS Launcher. In Windows 10, select the plus sign beside the file extension.


Restore SOLIDWORKS File Associations

Set Associations with Change Program

Set Associations with Change Program in Windows 10

The results of toggling the options

When completed, selecting SOLIDWORKS > File > Open will allow access to SOLIDWORKS files by default rather than CATIA or Autodesk Inventor files.

For additional Information related to Restoring SOLIDWORKS File associations Check this video blog article: Restore File Associations in SOLIDWORKS

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Ben Crisostomo

Ben is a SOLIDWORKS Technical Support Application Expert based in the Javelin Oakville head office