Troubleshooting an Uninstall of SOLIDWORKS

Article by Scott Durksen, CSWE updated March 15, 2018


In some occasions a SOLIDWORKS uninstall and reinstall is required if there were issues with the original installation.  Problematic installations typically stem from:

  • Improper permissions
  • Corrupt installation

Be sure to follow best practices during any installations, upgrades, or uninstalls of SOLIDWORKS to avoid problems right from the start.

SOLIDWORKS Uninstall with the SOLIDWORKS Installation Manager

SOLIDWORKS Installation Manager

When you uninstall SOLIDWORKS from the Control Panel, Windows is keeping track of programs installed and triggers the uninstall process.  The program is removed from the list when the uninstall is complete.  There can be instances where this fails to complete.  One example is if the Program Files folder for the SOLIDWORKS installation was deleted manually before uninstalling from the Control Panel.  Windows still thinks it’s installed but will fail to find the files to remove.

In the event that the SOLIDWORKS uninstall process fails

The first thing to try is a Repair of the SOLIDWORKS Installation.  This may correct any faults or missing files and then see if you can uninstall successfully.

There are other techniques to manually uninstall the program’s MSI file, but if the installation is too damaged this may also fail.

The best resource to remove a bad installation is the Microsoft Uninstall Utility.  This may take a long time depending on what’s required to fix the issues (potentially several hours) but let it run and it should remove the program successfully.

To ensure all problematic files and registry keys are removed, we’d recommend following our SOLIDWORKS Complete Uninstall Guide after the utility completes.

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Scott Durksen, CSWE

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