In SOLIDWORKS you can make wide array of customization to your user settings and also the user interface. It can be hard to keep track of these changes if you are editing them on a daily basis like I do. Also, we all know that system updates have been known to damage registry files that SOLIDWORKS needs to be able to function correctly.
So if you would like to fully reset all of your SOLIDWORKS preferences, or if you have noticed strange behavior or missing icons since a recent Windows update. One option to resolve your issues it to reset SOLIDWORKS registry entries.
WARNING: Be very careful when making modifications to the registry as this may cause serious instability on your system. As such, you will need full administrative permissions on your computer to be able to edit them. Note that Javelin is not responsible for any changes that you make to your system, the following is just a guide.
Resetting SOLIDWORKS Windows Registry steps:
- Close all instances of SOLIDWORKS
- Launch the Windows Registry Editor. (In Windows XP go to the Start menu and click Run and type: regedit ; In Windows Vista or Windows 7, or Windows 10 go to the Start menu and type: regedit)
- In the Registry Editor expand HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\SolidWorks
- Expand the SolidWorks folder. This folder contains multiple folders that control different aspects of SOLIDWORKS on your machine. There are separate folders listed here for each different version of SOLIDWORKS that is installed on the machine. In the image below you may see that I have multiple versions (2016, 2017, and 2018).
- It is always advisable not to make permanent changes to the registry without first checking that they will not damage your system. As such, at this point you can right-click the folder that represents the version of SOLIDWORKS that you want to reset (in this case 2018), and select to Rename the folder.
- Rename the entry something like SOLIDWORKS 2018_Backup.
WARNING: Do not rename SolidWorks registry key at the top level if you have SOLIDWORKS PDM installed on your system.
- Launch SOLIDWORKS 2018. When the program starts it will create a new registry entry in this location called SOLIDWORKS 2018. Once SOLIDWORKS opens. You will be asked to agree to the end user license agreement and treated like a new user.
How to undo this operation
If the problem you were experiencing is gone, great! If not, and you want to undo the process of resetting SOLIDWORKS Windows Registry, no problem, that’s why we only renamed the SOLIDWORKS entry and didn’t delete it.
Simply go back to the Registry Editor, refresh the display by pressing F5 to show the new entry, and rename the new SolidWorks entry (again best not to delete it until you are sure everything is back exactly as before) then name the old one back to SolidWorks.
If the issue is fixed you are now left with essentially a fresh copy of SOLIDWORKS, meaning any customization you have performed will be lost.