Resetting the SOLIDWORKS Windows Registry Entry

Article by Andrew Lidstone, CSWE updated May 31, 2019


Longtime Windows users are likely familiar with the debilitating effects of even a single Windows Registry key becoming corrupted. SOLIDWORKS is by no means immune to such a situation.

Perhaps you may have experienced some of these effects before. SOLIDWORKS showing only the splash screen and not actually launching, toolbars missing unable to be retrieved, and a number of other bizarre and seemingly random errors can all be symptoms of a corrupt registry key.

You may be able to correct this by resetting SOLIDWORKS Windows registry entry.

Resetting the registry will cause any settings or customization currently in place to be undone, reverting SOLIDWORKS back to a fresh, default installation.

WARNING: Please be very careful when editing or deleting any entries in the Windows Registry as changing the wrong entry can lead to major issues on your system. Note that Javelin is not responsible for any changes that you make to your system, the following is just a guideline.

How reset the SOLIDWORKS registry:

Step 1:  Close all instances of SOLIDWORKS software that may be running (including SOLIDWORKS PDM).

Step 2:  Open the Windows Registry Editor, making sure to Run as administrator (Go to the Start menu and type regedit)

STEP 3:  In the Registry Editor expand HKEY_CURRENT_USER then Software, and find the SolidWorks key.

CAUTION: If you have SOLIDWORKS PDM, please follow the next step carefully.  If you do not have SOLIDWORKS PDM, skip to step 6.

STEP 4:  If you have a SOLIDWORKS PDM Vault View set up on the system, you must first determine if it is a Private View or a Shared View.  The easiest way to check this is to go to the expand the SolidWorks key, then Applications, PDMWorks Enterprise, Vaults and find the key with the name of any Vault Views set up on this computer.  If the key contains a DbName, DbServer and ServerLoc value, then it is a Private View, if not then it is a Shared View.  If it is a Private View, then reseting the registry for SOLIDWORKS would break the vault view.  If the key does not contain a DbServer or ServerLoc value, skip to step 6.

STEP 5:  If there is a Private View set up on the computer, right click on that vault’s name in HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\SolidWorks\Applications\PDMWorks Enterprise\Vaults and select “Export” to backup the view settings to a .REG file.

STEP 6:  Go to the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\SolidWorks key, right click on the SolidWorks entry and select “Rename“.  Rename the entry something like SolidWorks_old.

STEP 7:  Launch SOLIDWORKS.  When the program starts it will re-create a fresh SolidWorks registry key in HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software.  Once SOLIDWORKS opens, it will be as if the program is starting for the first time.

STEP 8:  If you exported a Private View key in STEP 5, double click the .REG file to merge it back into the Registry.

How to undo the reset:

If you need to undo the reset of the Registry, repeat steps 1 through 3, then rename the newly created key to something different, like SolidWorks_new and rename the SolidWorks_old key back to SolidWorks.


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Andrew Lidstone, CSWE

Andrew Lidstone is a SOLIDWORKS Elite Application Engineer specializing in Data Management systems. He has been working in the SOLIDWORKS reseller channel since 2010 helping clients get the most from their CAD tools.