How to make SOLIDWORKS PDM custom columns retain their order in Windows Explorer

Article by Justin Williams updated June 3, 2019


If you’re using custom columns for Windows Explorer within SOLIDWORKS PDM you may have run into an issue with them not retaining their order while navigating the vault or after a reboot.  This issue can be caused by a mismatch in the registry of the client machine, which we can correct with a few edits.

WARNING: Caution is required when editing entries in the Windows Registry as changing the wrong entry can lead to major issues on your system.

SOLIDWORKS PDM Custom Columns in Windows Explorer

SOLIDWORKS PDM Custom Columns in Windows Explorer

How to make custom columns in the vault retain their order

  • Via the system tray close the PDM Client:
Exit the PDM Client

Exit the PDM Client

  • Open the registry editor and delete the following keys:
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\SolidWorks\Applications\PDMWorks Enterprise\CTDMListView
Delete Registry Key

Delete Registry Key

    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\SolidWorks\Applications\PDMWorks Enterprise\Vaults\[Vault Name]\CTDMListView\ColOrder
Deleting other registry key for Custom Columns

Deleting other registry key

NOTE: Don’t worry, the registry keys will be recreated when logging back into your vault view.

Then log back into the vault, rearrange the custom columns as you’d like to see; then it should be retained moving forward on the client machine.

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Justin Williams

Justin Williams is a Data Management Applications Expert based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.