Set SOLIDWORKS File Locations the easy way!

Article by John Lee, CSWE updated July 29, 2019


When upgrading to a new year version of SOLIDWORKS, or when installing multiple year versions of SOLIDWORKS, we recommend our best practices guide for the installation.  This article assumes that the aforementioned guide was used, and employs a technique designed to work with the settings we use in that guide.

After various year versions have been installed or removed, your system may likely have many different data folders belonging to each different year version of SOLIDWORKS, but that doesn’t guarantee that each year version is necessarily pointing to the correct folders intended for that particular year.  Therefore, it is a good idea to ensure that each year version points to the correct year version files in System Options > File Locations by using the Edit All functionality introduced in SOLIDWORKS 2017.

This is recommended in order to avoid confusion later, or overwriting of any files from one year version’s onto another’s.

Update with Edit All > Find/Replace

In the illustration below, we’re updating all file locations for SOLIDWORKS 2019 so that they point to the 2019 folders rather than the 2018 ones (which are used by a co-existing installation of SOLIDWORKS 2018).

When entering the appropriate year versions in the Find and Replace fields, we can update ALL file locations to which SOLIDWORKS will look, all in one shot!

The great thing about this procedure is that it is not only quick to do, but also gives us a nice preview in which all would-be changes show in green text, just like when we rename files in a Pack and Go.

To apply changes, click “Save” and then “OK”

Ensuring that SOLIDWORKS 2019 is pointing to the 2019 files rather than the SOLIDWORKS 2018 installation  (changes shown in green).

A restart of SOLIDWORKS is likely required, in order for it to read the files in the updated locations.

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John Lee, CSWE

John Lee is inherently lazy in that he prefers to work smarter - not harder. A CSWE with fifteen years of experience using SOLIDWORKS and a background in mechanical design, John has used SOLIDWORKS in various industries requiring design for injection molding, sheet metal, weldments and structural steel.