How to Install SOLIDWORKS Software

Article by Rod Mackay updated February 6, 2021


In this tech tip we provide an overview of how to install the SOLIDWORKS standalone desktop version, this process applies to perpetual or term license of SOLIDWORKS Standard, Professional, or Premium.

If you are looking to install a network license or use online licensing then review these blog posts:

And if you are installing the latest version of SOLIDWORKS on a machine with an existing older version you can review how to run a SOLIDWORKS upgrade installation.

Register your SOLIDWORKS serial number

Before you can download the software you need to register your serial number on the SOLIDWORKS Customer Portal. You will have likely received your SOLIDWORKS serial number from your Value Added Reseller (VAR) after making your purchase:

  1. Go to the SOLIDWORKS Customer Portal at
  2. You will be presented with the SOLIDWORKS One Account form in your browser as shown below
  3. Assuming you are a brand new customer you can pick the Create a SOLIDWORKS ID button to create a new account:



You will need to enter your details to register the serial number with your email address.

  1. Enter your email address and serial number in the registration page and pick the Next > button
  2. On the next page you will be presented with your company information. Verify the information displayed is accurate, then click Yes to finish the process (if there are any errors or difficulties registering, contact your VAR for assistance).

Note: Use the navigation buttons in the pages. Do not use the standard browser navigation buttons.



Log into the Customer Portal

After registering your details you can then log into the customer portal with your credentials:

  1. Return to the Customer Portal and enter your email address and your password into One Account form
  2. Select the Log In button:


The SOLIDWORKS Customer Portal

Within the Customer Portal you can access a variety of resources under four sections, My Support, References, Download, and Community.

  1. In the Download section select the Downloads and Updates link

NOTE: If sections of the customer portal are locked use the Register My Products link as described in our unlocking the Customer Portal article

Download from Customer Portal

Download from Customer Portal


You will now be redirected out of the customer portal to the SOLIDWORKS website download page where you can select the product you need. The last four versions/releases of SOLIDWORKS are available to choose here, and you can select the Service Pack (SP) that you require:

  1. In Downloads page select the version you require from the dropdown menu
  2. Pick the SOLIDWORKS Products link adjacent to the service pack you require (pick the highest number SP if you are a new customer):
Download SOLIDWORKS Product

Select SOLIDWORKS Products in the Downloads page

  1. You then need to accept the license agreement to download the software by picking the Accept Agreement and Continue button at the foot of the page:
Accept SOLIDWORKS License Agreement

Accept SOLIDWORKS License Agreement

Run the SOLIDWORKS Installation Manager

Now you can download the SOLIDWORKS Installation Manager to get started with the installation process:

  1. Select the Download link in the page and a zip file will download from the SOLIDWORKS web site. This file is around 32MB and will manage the installation process for you without having to manually download files
  2. After the SolidWorksSeup.exe zip file has completed downloading run the SolidWorksSeup.exe file from your local machine
SOLIDWORKS Software Download

SOLIDWORKS Software Download

  1. You may be asked to authorize the app to make changes on your device, select Yes
Allow SOLIDWORKS Setup zip to run

Allow SOLIDWORKS Setup zip to make changes

  1. You can then Browse to the location where you want the files to unzip using the browse button on the WinZip dialog or use the default location

NOTE: not all the SOLIDWORKS installation files will download at this point, just the Installation Manager

  1. Select Unzip and the files will be extracted and the SOLIDWORKS Installation Manager will load
Winzip Self Extractor

Winzip Self Extractor

  1. After the files have extracted select OK and the SOLIDWORKS Installation Manager will start automatically
SOLIDWORKS Installation Manager Extracted

SOLIDWORKS Installation Manager Extracted

Using the SOLIDWORKS Installation Manager

The SOLIDWORKS Installation Manager will now guide you through the rest of the installation process and provide you with options for installing your purchased SOLIDWORKS software and add-ins. Browse our library of posts on the SOLIDWORKS Installation Manager for more information.

IMPORTANT NOTE: During installation the SOLIDWORKS Installation Manager will determine the files you need based on the serial number you enter, this could by up to 16GB. So be prepared for a large download and ensure there is enough room on your machine to accommodate the download files and the installation itself.

  1. First step in the installation process is to select the type of install required from the four choices. In this example we will use the popular choice which is Install on this computer. Other choices include:
    • Administrative image for downloading a set of installation files for deploying to multiple machines
    • Server components for network licensing installations
    • Download and share all files allows you to download all installation files for a later deployment
  2. With the Install on this computer selected pick Next
Type of SOLIDWORKS Installation

Types of SOLIDWORKS Installation

Entering your Serial Number

At this point in the installation you will need to enter your serial number[s] for the SOLIDWORKS products you have purchased. At this stage you can install any of the 3D Design, Visualization, Simulation, CAM, Technical Communication, and Electrical Design licenses you have purchased:

  1. The next step is to enter your SOLIDWORKS Serial number[s] for the purchased product[s], you don’t have to install all products at once, you can modify the installation later if required

NOTE: You can populate the serial numbers automatically using the Log In button, but that process requires creating a SOLIDWORKS Admin Portal account. It is much easier just to enter the serial numbers into the boxes as you should have received the number already from your local reseller.

SOLIDWORKS Install Serial Numbers

SOLIDWORKS Install Serial Numbers

  1. Select Next to continue and SOLIDWORKS will connect to the online installation server and determine which products you have purchased based on the entered serial number.

NOTE: If an existing version of SOLIDWORKS is found on your machine the installation manager will give you the choice of upgrading your existing version or installing a new separate instance.

Optional: Change Products to Install

In this next step you can choose which products to install and more often than not you will keep the selection as the default as the license manager will have determined the products you are entitled to install based on your serial number:

  1. Use the default options for the installation unless there is a specific application you don’t want to install
  2. Select Change next to Products to view the applications that are going to be installed along with their file size, you should see all the products you have purchased listed, contact your VAR if you think you are missing any purchases (only English is installed, but other languages can be selected under Products)
  3. Select Back to Summary to go back
Download and Install

Download and Install

Optional: Download Options

In the download options you can specify details for completing the download operation, such as the location of the downloaded files, how to download the files, and whether to install the downloaded files.

  1. Select Change next to the Download Options
    • Optionally choose the download file location required, I’d recommend the default if you have the space on your machine
    • Optionally you can specify a different location on your machine to install the files
    • There are additional download options available but you should contact your Value Added Reseller (VAR) if you experience difficulties with the download
    • Additional Options:
      • Use the Background downloader — automatically checks for updates
      • Conduct manual download — we recommend avoiding this option and contact your reseller if you are experiencing problems downloading the files.
  2. Select Back to Summary when you’ve reviewed or finished modifying the options
SOLIDWORKS download options

SOLIDWORKS download options

Optional: Installation Location

You can modify where SOLIDWORKS will be installed.

  1. Select Change next to Installation Location
  2. Enter a new location if required. By default, it will install to C:\Program Files\SOLIDWORKS Corp
  3. Select Back to Summary when you’ve reviewed or finished modifying the options
SOLIDWORKS Install Location

SOLIDWORKS Install Location

Optional: Toolbox/Hole Wizard Options

You can modify where the Toolbox/Hole Wizard library database will be installed:

NOTE: The SOLIDWORKS Hole Wizard is included with all versions of SOLIDWORKS, and SOLIDWORKS Toolbox is included with the Professional and Premium versions.

  1. Select Change next to Toolbox/Hole Wizard Options
  2. Enter a new location if required. By default, it will install to C:\SOLIDWORKS Data
  3. Select Back to Summary when you’ve reviewed or finished modifying the options
SOLIDWORKS Toolbox Install Options

SOLIDWORKS Toolbox Install Options

NOTE: If you wanted to install multiple versions of SOLIDWORKS on your machine that is possible, our article  How to Install Multiple SOLIDWORKS Versions on your system provides the details along with some FAQs

Download and Install

The final installation step is to download and install onto your machine, you will notice the estimated installation file size is listed along with the download file size:

  1. Make sure you check the I accept the terms of the SOLIDWORKS license agreement option
  2. Select the Download and Install option to run the installation
Download and Install

Download and Install

The SOLIDWORKS Installation Manager will now download the files and then install SOLIDWORKS on your machine, this may take some time depending on your internet speed:



  1. When the installation is complete SOLIDWORKS has a few options you can choose for joining the SOLIDWORKS Customer Experience Improvement Program. Select the Yes, I want to join option as this will be very helpful for DS SolidWorks Corp. This is a confidential program and it will not effect your system performance. Read our SOLIDWORKS Customer Experience article to learn more.
  2. Then pick Finish and you’ll find the SOLIDWORKS application icons on your desktop and under the Start menu.
SOLIDWORKS Installation Complete

SOLIDWORKS Installation Complete

Need help with your SOLIDWORKS Installation?

Javelin provides installation and upgrade services for SOLIDWORKS software. Visit our SOLIDWORKS services page to learn more.

Related Links

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Rod Mackay

Rod has been using 3D CAD software for over 25 years and has trained thousands of designers to use their CAD systems more effectively. Rod is the Javelin Webmaster and is based in Ottawa, ON., Canada.