How to Install SOLIDWORKS Desktop 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 SOLIDWORKS network license then review these blog posts:

    Access SOLIDWORKS Software

    SOLIDWORKS software is available to SOLIDWORKS Subscription Service customers and can be downloaded from the SOLIDWORKS website.

    1. Go to
    2. If you are visiting the downloads page for the first time you will need to pick log in
    Log in to access SOLIDWORKS software

    Log in to access SOLIDWORKS software

    1. On the 3DEXPERIENCE ID login page (DSXClient) enter your email address and password and pick the log in button.  If you do not have a 3DEXPERIENCE ID pick the Create your 3DEXPERIENCE ID link and use your email address to create an account.
    2. When you have successfully logged into the DSXClient you will be returned to the downloads page on the SOLIDWORKS website.
    3DEXPERIENCE ID 3DPassport

    3DEXPERIENCE ID 3DPassport Login

    PROBLEMS? If you are having difficulties accessing the SOLIDWORKS Downloads or problems creating your 3DEXPERIENCE ID then please contact the TriMech / Javelin Tech Support team for assistance.

    SOLIDWORKS Downloads

    Now you can download SOLIDWORKS desktop software from the SOLIDWORKS website. 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):
    SOLIDWORKS 2023 Download

    SOLIDWORKS 2023 Download

    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:
    SOLIDWORKS License Agreement

    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:

    SOLIDWORKS Installing

    SOLIDWORKS Installing

    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.

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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.