How to Install SOLIDWORKS Network License

Article by Rod Mackay updated March 3, 2021

Article

In this tech tip we provide an overview of how to install the SOLIDWORKS Network license desktop version, this process applies to SOLIDWORKS Standard, Professional, or Premium software. You will first register your serial number, download the software, and install the SolidNetWork License Server and then a SOLIDWORKS Client.

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 http://customerportal.solidworks.com/
  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:
SOLIDWORKS ID One Account

SOLIDWORKS ID One Account

Create a SOLIDWORKS ID

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.

Create SOLIDWORKS ID

Create SOLIDWORKS ID

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:
SOLIDWORKS ID One Account

SOLIDWORKS ID One Account

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

SOLIDWORKS Downloads

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. For a network installation select Download and share all files. Create individual installs or administration images on multiple machines with a single download.
  2. With the option selected select Next >
SOLIDWORKS Install Download Files

SOLIDWORKS Install Download Files

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.

Download Options

The Installation Manager will now display a summary of your action along with download options for you to change the download location and an estimated download size

  1. The default options will save to Documents\SOLIDWORKS Downloads (in the screenshot below a custom directory is selected but you can choose any location you like). Click Change to modify the download folder.

 

SOLIDWORKS File Download Options

SOLIDWORKS File Download Options

  1. OPTIONAL: Pick Browse to choose the folder location required
  2. Enable the Use the background downloader option which can automatically notify and download newer service packs as they become available.
  3. Select < Back to Summary
SOLIDWORKS File Download Location

SOLIDWORKS File Download Location

Download SOLIDWORKS Software

The final 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 Download Now to obtain the installation files
SOLIDWORKS File Download Options

SOLIDWORKS File Download Options

  1. When the files have finished downloaded from the SOLIDWORKS web server the following Download Complete message will be displayed. Pick Close to finish.
SOLIDWORKS Download Complete

SOLIDWORKS Download Complete

SolidNetWork License Manager

The SolidNetWork License Manager hosts the SOLIDWORKS network licenses on a server to provide to client machines. This is a small application that runs a service in the background. The installation files for the SolidNetWork License Manager are included with the overall SOLIDWORKS download files the you obtained in the previous steps.

For a smaller download of only the License Manager files, use the Installation Manager obtained from the Customer Portal. Then run the Installation Manager on the server to only install the License Manager. This will download the required files for the installation (rather than Download and Share).

IMPORTANT: The SolidNetWork License Manager must be the same major release (year) or newer than all SOLIDWORKS clients. The minor release (service pack) doesn’t apply. The License Manager can provide licenses for prior releases.

Server – Installing SolidNetWork License Manager

Before client machines can launch SOLIDWORKS, the SolidNetWork License Manager must be installed and activated to provide licenses.

NOTE: The License Manager must be installed on a machine connected to the same network as all client machines.

  1. Locate the SOLIDWORKS Installation file set that you just downloaded and run Setup.exe
  2. Select Install Server Components and Install SolidNetWork License Manager then click Next
Install SOLIDWORKS Server Components

Install SOLIDWORKS Server Components

  1. You will then enter all SOLIDWORKS Network Serial Numbers. Multiple serial numbers can be separated by commas (,)
  2. Choose the default installation location C:\Program Files (x86)\SOLIDWORKS Corp\SolidNetWork License Manager , note this is still a 32-bit application. Pick Next
SolidNetWork License Manager Options

SolidNetWork License Manager Options

  1. Select I accept the terms of the SOLIDWORKS License Agreement and click Install Now to begin.
SolidNetWork License Manager Summary

SolidNetWork License Manager Summary

  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 SolidNetWork License Manager under the Start menu.
SOLIDWORKS Installation Complete

SOLIDWORKS Installation Complete

  1. Launch the SolidNetWork License Manager application through the Start menu (Start > SOLIDWORKS Tools 20XX > SolidNetWork License Manager Server).

NOTE: If SOLIDWORKS is installed on the same machine, the Start menu will show two License Manager shortcuts. One is the Server Administrator version and the other is the Client version. The License Manager Server will have 5 tabs at the top, the first being ‘Server Administration.’ The License Manager Client will only have 4 tabs.

SolidNetWork License Manager Start Menu

SolidNetWork License Manager Start Menu

  1. If this is a new install of the License Manager, a dialog box will indicate that ‘No SolidNetWork license(s) exist, would you like to activate now?’ Select Yes.
New SolidNetWork License

New SolidNetWork License

  1. The License Server Information dialog allows you to customize which TCP ports for connectivity between client and server. The default port number is 25734. This can be modified if the port is already in use by another application. If firewalls are present, select ‘A firewall is in use on this server’. This will use port 25735 by default. Click Next.
SolidNetWorks License Server Information

SolidNetWork License Server Information

NOTE: The ports specified above will need to be opened through firewalls on both the server and client machines. Both ports 25734 and 25735 must be opened for incoming and outgoing traffic on your local network. For network connectivity tests, please review our SNL troubleshooting article.

IMPORTANT: When activating your License Manager, avoid using Remote Desktop Applications. The activation may be linked to the computer that was used to access the server, and not the server itself. If the server is then reactivated locally it will fail as the computer ID is different. It’s recommended to always activate on the physical machine. Review our avoiding SNL activation issues article.

  1. Select the licenses to activate and the activation method. If the server has an active internet connection, then you can select Automatically over the Internet and pick Next.
Activate SolidNetWork License Product

Activate SolidNetWork License Product

NOTE:  If the server does NOT have an internet connection, select Manually via email to save a file that can be transferred to another computer with internet access (i.e. via USB key). This file, called ‘SWActivateRequest’, can be emailed to activation@solidworks.com.

You will receive a reply email within a few minutes with a file called ‘SWActivateResponse’. Copy this file back to the server and return to the Manual activation process. Use ‘Open’ the SWActivateResponse file to complete the activation. If you do not receive a response, check your Junk/Spam email folders.

  1. After license activation a confirmation screen is displayed reporting that the activation has completed successfully. Select Finish. If you have difficulties activating, contact your SOLIDWORKS Reseller for technical support.
SolidNetWork License Activated

SolidNetWork License Activated

Clients – Installing SOLIDWORKS

The next step is to install SOLIDWORKS on client machines that will connect to the Server where the SolidNetWork License Manager has been installed.

If you specify a SolidNetWork License serial number when installing, SOLIDWORKS Installation Manager identifies that computer as a SolidNetWork license client. SOLIDWORKS Installation Manager prompts you for the SolidNetWork license manager computer name and port number to connect the client to the license manager.

When installing SOLIDWORKS, log in as the Local Administrator on the computer. This will ensure that you have full permissions on the entire machine. The Domain Administrator account may not provide enough permissions on the local machine. Read our related article for more information.

IMPORTANT: In general we recommend that you run the installation from locally downloaded installation files. Installing the program from a network drive can make the process longer.

  1. Begin the SOLIDWORKS installation by double-clicking on Setup.exe in the download folder.
  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
SOLIDWORKS Client Install Summary

SOLIDWORKS Client Install Summary

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
    • Download and install will download any additional missing files required to install
    • Download only will obtain the full installation file set that can be shared
    • Install only is used if you already have the full installation file set, which is the case in this example
  2. Select Back to Summary when you’ve reviewed or finished modifying the options
SOLIDWORKS Client Download Options

SOLIDWORKS Client 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

  1. With all the options selected ensure the check box I accept the terms of the SOLIDWORKS License Agreement is checked and then pick Install Now to begin
SOLIDWORKS Client Install Summary

SOLIDWORKS Client Install Summary

  1. You’ll be asked to point to the server running the SolidNetWork License Manager. Enter the port@servername. The default port was 25734 so it would be 25734@yourservername. Select OK
SOLIDWORKS Client Server Port

SOLIDWORKS Client Server Port

The SOLIDWORKS Installation Manager will now install SOLIDWORKS on the machine:

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.