Help, I’m Missing a Face – SOLIDWORKS Model Faces

Article by Prasadh Annalingam, CSWE updated March 7, 2023


Nope, this isn’t a scary story…BUT who wants to be faceless? If you are like me, you have come across SOLIDWORKS model faces missing and started to freak out. Don’t worry, the face may be hidden…not missing!

This is a SOLIDWORKS functionality. Similar to using the ALT key to temporarily hide a face when adding mates (SOLIDWORKS 2018 can hide faces temporarily when adding mates), we can have a face hidden while we are designing.

Let’s see how we can hide a face and then easily bring it back!

We’ll use a simple part file for our demonstration.

SOLIDWORKS Step 1: The Phantom Face

Right-click the face you would like hidden.

  • In the ‘Face’ group box
  • Select ‘Change Transparency’

SOLIDWORKS change transparency

SOLIDWORKS Step 2: Attack of the Frustration

Notice the missing face (sometimes accidentally done).

                                 The model looks broken, incomplete, like a surface body, etc.

missing face on solidworks

SOLIDWORKS Step 3: Revenge of the Selection

Now here’s the problem- How do we bring it back if we can’t select it?

If you try to hover over it and right-click, you end up selecting the face that you can now see (see below).

SOLIDWORKS selection tools

SOLIDWORKS Step 4: A New Plan

So, what do we do? Well, we’re going to SHIFT the way we work of course. By holding down the SHIFT key, we can select hidden faces.

Hold down Shift key and Right Click where the face should be.

Select hidden faces in SOLIDWORKS

SOLIDWORKS Step 5: The Designer Strikes Back

Deselect the ‘Change Transparency’ (by clicking it again).

change transparency for solidworks

SOLIDWORKS Step 6: Return of the Face

solidworks face model file

Additional note: If nothing is in the background of a hidden face, then it can be selected without the Shift Key.

SOLIDWORKS Step 7: The Face Awakens

surfacing techniques hidden SOLIDWORKS model faces

But why? Steps 4, 5 and 6 was enough in my opinion.

If this solution did not help you find SOLIDWORKS model faces, you just may have a deleted face instead of a hidden one.

Understanding the Delete Face Command in SOLIDWORKS – TriMech


If you see the Surface Bodies folder in the Feature Tree instead of Solid Bodies, then you may have to use Surfacing techniques to resolve the issue.

 SOLIDWORKS Surface Modeling – TriMech


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Prasadh Annalingam, CSWE

Prasadh is a Certified SOLIDWORKS Expert and Technical Applications Analyst based in the Javelin Oakville head office.