SOLIDWORKS Upgrade Checklist

Article by Scott Durksen, CSWE updated June 10, 2023


Having a plan before upgrading SOLIDWORKS is important to ensure a smooth rollout. This article provides a checklist of items to prepare prior to clicking ‘Install Now’.


NOTE: Detailed Installation guides can be found on our technical support website

NOTE: Need to upgrade SOLIDWORKS PDM? Check out our SOLIDWORKS PDM Upgrade Checklist


You should always verify that your computer meets the required system specifications.  If possible, standardize the hardware for all users to keep consist performance.  Consider upgrading your hardware if you haven’t done so in a number of years.  Each major version of SOLIDWORKS may require an update to the graphics card driver for certification.


If you have implemented SOLIDWORKS PDM, you must ensure that this has been upgraded prior to SOLIDWORKS upgrades.  Follow our SOLIDWORKS PDM Upgrade Checklist.


To avoid compatibility issues, SOLIDWORKS recommends that you standardize on the same version (major release and service pack) of the software across your organization.  This should include SOLIDWORKS, PDM and Add-ins.

Keeping proper documentation of your upgrade procedure can save you time in future.  This is especially useful if a new CAD Administrator takes over the upgrade process.


Verify that all files have been backed up prior to upgrades.  SOLIDWORKS files saved in a newer major version will not be editable in older versions.  Files can only be opened in the final service pack (SP5) of the previous major release but will have significantly reduced functionality using the interoperability features.

Any customized settings can be backed up using the Copy Settings Wizard


  1. Ensure user accounts have been set up in DSx Client & Care portal with appropriate roles: Transitioning to DSx Client Care & Order System
  2. Log into the SOLIDWORKS Downloads page
  3. Select the version to download
  4. Run the downloaded SolidWorksSetup.exe
  5. When the SOLIDWORKS Installation Manager launches, choose the last option ‘Download and share all files’
  6. On the last Summary page you can specify where to download.  By default it will go to Documents\SOLIDWORKS Downloads
  7. In a multi-user environment, the full downloaded file set can be shared to reduce download time


Network licenses (beginning with 9010…) must have the SolidNetwork License Manager on the same major version or newer than SOLIDWORKS clients.  Before upgrading clients to a newer major version, the License Manager on the server will need to be upgraded and reactivated first.  Existing License Manager Server installations can be directly upgraded.

  1. Run Setup.exe from the downloaded files obtained above (same installation fileset)
  2. Choose Server Products > SolidNetwork License Manager
  3. Once the install/upgrade completes, reactivate the License Manager


  1. Log into Windows using the Local Administrator user account.  Full local permissions are required for a proper installation
  2. Run Setup.exe from the download folder
  3. Follow prompts to add/change any serial numbers, products or installation locations


For standalone licenses (beginning with 9000…), activation may be required on first opening SOLIDWORKS.  Follow the prompts to activate.
NOTE: Moving a license to another computer can be done using the deactivation process


The new version of SOLIDWORKS may require a different certified graphics card driver.  Verify that your driver is up to date.  Review our article on how to install a certified driver.

Related Links

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Scott Durksen, CSWE

Scott is a SOLIDWORKS Elite Applications Engineer and is based in our Dartmouth, Nova Scotia office.