Delete key not working with SOLIDWORKS? Check your Keyboard Shortcuts

Article by Chris Briand, CSWE updated October 16, 2023


On more than one occasion we have had customers contact our support team with what seems to be a benign symptom, the delete key not working with SOLIDWORKS? Sketch entities, Dimensions, or entire components, it does not seem to matter what we attempt to delete, the delete key will simply not work. Both parties chuckle a bit when this occurs, until the seriousness of the situation sets in, that the customer is looking at performing a registry reset to fix this seemingly insignificant issue.

After a few minutes we typically discover that right-clicking on a component, dimension or entity will permit us to use the delete option from the shortcut menu (unless that has been hidden too!).

The usual cause for the delete key not working with SOLIDWORKS

In these cases the general culprit tends to be the Keyboard shortcut tab of the SOLIDWORKS customization dialog.

What we invariably discover is that the customer has recently entered the dialog and attempted to assign a keyboard shortcut to another command. While creating the new shortcut, they make an error for which they instinctively strike the DELETE key.

Hitting the delete key while assigning a keyboard shortcut in the shortcut column of the dialog accidentally re-assigns the delete key to a new command, usually a command that is not available while performing regular tasks, thus goes completely unnoticed until the use attempts to use the delete key to actually delete something.

The fix

The repair of the issue is quite simple, find the “Delete” command within the listing of commands, and re-assign the DELETE key to the “Delete” command!

The moral of the story is of course…be cautious when editing keyboard shortcuts, and you will avoid this unexpected surprise.


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Chris Briand, CSWE

Chris has been educating and supporting Engineers, Designers and IT Personnel within the 3D CAD industry since 2002, and was adopted into the fantastic team of applications experts here at Javelin Technologies in early 2006 and migrated along with his team members to the TriMech Solutions team in 2021.  Chris enjoys the continuous learning driven by the ingenuity and challenges Designers bring forward. Innovation using 3D Printing, 3D CAD and other technologies, combined with a diverse background as a technologist, allows Chris to find solutions that accelerate Designers, and take Design Teams to new heights. Chris is currently being held at an undisclosed location, near Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.