Troubleshoot SOLIDWORKS Activation Wizard Error 72

Article by Keily Grubaugh updated June 21, 2024


Every once in a while, we can see this issue occur when a user is trying to activate SOLIDWORKS. This can occur when attempting to activate SOLIDWORKS if the SOLIDWORKS License Service is either not running or installed properly on the machine.

Guide to Verify and Manage FlexNet and SOLIDWORKS Licensing Services

To ensure that the service is running properly:

  1. Confirm that the ‘FlexNet Licensing Service’ and/or ‘FlexNet Licensing Service 64’ services are enabled.
    • Click on your Windows Start Menu and type ‘msconfig’ into Windows Search, then hit enter

    • In the System Configuration dialog box, click on ‘Services’ and make sure that the FlexNet services are enabled. If already checked, uncheck them, hit ‘Apply’, check them again and hit ‘Apply > OK’. 
  1. Confirm that the FlexNet and SolidWorks Licensing services are running.
    • Click on the Windows Start menu and type ‘Services’, then hit enter to open the Services application.
    • Navigate to the following 3 services (you may not have all 3 on your machines) and make sure they are set to ‘Running’ with the startup type ‘Automatique.
      • FlexNet Licensing Service
      • FlexNet Licensing Service 64
      • SolidWorks Licensing Service


    • To change the startup type, simply right-click on the service and go to ‘Properties > Startup Type’. Switch it to ‘Automatic’ and hit ‘Apply > OK’.



If you find that the FlexNet Licensing services are missing, you may need to run a repair on your machine.

  1. Login as an administrator
  2. Go to Start > Control Panel > Program and Features > SOLIDWORKS and click ‘Change’ to repair the installation
  3. Select ‘Repair the individual installation (on this computer)’
  4. Click ‘Next’
  5. Follow the instructions to complete the modification


After the repair has completed, try the following before attempting to activate again.

  1. Open Windows File Explorer and go to ‘C:\ProgramData\FLEXnet’*
  2. Rename the folder FLEXnet to FLEXnet_old

*The ProgramData folder is a hidden folder. Either you can enable to show hidden folders from Folder options or you can directly type c:\Programdata into the address bar and press enter to access this folder.


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Keily Grubaugh