FAQ: Frequently asked Questions


Browse through the FAQs below. If you can't find what you are looking for, please contact our support team.

SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD

Question:
How do I rename files without making a copy and maintain references?

Answer:
Without a Product Data Management (PDM) tool, rename components by using SOLIDWORKS Explorer (optionally installed with SOLIDWORKS). In SOLIDWORKS Explorer, right click on the desired file and choose rename. Be sure your search paths are updated so that the referenced files are found and updated with the new name. When files are stored in PDM, references are updated automatically when the file is renamed.


Question:
How do I save my settings? 

Answer:
Use Copy Settings Wizard found under Start>All Programs>SOLIDWORKS 20xx>Tools


Question:
Where did my part go? I can't see it in the graphics area anymore.

Answer:
Two likely reasons are that it’s hidden or out of view. Right click in the graphics area and select show hidden components then select your part and exit show hidden. If it’s out of view, hit “F” on your keyboard to do a zoom fit.


Question:
Why do I need to update my SOLIDWORKS file versions?

Answer:
When SOLIDWORKS is reading old files it is doing an on-the-fly conversion of the file. Updating files to the current version eliminates this delay when opening files.


Question:
Why is SOLIDWORKS so small?

Answer:
With the increasing adoption of higher density displays, UHD, 4K, 5K, mobile devices like Microsoft Surface, you may find that your SOLIDWORKS User Interface is very small and not easily seen on your display. Version 2016 rebuilt the user interface to better work with Display Scaling (Windows Setting – Control Panel>Appearance and Personalization>Display). Increasing the scale will make the UI easier to read. You may also increase the size of the icons in SOLIDWORKS, by opening a document and going to Tools>Customize to change the Icon Size.


SOLIDWORKS Simulation

Question:
Why does my sheet metal part not mesh the same as my other parts?

Answer:
Sheet metal parts are automatically recognized as shells to reduce solve time. Right click on the body in the Simulation study to change its settings.


SOLIDWORKS PDM

Question:
How do I get a license file for my new version?

Answer:
For Enterprise PDM 2014 and earlier, login to the customer portal and register your PDM license from “Register My Product.” Under “My Products” download your license file. Version 2015 and newer use the Network License (SNL) structure. A license file is not needed since an online activation process is used. Instead of requesting a new license file, you simply reactivate your software.


Question:
Why are the folders blue?

Answer:
You are in the Offline mode, go to Tools>Work Online and you should be reconnected to the server.


Question:
When do I need to clear my local cache?

Answer:
Clearing your local cache is only necessary if you want to make more space on your hard drive. Files that are checked out are not deleted, but it is a good idea to make sure you have checked in your work before you clear your local cache.


SOLIDWORKS Electrical

Question:
How do other people look at my electrical drawings?

Answer: 
These projects can be viewed through the 3D add-in in SOLIDWORKS Electrical. They can also be exported as eDrawings, DWG/DXF, and PDF.


FAQ: SOLIDWORKS Composer

Question:
Do I need SOLIDWORKS to use Composer?

Answer:
No, The SOLIDWORKS file importer tool can be installed to bring in files without SOLIDWORKS.


FAQ: Installation

Question:
How do I do a clean uninstall of SOLIDWORKS?

Answer:
This option is under advanced in the uninstall dialog.


Question:
How do I clean up temporary files SOLIDWORKS?

Answer:
The RX tool has a System Maintenance tab that allows these locations to be cleaned up.


Question:
Can I push out a SOLIDWORKS installation to multiple computers?

Answer:
Yes this is done using an administrative image. You will need sufficient permissions to the computers. Find out more.


Question:
After an upgrade why can't my computer get a license?

Answer:
If you're using a network (SNL) license, make sure you (A) upgrade the license server to the new version and (B) reactivate the license server using Modify>Activate/Reactivate in the license manager.