How to Create a .sldsettings File for an Administrative Image

The purpose of this article is to discuses how an administrator can use an admin image to adjust a users setting and commonly asked questions on.


When creating an administrative image, the admin has the ability to set different a users system option settings to a desired way. A .sldsettings file can be used to apply settings at start up, or even lock them so they cannot be changed. These can also be changed and adjusted for specific groups by creating new .sldsettings files and re-deploying it to the desired group of people.


Creating a .sldsettings File for an Admin Image

1. Add a group or user into the Administrator Settings

2. Click the pencil icon to toggle options on

3. Go to the Client Installation Options section, toggle "Use a settings file exported from the SOLIDWORKS settings Administrator," and select the Launch Settings Administrator button




4. In the welcome tab, you are given a few different options to choose how the .sldsetting file will first be setup:

Default - The settings file will be initially set to SOLIDWORKS default system options

Import SOLIDWORKS 20XX - The settings file will be initially set to be the same settings as this version of SOLIDWORKS on the computer that is creating the image.

Browse to an existing sldreg file - The settings file will be initially set to a chosen Copy-Settings Wizard .sldreg file.

Browse to an existing sldsetting file - The settings file will be initially set to a chosen Copy-Settings Wizard .sldsetting file.

Select the one you wish to use and click next.




5. In the Systems Options tab of the SOLIDWORKS Settings Administration window, you can edit different settings to meet your specifications. Depending on which option you chose in step 4 will change the default settings of the systems options.

Toggling on "Apply" for a setting will cause SOLIDWORKS to make whatever change was made to that setting the default; the user can still adjust the setting during their session. Toggling Lock will change the setting to whatever is specified. However the user cannot adjust that setting during their sessions.




6. Once the settings have been adjusted click Next, bringing up the finish tab. You can adjust when the settings are applied and ways to override any locked options. An override password can be set so a user can enter it and remove any locks that are on their system. If "Every time a user starts SOLIDWORKS" is toggled on they will need to enter the password each time to remove the locks. Additionally, settings that had "Apply" toggled on will revert back to their default.




7. Select Save to create the .sldsetting file and place it in a network location that all users can access. If a user cannot access the .sldsetting file then all locked options will be removed and SOLIDWORKS will use revert back to default settings if the systems options are reset. 

8. In the Administrative Image Option Editor go back to the Client Installation Options section and select the Edit Path button to verify that the .sldsetting file was saved to a shared UNC path.

Creating a new .sldsetting

1. Delete the old .sldsetting file that you no longer wish to use

2. Open sldAdministrativeImageOptions.exe, found within the Admin Image folder.

3. Go to the Client Installation Options section and Launch Settings Administrator.

4. Adjust any of the settings that are necessary and save the .sldsetting file to a network location.

5. Select the Edit Path button and navigate to the new .sldsetting program.

Depending on what was chosen in the Finish tab's apply options section the admin image may need to be re-deployed. If "The first time a user opens SolidWorks" was selected then you will need to re-deploy the admin image to make the change. If "every time a user starts SolidWorks" was chosen then you only need to point to the new .sldsetting file within the Admin Options Editor.

Tips, Tricks, and Common Questions

Q1. For the settings we don’t lock down, can they be modified with the SolidWorks restore settings wizard (Pre-created .sldreg files)

A. 2016 replaced the automatic copy setting wizard (restore settings wizard). You can use the copy-settings wizard to make a copy settings file with the settings you want, rename it from .sldreg to a .reg file, create a batch file to auto run the registry file and would only effect the current users registry, not the local machine (so it does not effect the .sldsettings file). However, when opening SOLIDWORKS any contradictory settings between the .sldsettings file and .reg file will be over-ridden by the .sldsettings (even settings that you only applied, not locked) if the option "Every time a user starts SOLIDWORKS," was toggled on.

For example, if you have 4 settings and 3 of them are applied/ locked by the .sldsettings file; upon opening SOLIDWORKS 3/4 will be changed to the .sldsettings while the 4th one stays how it was based on the .sldreg file.


Q2. Will the .sldreg file overwrite the .sldsettings locked settings?

A. The .sldreg file will overwrite what is in the HKEY_CURRENT_USER registry. The .sldsettings however is within the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE so it will take precedent to the CURRENT_USER settings (see Q1's example).


Q3. What would happen if a setting is neither applied or locked in the Admin Image editor before deployment?

A. If an administrator does not choose to apply or lock a setting before deployment then the user can make changes to them and it will remain that way even after closing and re-opening SOLIDWORKS.
Q4. Is there a way for the user to remove the locked settings?
A. When creating the admin image you are given the option to create an overwrite password that a user can enter to remove locked settings. The user can then go into the System Options within SOLIDWORKS and they are given a new section to enter the override password.
Q5. Are there any registry keys that reference the .sldsetting file?
A. The SolidSettings is controlled by the presence of the registry key:
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Solidworks\SOLIDWORKS 20XX\General]\"LockedOptions," where 20XX is the edition (version year) of SOLIDWORKS, such as 2020.

The value of the setting points to the file where the SOLIDWORKS SolidSettings file is found. When the key is missing no settings are applied. If the key is present, each time SOLIDWORKS starts a copy of the specified file in the users profile as %appdata%\SOLIDWORKS\SOLIDWORKS 20XX\Adminsiatrator.sldsettings

When the source copy is changed the next time the user starts a new copy of the settings file is used if the source file is available.
If you have any additional questions about how the .sldsettings file works, how to properly utilize it for a specific situation, or if there is any difficulty in deploying the file please contact Hawk Ridge Systems at 877.266.4469 for the U.S or 866.587.6803 for Canada.
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