Converting from a Standalone License to a Network License


Converting from a standalone license to a network license has different benefits to a company depending on their needs. If you have multiple users that need to share a license, or switch between computers frequently, the network license simplifies the hassle of balancing licenses and keeps them stored in one location.

The process to convert from a standalone license to a network license requires three steps: Installing the SolidNetWork License Manager Server (SNL server), replacing the standalone licenses with the network, and adding the server to the SolidNetWork License Manager Client.


Before starting it is important to verify that you have everything necessary ahead of time to minimize your downtime. 

Server - Check that you have an available server computer and that it has the proper operating system. You can use this link to see SOLIDWORKS official system requirements.

Installation files - You will either need a DVD copy of SOLIDWORKS, the installation manager for SOLIDWORKS, or the source files.

To download the Installation Manager for SOLIDWORKS you can visit the Customer Portal. Here is a link to our youtube video on accessing or creating a customer portal account.

Installing the server

Before making any modifications to a clients workstation it is recommended to install the correct SNL server first. The SNL server needs to be the same edition or newer than the version of SOLIDWORKS you want to run. For an in-depth guide on installing the server you can reference our 2018 Server installation guide. The steps can be summarized as the following:

1. Insert your SOLIDWORKS DVD and run the sldIM.exe to open the installation manager. Select the Server products radio button.  Then select Install SolidNetWork License Manager and click next.

If you are using a downloaded Installation Manager double-click the sldIM.exe within the unzipped sldim folder if it does not run after unzipping.

If you are using the SOLIDWORKS Source files navigate to the folder swlicmgr and run the setup.exe.

2. In the new  installation manager page called SNL Server Options you can enter your network licenses that you want this server to have. You can enter multiple licenses by putting a comma after each serial number. You can also click Browse to change the location that the server will be installed to.

Using the source files clicking next from welcome screen brings up the License Information window, which is the same as the SNL server options. Clicking Next will allow you to change the installation location.

3. Confirm the information in the summary page and make any changes if necessary by going back. Once everything is setup install the server.

The SNL server will now be loaded onto the server. You will need to activate the server now so clients can use the server to obtain licenses. For steps on activating a server or re-activating it please reference our Network license update guide.

Updating the clients license

Once the server is running and has been successfully activated, you will need to change the users (clients) licenses within their installation manager to the network license as well. This will also download a program called the SolidNetWork License Manager Client, which is used to communicate to the License Manager Server. For an in-depth guide on updating a license within the installation manager you can reference our How to Change Your Serial Number guide. The steps can be summarized as the following:

1. Navigate to your SOLIDWORKS Installation Manager (Windows Control Panel -> Programs -> Programs and features -> scroll to your installation of SOLIDWORKS 20xx and select Change or Modify)

2. Select Modify Individual Installations and click Next

3. In the Serial Number tab replace the 24 digit number in the 3D DESIGN section with the Network License and continue through the Installation Manager.

4. On the Summary tab modify the individual install.

Adding the Server Name to the Client License Manager

If you have already setup the server before updating the clients license you may have been asked to add the server before modifying the installation. You can skip the steps below if this was done. 

1. Open the SolidNetWork License Manager Client 20xx that was installed when changing the serial number.

2. Go to the Server List tab and add the server 25734@"Server name or IP" then click OK.

3. On the License Usage tab check if all your Network Licenses are shown in the Product drop down.

If the correct products are shown in the Client License Manager, open SOLIDWORKS and refresh the License Usage tab to verify that you are grabbing the desired license.

If the clients cannot connect to the server, or your licenses are not appearing in the License Usage tab, please contact Hawk Ridge Systems at 877.266.4469 for the U.S or 866.587.6803 for Canada for further troubleshooting techniques.

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