Unable to Connect to Collaborative Server Error in SOLIDWORKS Electrical

This article discusses troubleshooting steps for the error message “Unable to connect to collaborative server”, which is sometimes encountered when starting SOLIDWORKS Electrical.




This error is most commonly caused by the SWE Collaborative Server service being stopped, as suggested in the error dialogue. Check this by opening the Windows Services tool on the computer hosting the SWE SQL server and collaborative server. To open the Services tool, click Start > type “services” > click Services. Scroll down to the service named SOLIDWORKS Electrical Collaborative Server and check its status. If it is not started, as in the screenshot below, click the link to Start the service. If it is started, try restarting the service. Restart SWE to check if this resolves the issue.

Note that if SWE was installed in a standalone configuration (all program components on the same computer), the collaborative server will be on the same computer as the main SWE application. If SWE was installed in a client-server configuration, the collaborative server will be on the server computer.

WARNING: If you use SWE in a client-server configuration with multiple users, ensure all users save their work and close SWE on their computers before restarting the collaborative server. Failing to do so can lead to data loss and corruption.


If SWE is still unable to connect, click OK on the error message and check the settings under Tools > Application Settings > Collaborative Server, as shown below.

The Address field specifies the location of the collaborative server. This should be localhost for standalone configurations or the name or IP address of the server computer for client-server configurations.

In the Port field, the default value is 26666, but could be different if intentionally altered by an IT administrator.

If either of the address or port values appears to be incorrect, change it and click Connect to retry the connection.


If this does not resolve the issue, there could be problems with anti-virus software or Windows User Account Control blocking functions of the software. Try disabling these temporarily to see if the error still occurs.

For client-server configurations, there needs to be an unblocked network connection between the client and server computers. Try temporarily disabling any firewall software. The firewall needs to allow communication over ports 26666–26672 (the additional ports are needed so multiple users can connect to the same server). Note that there may be multiple firewalls between the client and server computers. An IT administrator should be involved in this process.

Successful resolution of the issue will result in the pop-up below when starting SWE.

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