Starting from SOLIDWORKS 2013, the application SOLIDWORKS Launcher is used to open files using the appropriate version of SOLIDWORKS, if multiple versions of SOLIDWORKS are installed. Some users find opening a file by right-clicking on the SOLIDWORKS file and selecting Open from Windows Explorer or double-clicking on file results in multiple instances of SOLIDWORKS opening up. This issue occurs if the SOLIDWORKS file type is directly associated to a specific version of the SOLIDWORKS executable application, instead of the SOLIDWORKS Launcher’s executable application. The following article discusses how to resolve this anomaly.
Associate Files to the SOLIDWORKS Launcher
To re-associate the files to the correct executable application, please follow the instructions below.
- Close all applications on your system and restart your computer.
- Browse to the SOLIDWORKS installation folder. By default, the location will be under
C:\Program Files\SolidWorks Corp\SolidWorks
- Select Shift + right-click on SLDWORKS.exe and choose Run as administrator
- Go to Tools>Options> System Options>File Explorer (*note that in 2020 SP3.0, this button has been moved to "General")
- Select Restore File Associations
- Close SOLIDWORKS
- Right-click on any SOLIDWORKS part (sldprt) file in a Windows Explorer folder, choose Open with, and select Choose default program
- In the Open with a window select the SOLIDWORKS Launcher under Recommended Programs. If the SOLIDWORKS Launcher is not available as a Recommended Program, click on Browse… and select the swShellFileLauncher.exe, which can be found in the SOLIDWORKS installation folder (default location: C:\Program Files\SolidWorks Corp\SolidWorks). Also, make sure to check on Always use the selected program to open this kind of file and select OK.
- Repeat steps 7 and 8 with a SOLIDWORKS assembly (sldasm) and drawing (slddrw) file.