Adding and Removing Search Paths

This guide is written to address a known issue regarding the removal or addition of “Search Paths” in SOLIDWORKS and SOLIDWORKS Explorer.


Many users have tried to add or remove “Search Paths” in the “File Locations” section of the System Options without success. Below is an image demonstrating a typical “Search Path” layout.

To get to the system options select “Tools” from the “Pull-Down Menu” and select “Options”. Clearly, SOLIDWORKS gives you the option to add or delete pathways. This, however, is not the case. “Search Paths” uses locations designated by the Windows “Indexing Options”. “Search Paths” are used mainly in SOLIDWORKS Explorer as the primary file location that Explorer looks in. Without correct pathways, SOLIDWORKS Explorer search feature will not find the desired files. To add pathways to the search in SOLIDWORKS Explorer navigate to the “Options” shown in the image on the following page.

After selecting “Add Folder”, navigate to the desired pathway, and select “OK”. Once the pathways have been selected, click “Apply” and then “OK” to leave the “Options” window. After adding the pathways, return to the options menu under the “Search” tab to ensure the pathways were indeed added. In the event that the pathways were not successfully added to SOLIDWORKS or SOLIDWORKS Explorer follow the steps in the solution section of this guide.


Add Search Paths

If the pathways were not successfully added, navigate to the start menu, and search “Indexing Options”. Once the “Indexing Options” window appears, select “Modify”. You will then be presented with a list of drives and folders on your computer. To add a pathway, navigate to the desired folder and select “OK” after checking the checkbox next to the folder as shown in the image below.

Once the desired files have been selected, they should be added to both the SOLIDWORKS “Search Paths” as well as the SOLIDWORKS Explorer “Search Folders”.

Remove Search Paths

To remove a pathway navigate back to the “Indexing Options” and select “Modify” as in the window shown above. After selecting “Modify”, select the folder that matches the search pathways in SOLIDWORKS or SOLIDWORKS Explorer under “Summary of selected locations”. After selecting the desired folder to remove, the “Change selected locations” will automatically display the location of the folder selected. Uncheck the folder to be removed as shown in the image below.

After unchecking the folder to be removed, the pathway will be removed from both SOLIDWORKS Explorer and SOLIDWORKS in terms of search pathways.

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