2017 Uninstall & Removal Guide
This guide is written for SOLIDWORKS 2017. If you are using an earlier version of SOLIDWORKS, please download our earlier documents.
This information is subject to change without notification. Please make sure you are using the most current version of the document. If you have any questions or find that there are discrepancies between this document and the SOLIDWORKS website or documentation, please contact Hawk Ridge Systems technical support.
If you are experiencing serious issues with your SOLIDWORKS software, you may need to fully uninstall the program and all associated programs and files before attempting to reload the software. This document covers how to do this complete removal of the product.
This is not a troubleshooting guide. If you have any technical issues with SOLIDWORKS, please contact Hawk Ridge Systems technical support.
Saving Files & Settings
Software issues can be caused by your registry settings or support files. It is a good idea to save your settings and files, but you will want to test that your issue is repaired with the default settings before reapplying your customizations.
Before searching for these files please see the showing hidden folders section of this document.
SOLIDWORKS Data to Save: File Templates, Design Library, Custom Materials and Sheet Formats
If you have changed any of the above items, you will want to make a copy of the folder where these customized items are stored. This gives you the ability to test the functionality of the existing ‘default’ and ‘copied’ Toolboxes when SOLIDWORKS is reinstalled.
Make a copy of your data folder and save it in a new, safe location. By default the location is:
In the event this removal of SOLIDWORKS is a result of a Toolbox issue, it is best practice for you to make a copy of your SOLIDWORKS default Toolbox library. This gives you the ability to test the functionality of the existing ‘default’ and ‘copied’ Toolboxes when SOLIDWORKS is reinstalled.
Make a copy of your Toolbox library and save it in a new, safe location. By default the location is:
Flow Simulation Files
In the event this removal of SOLIDWORKS is a result of a Flow Simulation issue, it is best practice for you to make a copy of your Flow Simulation folders. This gives you the ability to test the functionality of the existing ‘default’ and ‘copied’ Flow Simulation folders when SOLIDWORKS and Flow Simulation are reinstalled.
Make a copy of your Flow Simulation folder and save it in a new, safe location. The default location for this folder is:
C:\Program Files\SOLIDWORKS Corp\SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation
In the event this removal of SOLIDWORKS is a result of a CircuitWorks issue, it is best practice for you to make a copy of your CircuitWorks folders. This gives you the ability to test the functionality of the existing ‘default’ and ‘copied’ CircuitWorks folders when SOLIDWORKS and CircuitWorks are reinstalled.
Make a copy of your CircuitWorksfolder and save it in a new, safe location. The default location for this folder is:
You can save your toolbar locations, command changes, keyboard shortcut hotkeys and system options (including file locations). If you want to save these, you will need to save the settings. Once you have reinstalled SOLIDWORKS, it will have the default settings, so you should test if SOLIDWORKS functions correctly before reapplying your custom settings.
- Go to Start, All Programs, SOLIDWORKS 20XX, SOLIDWORKS Tools, Copy Settings Wizard.
- Press the Save Settings button on the first page and press the Next button to continue.
- If you have SOLIDWORKS open, you will be warned that any changes in the current sessions will not be saved. Close SOLIDWORKS if you want to keep any changes from this current session. Press the Yes button to continue.
- On the following page, you can specify the location and name of your settings file. Press the Browse button to search for a save location.
- Select the check boxes in front of the customized settings you would like to save.
- Press the Finish button to save the .sldreg file.
- You will be informed that your .sldreg file has been successfully saved. Press OK to finish.
- You can browse to the save location and see the file. When you want to reset your SOLIDWORKS program to use your customized options, simply double-click this file and the settings will be written to the current user’s registry.
- Go to Start, All Programs, SOLIDWORKS 20XX, SOLIDWORKS 20XX x64 Edition.
- After SOLIDWORKS starts, go to the Help pull down and choose Deactivate License.
- If you have more products than SOLIDWORKS activated (Simulation, for example), you will need to choose the product to deactivate.
Note: If you have Simulation Professional or Premium or Flow Simulation, you will need to deactivate these first then deactivate SOLIDWORKS.
- Choose to activate Automatically over the Internet.
- Press the Next button. You will now connect to the SOLIDWORKS Activation site to return the license.
- You will be informed that the license has been transferred back to SOLIDWORKS.
- Press the Finish button to complete.
SOLIDWORKS will not run on this machine until it is re-activated.
- Make sure you are logged in as the administrator.
- Disable all anti-virus and anti-spyware programs.
- Go to the Control Panel and choose Uninstall a program.
- A list of programs will be displayed. Find SOLIDWORKS in the list and select it and press the Uninstall button.
- The SOLIDWORKS Installation Manager will launch at this time. You will be shown a list of SOLIDWORKS products that are loaded on this system. Select the programs you wish to remove.
- To select the types of items to remove from your computer, click Change at the Advanced Options line.
- Click Back to Summary to return and continue.
- Click the Remove Items button at the bottom of the screen to continue.
- If you are using a standalone license and you have not transferred your licenses already, a dialog will appear and allow you to transfer currently activated licenses on the computer.
- The selected products will now be removed from the system.
- You will be informed when SOLIDWORKS is completely removed from your machine. Press OK to continue.
- You will now be returned to the remove/uninstall window of the control panel. If you have any older versions of SOLIDWORKS, COSMOS, eDrawings, DWG Editor or SOLIDWORKS Explorer, you will want to remove these as well.
File & Settings Removal
At this point, the SOLIDWORKS products have been removed from your machine. However, many folders, files and registry keys still remain on your system. If these items were the cause of your software issue, reinstalling the product without removing these will not fix the issue. This section covers how to safely remove all remaining items from your system to fully uninstall SOLIDWORKS.
Enterprise PDM Removal
If your company uses Enterprise PDM (EPDM) for data management, you will need to remove this program from your computer as well. If you do not use EPDM, please go to the next section of this document on cleaning the registry.
NOTE! Be careful when performing this manual cleanup - this should ONLY be used to completely uninstall/remove the client software and registry settings when troubleshooting problems.
If performing this operation on a system where the archive or database server is installed, your existing file vaults will become unusable as the registry settings are destroyed. If you are uninstalling an Enterprise PDM archive or database server, please contact us atsupport.hawkridgesys.com or call us (in the U.S. 877-266-4469; Canadian customers dial 866-587-6803).
Follow the instruction below to export the EPDM registry keys out before deleting the SOLIDWORKS registry folders. The computer registry is where all information for all your programs is stored. You must be very careful to only delete the items expressly called out in this document. Any other items removed from this area may cause your system, or other programs, to not function correctly.
- Open the registry editor, press the Windows button in the lower left corner of the screen and type regedit into the search line. Then select the regedit program from the search results.
- Right-click the registry key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\SOLIDWORKS\Applications\PDMWorks Enterprise and select Export to export the Enterprise registry key.reg file. Save this file to a safe location.
Continue saving .reg files of the following registry keys:
- All platforms:
- 64-bit platforms:
- Go to the Control Panel and choose Uninstall a program.
- A list of programs will be displayed. Find SOLIDWORKS Enterprise PDM in the list and select it. Press the Uninstall button.
- Go into the registry editor again as in step one of this section. Then delete the following keys:
- All platforms:
- Delete any registry entries left under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\SharedDlls
that reference PDMWorks Enterprise DLLs and executables. Note that the data value indicates how many times a DLL is being shared between different applications.
- Go through all keys under the following registry key and ensure Enterprise PDM is not listed (look for DisplayName):HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\
- Delete the folder C:\Program Files\SOLIDWORKS Enterprise PDM and its contents.
- Delete the folder:
C:\Users\[USERPROFILE]\AppData\Local\SOLIDWORKS\SOLIDWORKS Enterprise PDM.
- Continue to the following sections, Cleaning the Registry and Cleaning Folders and then return to this section.
- Go into the registry editor like in step 1 of this section. Then go to File, Import and import the .reg files you saved in step 2 of this section.
- Reboot the machine.
Cleaning the Registry and Folders for SOLIDWORKS
The computer registry is where much of the information for all your programs is stored. You must be very careful to only delete the items specifically called out in this document. Any other items removed from this area may cause your system or other programs to not function correctly.
The RECOMMENDED clean uninstall method is to use the Advanced Options during the uninstallation through the SOLIDWORKS Installation Manager (see attached PDF). However, if the system needs to be cleaned manually, the following registry keys and folders can be deleted.
Program Files and Folder:
- C:\Program Files\SOLIDWORKS Corp\SOLIDWORKS Composer\
- C:\Program Files\SOLIDWORKS Corp\SOLIDWORKS Explorer\
- C:\Program Files\SOLIDWORKS Corp\eDrawings\
- C:\Program Files\SOLIDWORKS Corp\SOLIDWORKS\
- C:\Program Files\Common Files\SOLIDWORKS Shared
- C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\SOLIDWORKS Shared
Data Files and Folder:
- C:\SOLIDWORKS Data
Appendix A: Showing Hidden Folders
By default, many file locations for SOLIDWORKS are in hidden folders. To be able to access these folders, you must set your system to show these items.
- Start Windows Explorer.
- Press Organize>Folder and search options.
- Press Tools, Folder Options in the resulting window there will be a View Tab on this tab. Select the option Show hidden files and folders from the list of advanced settings. PressOK.
At this time, you will be able to see hidden folders; you may want to reset this option back to Do not show hidden files and folders after you have uninstalled SOLIDWORKS completely.
Appendix B: Accessing The Registry Editor
- Click on the Start Menu and search for the following command “Regedit”.
- Click on the regedit.exe command in the search results.