A Journal File Could Not Be Created

A journal file in SOLIDWORKS is essentially a log of the activities that the user and the software undergo during each respective session. Knowing how to read a journal file can assist greatly in discerning the nature of a crash, as well as simply noting certain actions during a live session of SOLIDWORKS .

Generally, a user is not aware of the journal file’s existence (since it’s merely a log of activities and serves little other purpose), however, sometimes a user will encounter the following error message when starting SOLIDWORKS :



The most common reason for this error is exactly what is stated in the error message: another instance of the same version of SOLIDWORKS is currently running. Another possibility is that SOLIDWORKS simply did not shut down properly and the SLDWORKS.exe process is still running in the background.

To resolve this, open the Windows Task manager by pressing CTRL+ALT+DELETE on your keyboard and clicking on “Task Manager” (alternatively, you can right-click on the windows taskbar and click on “Task Manager”) and navigate to the "Processes" tab. From the "Processes" tab, look for the process named: “SLDWORKS.exe” (sorting the processes by name may be useful during this operation). Once you have found it, simply click on it and then click on “End Process” in the bottom right-hand corner of the Task Manager:



However, there are rare cases where there is NO other SLDWORKS.exe running in the background and you’ll still see this journal file error. In this case, you should check to see if you have adequate permissions to read and write in the SOLIDWORKS Journal File directory.

To do so, first open up the registry editor by pressing the Windows Key + R on your keyboard (or by opening the start menu and typing in “Run”) and typing in “regedit” in the run window. Once you’ve clicked “OK”, the registry editor should appear.

DO NOT DELETE ANYTHING IN YOUR REGISTRY. This is an advanced troubleshooting step and should only be performed by IT Administrators, or users with Admin Privileges comfortable using the registry editor.  

Navigate to the key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Solidworks\SOLIDWORKS 20XX\ExtReferences by clicking the expandable arrows next to each folder in the left hand navigation pane (“20XX” refers to the year of SOLIDWORKS that you are currently experiencing the error with). Once you have found the “ExtReferences” key, find an entry in the right hand window titled “SolidWorks Journal Folders” as shown below:



Make note of the directory shown here. If the directory is blank, this could be why SOLIDWORKS is giving you the error message. If the directory is blank, you can double click on “SolidWorks Journal Folders” and manually input a directory to a folder that you have full permissions to (to learn how to ensure that you have full permissions to a folder, see below). By default, the Journal File directory is:

C:\Users\[USERNAME]\Appdata\Roaming\Solidworks\Solidworks 20XX



On some systems, the syntax "CURRENT_USER" is present instead of the actual username.


If this is the case, please try replacing the "CURRENT_USER" syntax with the username of the currently logged in user and check to see if that resolves the issue.


If not, navigate to the listed directory folder and check to see that you have full administrative control over this folder (to read and write). To do this, right click on the folder, navigate to the Security tab, and check your security permissions:



Ensure that “Full Control” is given to all users (or at least your username). If Full Control is NOT granted, click on the “Edit” button in the "Security" tab (see above), click on your username and check the “Full Control” checkbox, then click “Apply”. This will give you full permissions.

If you are NOT able to give yourself full permissions to the folder that SOLIDWORKS is pointing to, you can go back to the registry editor and re-point the “SolidWorks Journal Folders” directory to a folder that you do have full permissions to (i.e your Documents folder or a folder that you’ve created on your desktop). This will circumvent your permissions issues with the default folder and allow you to read/write your journal files.

Note: It is recommended to NOT have this journal file directory pointing to a directory that is NOT on your local drives (i.e. a network drive or PDM vault). Having your journal files being written to a non-local location can exacerbate permissions issues and may cause corruption in your journal file if your network hiccups for even a short amount of time.

If after performing all suggestions above, you are still suffering Journal File errors, please contact Hawk Ridge Systems Technical Support at 877.266.4469 (US) or 866.587.6803 (Canada) or email at support@hawkridgesys.com.

Was this article helpful?
3 out of 3 found this helpful



Please sign in to leave a comment.