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Prevent SOLIDWORKS from forcing OpenGL Mode on Unsupported Hardware

Alex Taguchi

This article outlines the procedure to prevent SOLIDWORKS from forcing OpenGL mode to be active when it determines that you are using an unsupported graphics card. This issue affects Intel UHD Graphics most commonly and even occurs when the latest graphics driver updates are installed.

DIAGNOSIS

The following diagnostic steps will help you to determine whether this guide is appropriate for your issue:

1.  Your SOLIDWORKS is forcing you to use OpenGL mode:

opengl_forced.png

2.  Update your GPU drivers here: https://www.solidworks.com/support/hardware-certification 

3.  If you're using an NVIDIA or AMD graphics card, you've already tried setting it to be used as the default card by following this guide: Click Here

SOLUTION

Resolving this issue requires us to modify the permissions on the registry key which SOLIDWORKS uses to determine whether or not to force OpenGL mode on startup.

  1. Open regedit.
  2. Navigate to:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\SolidWorks\Solidworks 201x\Performance\Graphics\Hardware\Current.
  3. Right-click on the "Current" key folder, then click "Permissions...".
  4. Click "Advanced".
  5. Click "Disable Inheritance" and then click "Remove all inherited permissions from this object." 
  6. Check the box titled "replace all child object permission entries with inheritable permission entries from this object."
  7. Press OK to save the changes.
  8. Restart SOLIDWORKS and see if OpenGL mode is still enabled.

REVERSING THE CHANGES

Reversing the changes requires you to propagate the permissions from a higher-level registry key down to the "\Hardware\Current" key that we altered the permissions for. This restores the permissions to the key.

  1. Open regedit.
  2. Navigate to:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\SolidWorks\Solidworks 2018\Performance\Graphics\Hardware\
  3. Right-click on the "Hardware" key folder, then click "Permissions...".
  4. Click "Advanced".
  5. Check the box titled "replace all child object permission entries with inheritable permission entries from this object."
  6. Press OK to save the changes.
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