SOLIDWORKS Crashes or Hangs on Splash Screen

This article is designed to provide resources for troubleshooting a SOLIDWORKS launch failure that hangs or crashes at the splash screen, often without an error message.  



Graphics Card and Driver

Registry Instability

Permissions Issues

Antivirus Software

Licensing Issues

Corrupt or Missing Prerequisites

Unstable Install



Graphics Card and Driver

The RX tool can be used to diagnose your issues and to help determine if the graphics card is likely the source of your issue.

Check the Diagnostic tab to confirm your card is supported and you have the correct driver. If your card is supported but you are not on the correct driver, and the Download Latest Driver button does not work, please look for an updated driver here: 




Additionally, you can use the SOLIDWORKS Safe Mode to see if using OpenGL works:

Use the RX tool to start in a Safe Mode

Troubleshoot using OpenGL


If your card and driver are combination is supported, and OpenGL worked, please review the following articles for additional troubleshooting.

Windows 10 Issues with NVidia Cards

Perform clean NVIDIA Driver update rollback

Troubleshoot issues with two graphics card


If you have "DisplayLink USB Graphics Software for Windows" drivers, you may still experience issues despite completing the troubleshooting steps above. These drivers can interfere with SOLIDWORKS. Uninstall the driver, reboot your PC and then test SOLIDWORKS again.


If your card is not supported, please review the following articles. 

Prevent SOLIDWORKS from forcing OpenGL when card is Unsupported

Unsupported NVidia Quadro NVS

Unsupported NVidia GeForce


If you're using an unsupported Graphics Card and the troubleshooting steps didn't resolve your issue, please review our hardware recommendations:

DS SOLIDWORKS Video Card Testing: Video Card Testing

Recommended hardware guides:

SOLIDWORKS 2020 Recommended Hardware

2019 Recommended Hardware Guide

2018 Recommended Hardware Guide

Comprehensive hardware guides:

2020 Comprehensive Hardware Guide

2019 Comprehensive Hardware Guide

2018 Comprehensive Hardware Guide



Registry Instability

Use the Bypass Tools and Options Safe Mode in the SOLIDWORKS RX Tool:

Use the RX tool to start in a Safe Mode

If SOLIDWORKS Launches using this Safe Mode, please use the following two articles to back up your settings via the SOLIDWORKS Copy Settings Wizard and then reset your registry. 

Use SOLIDWORKS Copy Settings Wizard

Be aware some settings may be the source of the registry instability; you may not be able to re-import them without causing the issue to return.

Reset your SOLIDWORKS Registry



Permissions issues

Check if User Account Control (UAC) is blocking SOLIDWORKS by setting UAC to its lowest setting and then testing SOLIDWORKS again. 

User Access/Account Control - How To  


Confirm that you have access/permission to the following registry keys



If there is no access, grant the user account (and any group the user account is part of) control and ownership of these keys.  How to grant permissions to a registry key




Antivirus Software

Temporarily uninstall any anti-virus software, restart the computer and test SOLIDWORKS.

If you are unable to uninstall the anti-virus software, disable it, then restart your PC and re-test the issue. How to disable startup programs in windows



Licensing Issues

Standalone licensing issues:

An Activation Prerequisite Is Missing

Remove and Repair hung license (see attached pdf).  


Network licensing issues:

Network Licensing Troubleshooting

Fix an SNL that is not seeing its own licenses



Corrupt or Missing Prerequisite Software

While this article is for a specific error, the steps are the same for other C++ Redistributable issues requiring re-installation. 

Register_i386_SldShellExtServerExe Error

Repairing Microsoft .NET Framework


Check if there are missing/corrupted Windows Updates or programs that may have blocked your installation: 

Fix Windows issues that prevent a SOLIDWORKS install



Unstable Installation

Your current installation is unstable; you need to perform a full uninstall, reboot of the PC and then reinstall.

2020 Uninstall & Removal Guide

SOLIDWORKS 2020 Standalone Install

2019 SOLIDWORKS Uninstall & Removal Guide

2019 SOLIDWORKS Standalone Installation Guide

2018 SOLIDWORKS Uninstall & Removal Guide

2018 SOLIDWORKS Standalone Installation Guide

2017 SOLIDWORKS Uninstall & Removal Guide

2017 SOLIDWORKS Standalone Installation Guide

2016 SOLIDWORKS Uninstall & Removal Guide

2016 SOLIDWORKS Standalone Installation Guide

Older Uninstall & Removal Guides as well as Install Guides can be found here: Archived Installation Documents


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  • We just had a case where the customer was using RDP - (Microsoft remote desktop protocol) to reach the SOLIDWORKS 2020sp5 computer and that was the only thing causing the splash screen to stall at loading registry. Beware!

    Please use a different remote control software, or log in locally.

    This may be related to the recent Windows updates. 

  • This has happened several times in the last month with users with AMD graphics cards. When we disable the AMD graphics card, SolidWorks boots up normally. In that case uninstalling and reinstalling the AMD graphics driver has solved the problem. 


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