Working from home with SOLIDWORKS and PDM

The following advice is for SOLIDWORKS users who need to continue accessing their licenses and files from home or a remote location.

For detailed tips for optimal performance for PDM and non-PDM users, see the attached PDFs. 

Standalone License Users

For standalone licenses, the license is machine-locked so that computer will need to travel with the user or the license can be deactivated and then activated on a home computer.

  • This video walks through the borrowing functionality for network license users and also the deactivation and re-activation process for standalone licenses: 

Network License Users

For network licenses, the computer will need to either have borrowed the license prior to leaving the office or have the ability to temporarily connect to the license server at work via VPN to then check out a license.

Ports required for network licenses:

  • TCP 25734-25735

For borrowing and returning functionality the VPN Network adapter on the client computer should be setup to retain a static MAC address. Please coordinate with IT for the port and MAC address setup since each VPN software configuration may differ.


When accessing PDM over VPN, a few things typically need adjusting to ensure proper connectivity. The following ports are required to be open over the VPN and often the local HOSTS file on the client computer requires editing due to VPN DNS limitations.

Ports required for PDM:

  • Archive Server: TCP 3030
  • SQL Server: TCP 1433 (unless instance is named then TCP 1434 and UDP 1434 instead)
  • Web Server (without SSL): TCP 80
  • Web Server (with SSL): TCP 443 (TCP 80 also needs to be opened if you want the ability to push the client install from the webpage)

Editing the HOSTS file

The HOSTS file acts as a override function when access to the network DNS is not available. This is often required when working over VPN.

  1. Launch Notepad as admin.
  2. Click File>open and browse to c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc and open the hosts file.
  3. Add a line item at the bottom with the IP address of your PDM server and the name of the PDM server. See screenshot for example.


We have additional resources available here on our blog regarding tips of working remotely.

Latest Webinar On Working from Home

Our latest webinar also has suggestions for SOLIDWORKS system options and workflow adjustments to help optimize productivity during these times. 



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