How To Upgrade SOLIDWORKS Electrical Standalone 2023


This guide gives instructions for upgrading SOLIDWORKS Electrical 2023. It is written for standalone installations of SOLIDWORKS Electrical. In this configuration, all program components are on the same computer. If your software is installed in a client-server configuration (a server computer hosts the program data, collaborative server and SQL server, while each client computer hosts the user application), please refer to the 2023 SOLIDWORKS Electrical Client-Server Upgrade Guide (available in our Help Center). Please contact Hawk Ridge Systems Technical Support if you are unsure of your SOLIDWORKS Electrical configuration type.

SOLIDWORKS Electrical 2023 uses the same installation manager as other SOLIDWORKS products, including the 3D CAD software. If upgrading other SOLIDWORKS products along with Electrical, please also refer to their upgrade guides for further instructions.

This is not a troubleshooting guide. Please visit our Help Center or contact Hawk Ridge Systems Technical Support if you have any technical issues with SOLIDWORKS Electrical.

This document is only to be distributed to and used by Hawk Ridge Systems customers. Any other use is prohibited.



Before Upgrading


Configuration Requirements

Standalone Upgrade

Appendix: License Deactivation

Online Deactivation

E-mail Deactivation


Before Upgrading

Hawk Ridge Systems highly recommends taking a moment before installing SOLIDWORKS Electrical and checking that you are ready to load your new software. First, ensure that your computer meets minimum system requirements and that your video card passes certification checks. Also, confirm that the hard drive has enough space to have at least 15% free space after the full installation. Back-up data such as any shared Toolbox library, Design Library, Template files, or a data management vault. As always, verify workmates, customers, or vendors are all on the same version of SOLIDWORKS Electrical. Older versions of SOLIDWORKS Electrical cannot open files from newer versions.

  1. Confirm your community’s working version.
  • Ensure that colleagues, customers and vendors with whom you share files are all on the same version to which you are upgrading.
  • You can only have one version of SOLIDWORKS Electrical installed on a single computer, so any previous versions will be uninstalled.
  • In the client-server configuration, all installations must be running the same major year version of SOLIDWORKS Electrical. A future version server installation will not be accessible to a client installation of an earlier version.
  1. Back-up your data.
  • It is strongly recommended that you archive your environment prior to performing any upgrade or maintenance of SOLIDWORKS Electrical. This will save a copy of all your program data (projects, components, symbols, etc.) into one compressed file. To do this, click the Archive Environment button within the SOLIDWORKS Electrical application and run through the wizard. Note that the archive may take several hours to create, so we recommend running this process overnight.


  • If you have related SOLIDWORKS files, it is recommended that you make backup copies of these also. Any templates or design libraries should also be saved to a backup folder.
  1. Obtain your SOLIDWORKS 2023 installation media.
  • The latest version of the SOLIDWORKS Installation Manager can be downloaded from the SOLIDWORKS downloads page.
  • The Installation Manager can be used to download the necessary files and complete the upgrade in one process.
  • The Installation Manager can also be used to download the full SOLIDWORKS 2023 installation files ahead of the upgrade. This complete file set is approximately 21 GB and is equivalent to the DVDs. This is useful if SOLIDWORKS Electrical is being upgraded on several computers, as the files can be downloaded once then copied to those computers via the network or a removable storage device.
  • You can also use the SOLIDWORKS 2023 DVDs, if available.



SOLIDWORKS Electrical can be used with standalone and network licenses. Note that the license type differs from the installation configuration, which can be standalone or client-server (this guide is for the standalone configuration). Either license type can be used with either configuration.

If you have a standalone license, you will need to activate SOLIDWORKS Electrical after upgrading. You will be automatically prompted to do this when launching the application after an upgrade. If you are upgrading SOLIDWORKS at the same time as SOLIDWORKS Electrical, you will need to launch SOLIDWORKS to complete the activation. Refer to our 2023 Product Registration guide for more information on activation methods. You may also deactivate a standalone license on a particular computer by following the steps in the Appendix. This will allow the license to be activated on another computer.

If you have a network license, the SolidNetWork License Manager on the license server computer needs to be of a version at or above the version of SOLIDWORKS Electrical to which you are upgrading. If this is not already the case, refer to our 2023 Network Server Installation guide to install and activate a suitable version of the SolidNetWork License Manager.


Configuration Requirements

SOLIDWORKS Electrical 2023 includes Microsoft SQL Server 2019 Express in the installation if this is a new install.

If you are upgrading SOLIDWORKS Electrical 3D, you must either upgrade SOLIDWORKS along with Electrical 3D or have already upgraded SOLIDWORKS on your computer. SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS Electrical Schematic and SOLIWORDS Electrical 3D must all be of the same version and service pack.


Standalone Upgrade

REMINDER: If upgrading from a previous version of SOLIDWORKS Electrical, we strongly recommend archiving your environment proceeding.

SQL Server Upgrade:

If you are upgrading from a previous version of Solidworks Electrical, you may need to upgrade your SQL Server Express to 2016 or newer since SQL 2014 SP3 and older is no longer compatible. If your SQL Server Express is already running 2016 or newer you can ignore this.  Please see the guide below on how to upgrade SQL versions:

  1. Insert the SQL Server installation media. From the root folder, double-click setup.exe or launch the SQL Server Installation Center from Configuration Tools. To install from a network share, locate the root folder on the share, and then double-click Setup.exe.

  2. To upgrade an existing instance of SQL Server to a different edition, from the SQL Server Installation Center click Maintenance, and then select Edition Upgrade.

  3. If Setup support files are required, SQL Server Setup installs them. If you are instructed to restart your computer, restart before you continue.

  4. The System Configuration Checker runs a discovery operation on your computer. To continue, click OK.

  5. On the Product Key page, select a radio button to indicate whether you are upgrading to a free edition of SQL Server, or whether you have a PID key for a production version of the product. For more information, see Editions and Components of SQL Server and Supported Version and Edition Upgrades.

  6. On the License Terms page, read the license agreement, and then select the check box to accept the licensing terms and conditions. To continue, click Next. To end Setup, click Cancel.

  7. On the Select Instance page, specify the instance of SQL Server to upgrade.

  8. The Edition Upgrade Rules page validates your computer configuration before the edition upgrade operation begins.

  9. The Ready to Upgrade Edition page shows a tree view of installation options that were specified during Setup. To continue, click Upgrade.

  10. During the edition upgrade process, the services need to be restarted to pick up the new setting. After edition upgrade, the Complete page provides a link to the summary log file for the edition upgrade. To close the wizard, click Close.

  11. The Complete page provides a link to the summary log file for the installation and other important notes.

  12. If you are instructed to restart the computer, do so now. It is important to read the message from the Installation Wizard when you are done with Setup. For information about Setup log files, see View and Read SQL Server Setup Log Files.

  13. If you upgraded from SQL Server Express, you must perform additional steps before you can use your upgraded instance of SQL Server:

    • Enable the SQL Server Agent service in Windows SCM.

    • Provision the SQL Server Agent service account by using SQL Server Configuration Manager.

In addition to the steps above, you may need to do the following if you upgraded from SQL Server Express:

  • Users that were provisioned in SQL Server Express remain provisioned after the upgrade. Specifically, the BUILTIN\Users group remains provisioned. Disable, remove, or reprovision these accounts as needed. For more information, see Configure Windows Service Accounts and Permissions.

  • Sizes and recovery mode for the tempdb and model system databases remain unchanged after the upgrade. Reconfigure these settings as needed. For more information, see Back Up and Restore of System Databases (SQL Server).

  • Template databases remain on the computer after the upgrade.

For more information about the upgrade please see the full Microsoft article here: 


Solidworks Electrical Upgrade:

  1. Log into the computer as an administrator.
  2. Disable all anti-virus and anti-spyware tools and turn off Windows User Account Control.
  3. Locate your SOLIDWORKS 2023 installation media (download or DVD) and launch the setup application (setup.exe). You should see the Welcome screen for the SOLIDWORKS Installation Manager. Select Install on this computer then click Next.


  1. You will then see the Serial Number screen. This should already contain your existing SOLIDWORKS licenses. Note that you do not need to enter multiple serial numbers if your SOLIDWORKS serial number is the same as your SOLIDWORKS Electrical serial number. If you are only upgrading the SOLIDWORKS Electrical Schematic application, the serial number should be entered in the corresponding field. Only check and enter the SOLIDWORKS Electrical 3D option if you have a separate license serial number for it. Click Next.


  1. The Installation Manager will verify your serial number and perform an automatic system check for any existing versions of SOLIDWORKS or SOLIDWORKS Electrical. Take note of any messages or warnings during this step then click Next.
  1. If upgrading from one major version to another (e.g. 2022 to 2023), the Installation Options screen may give you the option to create a new installation. Because multiple versions of SOLIDWORKS Electrical cannot be installed on the same computer, select Upgrade SOLIDWORKS.


  1. At the Summary screen, you can change the settings and options defined for the upgrade. To do so, click Change on the right side of each option.


  1. Click Change next to Products to go to the Product Selection screen. Scroll down and ensure that SOLIDWORKS Electrical is checked on. Nested here are the individual Electrical components. Check these against the information below. Click Back to Summary when finished.
  • SOLIDWORKS Electrical Schematic is the 2D electrical schematic design application and should be checked on.
  • SOLIDWORKS Electrical 3D is the add-in for the main SOLIDWORKS application. It may not be available if your license does not include it, but if it does, ensure that you are installing SOLIDWORKS as well. They must be of the same version and service pack.
  • Collaborative Server is used to communicate between the application and the SQL server. This option should be checked on for a standalone upgrade.
  • Data includes the SQL server and program data used for the application (projects, symbols, manufacturer parts, templates, etc.). This option should be checked on for a standalone upgrade.

  1. At the Summary screen, click Change next to Electrical Options. Check the following options and click Back to Summary when finished.
  • Data Location specifies the directory that contains all of the program data. The default is C:\ProgramData\SOLIDWORKS Electrical. This should be the same as the existing directory used for your program data. If it is not already, click Browse to point this to the correct location.
  • Collaborative Server specifies the machine name and port number of the collaborative server. The defaults are localhost and 26666, respectively. These settings should correspond to those for your existing installation.
  • SQL Server specifies the name of the SQL server (the default is localhost\TEW_SQLEXPRESS) that hosts the Electrical databases and the password that is used to connect to it. Check that the SQL server name correctly matches the existing SQL server on your computer. If it is incorrect, click Browse to find and select the correct SQL server then make sure that Use an existing SQL Server database is selected.
  • For an upgrade, we recommend changing the authentication type to Connect using SQL Server Authentication to prevent any permissions issues from affecting the upgrade. Make the login sa and use the appropriate password. This will be SQLpwd4ew unless explicitly changed by the administrator during the original installation.

Note: SQL Server 2016 or newer is required for the upgrade. If not previously installed select “Install new instance of SQL server” to proceed with the upgrade.

  1. Confirm that all the information on the Summary screen is correct. Accept the license agreement then click Install Now to begin the upgrade.
  2. When the upgrade is complete, you will be asked to join the SOLIDWORKS Customer Experience Improvement Program. We recommend joining this, as it provides software performance information to SOLIDWORKS. The information this sends to SOLIDWORKS is treated confidentially and does not result in the transfer of any file information. After making the selection, click the Finish button to complete the upgrade.
  3. When the software is launched for the first time after the upgrade, you may need to activate the license (if using standalone licensing). Follow the prompts to complete this. You will also be prompted to accept the license agreement.
  4. Finally, you will be prompted to update the program data for this version of SOLIDWORKS Electrical. Proceed through this wizard to complete the installation and begin using the software.



 Appendix: License Deactivation

Each activation transaction is coded to the hardware of your computer. If you are moving your SOLIDWORKS Electrical installation to a new computer, you will need to deactivate your license activation before activating on the new computer. You should also do this before reformatting or replacing your hard drive or operating system. If your SOLIDWORKS Electrical license is tied to your main SOLIDWORKS license (i.e. they are the same number), please see our 2023 Product Activation guide for the deactivation process.

If your computer does not have internet access, refer to the E-mail Deactivation section of this document below.


Online Deactivation

  1. Go to Start > All Programs > SOLIDWORKS 2023 > SOLIDWORKS Electrical.
  2. Once SOLIDWORKS Electrical launches, click Help > Deactivate License.


NOTE: If Activate license and Deactivate license options are missing from the License menu, right mouse button click in the License menu area and go to “Customize Quick Access Toolbar...” to add.


  1. Choose to deactivate Automatically over the Internet, enter your e-mail address, then click Next.
  2. The software will connect to the SOLIDWORKS activation servers and you will be informed when the license has been successfully deactivated.
  3. Press the Finish button to complete the process.

Note: SOLIDWORKS Electrical will no longer run on this computer unless it is re-activated.


E-mail Deactivation

  1. Go to Start > All Programs > SOLIDWORKS 2023 > SOLIDWORKS Electrical.
  2. Once SOLIDWORKS Electrical launches, click Help > Deactivate License.


NOTE: If Activate license and Deactivate license options are missing from the License menu, right mouse button click in the License menu area and go to “Customize Quick Access Toolbar...” to add.


  1. Choose to activate Manually via e-mail, enter your e-mail address, then click Next.
  2. On the next page, press the Save button to create an activation request file.

Note: Once you have saved this file, your activation is disabled. Do not exit the activation window until you have read in the response file from SOLIDWORKS and completed the process or you will not be able to run SOLIDWORKS Electrical to complete the deactivation.

  1. Browse to a location on your computer to store this .txt file and press the Save Copy this .txt file onto a removable storage device and take it to a computer with internet access.
  2. E-mail this file as an attachment to, leaving the subject and message body blank.
  3. SOLIDWORKS will send a return e-mail with a different .txt file attached. Save this file to a removable storage device and take it back to the computer awaiting the activation deactivation.
  4. In the activation wizard dialog, press the Open
  5. Browse to the response file then press the Open
  6. The next page will show you that your deactivation is complete.
  7. Press the Finish button to complete the process.

Note: SOLIDWORKS Electrical will no longer run on this computer unless it is re-activated.


For further assistance, please contact our support team at, or 877-266-4469 (US) or 866-587-6803 (Canada).

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