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Upgrading to a New Version of SOLIDWORKS | How-To Guide

upgrade new version of solidworks The release of a new version of SOLIDWORKS is always exciting, but making the upgrade on your own can seem like a daunting task. To make sure you have a successful upgrade, we’ve put together this ultimate guide to get you up and running and back to designing in no time. 

Before you begin upgrading to a new version of SOLIDWORKS, here are a few items you should prepare ahead of time. 

  1. Verify if you have SOLIDWORKS PDM (If you do - STOP. Read this blog about how to upgrade your SOLIDWORKS PDM server first) 
  2. Download the share files
  3. Upgrade the SolidNetWorks License Manager (network licenses only) 
  4. Upgrade the clients

Download and share the files 

Navigate to the SOLIDWORKS Customer Portal and log in with your account.

upgrade solidworks share files

If you do not have an account, select Create a SOLIDWORKS ID and register using your serial number. Once logged in, select Downloads and Updates.

upgrade solidworks version portal

Select the year and service pack you wish to install, accept the agreement, and download the setup.

upgrade solidworks download

To download all the files ahead of installation, run the setup file and choose the option to Download and Share all files.

(Note: The download is the setup file only, so the setup file will have to be run in order to download the components for installation.)

upgrading solidworks installation manager

Upgrade the SolidNetWork License Manager

This step is only needed if your users have network licensing. Use the setup file downloaded in the previous step. Choose Server Products and then SolidNetWork License Manager.

upgrading solidworks how-to guide

Click Next and continue through the prompts until it installs.

Once complete, load the SolidNetWork License Manager Server from your Start Menu under SOLIDWORKS Tools. If you are prompted automatically to reactivate, go through the prompts until it activates. If you are not, click Modify under License Information.

upgrading solidworks license information

Select Activate/Reactivate your product license(s) and continue through the prompts until it is activated.

Upgrading Clients

This section assumes client installs will be done using the Installation Manager and not with an Admin Image.

Run the Setup.exe from the DVD or download and choose Individual Installation.

upgrading solidworks version clients

Ensure the appropriate serial numbers are inputted in the following screen.

upgrading solidworks serial numbers

On the next screen, choose whether you want it to upgrade the current install or do an independent installation. It is recommended just to upgrade.

upgrading solidworks installation options

(Note: This is only important for SOLIDWORKS. No matter what is chosen, PDM will upgrade because it does not allow multiple installations on the same machine.)

Select CHANGE next to Products. Confirm that the appropriate products are selected (they should be preselected based on what is currently installed). Return to the Summary page.

upgrading solidworks product selection

Important: If you UNCHECK anything that was previously checked, the older version of SOLIDWORKS will still show in the Programs and Features because those components are already installed for the older version. You will need to uninstall from the Programs and Features menu.

Important: (PDM Clients only) If you just want to update PDM, make sure to uncheck SOLIDWORKS.

(PDM Clients Only) Select CHANGE next to SOLIDWORKS PDM Options and ensure the correct options are selected for your user. Most options should be preselected based on what is currently installed, but new add-ins will not preselect. (e.g., Microsoft Office integration was new with 2016). Once complete, return to the Summary page and begin the installation.

upgrading solidworks version

Return to the Summary page and click the button to download/install the software. 

I hope you found this guide for upgrading to a new version of SOLIDWORKS helpful. For more SOLIDWORKS tips and tricks subscribe

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About the Author

Lindsay EarlyLindsay Early is an Application Engineer Consultant and has been with Fisher Unitech for six years. Lindsay is a Certified SOLIDWORKS Expert and Elite Application Engineer having earned over 14 SOLIDWORKS Certifications including Mechanical Design, Simulation, and Data Management.