How Do I Uninstall SOLIDWORKS?

This document provides instructions on how to perform a complete uninstall of SOLIDWORKS. Included are basic instructions for backing up settings and files.

Before we get started, you’ll need the following

  • Administrative rights for registry access and the ability to delete system folders and files.

Back Up SOLIDWORKS Settings

This is a task which should be done even if you have no intention of uninstalling SOLIDWORKS. Having a copy of your SOLIDWORKS settings is always a good idea, and especially handy when running SOLIDWORKS on more than one computer.

  1. With SOLIDWORKS closed, navigate to the Windows Start menu and scroll through the program listing until you come to SOLIDWORKS Tools 20xx. 
  2. In the SOLIDWORKS Tools 20xx menu, run SOLIDWORKS Settings Wizard 20xx. (This was called the Copy Settings Wizard in versions prior to 2023.)
  3. Select Save Settings as shown in Figure 1, then click Next.

Although it is possible to access and run the Settings Wizard from within SOLIDWORKS, any System Option changes which were made in the current session may not be saved until SOLIDWORKS is closed.

SOLIDWORKS Settings Wizard page 1.

Figure 1: SOLIDWORKS Settings Wizard page 1.

4.    Leave everything checked and optionally browse for a location to save the settings file using the Browse button, shown in Figure 2.


Figure 2: SOLIDWORKS Settings Wizard page 2.

5.   Click Finish to save the settings file. 

Back Up Existing Data

Any files that have been customized and saved to SOLIDWORKS default directories should be copied and saved to a backup location. These files may include document templates, drawing sheet formats, custom materials, bill of material templates, and so on.

The easiest way to do this is to go to the Tools menu > Options > System Options tab > File Locations. Using the “Show folders for:” drop down menu, step through each category and use Windows Explorer to check the paths listed for each category in the “Folders:” list (see Figure 3).

uninstall03Figure 3: Checking paths where files may reside.

Some categories will not contain any paths because they are unused. Likewise, some folders will be empty. Those can be ignored. If paths are network locations, they can be ignored because the uninstall process will not touch those. User defined locations can also be ignored since the uninstall process will leave those alone as well.

Although the folder list can be daunting, there probably aren’t that many files which have been customized and need to be backed up. If unsure, err on the side of caution and back them up.

Uninstalling SOLIDWORKS

If you have a standalone license of SOLIDWORKS, start SOLIDWORKS and deactivate your license.

Deactivating SOLIDWORKS

Depending on the SOLIDWORKS version being used, the menu picks may differ slightly.

  1. Click the Help menu > Licenses > Deactivate, as shown in Figure 4. (In earlier versions of SOLIDWORKS, the Help menu was actually the word “Help”.)

uninstall04Figure 4: Deactivating SOLIDWORKS

2.   When the SOLIDWORKS Product Activation window appears, click "Select All", use "Automatically over the internet", add your email and click Next.

Determining License Type

If you are unsure of your license type, one way to check is to go to the Windows Start menu, navigate to SOLIDWORKS Tools, and open the SolidNetwork License Manager Client. In the License Usage tab, if everything is blank and the pull down menus do not contain any data, you are using a standalone license. If a server is listed and products are selectable, you are using a network license.

With a network license, no deactivation is required.

The Uninstall Process

At this point, you’re ready to uninstall SOLIDWORKS. If there are multiple versions of SOLIDWORKS which need to be uninstalled, start with the oldest version first and work your way up.

The uninstall process can either be started using the Control Panel > Programs and Features, or through Windows Settings > Apps. This document will use the newer Windows Settings process.

  1. Click the Windows Start button > Settings (the gear symbol).
  2. In the Settings home screen, click Apps.
  3. Start typing “solidworks” in the search box, or scroll down to SOLIDWORKS in the app list.
  4. Select the version of SOLIDWORKS you wish to uninstall.
  5. Click the Uninstall button.
  6. If a secondary Uninstall prompt is shown, click Uninstall again.



Figure 5: The Installation Manager displays items to be uninstalled. 

Clicking Remove Items at this point will perform a standard uninstall of the selected products. Continue with the following steps only if you wish to completely remove SOLIDWORKS from the computer.

7.   Click the Change link to the right of Advanced Options, shown in Figure 5.

8.   In the Advanced Options window, shown in Figure 6, check “Program Files and Folders” and Registry Entries”.

9.   Optionally, check “Download Files and Folders”.

 If there is a full file set present in the default download location you wish to keep, do not check this option!


uninstall06Figure 6: Advanced Options window.

10.   Click the Back to Summary button.

11.   Click the Remove Items button.

12.   A warning will appear stating you are not performing a standard uninstall. Click Yes to continue. The uninstall process will begin.

Final Cleanup

Even after using Advanced Options, there can still be files or folders that remain on a computer. This section will list the most common registry entries and folders that can safely be removed once all versions of SOLIDWORKS have been uninstalled from a computer.


If there are no longer any versions of SOLIDWORKS installed on a computer, including ancillary programs such as the SolidNetwork License Manager and Installation Manager, the following folders can be safely deleted. Most of these folders will probably already have been removed.

C:\Program Files\Common Files\SOLIDWORKS Shared

C:\Program Files\SOLIDWORKS Corp

C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\SOLIDWORKS Installation Manager

C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\SOLIDWORKS Shared

C:\Program Files (x86)\SOLIDWORKS Corp

SOLIDWORKS Registry Entries

If you are unfamiliar with editing the Windows registry, it is best to consult with your IT person or contact CADimensions. If your Windows registry is damaged, it can cause a great deal of harm.

If they remain, the following registry entries can also be deleted using the Registry Editor. 








If reinstalling SOLIDWORKS, make sure to reboot the computer.