Navigating all Your Work-from-Home SOLIDWORKS Options

Many of our users are working from home now as a result of the threat posed by the COVID-19 virus and the need for social distancing.   Dassault Systèmes partners and Value Added Resellers (VARs) offer a host of options for working remotely.  This blog will cover some of these options and will walk users through installing, transferring (deactivating) \ activating, connecting to your SolidNetwork License (SNL), file management, and virtual solutions.

First, the 3DEXPERIENCE platform enables great design and collaboration between vital design stakeholders anywhere on any device as we all adjust to a new reality of working from home or away from the office.  Learn how to get up and running on the cloud with our latest solutions here.

For our SOLIDWORKS Desktop users, our world-class Value Added Reseller (VAR) community, over the past few years has been diligently creating excellent video and blog content for our users.  The SOLIDWORKS customer portal, download, installation, and activation process is continuously being improved.  Our user interface has been consistent over the past few years so while the links to videos below might be for SOLIDWORKS 2018 or 2019, the process is the same for most recent versions of SOLIDWORKS.

Before we start installing on your machine, make sure you check the SOLIDWORKS System Requirements page here to make sure your system is supported so you have the best user experience possible.


After checking system requirements, the next step is to download SOLIDWORKS.  A great video how to log into the customer portal and download SOLIDWORKS can be found here or here.

If you do not have a Customer Portal login, an excellent blog can be found with step-by-step instructions here.


Now that you have SOLIDWORKS downloaded, let’s begin the installation process.  A great video walking through your installation options can be found here.

The full SOLIDWORKS Installation and Administration guide can be found here and other install guides here.

If you are installing with an SNL serial number you will be prompted to enter your server location.  Typically this is 25734@YourServerName, Please contact your local system administrator for this information. 


Now that SOLIDWORKS is installed, the next step is licensing, which we outlined in my last blog here.

  • Activation

If you are using a standalone serial number, a great video can be found here showing how to transfer (deactivate) your license and reactivate on the machine with your new installation.

  •  Online Licensing

If you would like to use Online Licensing, once again our VAR community has produced excellent videos here and here detailing how to enable online licensing and how to assign assets to specific user accounts.  Your local VAR can also help walk you through this if you have any questions.

  •  COVID-19 Emergency License File 

If you have received a temporary SolidWorksStandaloneLic.lic from your VAR to use from home, the instructions can be found inside the file itself if opened with Notepad.

The SolidWorksStandaloneLic.lic file must be copied and pasted in C:\ProgramData\SolidWorks.  This folder is a hidden system folder so you must type the path in Windows Explorer to navigate to it.

  •  SolidNetwork License (SNL) – Borrow

As mentioned in the previous license type blog posted, Borrowing should be performed in the office connected to your network and NEVER over a VPN connection.  If you still can visit your office a simple step-by-step video can be found here.

  • SolidNetwork License (SNL) – VPN

As mentioned above, you must enter your server location during the installation.  Using SOLIDWORKS SNL over a VPN only requires some firewall exceptions be made.  Please work with your local IT staff or your VAR to make sure your client machine can connect to the machine hosting your SOLIDWORKS SNL server via ports 25734 and 25735.

File Management

Most of us work with a team so data management is critical.  SOLIDWORKS recommends and offers a host of Server and Cloud-based data management solutions here.

If you already own some of our solutions, let’s go through some best practices for using these tools remotely.

  • 3DEXPERIENCE Platform Collaborative Design

The 3DEXPERIENCE Platform Collaborative Design enables you to collaborate with your team and manage design data over the cloud.  Information can be found here.

  • SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional and PDM Standard.

We recommend you work with your local PDM administrator or local VAR to ensure the setup for using SOLIDWORKS PDM over a VPN.  Our VAR community has once again delivered with some excellent blog posts here and here.

  •  Pack and Go \ Network drives 

If you do not have a data management solution from SOLIDWORKS or another SOLIDWORKS Partner, we recommend using Pack and Go to make copies of your data with all references to work with locally on your machine and NOT to work connected to a network share drive over a VPN connection.

In your office, the shared location where your Parts, Drawings, and Assemblies reside might be down the hall so connection is fast and reliable.  Working over a VPN there are many factors that can interrupt or slow your connection delivering substandard performance.

SOLIDWORKS Pack and Go is included with every installation of SOLIDWORKS. The SOLIDWORKS Help document about Pack and Go can be found here.  A great blog article can be found here and a great video here.

Virtual Solutions

SOLIDWORKS is a high performing design tool, which poses unique challenges for computer hardware.  As mentioned above, be sure to check your computer against our published system requirements.

If your system does not meet requirements, your company is looking at virtual workstations, or ways to connect to existing hardware you already own, our partners at NVIDIA and AMDboth offer a wide array of supported high performing options at various price points.

Your SOLIDWORKS VAR may also provide options for virtual workstations and cloud hosting.

Wrapping up

Dassault Systèmes remains committed to helping you to be productive outside the office whether it be with our existing SOLIDWORKS desktop CAD, SOLIDWORKS Data Management, or our latest solutions here.

Your local VAR is always available to help with any of our solutions listed above and also if these solutions do not fit your specific need. Please remember that your local VAR is your local partner and resource to help you to stay productive during these challenging times.

For more tips and best practices to maintain efficiency throughout your design and data management activities, the Technical Support Experts from our Global SOLIDWORKS team have compiled information to help optimize your experience with SOLIDWORKS® 3D CAD and SOLIDWORKS PDM from home.

You can find these tips and suggestions, clicking this link or by visiting the SOLIDWORKS Customer Portal, logging in, select “Knowledge Base,” and then searching for S-077757.

Mark Johnson

Mark Johnson

Expert Technical Support Engineer, Escalation Manager for the Americas at SOLIDWORKS
Mark Johnson is the SOLIDWORKS Escalation Manager for the Americas. He also has resolved the highest number of technical support cases in SOLIDWORKS support history – over 45,000! This experience gives him a unique perspective which he leverages to train our VAR community and take part in the SOLIDWORKS Development process to improve overall customer experience. Mark also hosts and organizes the SOLIDWORKS World AE Workshop for the past 10 years and The VAR Performance Tuning Workshops (VPTW) at company HQ.
Mark Johnson
Mark Johnson