Six SOLIDWORKS Solutions- Startup

Six SOLIDWORKS solutions is a blog series which focuses on some of the typical problems I come across when working in support in PLMGroup

In this post I will focus on some of the errors you receive when you startup SOLIDWORKS.

These errors can easily fixed by yourself however some of them require the help of a person that is used to look in to the computer registry

Journal file could not be created.

This error message can occur when SOLIDWORKS is starting. it is not a serious problem but an annoying one. You press OK and can start to work but you have to do this EVERY single time

Journal file could not be created

Sometimes the issue can be that you are trying to start another instance of SOLIDWORKS and this is an unfortunate outcome of two running sessions.

If, however you have just started up your machine you know that this it the first SOLIDWORKS session you are running.

Then the issue is most likely one of the following issues:

  1. You do not have access or write permissions to the folder that SOLIDWORKS uses to record the session
  2. The session files in folder is damaged

Then my advice is to look closer into windows registry.


If you do not have experience with this, make sure that you speak to a person with some degree of experience with editing the registry

First you need to find the path of the session file.

To do this, press your windows button and type “regedit”, right click on the icon and press “run as administrator”

Find the path “HKEY_CURRENT_USER > software > SolidWorks > SolidWorks 20xx > ExtReferences” and locate the “SOLIDWORKS Journal folders” key. Double click on the “SOLIDWORKS Journal folders” key to determine the path to the journal folder.

For the sake of simplicity, I have name mine ”C:\SOLIDWORKSJOURNAL\SOLUTIONS”.


After the path has been located it is quite simple to determine the cause:

No rights to write to the folder

In windows explorer, find the folder that is referred to, in the example ”C:\SOLIDWORKSJOURNAL\SOLUTION”, and right click on the folder to see if you have the needed rights to write to the folder. In this case it would be the “SOLUTION” folder

No access to the folder.

The issue can also occur if you do not have access to the folder. For the most parts, this occur if you have restored the settings from another user and the Journal file is located in a user folder for instance

C:\Users\<Username>\AppData\Roaming\SolidWorks\SOLIDWORKS 20XX (XX again being the version.

In this case you can either delete the ExtReferences path in the registry editor, or rename the key to a folder location you know you have access to.

Damaged Journal file

A damaged Journal file can occur if SOLIDWORKS has not shutdown properly,

This can be resolve by locating the folder that was given in the registry, find the file called “swxJRNL.swj” and delete it, this should resolve the issue

If not contact your VAR, as this could require further investigation


CAM error

When you star up SOLIDWORKS you get an error stating “Could not obtain license for SOLIDWORKS CAM. Invalid (Inconsistent) License Key”

Could not obtain CAM license

CAM standard is a Free add in for subscription users, which means that the actvation only applies for the duration of your subscription period.

After a renewal of your subcrtiption, the CAM license should be reactivated, and then the error message should not appear.

If you for some reason do not wish to renew your subscription, you can disable the add in by removing the checkmark under “add ins”

Disable CAM Add-inn



Stops at “splash screen”

This error is fairly new.
When starting SOLIDWORKS, you can see the splash screen and then it shuts down with no error message at all.

splash screen

If you experience this, please consider the following before contacting your local support department.

  1. are you using a laptop in a docking station?
  2. Are you using extended display

If the answer is yes to both of these questions, try one of the following:

  1. Disconnect from your docking station, start SOLIDWORKS and reconnect to your docking station
  2. Make sure that your external monitor is set to duplicated, and start SOLIDWORKS

If you are able to start SOLIDWORKS using one of these methods, the SPR 1195846 is the culprit.

For now the only workarounds are the ones given above.

If this does not help, contact your local support representative, as this might need further investigation.

Failed to initialize Visual basic

When starting SOLIDWORKS you might get the above message.

There are a few possibilities for this error, and I will go through the 3 most common solutions

The windows update

The most common is the windows update KB4048955, that has enabled the the combability mode for SOLIDWORKS.

To ensure that this is the issue, do the following:
1. Right click on your SOLIDWORKS icon, press Properties.

2. Find the “Compatibility” tab

3 Make sure that the “Run this program in Compatibility mode” is NOT checked

Combability mode

Next find the default installation folder (default is: “C:\Program Files\SOLIDWORKS Corp\SOLIDWORKS”)

FInd the “sldworks.exe” file, and make sure that this file does not run in Compatibility mode, as described above

Missing Temp Directory

This error can also appear if a temp directory is missing

To ensure that the temp directory is correct, find the “DiagnosticsReport.xml’ file in the RX package and locate the “TempDirectory” Element.

After the file path there is a “DriveType”, if this number is 3, then the system can find the folder.

see temp file
If it is 1, the folder cannot be found

To change this, you need to change the windows environment variable.
This is something your IT department should be able to help you with.

Insufficient rights or access

The last possibility I will look into her is insufficent permissions to write to “HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\SolidWorks”  (another registry key).

Please, with the assistance of your IT Department, ensure that you have write access to the above registry key.

And furthermore make sure that you have read access to “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\SolidWorks” as this is used to write to many of the keys in the “HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\SolidWorks” key


If the above suggestions does not help, please contact your local VAR for further trouble shooting

Could not obtain License for SOLIDWORKS

When you start SOLIDWORKS, you get the following error message:

could not obtain license for SOLIDWORKS standard

This error message is for the most part related to SOLIDWORKS Network License(SNL), and usually means that it is not possible to get a license from the license server.

This can happen to a number of reasons, most of them which I covered in this blogpost.


SOLIDWORKS is not enabled for your SOLIDWORKS ID

This error only applies if you are using an online license (for further information on Online license read here)

For the most part the online License runs smoothly, you can however come across these error message:

SOLIDWORKS is not enabled for yout SOLIDWORKS ID

For the most part, this can be resolved by doing the following:

  1. Browse to ‘C:\Users\<USER NAME>\AppData\Local\SolidWorks\Credentials
  2. find the ud.xml file
  3. delete it

location of udxml


If this does not resolve the issue, contact your VAR as further investigation is needed


I started working with CAD systems in 2003, and have since 2012 worked solely with SOLIDWORKS. I am a certified Technical support specialist as well as a SOLIDWORKS Certified Expert. Since 2016 I have helped PLM Group customers to work smarter, not harder. The inspiration for most of my posts comes from the support cases i work on. When writing blogpost I try to focus on the everyday use of SOLIDWORKS.

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