SOLIDWORKS 2016 Installation Guide Part1 – Individual Installation

Now that SOLIDWORKS 2016 has been released, we receive a lot of phone calls to Computer Aided Technology, Inc. (CATI) Technical Support about installation issues. In this blog series, we will try and cover the basics to get you up and running and efficiently as possible. Part 1 will cover downloading and installing an individual installation of SOLIDWORKS 2016. We will then delve into SolidNetwork License Installations in Part 2, including common gotchya's like needing to update the license file with modify and creating port exclusions in the Windows firewall. The SOLIDWORKS Electrical Installation will be considered in Part 3, which will include specific issues for electrical installs and server issues. Part 4 will cover SOLIDWORKS Composer, and SOLIDWORKS Simulation – Motion, Flow, SOLIDWORKS Plastics, SOLIDWORKS Model Based Definition (MBD), and SOLIDWORKS Inspection. Next, we will look at how to install eDrawings and DraftSight in Part 5. For customers who use 3DQuickPress, Part 6 will consider will consider the installation procedures. Finally, Part 7 will cover SOLIDWORKS Enterprise PDM Administration.

Please note that we offer SOLIDWORKS Implementation Services. Built on our 20+year experience implementing CAD and engineering solutions, CATI has developed a set of proprietary implementation packages designed to help you get the most out of your investment in SOLIDWORKS.

There are several things to keep in mind before you jump in and start installing the latest version.

1. Reboot. SOLIDWORKS now recommends that you restart your system before beginning a SOLIDWORKS installation. If you don't, I documented the warning you may get further down in this article.

2. Is your OS supported? Windows 7 64-bit SP1, Windows 8.1 64-bit, and Windows 10 64-bit ONLY!!! Windows Home Editions and Windows To Go are not supported. Apple Macintosh® based machines running Windows using Boot Camp are not supported.

3. Have you updated your graphics card driver yet? Here is a link to the latest certified drivers:

You can also go to Start, All Programs, SOLIDWORKS 2016, SOLIDWORKS Tools, SOLIDWORKS Rx. On the Diagnostics tab, view the system information and see if it is currently supported.

4. Are you on a network license? Has your network server been upgraded to 2016 yet? Is your server OS supported? Check all system requirements here:

5. Is your company and are your clients ready for 2016? Don't upgrade your machine and expect everybody else will be ready to as well. Plan it out.

6. Are you doing a clean wipe and a new single version install or installing side by side with your old version?

7. Are you creating an admin image or has your company installed your current version with an admin image?

8. Are you sharing a SOLIDWORKS Toolbox or are you creating a new local version? If it is shared you may have issues with your update as other users inside the toolbox can cause install updates to fail.

9. Are you backed up? Do you have backups of your system settings using Copy settings Wizard? Are your toolboxes and or vaults backed up?

10. Do you have admin rights? Is your anti-virus shut off? Is UAC turned off? If you don't know the answers, maybe you should consult with your IT.

11. This may sound silly but… TEST IT before you install everywhere else. Make sure you can use all of your basic daily functions and programs along with SOLIDWORKS 2016. If you can't, then don't move all the machines forward. Again plan it.

12. Make sure there are available versions of Composer, EPDM, and/or CAM packages to work with the new version. Don't get stuck not being able to work.

13. How to Copy Your SOLIDWORKS Settings Correctly When Upgrading to a New Major Release

Download and Install SOLIDWORKS 2016 #sw2016

Go to At the top of the page is the Login link.


Under SOLIDWORKS Customer Portal, click the Log in button.


Sign into your account using your email address and password. If you do not have an account, click the link to create a SOLIDWORKS ID.


If you have all the locks showing up once you are logged in, click the Register My Products link. Here's a detailed blog article for more detail: How to Remove the Locks in the SOLIDWORKS Customer Portal.

Once you are logged in and have access to all the links, click on Downloads and Updates under the Download section.


On the Downloads page, make sure that 2016 is the Selected Version. Then, click on the SOLIDWORKS link.


Click Accept Agreement & Continue.


On the Download and Install page, under Step 2, click Download.


At the bottom of the screen, Internet Explorer prompts you to Run or Save. Please click on the arrow next to Save and pick Save As.


Pick a location and save the file. In the past, we just ran the file once it is downloaded. But new to 2016, SOLIDWORKS now recommends that you restart your system before beginning a SOLIDWORKS installation. Here is what may happen if you do not reboot first and just run the SOLIDWORKS Installation Manager:


Why may you get the warning "A Windows reboot is pending from a previous installation…"? According to SOLIDWORKS, this warning is given to help assure a successful installation. The Installation Manager checks to see if there are any pending reboot requests on your system. Note: A pending reboot request occurs when a program or installation makes a change to files, registry keys, services, or operating system settings. This leaves the system in a transient state.

As a best practice, SOLIDWORKS now recommends that you restart your system before beginning a SOLIDWORKS installation. If it is not possible to restart the computer at the time of install, then you can ignore the warning. In such cases, restarting the system becomes the first troubleshooting step following an unsuccessful installation.

So, now that you have rebooted, browse to the downloaded SolidWorksSetup.exe file. To run the file, I prefer to right click on it and select Run as administrator. This makes sure that Windows has full permissions to change any file it needs to. If you double click on the file, it may work just fine, but a lot of installation failures are due to lack of proper permissions. The file is a self-extracting zip file. So, when prompted, choose a location and unzip the file. This will launch the SOLIDWORKS Installation Manager.

For an Individual installation, click Next.

Note: There is an option to Download and Share all files. If you have more than one seat of SOLIDWORKS 2016 to install, this is a great time saving option.


If you have had SOLIDWORKS installed before, your serial number will already be inserted. If not, type it in now. Notice that there are a few more options here if you have other serial numbers. Note: If your serial number starts 0010 or 9010, you have a network serial number. Please be sure to upgrade the license server prior to launching the SOLIDWORKS 2016 client.

Once your serial number(s) is entered, click Next.


In the following images, we will proceed as if we are installing next to a previous install. Select Create a new installation of SOLIDWORKS 2016 and click Next.


The first item on the Summary page is the option to select which Products you want to install.


The Download Options gives you the choice to Download and install, Download only, or Install only. I already have all the installation files needed. By clicking CHANGE next to Download Options, you can choose to download and install in the same operation or download separately then install. I prefer to do the download separately.


Returning to the summary by clicking Back to Summary, I recommend changing the install location. You can use the default location, but if the Installation Manager finds a folder already created with the same name, a new folder will automatically be created. Everything will still work, but over time this can get confusing when you have SOLIDWORKS Corp (2) or SOLIDWORKS Corp (3) etc. So, I always recommend naming the installation folder according to the version number.

Simply click Change next to Installation Location. Click Browse. Manually type in the folder name "SOLIDWORKS 2016" and click OK.


Note: A dialog box will appear because this folder does not exist yet. Click Yes to allow the folder to be created.

The install location is now updated. Click Back to Summary. I also recommend doing the same thing for the Toolbox installation location for a new Toolbox installation.

Note: If you are sharing a toolbox or upgrading an existing toolbox you should choose existing to upgrade the database and not lose your custom part numbers or settings. WARNING: Make sure that all users are out of Toolbox when this is being done. EPDM users will have to check out the entire toolbox. Upgraded Toolbox will not work for previous versions. Before updating Toolbox, I strongly suggest making a copy of Toolbox somewhere safe in case you need to go back for any reason.


The last step is to check I accept the terms of the SOLIDWORKS License Agreement.


You are now ready to Download and Install. Please note the download size. This is NOT a small download! Note: I chose to Download only first. Then, I launched the setup.exe from your download location again once the download was complete. That is why the image above shows the Install Now option.


Once the install is completed, please join the SOLIDWORKS Customer Experience Improvement Program.


NOTE: Please remember that the CAD Admin Dashboard and SOLIDWORKS tracking only works if you join the Customer Experience Improvement Program. Participating will not slow down your system. SOLIDWORKS automatically creates the performance log files in the background whether you participate or not. Please make sure to opt in!! This program helps SOLIDWORKS improve product quality and determine product usage trends.

We hope this series has given you an insight on how to successfully install SOLIDWORKS 2016.  Please check back to the CATI Blog as the Dedicated Support Team will continue posting new series of articles every month that go further into the details of many of the SOLIDWORKS tools. All of these articles will be stored in the category of Daily Dose…..of SOLIDWORKS Support and links to each article are listed below:

Neil Bucalo, CSWP, CSWS-MD
Computer Aided Technology

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