Student Edition Technical FAQs

I am using the SOLIDWORKS Student Edition. Do I have access to SOLIDWORKS Knowledge Base articles?

Yes, students with Student Edition and SEK serial numbers have access to the portal, through which they can access the SOLIDWORKS Knowledge Base. Please note that Student Design Kit (SDK) users do not have access to the MySolidWorks web portal, except for limited “Guest” access.  More information is available here:

How do I troubleshoot the activation error ‘Activation Wizard initialization issue code 72’?

This issue can occur if the SOLIDWORKS® License Service is not installed properly on the machine. In most of the cases, this issue is resolved by performing a repair installation of SOLIDWORKS. Follow the below steps for a repair installation:

  1. Login as an administrator
  2. Go to Start > Control Panel > Program and Features > SOLIDWORKS and click ‘Change’ to repair the installation
  3. Select ‘Repair the individual installation (on this computer)’
  4. Click ‘Next’
  5. Follow the instructions to complete the modification

After the repair is successful, try following the steps to perform the activation:

  1. Rename the FLEXnet folder and try activation again:
    Go to C:\ProgramData\FLEXnet and rename the folder FLEXnet (maybe to FLEXnet_old) (The ProgramData folder is a hidden folder. Either you can enable to show hidden folders from Folder options or you can directly type c:\Programdata into the address bar and press enter to access this folder. You will be able to find the Flexnet folder)
  2. Try the activation again

Error "The Student Edition has expired. Please browse to the following web location to find out about the new version of SOLIDWORKS Student Edition:"

This error can occur if prior license information is still available on your system, or if the installation is performed with a prior version serial number.

Try the following to troubleshoot:

  1. Rename the FLEXnet folder and try the activation again:
    Go to C:\ProgramData\FLEXnet and rename the folder FLEXnet (may be to FLEXnet_old) (The ProgramData folder is a hidden folder. Either you can enable to show hidden folders from Folder options, or you can directly type c:\Programdata into the address bar and press enter to access this folder. You will be able to find the Flexnet folder.)
  1. Try to activate again and if the error still occurs, confirm that a valid serial number is used for the SOLIDWORKS installation by modifying the installation. If the serial number is not a valid one, please change and input the correct serial number:
    1. Go to Start > Control Panel >SOLIDWORKS
    2. click ‘Change’ to modify the installation. Select ‘Modify the individual installation (on this computer)’ >click ‘Next’
    3. Under ‘serial number’ make sure that your valid serial number is in use
    4. If not, replace the serial number with a valid one and click ‘Next’
    5. Follow the instructions to complete the modification
    6. Rename the FLEXnet folder and try to activate again

If the problem still occurs, try doing a repair installation of SOLIDWORKS by following the steps below:

  1. Go to Start > User Account > User Account Control Settings. Set it to “Never Notify”. Restart the system
  2. Login as administrator
  3. Turn off all anti-virus, popup blocker, ad-ware and spy-ware applications along with Windows Firewall
  4. Go to Start > Control Panel >SOLIDWORKS and click ‘Change’ to repair the installation
  5. Select ‘Repair the individual installation (on this computer)’
  6. Click ‘Next’. Follow the instruction to complete the modification
  7. Try activating again

When I install the SOLIDWORKS® software, why does the following warning appear “A Windows reboot is pending from a previous installation..."?

To help assure a successful installation of the SOLIDWORKS® software, the Installation Manager checks to see if there are any pending reboot requests on your system. 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.

For example, a SQL Express installation automatically terminates if a pending reboot request exists. In other cases, the transient state of a SOLIDWORKS installation can lead to installation errors.

As a best practice, 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

I have created my Customer Portal account but the Download is locked. How can I access the download?

Since the customer portal account is for commercial users, the download is locked when logging in using a “Guest” account.

Please refer to above FAQ answers to get more information about how to download the Student Edition.

I am unable to uninstall SOLIDWORKS from Control Panel > Program and Features; uninstallation fails with errors. How can I uninstall it to install the new version of SOLIDWORKS?

You can contact SOLIDWORKS Student Edition Support and provide the Installation Manager logs.

To go to the Installation log folder, you can type %appdata% at Start > RUN and press Enter, and it will open the "Roaming" folder. In the "Roaming" folder, go to the "SOLIDWORKS" folder. Under the "SOLIDWORKS" folder, you will find a folder named “Installation log.”  Zip this complete folder and provide it for investigation.

However, before contacting the support team, you can follow this procedure to troubleshoot the issue:

Try a complete uninstallation of SOLIDWORKS using the Microsoft fixit tool:

  1. Download the Microsoft fixit tool from this link:

  1. Run the downloaded tool and click Next
  2. Click Uninstalling
  3. In product selection select ' SOLIDWORKS (version) ' and click Next to follow uninstallation process
  4. Repeat the process until all the versions of SOLIDWORKS and all the SOLIDWORKS products are uninstalled
  5. Try installation of SOLIDWORKS

Is SOLIDWORKS supported on Mac OS? Can I install a Student Edition on Mac OS?

SOLIDWORKS is not officially supported in the Mac environment.  We are aware of many users who run SOLIDWORKS successfully in a dual-boot Windows environment on Macs.  We are not aware of many users running successfully in an emulated Windows environment on Macs.  If you choose to run SOLIDWORKS on a Mac, your best chance for success will be choosing a dual-boot "Boot Camp" setup (booting in Windows) on your Mac.

SOLIDWORKS eDrawings and the free 2D CAD product DraftSight are supported in native Mac OS.

Please refer to this link providing system requirement information for installing SOLIDWORKS:

After a successful installation of SOLIDWORKS, when I double click the desktop icon to start SOLIDWORKS, I see the error 'Could not obtain a license for SOLIDWORKS Standard...' What should I do?

This error is related to the network license of SOLIDWORKS. It is possible that an Education Edition network license (serial number starting with '9710…') got auto-populated during the installation. Note that this is an incorrect serial number for installing a Student Edition version. If you wish to install a SOLIDWORKS Student Edition, contact your school/university and request that they provide a Student Edition serial number which begins with '9020…’.

Once you have the correct serial number, you can follow the steps below to modify the serial number:

  1. Go to Control Panel > Programs and Features and select SOLIDWORKS. Select “Change”.
  2. Select the option for "Modify installation” and then change the serial number.
  3. Select “Next” for the other prompts and finish the installation.

The Installation Manager shows an error related to SOLIDWORKS Electrical when I am trying to install. How do I resolve this error?

This error is related to the installation of SQL Server, which is required for the SOLIDWORKS Electrical software included in your package.

Do you use SOLIDWORKS Electrical? If not, you can deselect it for installation. To do that, run the installation again and on the summary page, click change for ‘Product Selection,’ deselect SOLIDWORKS Electrical from the list, and proceed with the installation.

If you use SOLIDWORKS Electrical, please try the following to troubleshot the issue:

Under Electrical Options, on the Summary page of the Installation Manager, make sure the correct SQL server instance is selected in the Electrical options of the Installation Manager and try the installation.

You can try the following:

  • Try renaming the current instance TEW_SQLEXPRESS to TEW_SQLEXPRESS_1
  • Try to install with “Install with a new instance of SQL Server”

I have a Student Edition serial number; can I upgrade to the latest version or can I download & install the latest version?

No, Student Edition serial numbers are version specific. Hence, it is not possible to install other versions with the same serial number. You can only install the version entitled by your serial number.

While installing, I get one of the error messages below: "Product:SOLIDWORKS ErrorCode:1722 CA:register_i386_SldShellExtServerExe Location:C:\Program Files\SOLIDWORKS Corp\SOLIDWORKS\sldShellExtServer.exe Command:sldshellextserver.exe /REGSERVER"

This error is related to the installation of prerequisite VC++ components. To troubleshoot the issue, try reinstallation of VC++ components manually:

  1.  Go to Start > User Account > User Account Control Settings. Set it to “Never Notify”. Restart the system
  2.  Login as administrator
  3.  Uninstall VC++ redistributable components (2008 and 2010 and 2012, 2013, 2015) from Programs and Features
  4.  Restart the computer
  5.  Login as administrator
  6.  Reinstall: VC++ 2008 and 2010 and 2012, 2013, 2015 [a] downloaded files\prereqs\VCRedist9\vcredist_x86.exe and vcredist_x64.exe [b] downloaded files\prereqs\VCRedist10\vcredist_x86.exe and vcredist_x64.exe [c] downloaded files\prereqs\VCRedist11\vcredist_x86.exe and vcredist_x64.exe [d] downloaded files\prereqs\VCRedist12\vcredist_x86.exe and vcredist_x64.exe [e] downloaded files\prereqs\VCRedist14\vcredist_x86.exe and vcredist_x64.exe  
  7.  Restart your computer
  8.  Login as administrator
  9.  Install SOLIDWORKS

Why does the following error message occur during download and install? "Could not connect to the SOLIDWORKS server to determine which products you are entitled to install. Check the Internet connection and click retry"

This error can occur if the Installation Manager is not able to connect to the SOLIDWORKS download servers. Try the following to resolve the issue:

Procedure A:

  1. Set Internet Explorer as your default browser and reset Internet explorer to default settings. In the IE browser > Tools > Internet Options > Advanced and click “Restore advanced settings” and click “Reset” at bottom.
  2. Close browser and restart it
  3. Change IE compatibility mode: In IE menu >Tools > Compatibility View (select the option) and/or Compatibility View Settings, check the box "Display all websites in Compatibility View"
  4. Try to download and install SOLIDWORKS

Procedure B:

If the issue is still not resolved, add the following domains to the firewall’s/proxy server exceptions list:

    use port 80 for adding all the above exceptions. Then try to download and install again

Procedure C:

There might be an issue with your Internet connection. Please check with your Internet service provider and see if they can help.

What can cause "Failed to initialize Visual Basic for Apps, equations and macros will not work. Are you low on disk space?" upon start-up of SOLIDWORKS®?

This problem can occur if users have insufficient permission/access to write to "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\SOLIDWORKS" (registry key). Please ensure the user has write access to the above registry key. In conjunction, ensure the user has at a minimum read access to "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\SOLIDWORKS" as it populates the former registry key from this information. (you can run registry editor from Start > Run > type "regedit" (without quotes) and select OK. This will launch registry editor).

Caution: Incorrectly editing the registry can severely damage your operating system. The SOLIDWORKS Technical Support team strongly suggests that you back up the registry data before making any changes to the registry.  In addition to the above cause, this problem can also occur if there is problem with the installation of a Microsoft component (Microsoft Visual Basic 7.1) required for SOLIDWORKS.

If the above solution does not work, please try the following to troubleshoot the issue:

  1. Uninstall Microsoft Visual Basic 7.1.  This program is not visible in Programs and Features, so open a command prompt and type:    msiexec.exe /x{90120064-0070-0000-0000-4000000FF1CE}
  2. Restart the computer
  3. Browse to <DVD or SOLIDWORKS Download location>\prereqs\VBA
  4. Double click vba71.msi
  5. Double-click vba71-kb2783832-x64.msp
  6. Double-click vba71_1033.msi* Please make sure to follow this order.  Also, install the language-specific VBA* by double-clicking the respective MSI file
  7. Once done with the reinstall/repair of VBA, perform a repair of the SOLIDWORKS installation

*Install the following package for the desired language:

  • vba71_1028.msi Chinese
  • vba71_1031.msi German
  • vba71_1033.msi English
  • vba71_1036.msi French
  • vba71_1040.msi Italian
  • vba71_1041.msi Japanese
  • vba71_1042.msi Korean
  • vba71_1046.msi Portuguese-Brazilian
  • vba71_2052.msi Chinese-Simplified
  • vba71_3082.msi Spanish

Please note that the default download location is C:\users\<username>\Documents\SOLIDWORKS Download\ <SOLIDWORKS _Version>.

SOLIDWORKS crashes on startup

In most of the cases this problem is caused by unsupported graphics cards and drivers. To verify this, try to start SOLIDWORKS with Software OpenGL. Since SOLIDWORKS is not starting at all in this scenario, you can try to start SOLIDWORKS with Software OpenGL through SOLIDWORKS Rx:

  1. Launch SOLIDWORKS Rx from Start > All Programs > SOLIDWORKS(version) > SOLIDWORKS Tools
  2. On the ‘Home’ tab of Rx under ‘SOLIDWORKS Safe Modes’ click the option “Click here to launch SOLIDWORKS in Software OpenGL mode.”

If SOLIDWORKS does not crash in OpenGL mode, this confirms that the problem is due to the graphics card or its drivers.

To see the list of SOLIDWORKS supported graphics cards and drivers for your system (if your system is not listed please select Any System Vendor) follow the link:

I have lost my serial numbers for my Student Edition. How can I get my serial numbers again?

Please contact the online store/reseller from whom you have purchased the Student Edition license. They can provide you with information regarding your serial numbers and/or any questions related to your order process.