Administering Individual Licenses

You can specify an individual license to use machine activation.

Typically, administration of individual licenses consists of activating and deactivating licenses directly from the SOLIDWORKS software.

Activation is a product licensing and registration process for SOLIDWORKS standalone (non-SolidNetWork License) licenses. Typically, if your product license is not activated, SOLIDWORKS tries to activate it when you start the product.

Starting with SOLIDWORKS 2022 and later, if you purchased a perpetual license of SOLIDWORKS, you must also reactivate the license once a year. A perpetual license never expires but needs to be reactivated. SOLIDWORKS prompts you to reactivate the perpetual license before the required reactivation date.

You can deactivate individual licenses by clicking > Licenses > Deactivate in SOLIDWORKS.

Activating a License

Before you can run SOLIDWORKS products on an individual computer, you must activate the license for that computer.

Activation requires that you have internet or email access. After activation, you do not need to be online to use the products. If you do not have email access on the computer where you use this product, you can save the activation file and send it from another computer.

This process:
  • Activates all software licenses across the SOLIDWORKS product line.
  • Allows you to move licensing rights from one computer to another.
  • Can be performed immediately (recommended) or within 30 days of installation.
  • Eliminates the need for dongles. However, if you run previous versions of SOLIDWORKS products that do not use activation, you need to retain the dongle.

For system administrators who have multiple serial numbers to manage, you can use the Administrative Image Option Editor. For details, see Administrative Image Option Editor.

To activate a license:

  1. Start SOLIDWORKS.
  2. Start SOLIDWORKS Product Activation using one of these methods:
    • If you have not yet activated the license for this computer, the SOLIDWORKS Product Activation window appears automatically when you start the SOLIDWORKS software.
    • If the SOLIDWORKS Product Activation window does not appear automatically, start activation by clicking > Licenses > Activate.
  3. Click the Product listing to specify the product whose license you want to activate.
  4. Specify automatic activation over the internet or manual activation using email.
  5. Supply email contact information.
  6. Click Next.
    • Internet: Activation occurs automatically.
    • Email: Click Save to create a request file, then email the file to When you receive the email containing the response file, extract the file from email and then click Open to load it.
      If required, you can exit and rerun the activation procedure to open the response file.
  7. Click Finish.

Reactivating a License

If you have perpetual commercial or educational licenses of SOLIDWORKS 2022 and later products, you must reactivate those licenses once a year. SOLIDWORKS Product Activation prompts you to do this before the required reactivation date.

To reactivate a license:

  1. Start SOLIDWORKS.
    SOLIDWORKS Product Activation prompts you to reactivate. For each SOLIDWORKS product license, it displays the following:
    • The date the current activation expires
    • The action required to continue using the product, such as reactivating a perpetual license or renewing and reactivating a term or evaluation license
  2. Click Reactivate Now to start the Product Activation wizard.

    If you do not want to reactivate the license immediately, click Remind Me Later. For example, in SOLIDWORKS, click > Licenses > Activate to start the Product Activation Wizard. See Activating a License.

Moving a License

To move a license to a new or upgraded computer, first deactivate it to the license key server, then reactivate it on the other computer.

If you cannot deactivate the license because of hard disk drive failure, for example, reactivation is still successful in most cases. If not, contact your Value Added Reseller for help.

To move a license back to the server:

  1. In the SOLIDWORKS software, click > Licenses > Deactivate, and follow the instructions.
  2. To reactivate, go to the new or upgraded computer and activate the license as you did during the initial activation. For details, see Activating a License.