The SOLIDWORKS Journal File is a text file that records the actions you make in the current SOLIDWORKS session. This file is most helpful when you create SOLIDWORKS Basic macros or SOLIDWORKS API programming tools.

When you start SOLIDWORKS, it creates a journal file named swxJRNL.swj in the following location:

C:\Users\current_user\AppData\Roaming\SOLIDWORKS\SOLIDWORKS version

You can change the location by changing the value of the SOLIDWORKS Journal Folders variable in the registry. This variable is located in HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > SOLIDWORKS > SOLIDWORKS <version> > ExtReferences.

When you create a new journal file, if one already exists in the target folder and is not in use, SOLIDWORKS copies the existing file to swxJRNL.BAK and then creates the new file. Thus, swxJRNL.swj represents the current session and swxJRNL.BAK represents the previous session.

Warning Message

The following warning can appear:

A journal file could not be created. Another session of SOLIDWORKS may already be running on this machine.

The reasons for this message can be:

  • You do not have write permission for the folder, which can be the case on a secure network in a folder which is read-only for users.
  • A journal file is already in use by another SOLIDWORKS session, either on your machine or on another machine, which can be caused by:
    • A second session of SOLIDWORKS trying to create a journal file in the same location as the first.
    • A session of SOLIDWORKS terminated abnormally and the journal file not having been terminated completely.
    • More than one user double-clicked files in the same folder to start SOLIDWORKS, which can happen in shared network folders.

The warning message is not harmful and can be ignored unless you need the journal file for programming purposes. However, multiple sessions of SOLIDWORKS on the same computer, especially if one session is terminated abnormally, can decrease performance.