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Debugging Add-ins

Add-ins are stored in the file vault and are downloaded to and COM-registered on the client computer when they are needed. This presents a problem when developing a new add-in that you want to debug, because the add-in is re-registered in a folder that is different than the compiler’s output folder. Testing an add-in in a production vault can also be a problem, because it affects all users of the vault.

SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional provides a menu command that solves these two problems, Debug Add-ins.


When an add-in is installed as a debug add-in, it is registered only on your machine. No other users are affected by it. The add-in is also loaded from the location where it is registered.

To debug an add-in using File Explorer:

  1. Open the Windows Task Manager.

  2. Kill the explorer.exe process.

  3. Right-click the project name in the Solution Explorer of Visual Studio and click Properties.

  4. Click the Debug tab.

  5. Click Start external program and type the File Explorer executable's path. For example:


  6. Click Debug > Start Debugging.

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