Installing Solidworks

First things to know:

  • There are multiple versions of the software.  Your course might be specific to one or the other — you might need to ask your instructor which is the one to use.  After 2015 the software is ONLY available in a 64-bit version, so you’ll need to use 2014 if you have a 32-bit operating system.
  • The software will only run when you are connected to a Hopkins network.  You either need to be on campus or connected via the VPN client.  THE WEB VPN IS NOT SUFFICIENT TO RUN THE SOFTWARE.
  • You need a lot of disk space for this install.  The download alone is about 8GB!  You need to extract that before the installer can be run, up to another 17GB.  Then you need the space actually used by the program, which is about 25GB.  (After you install the program, you can delete the self-extracting downloaded file AND the “Admin Image Location” folder.) DON’T FORGET TO UNCOMPRESS THE INSTALLER.  The self-extracting archive you downloaded will do this automatically.

Installation Steps — the overall process is the same for all versions:

  1. Download the software from  On most newish computers you’ll want the 64-bit version.  You will get a ZIP file — a compressed archive of the installer files.  YOU MUST EXTRACT THESE FILES BEFORE RUNNING THE INSTALLER.  IF YOU JUST DOUBLE-CLICK THE ZIP IT WILL NOT WORK.
  2. Inside the extracted directory find the program “StartSWInstall”Screenshot_072815_100624_AM
  3. After launching StartSWInstall, click the Install Solidworks Products Now button.Screenshot_072815_101120_AM
  4. You will then see a window saying that Solidworks is being installed.Screenshot_072815_101340_AM
  5. The installer is preconfigured with the license information, so there’s nothing to configure.  On first launch you will be asked to accept a user agreement, and then the software will run for you.
  6. After you have confirmed the software runs, you should clean up the leftover install pieces to get back your disk space.  Delete the SolidWorks self-extracting executable and the “Admin Image Location” folder.

If for some reason you want to check your license status, you can go to Help-> SolidNetWork License Manager.  It should look something like the screenshots below.