How to Change Your SOLIDWORKS Serial Number (Machine-Based and Online Licenses)


Written by: Shaun Johnson, Application Engineer

There are a number of reasons why you might need to change the serial number that is installed on your computer. Maybe you were given an evaluation license to start out and now your permanent license is available. Perhaps there was already a permanent license installed on your computer, but it’s the wrong license and it needs to be changed. Some users find that they need to convert their standalone license to a network license or vice versa. Still others are students or educators with education versions of the software installed which they need to change out for a commercial license.

All of the above scenarios apply to Machine Based activations, which has been the standard since 2008. As of the release of SOLIDWORKS 2018, users have the option to utilize Online Licensing. This streamlined method of managing SOLIDWORKS activations changes the process of changing your serial number slightly and we’ll address the differences at the end of this article. We’ll also briefly touch on how Admin Image installations affect the process.

In all instances, it is imperative that the current activation of SOLIDWORKS is released from your computer before you initiate the change of the serial number.

Deactivate License

For Standalone Installations:

Launch SOLIDWORKS and select “Deactivate licenses…” from the “Help” menu.



For Network Installations (applies only to license server):

Launch the SolidNetwork License Manager, click “Modify” on the “Server Management” tab, and select “Move your product license(s)…” from the radio button list.

SolidNetwork Server Management


For Both:

Follow the prompts to deactivate your licenses.


Modify Installation

Once your license is deactivated, you may initiate the serial number change by performing a “Modify” installation. This is done through the “Programs and Features” utility within Windows. The utility can be found by opening the Control Panel and selecting “Programs and Features” from the “Programs” section.

Windows Programs and Features Utility

From the list of installed programs, find the SOLIDWORKS installation, select it and click Change. (Do NOT Select Uninstall. If the only option available is Uninstall, then your SOLIDWORKS was installed using an Administrative Image. Refer to the end of this article for details on next steps for Administrative Images.)

Uninstall or Change a Program

The SOLIDWORKS Installation Manager will now launch. Select the top option, “Modify the individual installation” and click “Next”.

On the “Serial Number” screen of the Installation Manager, you can now change the serial number to the new one that you want to use. (CRTL+V will paste the serial number into the 6 boxes.)

Once the new serial number is entered, click “Next” through the rest of the installation screens without making any further changes and click on “Modify Now” to complete the process.

SOLIDWORKS Serial Number Change


Online Licensing

When your license is configured for Online Licensing, the process for changing the serial number installed differs slightly during the “Modify Installation” step.

When presented with the “Serial Numbers” screen in the Installation Manager, clicking on the “Login” button in the upper right corner and entering your SOLIDWORKS Customer Portal credentials will automatically fill in the serial numbers which are assigned to your account.

Serial Number Change for Online License


Administrative Images

If, when selecting your SOLIDWORKS installation in the “Programs and Features” dialog, the only option available to you is “Uninstall”, then your license was installed with an Administrative Image.

To change the serial number installed on your system, you will need to use the Administrative Image Option Editor to input the appropriate serial numbers and then deploy the image to your computer.

SOLIDWORKS Administrative Option Editor


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