If you have been experiencing poor performance issues, functionalities not working correctly, or SOLIDWORKS just not running like it used to, then it may be time to reset your SOLIDWORKS registry. Scenarios like this can happen over time with Windows updates affecting certain files, as well as these files becoming corrupt. If this is something that has been happening to you as of late, then a registry reset sounds like a good place to start.
In essence, a SOLIDWORKS registry reset will create a new set of registry files for your system. Once the reset has been performed, and SOLIDWORKS is launched, it will act as if it is the first time ever loading the program on your machine and will repopulate with a batch of new files.
First off, I’d like to preface this blog with a warning to be extremely careful when performing a SOLIDWORKS registry reset. It’s also important to be very careful when working in the registry, as editing files can have some serious negative consequences to your machine. Additionally, because we will be editing system files, you will need full administrative permissions.
Before we start, make sure that your SOLIDWORKS is fully closed down.
Now let’s begin!
Over time, many users (such as myself) have created custom shortcuts, mouse gestures, and toolbars that tailor to our specific needs. With all of the customizations that we make to SOLIDWORKS, we wouldn’t want to lose them, would we? The best thing to do, before we even begin to reset the registry, is to first save the custom settings that we have created.
Hit your Start button and in the search area, type in “Copy Settings” and choose the Copy Settings Wizard to open the program. (You’ll notice that my search yields the 3 different versions of SOLIDWORKS that are installed on my machine. For this demonstration, I’ll be choosing 2017.)
With the SOLIDWORKS Copy Settings Wizard open, hit the Next button. On the next window, be sure to have all of the settings selected for SOLIDWORKS to save out. When browsing for a location to save your settings to, I typically like to place anything that I save onto my Desktop, that way it is easy to find. However, you can save your SOLIDWORKS settings file to wherever you’d like on your machine by hitting the “Browse” button. Click Finish, and your settings will be saved to that location.
Now let’s get into editing the registry. To do this, click your Start menu and in the search area, type in “regedit” and choose the regedit.exe to open the registry.
With the Registry Editor window open, expand the HKEY_CURRENT_USER folder. This will then bring up several other sub-folders.
Expand the Software folder and then head down to the SolidWorks folder and expand that one as well. Within the SolidWorks folder, you’ll see that there are folders for SOLIDWORKS 2015, 2016, and 2017. Like earlier when saving out my SOLIDWORKS settings file, this is because each version of SOLIDWORKS that is installed on my machine will have its own registry files. With that being said, be sure that the correct folder is selected.
For my demonstration, I will be performing a registry reset for SOLIDWORKS 2017.
Right-click on the version of SOLIDWORKS that you are resetting the registry for, and select the Rename button. I like to rename it to have asterisks at the end (or something to that effect) so it will be noticeable that the folder we just renamed is the one with the old registry files.
With that done, you can open SOLIDWORKS and a new set of registry files will automatically be created. SOLIDWORKS creates a fresh set of registry files and runs the program like it is the first time.
But we are not quite done yet! We still have to add the customized settings that we saved out earlier, back into SOLIDWORKS, so that all of our shortcuts, mouse gestures and custom properties can be used!
To restore the settings, head to the top of your SOLIDWORKS window and click on the dropdown arrow to the right of the settings button and select “Save/Restore Settings…”
This time, select the “Restore Settings – Restore SOLIDWORKS settings from a file” button and click Next. Make sure that the SOLIDWORKS settings file that was saved out earlier is selected and all of the boxes are checked. Hit Next one last time and then select Finish.
Voila! Just like that, your SOLIDWORKS registry has been reset and all of your custom settings that you have created over the years are now back!