Use this procedure to upgrade SOLIDWORKS to newer major version.
Note: When using SOLIDWORKS floating network license, you also need to upgrade the license server.
1. Download SOLIDWORKS installation files. The easiest and the recommended way is to use "Check for Updates" command found in SOLIDWORKS "Help" menu. Follow the on-screen instructions to proceed with downloading. You can also download the files via PLM Group Downloads page.
2. Because there have been issues with license activation when upgrading to newer SOLIDWORKS version, deactivate the license from currently installed SOLIDWORKS before continuing to step 3 and starting the installation process. SEE THIS INSTRUCTION HOW TO DEACTIVATE THE LICENSE!
3. When installation files have been downloaded (by default the folder is "Documents" > "SOLIDWORKS Downloads"), run the installation by double-clicking setup.exe in the root of the installation files folder.
4. When Installation Manager opens, select option "Install on this computer" and press "Next".
5. As there is an older SOLIDWORKS version already installed, serial number(s) is already typed. You can proceed by pressing "Next".
6. From "Installation Options", select option "Create a new installation of SOLIDWORKS 20XX..." and press "Next". Do not use the "Upgrade..." option!
7. In next step you can define "Products". Usually you do not need to change any products, as the typed license will take care that all products belonging to that license are automatically selected for install.
TIP: You can use the default installation target folder but it is also practical to define the installation target folder manually by using the "year-ID" in the folder name, such as as "C:\Program Files\SOLIDWORKS 2024". This will help you with identifying SOLIDWORKS "File Location" settings later.
IMPORTANT: Under "Toolbox/Hole Wizard Options", always check that you have option "Create a new SOLIDWORKS XXXX Toolbox" selected. Then installation is creating a new Toolbox instead of upgrading the current Toolbox. When Toolbox is upgraded, then Toolbox of previous SOLIDWORKS version installed in the system stops working.
Finally when you changed all the settings, accept the terms and select "Install Now" to start the installation.
8. SOLIDWORKS installation begins. Duration of installation varies depending on multiple things such as hard drive type (SSD drive is faster) and speed, hard drive disk space, anti-virus scanning etc. But usually the installation takes around 15-30 minutes.
When installation is finished, press "Finish". Newer SOLIDWORKS version is now installed.
9. Launch SOLIDWORKS and activate the license. License activation prompt should appear automatically but you can always activate the license manually.
10. When SOLIDWORKS is installed side by side with another SOLIDWORKS version already installed in the workstation, it is usually required to check SOLIDWORKS "File Location" settings" because those settings might have file locations pointing to previous version installation folders. If you have used "year-ID" in installation target folder name (STEP 7), this helps you with replacing the File Location folder references with folders pointing to new SOLIDWORKS version.
Change file locations pointing to older version installation folders by selecting "Tools > Options" and "File Locations". When you have previous SOLIDWORKS version, for example SOLIDWORKS 2023, installed in path "...\Program Files\SOLIDWORKS 2023" and now you have SOLIDWORKS 2024 version installed in path "...\Program Files\SOLIDWORKS 2024", it is easy to use option "Edit All" and option "Find/Replace" where you can replace text "2023" with text "2024" to correct the paths.
11. When you have checked that new SOLIDWORKS major version works correctly (new and existing files work correctly, performance is good etc.), you can uninstall the older SOLIDWORKS version from your workstation by following THESE INSTRUCTIONS. Uninstalling the older version is not mandatory but can be done to save disk space, for example.