Installing SOLIDWORKS 2021 side by side with previous installation


Use this procedure to install SOLIDWORKS 2021 when there is an older version of SOLIDWORKS already installed in the workstation.


1. Download SOLIDWORKS 2021 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.



2. 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.



3. When Installation Manager opens, select option "Install on this computer" and press "Next".



4. As there is an older SOLIDWORKS version already installed, serial number is already typed. You can proceed by pressing "Next".



5. From "Installation Options", select option "Create a new installation of SOLIDWORKS 2021..." and press "Next".



6. 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 2021". 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.



7. 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". SOLIDWORKS 2021 is now installed.



8. Launch SOLIDWORKS and activate the license. License activation prompt should appear automatically but you can always activate the license manually.


9. 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 6), 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 2020, installed in path "...\Program Files\SOLIDWORKS 2020" and now you have SOLIDWORKS 2021 version installed in path "...\Program Files\SOLIDWORKS 2021", is is easy to use option "Edit All" and option "Find/Replace" where you can replace text "2020" with text "2021" to correct the paths.






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