How to Install SOLIDWORKS with the PDM Client

Article by Enrico Tolentino on Mar 16, 2023

SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional and SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard client can be installed at the same time as SOLIDWORKS. Installation uses the SOLIDWORKS Installation Manager located on the SOLIDWORKS DVD or downloaded from SOLIDWORKS.  

Follow the steps linked here to download and extract SOLIDWORKS. The article, SOLIDWORKS PDM – Complete Guide to Client Installation has more granular steps and troubleshooting within the client’s local view. 

Once the Installation Manager has been started, select Install on this computer and select Next.  

Install the SOLIDWORKS PDM Client

On the Serial Number page, input your serial numbers for SOLIDWORKS and any additional tools and select Next

SOLIDWORKS Installation Manager Serial Number Login

On the Summary page, select Change next to Products.  

SOLIDWORKS Installation Manager Change Products

On the Product Selection page, select the software you want to install and uncheck the parts you do not. Make sure the SOLIDWORKS PDM Client is selected and select Back to Summary.  

Install the SOLIDWORKS PDM Client

Back on the Summary page, select Change next to SOLIDWORKS PDM Options


Select the SOLIDWORKS PDM Product, Client type, and any Add-ins you need. Consult your PDM administrator to see which options to select. One of the most frequent causes for not being able to connect to the vault later is choosing the wrong PDM product here, so take a moment to make sure you have the correct selection.  

Once the SOLIDWORKS PDM Client options have been selected, click Back to Summary


Back on the Summary page read and accept the License Agreement from SOLIDWORKS. Click on the checkbox to accept the terms. 

  • The Installation Location and Toolbox/Hole Wizard Options can be changed. GoEngineer suggests changing the name of the installation to reflect the SOLIDWORKS version for future reference. 
  • Select Install Now.  


Creating the SOLIDWORKS PDM Vault View 

With the PDM Client now installed, the Vault View must be created to connect to the vault. The View Setup tool can create the Vault View and is found in Start Programs SOLIDWORKS PDM View Setup

View Setup SOLIDWORKS PDM Client Install

In the View Setup tool, click Next to begin the process. If your PDM Server is already listed, you can select the checkbox next to it and click Next. If your PDM Server is not listed, select Add… and enter the server name. 

Select Next once the server has been selected. 

Create SOLIDWORKS PDM Vault View

Select the Vault that you want to connect to and click Next


Select the location for where you want the Vault View to be installed, and the Attach type. We suggest that the Vault View be installed on the root of the C drive (or some other internal storage drive.) to avoid exceeding the Windows path character limit.  

It is also very important that this drive location not be in a Dropbox, Sync, or other cloud sharing folders, as these types of software and services do not have the capacity nor work with the SOLIDWORKS PDM database and can damage relationships and meta data between files. 

For Attach type, choose who will have access to this Vault View. It is best to use the default "For all users on this computer" setting unless there is a need to have the Vault View only be accessible to a particular user such as if the computer is shared with other users. 

Once the selections are made, click Next

SOLIDWORKS PDM Vault Connection

Review the settings and click Finish to add the Vault View to this computer. 


Once the Vault View is created, you can find it in the installed location and accessing it by logging in. 

You’ve successfully installed the SOLIDWORKS PDM Client and created your Vault View. For more information about SOLIDWORKS PDM, check out the articles listed below.

PDM Training

The focus of the SOLIDWORKS PDM Administrator training course is the fundamental skills and concepts central to the successful use of SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional. If you are someone who will setup and/or administer SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional, this class is for you! Learn more below. 

SOLIDWORKS PDM Administrator Training Course with GoEngineer

Learn More About SOLIDWORK PDM 

Always Show SOLIDWORKS PDM Icon (Blueberry)

Enabling the SOLIDWORKS PDM Administration Tool Shortcut

Greyed Out Vault View in SOLIDWORKS PDM: Quick Tip

SOLIDWORKS PDM: Create and Deploy a Local View File

Updating Data Cards with XML Import for SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional



About Enrico Tolentino

Enrico graduated from California State Polytechnic University with a degree in Engineering. He is a data management specialist at GoEngineer based in Southern California. A car guy, Enrico frequents the SoCal open track days to test his limits. And, of course, his corgi's name is Rally. :)

View all posts by Enrico Tolentino