SOLIDWORKS Installed on a MAC?

Article by Randle Wood on Apr 20, 2014

This article is a high-level look at considerations and recommendations for the well versed MAC user that wants to install SOLIDWORKS.

Disclaimer: Dassault Systemes and SOLIDWORKS do not officially support installing SOLIDWORKS on MAC hardware.


Hardware: As with any SOLIDWORKS install high end, professional-grade hardware is a must. There are a couple of different ways to install SOLIDWORKS on a MAC, we’ll get to them in a minute. If you are a casual SOLIDWORKS user and only need to use SOLIDWORKS for basic parts and assemblies, installing to a virtual environment may work well for you. If you are likely a power user and building complex parts and assemblies you should consider a Windows boot/partition. The performance in a Windows environment is far superior to the virtual window. Of course, due to graphics card limitations, RealView is disabled in both environments. 

Install option #1- The Virtual Machine

You will need to install the BootCamp partition and a copy of Windows but by using virtual software within the MAC OS you will be able to install/run SOLIDWORKS without leaving the MAC OS. The advantage here is that you will have full access to both OS and the installed programs.

Install option #2- BootCamp

BootCamp allows the partition of the hard drive which allows you to install a separate OS like Windows as though it is a different computer altogether, just on Apple hardware. You choose what partition the computer boots to. The downside is that no matter which OS you boot to you only have access to that OS and its respective files, folders, and programs.

In Closing; Recommendations

If you like MAC hardware but don’t care about the MAC OS and programs, using BootCamp with Windows is your best choice. If you intend to use SOLIDWORKS lightly in tandem with other MAC software the Virtual Environment is for you.

Install suggestions and needs

  1. Back up, Back Up and Back up AGAIN
  2. Windows Install Media
  3. SOLIDWORKS Install Media
  4. Blank CD/DVD or USB depending on the MAC OS requirements
  5. 3-button mouse for a superior SOLIDWORKS experience

General install steps

  1. Make sure your MAC OS has the latest updates installed
  2. Back up, Back Up and Back up AGAIN
  3. Verify your hard drive via the disk utility in the MAC OS
  4. Partition the hard drive, 60+GB if possible, via the BootCamp Assistant directions(time-consuming)
  5. Install Windows on the new partition via the Windows Install Media
  6. Install BootCamp drivers for things like Wi-Fi and keyboard support
  7. Install SOLIDWORKS on the Windows partition

About Randle Wood

Randle is a Technical Support & New Products Specialist and has been with GoEngineer since 2009. He has a Bachelors of Science in Industrial Design and has been a SOLIDWORKS user since before the turn of the century.

View all posts by Randle Wood


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