Fix SOLIDWORKS Previous Toolbox Installed Blocking Upgrade Error

Article by Jeff Lendermon on Aug 12, 2021

Are you having issues upgrading your SOLIDWORKS service pack due to a previous toolbox error? If you see the error message shown in Figure 1 when upgrading, this article offers some solutions to an issue that may prevent a SOLIDWORKS CAD service pack update from completing. The issue presents itself when updating SOLIDWORKS and seeing this message, “Previous Toolbox detected. Select Installation Method” and the Toolbox/Hole Wizard Options are grayed out.

SOLIDWORKS 2021 Previous Toolbox Blocking Upgrade Error

Figure 1: Previous Toolbox Error


If the update fails to complete, the first step is to repair SOLIDWORKS. Open the Control Panel and find Programs and Features.

Locate SOLIDWORKS in the list, right-click SOLIDWORKS 20xx SPx, and choose Change. (Figure 2)

SOLIDWORKS 2021 Installation Manager Modify Install

Figure 2: Modify Install

The installation manager will open showing options for what can be changed about SOLIDWORKS. Choose Repair your installation.

SOLIDWORKS 2021 Repair Your Installation Dialog Box

Figure 3: Repair Dialog Box

Proceed through the Next windows and repair the installation of SOLIDWORKS. Once the repair is complete, the issue should be resolved. Try launching the upgrade again. If SOLIDWORKS still cannot be upgraded after the repair, contact technical support


If the toolbox is stored remotely, write permissions could be the cause of the problem. During most initial installations, SOLIDWORKS will install a local toolbox. It is possible to upgrade the installation while referencing this local toolbox.

In the Start Menu, find Copy Settings Wizard.

Start > SOLIDWORKS Tools 20xx > Copy Settings Wizard

Choose Save Settings.

SOLIDWORKS Copy Settings Wizard Previous Toolbox Warning

Figure 4: Copy Settings Wizard

The only setting that needs to be saved is the System Options; however other settings can be saved as well. Once the settings are configured, click Finish to create the backup file.

SOLIDWORKS 2021 Save System Options Dialog Box

Figure 5: Save System Options

The next step is to change the toolbox being referenced. Launch SOLIDWORKS, go to Tools > Options, under system options, find HoleWizard / Toolbox.

SOLIDWORKS 2021 Hole Wizard Location

Figure 6: Hole Wizard Location in SOLIDWORKS

Click the ellipsis (...) to change the file location. SOLIDWORKS, by default, will install a toolbox at <C:\SOLIDWORKS Data\>. Change the directory so that it matches the directory shown.

SOLIDWORKS 2021 Data Directory

If there are multiple toolboxes, they will be numbered. Select the largest number. If you changed the toolbox installation to match the year of installation, be sure to choose that toolbox location.

Note: If you do not have a local toolbox, contact technical support. If the toolbox is supported nonlocally, check with GoEngineer and your CAD Administrator for PDM and IT if the toolbox points to a network drive. 

Click OK and close SOLIDWORKS and run the upgrade again. The upgrade should be able to complete without issue, referencing the local toolbox. After upgrading, SOLIDWORKS will still reference the incorrect toolbox and needs to be directed to the network toolbox.

To fix this, launch the Copy Settings Wizard tool used earlier. Choose Restore Settings, navigate to the location the backup was stored, and choose Next.

In the following window, leave the default setting of Current user. Choosing Next will restore the location of the network toolbox to SOLIDWORKS. Test the toolbox after the upgrade to verify it’s working correctly.

If these steps don’t correct the problem, please contact our support team they would be more than happy to help get these issues.

To learn more about SOLIDWORKS CAD upgrades and updates, check our best practices video for prepping for an upgrade.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published in April 2018 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

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About Jeff Lendermon

Jeff Lendermon is an Applications Engineer for GoEngineer supporting the SOLIDWORKS Plastics simulation software. Jess has over 30 years of experience in the Plastic Injection molding industry, he applies his experience and knowledge of the industry to help customers see the benefits of utilizing the tools within SOLIDWORKS Plastics.

View all posts by Jeff Lendermon