In this article, you'll learn serial number management skills every SOLIDWORKS user and admin should have. We'll focus mostly on standalone serials, but address network serial numbers and how they differ from standalone. These are the topics we're going to discuss
Let's get started!
The what and the why of SOLIDWORKS standalone serial numbers:
A SOLIDWORKS serial number is a 24-character alphanumeric string. This string is what gives a computer permission to launch and use SOLIDWORKS. You should keep meticulous track of your serial numbers(s). I suggest creating an Excel spreadsheet to track the following information
A standalone serial number gives only one machine permission to SOLIDWORKS at a time. You can have SOLIDWORKS installed on as many machines as you'd like, but only one machine will have permission to launch and use SOLIDWORKS. If you need to switch machines, you will need to deactivate the machine and then activate another. (See Activating/Deactivating instructions)
To know if the serial number is standalone (not a network), the third digit will be in the number 0.
SOLIDWORKS will not launch until a serial number is activated. "Activation" gives permission to a machine to open and run the software. Once activated, the serial number will determine what SOLIDWORKS products, tools, and add-ons will be available. Simply input serial numbers on their respective lines, and the portions of the software you are entitled will become available.
Network serial numbers are activated and managed on a server machine. This serial number can dozens of SOLIDWORKS licenses on it.
To check if you are using a network serial number, the third digit in the 24-character string will be a 1.
Client machines look for the server over a local area network and "borrow" a license. If one is available, SOLIDWORKS will launch.
Clients do not need to activate or deactivate the network serial n umber. A network serial number is managed on the server machine.
Manually switching machines with deactivation/activation can be annoying and tedious. For those using SOLIDWORKS 2018 (must be SP2) standalone serial numbers or later, a new licensing model is available called Online Licensing. Simply put, instead of giving a machine permission to launch SOLIDWORKS using a serial number, you instead give permission to your SOLIDWORKS ID to use your serial number. No more manual activation or deactivation. Simply log in and use SOLIDWORKS.
View these articles to learn more about using online licensing and converting your SOLIDWORKS standalone license to an online license.
Activating a deactivating your SOLIDWORKS serial number is performed manually by the user at the machine taking less than 30 seconds.
To activate, simply launch SOLIDWORKS. The Activation Wizard will appear and prompt for activation. Elect to activate Automatically over the internet. Click 'Next' through the prompts and you're activated! SOLIDWORKS can not be used on this machine.
To deactivate a machine, simply use the SOLIDWORKS Help Menu at the top of the window and select Deactivate Licenses. (Note: You must be able to launch SOLIDWORKS in order to deactivate.) The only way to deactivate a standalone serial number is from within SOLIDWORKS. If you cannot deactivate, contact GoEngineer Technical Support.
Clicking Deactivate Licenses or Transfer Licenses will launch the Activation Wizard. The easiest method is to select the serial number you wish to deactivate and elect to deactivate it Automatically over the internet. The Activation Wizard will reach over the internet and change the status to deactivated. Your serial number is now ready to be activated elsewhere. If you need a video walkthrough, watch this video: SOLIDWORKS - Standalone License Deactivation and Activation.
Modification Warning: If you are planning on modifying the OS or hardware of the machine (including making it virtual), make sure to deactivate your serial number before doing so. If you do not, your activation will be “stuck” on your old computer configuration. If you run into this issue or you forgot to deactivate before modification, contact GoEngineer Tech Support.
If your machine does not have an internet connection, you can also activate/deactivate Manually via email. When you select this activation method, a window will show you the exact steps to follow.
If you are currently using a standalone serial number, you need to deactivate it before changing it. Changing your serial number in SOLIDWORKS does not require uninstallation.
Follow these steps to change your serial number:
If you see this error in the Activation Wizard, it indicates that the serial number you are trying to use is still active on a different machine (or it is stuck on a previous configuration of your current machine). Every standalone serial number is allowed only one activation. Because it is still activated elsewhere, your recent activation attempt “exceeds” your allowed activation count of one. We covered this error message in further detail in this article. To troubleshoot this, do the following:
A note from the tech support team: Tech support at GoEngineer cannot remotely deactivate a computer. The only action we can take is disable. Disabling a computer permanently disables its current configuration from ever using the serial number again and releases the activation. If the disabled computer needs to use SOLIDWORKS again, Windows or new hardware will need to be installed.
I hope you found this SOLIDWORKS Standalone Serial Number Management Skills article helpful. To receive helpful tips just like this, be sure to subscribe.
About Preston Ruff
Preston Ruff is a Technical Support Engineer and Certified SOLIDWORKS Instructor based out of our Headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Manufacturing Engineering Technology from Brigham Young University and is a Certified SOLIDWORKS Expert. For many years, Preston has been passionate about CAD design, 3D printing, additive manufacturing, and being involved with STEM education. He joined the GoEngineer family in 2017.
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