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solidworks on a macOh, the trials of being a Mac user in the CAD world. There’s just no justice for your simple and elegant character personified in a simple and elegant computer. Who is out there to understand you? SolidSmack has your back and we want to show you how easy it it is to get SolidWorks runnin’ on your Mac.

To show this, I turn to a friend that use SolidWorks with a Mac on a consistent basis. Ben Eadie, from SolidMentor, shares this step-by-step and has a few tips.

Step-by-Step SolidWorks on a Mac

  1. Install Bootcamp on your Mac (this comes as a standard install on a new mac).
  2. Reboot and install Windows (Vista or Windows 7 recommended).
  3. Install SolidWorks and Microsoft Office.
  4. Voila!

Additional Tips from Ben

  • If you want to have RealView you may have to do a Softmod on your video card. This is as simple as installing a driver.
  • Mac Book Pro and lesser models will work, but RealView and performance will be lacking like any lesser computer.
  • Generally, Vista or Windows 7 will run better on a Mac.

Other Virtualization/Emulation options?

You can also install Windows via Parallels, Vmware, or other emulators, but you may see lower graphics card performance. There are more details for Parallels and VM, like using the Bootcamp partition as a virtual machine so you can boot natively or as a virtual machine. The drawback to this is you have to re-register SolidWorks each time you change the way you boot, i.e. boot into Bootcamp and then later boot into Parallels. When you start SolidWorks you will have to re-register… Don’t worry, Ben says he has done this hundreds of times and it is only 2 extra mouse clicks.

Have a question about using SolidWorks on a Mac? Hit the comments!

Filed under: CAD

  • fiz

    so, if i already install windows 7 on mac, then it means no more lion os after this?

  • NS

    I am planning to setup a SW2012 workstation… have been a mac user for years now so don’t want to completely switch to Windows… do you think the following iMac should work well with Bootcamp or Parallels ??? Also, I do use SW Simulation so I just want to be sure before making the purchase.
    2.5GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i51920 x 1080 resolution4GB (two 2GB) memory500GB hard drive1AMD Radeon HD 6750M with 512MB of GDDR5 memory… Please help and comment.

  • GM

    I actually have a question along the same lines… SW recommends different FireGL and FirePro graphic cards from ATI, is the Radeon HD series cards on the iMac in the same category? I am also upgrading from my old MacBook (white 2007) mainly for the use of SW 2012, would like to get the expert comments before I spend my money. please please please reply.

  • Ajparker

    I downloaded parallels on my mac os x (10.6.8) and windows 7 and tried installing solidworks but get an error message: “Can’t find an appropriate language source DLL”. Do you know how to get around this?

  • Ayelettf

    Hello, I know that you had your issue with SW and Mac a year ago but I’m looking for information before getting a Macbok and I found your message… I have SW2008 on Asus leptop and I want to know if it possible to run it on a new Macbook?
    Thank you!

  • kizi

    game interesting

  • JT

    Same type of thing happened to me, I haven’t solved it, but i know the root of the problem is the windows 7 installer. (5.0 which is not yet avaliable) I still have yet to figure it out…

  • KT

    Do I need to partition my hard drive to do this?

  • karim

    I want to install SW2013 on my macbook pro can and i downloaded the .exe file can i convert it to .dmg using Winebottler?? did anyone try it before or i have to work with parallels or VMware and other stuff like this??

  • Josh M

    yes. you will need to use boot camp, or one of the others you mention, to run solidworks on the mac.

  • Shamus

    I am trying to convince my employer the benefits of mac. I would like to use a 2011 Macbook Pro with a 2.5Ghz i7 with 16G ram and 500HD to run solidworks and simulation via parallels as my normal operation. though could switch to bootcamp if the simulation demands more on a as needed basis. do you think solidowworks would run smooth with this mac with this setup or am i going to have to bootcamp all the time.

  • Leo Carrilho

    I am trying to enable realview in my solidworks 2013 running on my mac mini (mid 2011) bootcamp. Can anyone help me out?

  • Salvatore Gerbino

    Any experience in using SolidWorks Simulation in Boot Camp with OS Yosemite and Windows 7 64 bit?
    I’ve a Macbook Pro Retina 2.8 GHz 16GB RAM 512 SSD and I got a system error every time I run a case study in Simulation, no matter the physics I’m using and the solutor I set.
    SolidWorks works preatty well.


  • Salvatore Gerbino

    I’m working with SolidWorks 2014.

  • Paul Anderson

    I am having the same problem. Have you found out anything yet?

  • Brian Sargent

    Same here. If I try to run a simulation it crashes blaming Star.exe every time. Running it in Windows 7 Pro with 8GB of ram on the VM. SW 2014 SP5. The MBP has an NVidia graphics card.

    The same SW installation and simulation with the same file works fine on another MBP with just the standard video card.

  • Paul Anderson


    Here is what I found by trial and error. The problem is in service packs 4 & 5. In order to get simulation to work you have to uninstall SolidWorks and then reinstall service pack 0 from the DVD and then upgrade only to service pack 3. If you install service pack 4 or 5 it quits working. Also, SolidWorks 2015 works fine so far.

    Hope this helps.

  • Paul Anderson

    I ended up reinstalling SolidWorks and SP0 through SP3 worked but SP4 and SP5 didn’t.