solidworks tips

Warning: This involves changing registry settings in the .sldreg file created by the Copy Options Wizard, so before doing this be sure 1) that you know what you’re doing 2) that you’re comfortable doing it 3) that you’ve made a backup of your Options. Oh, and SolidWorks probably won’t recommend doing this.

When you upgrade SolidWorks to a new version all your settings will transfer over just fine. If you’re doing a completely new installation, with no previous version installed, and don’t have a settings file, then you’re hosed and have to reset all the options, menus, toolbars, and keyboard shortcuts yourself. This tip will show you how to use settings you’ve saved from one version of SolidWorks on a newer or older version of SolidWorks.

Before I did this I wanted to see how two registry files from different versions compared. I used WinMerge to compare them side by side.

Note: I would do this first if you are using 2005 or 2006. Prior to 2005, the settings were stored in a typical Windows .reg file, and the settings change the father you go back. I would only do this for a version before or after the setting file you have.

Here’s an example of what you would see.


Converting the File
For this example, I want to convert a 2008 settings file to a 2007 settings file. As seen above the main difference is the .sldreg file path. To convert the 2008 file I simply open a copy of the file in Notepad or Wordpad and select Edit, Replace from the menu. I set it to change 2008 to 2007 and hit Replace All. Cancel and save it. Now you’re good to go.

Installing the New Settings
With SolidWorks closed, double-click the .sldreg file you created. Follow the prompt and, again, I would save a back-up of your old settings just in case.

Saving your New Settings File
Go and open up SolidWorks. Most if not all of your settings should be similar to what you had. You may need to change or add some things just depending on what versions you’re switching to or from. After you make sure everything is the way it needs to be, go to the SolidWorks Tools Program location (Start, All Programs, SolidWorks…, SolidWorks Tools) and create a new settings file for your version.

I’d like to thank Kyle Mason for the meat of this post. He’s the guy that has created SolidWorks Options settings to help Inventor user’s transition easier to using SolidWorks. He provided settings for users with previous version by doing this. Thanks Kyle. Keep it up.


Josh is founder and editor at, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.