SOLIDWORKS: Lost Dialog Windows

Posted in: Mechanical Design
May 26, 2017

Many of us have multiple monitors for our computers, but if you are like me and sometimes need to travel and go from multiple monitors to just a single screen you may have run into an issue with not being able to see dialog windows in SOLIDWORKS. Dialog windows can be anything from System Options to the Material Library and their locations are stored in the SOLIDWORKS Registry. If you are like me and sometimes drag dialog windows onto monitors other than your main screen then those locations are saved and may still be used when you transition back to fewer screens, making accessing those windows impossible. Below are the steps required to edit the SOLIDWORKS Registry and reset the position of all dialog windows.

  1. Close SOLIDWORKS.
  2. Press the Windows key (or click the Start button).
  3. Type regeditin the search box and press Enter to open the Registry Editor.
  4. Browse to the folder named:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\SOLIDWORKS\SOLIDWORKS 20xx\User Interface\Dialogs
  5. Right click on the Dialogs folder and click Rename. Append -OLD to change the entry to Dialogs-OLD. (We only want to rename this key and not delete it so that it’s still available to us for further troubleshooting, if necessary.)
  6. Launch SOLIDWORKS and test the function to confirm that the dialog windows now appear on the screen.
SOLIDWORKS: Lost Dialog Windowsimage001


For more information, check out our YouTube channel or contact us at Hawk Ridge Systems today. Thanks for reading!

May 26, 2017
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Jesse Powers
June 28, 2019
TRY: Activate the dialog window (e.g. open/check out document window), press Alt + Spacebar (for Window Access controls), select Move, and then use the arrow keys to try to move the window
Sean Marrs
July 2, 2019
Hey Jesse, Thanks for the input! That is a great method for moving individual windows back to the main screen. I would also add that for a window that you cannot see because of the issue described in this article, the "Move" command will need to be selected using the arrow keys on your keyboard (should only need to press the down arrow key once to select move) and then the left or right arrow keys can be used to move the window to your main screen.
September 30, 2020
I tried this to bring back the save as .step file selected bodies/surfaces/all only options dialogue, but seems not working on SW 2019.
Sean Marrs
October 2, 2020
Hey Jerry, This procedure is really for resetting the location of dialog windows that may be popping up off screen. If you want to save only certain bodies into a STEP file you need to hide the other bodies. This works when saving out to many different filetypes such as the STL and 3MF mesh file types.
December 3, 2020
Thank you! This has saved me days of basically finding ways to 'confirm' hidden dialogs for assembly re-builds and so on! I was so stuck with the exploded view animation controller since that literally has no way out if you cant see it!
Sean Marrs
June 8, 2021
That one is the nastiest of all! I still don't understand why you cannot just hit ESC to get out of it!

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