solidworks online licensing retirement

SOLIDWORKS Online Licensing Is Retiring: Here’s What You Need to Know

Table of Contents

Some users may notice a change in licensing behavior when they install SOLIDWORKS 2022. As announced last year, SOLIDWORKS online licensing is being retired for all installation of SOLIDWORKS 2022, and for all other versions of SOLIDWORKS on 2/5/2022.

What Is Online Licensing?

Online licensing was an optional “named-user” licensing mode where users could choose to connect their SOLIDWORKS license with their email address and log in to multiple computers to use SOLIDWORKS.

This feature was not widely used, and that is the primary reason cited for the retirement. Most users are either using network licensing, or machine activation.

What Will Happen to My License Now?

If you install SOLIDWORKS 2022, or after Feb 5, 2022, your license will automatically switch to machine activation, and you’ll be prompted to activate the license to your computer. Once activated to your computer, it can be released from the Help menu, or by contacting our support team (for example, if you have a hardware failure).

For more information, check out our Knowledge Base article, “What is Happening to Online Licensing?

I Use SOLIDWORKS on Multiple Computers. What Are My Alternatives to Online Licensing?

For those looking for portability to use SOLIDWORKS on multiple computers, there are three main options available, but we’d recommend the first one for most users.

HawkWare Deactivation Reminder App

The software development team at Hawk Ridge Systems have developed a simple app that will prompt you to deactivate every time you close SOLIDWORKS, and prompt you to reactivate every time you launch it. Functionally, this behaves very similarly to the online licensing mode; instead of an email/password prompt, you’ll see an activation window when you launch, and there is just one extra step when you close the application.

You can download this plugin and learn more about it here.

solidworks online licensing retirement options

For most users, this will be the closest approximation to the previous online licensing behavior, and provide a very similar practical workflow. We recommend any users previously running online licensing test this out as a first step.

Network Licensing

If you’re frequently moving between computers with licenses, and your company shares a pool of licenses, network licensing might be a great option. This allows your team to share a pool of licenses and only consume the license when the application is open, and means that a single license can fulfill the needs of several team members, as long as they’re not running the software concurrently. It costs $4,000 to initiate a network license, and slightly more for each license, but this is a very cost-effective method for many companies with mid-sized to large design teams.

Check out our blog, “Everything You Need to Know About SOLIDWORKS Licensing Options,” for more information.


3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS is a new variant of SOLIDWORKS that is attached to the 3DEXPERIENCE cloud platform. It still installs on your computer, and behaves very similarly to desktop SOLIDWORKS, but install and update operations and licensing are connected to the web.

As such, this offers very similar “named user” licensing schemes to the online licensing mode.

However, 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS does have some limitations (for example, minimal Add-In support) and may not be a fit for every use case. It is also a different license, sold as a subscription, so you’d need to arrange a swap of your existing license. For more details on the new platform, check out our blog “3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS Explained” and contact us if you’d like to learn more.

Picture of Esther Park

Esther Park

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments