Where In the World Is My SOLIDWORKS Explorer?

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You may have noticed something interesting when searching for SOLIDWORKS Explorer in your Windows Taskbar search recently – it’s not there! What happened? In 2020, SOLIDWORKS has replaced SOLIDWORKS Explorer with SOLIDWORKS File Utilities. Luckily, they retained many of the important functions like Pack and Go, Rename, Replace, and Move with just a right-click in your File Explorer window.

Let’s make sure you already have it installed.

To find out, right-click on a SOLIDWORKS file in File Explorer and see if you get the following menu:

SOLIDWORKS Explorer file menu

SOLIDWORKS File Utilities in File Explorer

If so, you do! If not, don’t worry – there’s a few ways to get it installed.

How to Install SOLIDWORKS File Utilities

The first place we can look is in the Installation Manager (or in the Administrative Image Options Editor if that’s being used).

To get to the Installation Manager, you can go to Control Panel > Programs and Features > locate your SOLIDWORKS Installation > right click and select Change.

Modify your installation and then proceed to the Product Selection window.

You can ensure that ‘SOLIDWORKS File Utilities’ is checked on in the “Product Selection” window.

SOLIDWORKS File Utilities in installation menu

Installing File Utilities through the Installation Manager

If for some reason it isn’t showing, the installer can also be downloaded by going to SOLIDWORKS Free Downloads.

Then select “SOLIDWORKS File Utilities” under the “SOLIDWORKS Products” filter. After it filters out, clicking on the down arrow to the left will begin the download.

Downloading SOLIDWORKS File Utilities from SOLIDWORKS Free Downloads

Downloading SOLIDWORKS File Utilities from SOLIDWORKS Free Downloads

What is SOLIDWORKS File Utilities?

Now that we’ve got it installed, what can it do?

SOLIDWORKS File Utilities allows us to easily:

  • Open our SOLIDWORKS files
  • Replace a part or assembly and update its references
  • Rename one or more files and update their references
  • Move SOLIDWORKS files to a new location, while updating its reference
  • Specify additional file locations for where references may be located with File Locations
  • Create a Pack and Go without needing to open SOLIDWORKS

Renaming SOLIDWORKS file with file utilities menu

Renaming file with File Utilities

Creating a Pack and Go with SOLIDWORKS file utilities

Creating a Pack and Go with File Utilities

By having SOLIDWORKS File Utilities accessible in File Explorer, it’s one less application we must open to move or rename our files, while making sure the references are updated correctly!

If you have any questions or want to learn more, contact us at Hawk Ridge Systems. Thanks for reading!

Picture of Ricky Huynh

Ricky Huynh

Ricky Huynh is a SOLIDWORKS senior applications engineer with Hawk Ridge Systems based in Mountain View, California. He specializes in SOLIDWORKS, Composer, and Electrical. He graduated from UC Davis in 2010 with a B.S. in mechanical engineering.
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