Technical Support FAQ: Online Licensing


SOLIDWORKS online licensing, introduced as part of SOLIDWORKS 2018, allows you to assign licenses to individual users without the extra step of manually activating/deactivating each time. Custom settings can also be transferred to each computer you work on. There is even an offline mode allowing you to retain your license for up to 30 days without an internet connection.

What is SOLIDWORKS online licensing?

SOLIDWORKS Online Licensing allows you to assign licenses to an individual user’s SOLIDWORKS ID. Users have the flexibility to move between multiple devices without the extra step of manually activating/deactivating each time.

With SOLIDWORKS online licensing, users have the flexibility to install and use SOLIDWORKS products on as many machines as they wish. SOLIDWORKS’ customers can access all the products they are entitled to by simply logging in using their SOLIDWORKS ID. All they need is a connection to the internet. 

Who can use SOLIDWORKS online licensing?

Anyone with a SOLIDWORKS ID and a SOLIDWORKS 2018 standalone or term license is eligible. Network licenses, trial licenses, and home use licenses are not eligible for online licensing.

Is online licensing available for Perpetual Licenses?


Is online licensing available for Term Licenses?


What versions of SOLIDWORKS are compatible with online licensing?

Online licensing is only available for SOLIDWORKS 2018 products. Previous versions require the traditional machine-based activation.

Is online licensing available for all SOLIDWORKS products? 

SOLIDWORKS online licensing is available for the following single-user license products:

  • SOLIDWORKS CAD (Standard, Professional, and Premium)
  • SOLIDWORKS Simulation (Standard, Professional, and Premium)
  • SOLIDWORKS Plastics (Standard, Professional, and Premium)
  • SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation (Included Electronic Cooling and HVAC Addons)
  • SOLIDWORKS Composer
  • SOLIDWORKS Electrical (Schematic Standard, Schematic Professional, 3D, and Professional)
  • SOLIDWORKS CAM (Standard and Professional)
  • SOLIDWORKS Inspection (Standard and Professional)
  • SOLIDWORKS MBD (Standard)
  • SOLIDWORKS Visualize (Standard and Professional)

Is online licensing available for SOLIDWORKS PDM products?

No. SOLIDWORKS online licensing is only available for standalone licenses and doesn’t support SolidNetwork Licenses (SNL).

Are there additional costs involved with using SOLIDWORKS online licensing? 


Do customers need to stay on subscription to use SOLIDWORKS online licensing?

No. SOLIDWORKS online licensing is available to all customers running version 2018 or later, regardless of their subscription status.

What are the advantages/disadvantages of using online licensing versus a SolidNetwork License (SNL)?

SolidNetwork Licenses are ideal for medium- to large-sized companies that want to share a pool of licenses over multiple users. On the other hand, single-user licenses with SOLIDWORKS online licensing is ideal for individuals that have their own license and want the flexibility to use SOLIDWORKS on multiple machines.

Can customers use machine activation with some of their licenses and online licensing with others?

Yes. Using the SOLIDWORKS Admin Portal, customers can decide to turn on online licensing for as little or as many Single-user License products as they wish.

What if I need to use SOLIDWORKS offline?

Online licensing includes an Offline Mode feature that allows you to take your license offline for up to 30 days at a time. Just open SOLIDWORKS, click the blue profile icon in the top right, and select ‘Take License Offline.’ The ‘Offline Mode’ will “lock” the license on the machine you are currently using. When using the “Offline Mode” you do not need internet connectivity. However, you can’t use the license on another machine until you release the license.

When the “Offline Mode” period is over, the user must log in to activate SOLIDWORKS. The user can then take the license offline again, as needed.

What happens if a license is Offline and the user leaves the company without returning the Offline license?

After 30 days the license will be automatically returned and can be used again or assigned to a new user.

What if I decide to no longer use SOLIDWORKS online licensing?

It’s easy to switch back to machine-based activation at any time! Just log in to your Admin Portal, choose the product, and select ‘Change to Machine-Based Activation.’

How do I start using SOLIDWORKS online licensing? 

We’ve created a step-by-step guide to help you get started. 

Don’t see your question here?

If you run into any problems along the way or your online licensing question wasn’t answered here, our experts can help. Our Technical Support staff can be reached at (800) 454-2233.


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We strive to be more than just your technology provider. We work hard to become an extension of your team, always ready to assist when you need us the most. Since 1990, our technical experts have assisted companies like yours in implementing 3D tools for design, simulation, data management, electrical engineering, technical documentation, and 3D printing.

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