Using SOLIDWORKS at Home

With actions being taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19, more and more employees are being restricted from going into work. For engineers, this can be difficult as they need to use CAD programs that may not currently be available at home.

This post will inform you on all the ways available to use your SOLIDWORKS software while outside of the office.

Standalone Licensing

If your company uses standalone licensing, then each computer at work has a specific serial number tied to it. There are 2 ways to be able to use SOLIDWORKS out of the office.

1. Transferring Your License

You can transfer your license from your work computer to your home computer. First, you will need to install SOLIDWORKS on your home computer following the Installation Guide.

Next, you will need to transfer your license from your work computer to your home computer following the Transfer Standalone Licenses Guide.

Now, the license is stored on your home computer and you will need to follow the Transfer Standalone Licenses Guide to switch the license back to any computer you need it on in the future.

2. Remote Desktop

If your company has a 3rd party remote desktop service or if they use the built-in Windows service, you can simply connect to your work computer to use SOLIDWORKS. This is essentially a screenshare; so graphically, SOLIDWORKS will run slower depending on your internet connection.

Network Licensing

If your company has network licenses, then these licenses are tied to a server at your office. There are 3 ways to be able to use your network license while at home.

1. VPN

You can connect to your office’s license server by setting up a VPN connection at home. On your home computer, you can install SOLIDWORKS using the Installation Guide.

Then, you can connect to your company’s network through VPN and open SOLIDWORKS on your machine as normal. As long as you are connected to the VPN you will be able to use SOLIDWORKS at home.

2. Borrowing a License

If you have your computer at the office, you can connect to the license server and borrow a license. You will need to bring your computer into the office in order to borrow the license as borrowing over a VPN will cause the license to hang.

First, you will need to install SOLIDWORKS on your home computer following the Installation Guide. When you bring your computer into the office, you can then borrow a license following the Borrow a Network License Guide.

3. Remote Desktop

Companies who have network licensing can also use remote desktops as described in the Standalone Licensing section of this blog, above.

Managing Data

1. Shared Network Data

If your company uses shared network data such as the SOLIDWORKS toolbox or other common libraries, in most situations you will want to get a copy of this data and place it on your local computer.

For folder locations you can then point SOLIDWORKS to this new location by going to Tools > Options > File Locations and adding any new locations. The toolbox location is controlled through Tools > Options > Hole Wizard/Toolbox.


If your company uses SOLIDWORKS PDM as its data management tool, then in order to gain access to files stored in PDM while at home you will need to have a VPN setup.

Another way is by following the Network Section on Borrowing a License (above), and while your home computer is at work, you can change PDM to ‘Work Offline Mode.’ This is done by opening the vault view, checking out any files you will need and navigating to Tools > Work Off-line.


Meet the Author

Josh Helman

Josh has over 10 years of experience with SOLIDWORKS and enjoys helping customers grow with their software. Working as a Technical Support Engineer, he specializes in assisting with performance issues, crashing, and hardware. He has a bachelor's in Mechanical Engineering from UW Platteville and is a certified SOLIDWORKS Professional (CSWP).

view all posts by Josh Helman

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