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How to Request a Manual Download for SOLIDWORKS

How to Download SOLIDWORKS - Active Subscription Customers

For customers with an active service subscription, the newest and previous three major released versions of SOLIDWORKS can be downloaded directly from the Customer Portal under Downloads. (Example: 2021, 2020, 2019, and 2018).

For all previous versions of SOLIDWORKS not available on the Customer Portal, an alternate download must be requested through MLC CAD Systems. The download will include the installation files for the entire software package. During installation, the serial number entered in the installation manager will then determine which SOLIDWORKS products can be installed and activated.

How to Download SOLIDWORKS - Non-active Subscription Customers

For customers who have opted against subscription service, software downloads are not accessible using the Customer Portal and an alternate download link is required for all versions of SOLIDWORKS. The download can be requested for a SOLIDWORKS service which was released prior to the end of your subscription service.

Request a SOLIDWORKS Download Link (All customers)

Whether you are on an active subscription service or not, the download request and installation process is the same for the rest of this document.

• Submit an appropriate technical support request with details on which version you want to download.

• A new request is required for each version requested.

• The time to process the requests varies, though typically takes 1-2 days to complete and for the download to be prepared. MLC CAD Systems cannot guarantee a specific timeframe to process and provide the download.

How to Access the Download Link

To access the download, you will need a SOLIDWORKS ID or create a 3DEXPERIENCE ID. Please note that ONLY the email address specified in the download request can be used to access the download link. The download link is locked to that email address. A change of email address will require a new request and link to be generated.

Extract the Files and Install SOLIDWORKS

The download is everything which used to be on the installation DVDs, and as such is divided into 2 or 3 downloadable zip folders with approximately 12-14 GB of total data, depending on the SOLIDWORKS version. Be sure you have enough available disc space prior to downloading the files.

extract solidworks files
Step 1 - Unblock the Downloaded Files

The Windows operating system automatically blocks large files of this nature as part of its security. If the files are not ‘Unblocked’ before extraction, then the SOLIDWORKS Installation Manager screen may be blank.

Right-click on each downloaded Zip file and choose Properties. At the bottom of the General tab, choose the security option to Unblock and then click Apply.

unblock solidworks files
Step 2 - Unzip and Organize the Download Files

Note, for the best results when unzipping the files, it is recommended to use the latest version of WinZip for x64

Unzip all to unique folders and then create a new blank version-specific folder to use as a combined storage location. The example below is named SOLIDWORKS 2021 full download.

Red arrows = unzipped folders

Green arrow = new blank folder to be used in the next step

how to request a manual download of SOLIDWORKS

To ensure the Installation Manager can locate all the required files in a single folder, copy the entire contents of the unzipped disk folders (red arrows) and paste them into the new blank folder named SOLIDWORKS <version> full download (green arrow).

Copy all contents from the unzipped folders

copy folder content

Paste to new SOLIDWORKS < version> full download folder

paste new files

After copying the files from the first unzipped disk folder, the Windows Replace or Skip Files dialog will display. Choose the option to Replace the files in the destination, since each unzipped folder does contain some files which are the same across all unzipped folders.

replace destination files

After all contents from all unzipped disk folders are copied to the SOLIDWORKS <version> full download folder, you can then launch the SOLIDWORKS installation by double-clicking the setup.exe file and proceed with installing SOLIDWORKS as normal.

run solidworks exe

Since all required files have been downloaded, change the SOLIDWORKS installation manager to install only. 


On the Summary screen next to Download Options, select “Change 

Download Options

On the Download Options screen, select the option “Install only. I already have all the installation files needed.” and use the Browse button to navigate to the SOLIDWORKS full download folder you created previously. 


Click Back to Summary and proceed with installing SOLIDWORKS. 

Install Only


Blank or White Installation Manager Screen

If the Installation Manager is blank/white screen with no available options, then use the instructions below to unblock the HTML files required for the installation manager. This can occur when certain settings are set within your internet browser.

1. Within the SOLIDWORKS < version> full download folder, navigate to sldim\lang\english\HTML

2. Right click on frameset.html and the choose Properties

3. On the General tab click on ‘Unblock’

4. Repeat with all other .html files in the HTML folder

5. Start SOLIDWORKS Installation Manager and proceed with the installation

All other Unexpected Behavior or Questions

If it does not resolve the behavior, please try resetting the Internet Explorer settings to the default settings. In Internet Explorer, select Tools > Internet Options > Advanced > Reset

For all other unexpected behavior or installation questions, contact MLC CAD Systems technical support team.

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