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PDM Cold Storage and How To Use It

PDM Cold Storage and How To Use It


SOLIDWORKS PDM’s Cold Storage and How To Use It. This feature can be configured to automatically move or delete old versions of files to reduce required disk space on an archive server. This article will describe some considerations for configuring and using Cold Storage. 

Considerations before using Cold Storage

Simply moving files to a different location on the same server does not save on disk space. It does, however, make sense to move versions if there is a physical limitation to the amount of storage available for the archive server directory. Keep in mind retrieving versions does consume server resources and may reduce performance while performing the action. Use cold Storage wisely for versions that you don’t necessarily or anticipate needing to access again unless necessary. 


Using the Cold Storage option to delete older versions will save space, though keep in mind that the deleted versions will show up in the document history but cannot be retrieved. Use the delete option with CAUTION. 



Configuring Cold Storage

Launch the SOLIDWORKS PDM Administration tool and log in as the admin user or a user with Administrative Permission ‘Can update cold storage’. 


Cold Storage options are set up in schemas from the main menu option ‘Cold Storage Schemas’. 

PDM Cold Storage and How To Use It

Each vault can have multiple schemas to fit your needs. The options for each schema include: 


  • Which vault folders to include. 
  • Different schemas for different archive servers. 
  • Option to delete or move versions to a different drive and folder location. 
  • The number of file versions to retain. 
  • Whether to include versions with Revisions with the option ‘Never move versions with revisions to cold storage’. 
  • A predefined or customizable schedule to run the cold storage schema. 
PDM Cold Storage and How To Use It

Which Versions To Keep

There is not a one-size-fits-all answer to determining which versions and how many to keep, delete, or move. The default value for a new schema is 10. 




  • How often are users checking in files and creating new versions?  
  • Are there frequent design interactions? 
  • Do users need to view or retrieve earlier versions that are not Revisions? 

Note, you can configure multiple schemas. New products in specific folders may retain more versions throughout the design process than released products. Defining which folders are part of a schema is beneficial, if your PDM vault is set up accordingly. 

Working With Cold Storage

Files that are part of a Cold Storage schema will display in the file’s history dialog. For files that were moved as part of the schema, they can be retrieved by users with ‘Restore file from cold storage’ permission set for both the State and the Folder where the file resides. 


  • Only a single file can be restored at a time, though referenced documents can be included as well. 
  • Deleted file versions CANNOT be restored. 
  • Once a file is restored to the archive server and cached in users’ local vault views, the version will once again be sent to cold storage the next time the schema runs. 
PDM Cold Storage and How To Use It

The example below shows versions 1, 2, and 3 were moved with Cold Storage schema set to keep only the last 2 versions and ‘Never move versions with revisions to cold storage’. The user is using the Get command to retrieve version 3.

File With Reference in Cold Storage

If the attached version of a referenced file is cold stored, the Contains tab displays a warning that the version is in cold storage. 

PDM Cold Storage and How To Use It

The Get version dialog box also shows a warning if the get operation tries to retrieve a cold stored version. 

PDM Cold Storage and How To Use It

If cold storage deleted the referenced file version, it is not possible to cache that version and you have to get a more recent version instead. If cold storage moved the requested version, you must recover the version before it can be cached on the client computer. 

Schedule Interval

This option defines an interval schedule for when this cold storage schema runs. You can select from a list of predefined interval strings, or you can specify a custom interval by selecting the User defined schedule option. 

PDM Cold Storage and How To Use It

The interval string consists of three parts in the form: minute hour weekday. You can use an asterisk (*) character as a wildcard and a minus (-) character for a range. 


  • Minute: Defines at what minute of the hour the schema runs. The acceptable values are 0 (on the hour) to 59. 
  • Hour: Defines at what hour of the day the schema runs. The acceptable values are 0 (for midnight) to 23 (11pm). 
  • Weekday: Defines on what day of the week the schema runs. The acceptable values are 1 (Monday) to 7 (Sunday). 
PDM Cold Storage and How To Use It


0 18 6 Runs every Saturday (6) at 6 pm (18) on the hour (0) 

0 23 1-5 Runs every Monday (1) through Friday (5) at 11pm (23) on the hour 

30 20 * The schema runs every day (*) at 8.30pm 



  • The interval defines the time at which cold storage operation starts. You only need to 

define the start time once. It is best to not run the schema too frequently. 

  • When the cold store operation starts, all file archives within the defined vault folders 

are processed, and cold storage runs until the last archive folder is processed. 

  • Consider performing the cold storage operation no more than once or twice a week, 

and at most once per day. 

  • Avoid starting the operation at midnight and 3:00 am because other scheduled 

operations often run at those times. 

  • The start time in the interval uses the local time of the archive server. 
  • If you want to keep the cold storage schema, but not run it, you can choose the interval ‘No Schedule’ or enter the interval strings as ‘Off’. 

Technical Support

As this article describes what cold storage is as well as how to configure and use it, some additional guidance may be necessary to fully understand if Cold Storage should be implemented at your company and at what frequency. If you have any questions or experience unexpected behavior, feel free to reach out to MLC CAD Systems technical support or complete this form to reach out to our MLC CAD Systems services department to review your PDM environment and help with implementation.

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