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SOLIDWORKS Administrative Images: Types and Sizes

Administrative Images use a set of installation files and settings stored in a single package to deploy SOLIDWORKS products to multiple users. Depending on your company’s needs and network environment, the images can be created as Standard, Remote, or Compressed. Your company can create and maintain one or all the admin image types for the various versions of SOLIDWORKS. 

SOLIDWORKS Administrative Images: Types and Sizes


This image is the default for all new administrative images. It is a standard Windows Installer Administrative image ideal for users who have reliable access to the company network. It stores all the files required to install the selected SOLIDWORKS products in a shared image folder. When users upgrade to a new service pack, they can download and apply patch files locally and do not need to download the entire image. 


If a user has sufficient access rights on their machine to install software, emails can be sent directly from the Admin Image Option editor. The email will contain a link to the network location of the StartSWInstall.hta needed to start the SOLIDWORKS Installation. This method can be sent out to all users at once for them to start the installation process on their own.  


Introduced in SOLIDWORKS 2022. This image is designed for remote users who do not have reliable access to the company network. When installing this type of image, remote users inherit all the installation options specified by the company’s admin image on the network location, such as the serial number and the products to install. The system will then create a ‘custom’ installation manager that will download the required installation files over the internet from the Dassault Systèmes SOLIDWORKS Downloads site.  


Remote users install this image using the same techniques supported by the standard administrative image. You can still script installations using the sldim.exe and startwinstall.exe files. 


Installation files download to a path specified in the Administrative Image Option Editor before they install. Users must access the administrative image folder to start the installation and run any batch or settings files hosted there. 


Accessing and installing these files from the internet is more reliable than downloading them from the company network and may reduce the load on the networks. The image transfer size over the network is also much smaller compared to the standard type (a few hundred MB compared to 20+ GB). 


Note, remote users must have enough available disk space to store all the files in the image, although users can delete the image after the installation is complete. 


The compressed administrative image is for organizations that need to copy administrative images to multiple sites or client machines and want to minimize the impact on the network. This image is 60% smaller than a standard administrative image, though it installs in the same amount of time. It supports all installation operations, such as modify and repair. 


Compressed administrative images also have short file paths. This avoids problems when images are stored in deep folder structures. 


Note, with this type of image, when users upgrade to a new service pack, they must download the entire image, not only patches.  

Admin Image Size Comparison

The various image types have different disk size requirements as shown below. Note, the example image included all SOLIDWORKS products. Depending on the SOLIDWORKS products selected to include in the image, the examples below may differ from your admin image.  


    • Compressed: 10 GB 
    • Remote: 289 MB 
    • Standard: 15. GB 
SOLIDWORKS Administrative Images: Types and Sizes
SOLIDWORKS Administrative Images: Types and Sizes

Whether you’re planning on using a standard admin image and storing the files on a shared network or using the remote admin image to create a custom installation manager, you can streamline installation for multiple users by deploying SOLIDWORKS using admin images. 


Follow this guide for step-by-step instructions for creating and deploying a SOLIDWORKS administrative image. 

Technical Support

Get help from our team by Calling us at 800-364-1652 x 2. You can also get assistance by clicking the Technical Support button or the Email Our Experts button below. 

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