Why Users Need Local Admin Rights to Install SOLIDWORKS

A lack of required Windows permissions is a common reason for failed SOLIDWORKS installations. During the SOLIDWORKS installation process, the installer requires write access to the Windows registry. Many registry keys are created in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE (HKLM), which requires local administrative rights during the installation. In addition, the same administrative rights are required to run a repair on SOLIDWORKS or when upgrading the software to new service packs or the next major version. 

    • Administrative rights are required for both standalone and network license types. 
    • Being a member of a Domain Admin group does not guarantee you have local administrative rights on the local computer. 
    • To use SOLIDWORKS after installation, users require write access to Windows registry keys HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\SolidWorks and HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\SolidWorks as well as their subkeys. 

How to tell if a user has local administrative rights

  1. Right-click the Windows Start icon and then select Computer Management from the list. 
  2. Expand the Local Users and Groups category and the click on Groups. 
  3. Right-click Administrators and select Properties.
AdminRights

This list which displays contains the recognized local administrators and administrator groups. If a user is not listedthen the user does not have the necessary administrative rights to install SOLIDWORKS. If a user is a domain administrator and the group ‘DOMAIN\Domain Admins’ is not listed here, then the user does not have the necessary administrative rights to install SOLIDWORKS. 

Write Access to Modify SOLIDWORKS User Interface and File Locations

Another section of the Windows registry requires write permissions to allow the user to customize the SOLIDWORKS settings, such as file locations for templates or Toolbox. SOLIDWORKS user settings are stored in HKEY_CURRENT_USER (HKCU), which means if the user does not have write access to this section of the registry, then they will be unable to customize their SOLIDWORKS user interface or change file path locations as needed. 

Run SOLIDWORKS as an Administrator

In environments where users have limited Windows permissions, follow these instructions to run SOLIDWORKS as an administrator How to run SOLIDWORKS with Administrator Permissions

Last updated January 25, 2022 by Rick Braine

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