Working from home with your SOLIDWORKS license

Nigel de Bruin on 27 March, 2020

Various measures can or will be taken because of the Coronavirus. People are asked to work from home as much as possible or to spread your working hours and also to stay at home if you are feeling ill. Although this can be difficult for both employer and employee, this doesn’t mean that you cannot be productive with your SOLIDWORKS license.

The SOLIDWORKS products use different types of licensing. In most cases it is possible to use your license (temporarily) on your home computer. This way you can continue to work even if you are not at the office.

This blog describes for the different license types, how you can work from home with SOLIDWORKS. Keep in mind that every license is different and sometimes you need the help from your IT department to make some changes so you can access it from outside the office.

The Standalone license

This is the type of license we see the most at our clients. If you have a business notebook, you do not have to perform any additional actions. Simply take your notebook home and you can do your work.

If you are using a standalone SOLIDWORKS product with "Product Activation" on a desktop computer, you should be able to transfer your license using "Transfer". This is done by "deactivating" your license on your workstation at work, and then "activate" the license on your home computer.

The steps you need to do are simple, but you need to make some preparations before doing this. Click on this link to view the manual for information about how to install SOLIDWORKS. Here you will find the steps to find your license codes, how to check whether your home computer meets the system requirements of SOLIDWORKS and how to download the SOLIDWORKS installation.

Once you have prepared your second computer, you can move the license from your business computer to your home computer. This does require physical access to your business computer. So, if you are already at home, you will have to ask a colleague or your IT administrator if they can help.

  2. Go to Help -> Licenses -> Deactivate…

  3. Select the products for which you want to transfer the license to your home computer. The list of products you can choose from depends on the products you have purchased. Click on ‘Next’ and follow the steps you see.


  4. The license(s) are now released on this computer and are available to be activated on another computer.
  5. On your home computer, when SOLIDWORKS is installed and started for the first time, SOLIDWORKS will ask you to activate the license. Follow the instructions in the various windows to complete this process.

For more information or an even more detailed description of the transfer process, please refer to the SOLIDWORKS Installation and Administration Manual, pages 107-108.

Online License

Another scenario for the standalone SOLIDWORKS products is to switch to the online licensing mechanism.

SOLIDWORKS online licensing gives the flexibility to use one license on all your devices, without having to manually deactivate and activate your licenses on every computer.

For example, you can work at a computer at the office during the day, go home and login to SOLIDWORKS on your home computer with the same license. You do not need a second license to do this and you do not have to manually deactivate your license at work in order to activate it again at home.

You must be connected to the internet to login and use the online license. After logging in you can choose "Offline Mode" and work on your computer even if you are not connected to the internet. More information can be found on page 104 of the installation manual.

Before switching to Online Licensing, make sure to check if this is available. Contact your CAD administrator if necessary.

Network license

Finally, it is also possible that you do not have a standalone license, but that the SOLIDWORKS products run at your company in a SolidNetWork License Manager (SNL) environment. The SNL software has a number of licenses available on your business network and allows client computers to connect to them and use a license locally, if they are still available.

The SNL environment allows a client computer to "borrow" a license for up to 30 days. This can then be used during this time, even if you are not connected to the business network.

This can be a convenient way to take a license home or to another place where you want to work remotely.

It is important to know that in order to "borrow" a license for a computer, this computer must be connected to the same network where the SNL server is located. Once the license has been borrowed, it can be used outside the network during the specific period.

The steps to borrow a license are explained in the online Help and on page 122 of the installation manual.

Working from home with your PDM license

If you use SOLIDWORKS PDM and you want to work from home and want to continue using PDM, there are quite a few more things to keep in mind.
The most important thing is that if you want to have access to the PDM Vault, you have to have a direct connection to the business network, so via a VPN (Virtual Private Network). Also some ports in your Firewall must be open. Please contact your IT administrator for this to discuss the possibilities.


Back to the office soon

Let's hope that the Coronavirus is quickly under control and that we can all work together again with our colleagues at the office. Until then, hopefully one of the above methods can help you in continuing to work with SOLIDWORKS from home.

Also think about how you want to access and save your files and designs. Since every company does this in a different way, it is difficult to provide a clear advice.

If you need access to your business network and data then the usual way is to use a VPN. Since VPN software and the IT infrastructure are generally managed by the IT department and are subject to operational management, it is good to get advice from your system administrators.

We wish you the best and keep safe. If you have any questions about the above points, you can always contact us. We do everything we can to remain as accessible as possible for you in this situation.

Picture of Nigel de Bruin

Nigel de Bruin

Customer Success Manager

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