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Robbie Hoyler, TPM Technical Solutions Manager, Elite AE, Manufacturing

Need to learn how to quickly use SOLIDWORKS away from the office?  There are a few options discussed in this article that will teach you what you need to do in case you need to work from home.   Given the plethora of licensing options and systems available to us, it can be overwhelming to try and figure out how to activate your license remotely or to simply take your license with you.  TPM is here to help you decide what solution best fits your needs.  Below is a series of options available to you when you need to work from home using your SOLIDWORKS licenses. 


Licensing type 

First, let’s try to understand what license type you have.  Licenses are typically standalone or network.  Standalone licensing begins with a serial number of 0000 or 9000.  These licenses are activated one time and exist on one machine.   

The other is network licensing which has a serial number beginning with 0100 or 9010.  Network licensing allows users to share from a pool of licenses that connect to a license server where the license is checked in and out for different users. 

To figure out what type of license you have on your machine go into SOLIDWORKS and click Help>About SOLIDWORKS> and click the Show Serial Number link.


Standalone licensing (serial number begins with 0000 or 9000) 

Seats of SOLIDWORKS that are Standalone are active on your hard drive for your one activation.  Luckily for users, they can deactivate and activate SOLIDWORKS on as many installation machines as they want as long as they only have one machine active at a time.  It is possible to have SOLIDWORKS installed on as many machines as the user desires but remember only one machine can hold the activation!   

To move a standalone activation of SOLIDWORKS, the user must deactivate from the active machine by going to Help> Licenses> Deactivate.  This will not interfere with your current installation; you will just need to follow the activation steps again below to use the license at this machine again later. 



On your home machine you will install SOLIDWORKS with the same serial number as you would a new installation or if you have already installed SOLIDWORKS you will be prompted to activate your serial number.  Users can also open SOLIDWORKS and use Help>Licenses> Activate to repeat the same process as they did for a deactivation.  If you cannot figure out which machine has your license activation, you can call the number below and TPM can assist you. 

If you do not have access to your computer to check your license or cannot find your serial number, you can call TPM Support at 1-888-313-1688 or email 

Standalone licenses have a special ability that makes this process even easier called online licensing.  Online licensing allows you to tie your serial number to an email and password that allows you to use your license on any standalone installation anywhere in the world as long as you can connect to the internet.


Network licensing (Serial number begins with 0100 or 9010) 

Network licenses can be borrowed for up to 30 days and used remotely.  If a user has access to the network and can check out a license for that extended amount of time, the license will stay on the machine until it expires and then the user will need to reconnect to the license server and repeat the process.  The user can work offline for those 30 days and not need access to the server at that time.   

To check out a license, users will launch the SolidNetwork License Manager Client and go to the License Borrowing tab.  Select your date first, then CTRL select your products and click Borrow.  You may return the licenses early as long as you are connected to the network.   



As a secondary option users may need to use a VPN to access their network for the check in and check out process for the license if they cannot travel to the office to connect to the license server.  Contact your IT admin for usage of a VPN.  As a note of caution, we do not recommend using a VPN in conjunction with the borrow button to borrow the license remotely as this has been known to cause the license to hang.  Please call TPM Support if there are questions regarding this. 


PDM Data Access 

There are a couple of solutions available to remotely access your PDM data, which typically lives on a server in your office The best method varies depending upon your setup and needs. You can learn more about these solutions by visiting our blog, Working from Home? TPM Can Help You Use SOLIDWORKS PDM Remotely!


Additional Solutions 

There are many other solutions available.  Remote solutions allow users to run a work machine remotely.  LogMeIn, WindowsRDS, Citrix, etc all have remote screen share options that will allow for usage of SOLIDWORKS but at a reduced performance capacity.  Virtual solutions are powerful but require setup. 

If you need a little help or require additional solutions, please reach out to our team. 


Users can call TPM Support at 1-888-313-1688 or email