SOLIDWORKS Not Starting Up? Tinndahl Troubleshoots

Every once in a while, SOLIDWORKS has trouble starting up. This can be a problem with the software, poor use of the features or simply problems with files that cannot open.

Let’s go over some troubleshooting techniques for your everyday work with SOLIDWORKS to help make this less of a problem.

The Source Folder is Not Versioned Properly

This error is usually seen when you want to modify your SOLIDWORKS installation.


You have removed or added some features in your SOLIDWORKS installation and when you press “Modify” this message appears:

What is wrong?

This error usually appears because you have deleted the original installation set and the system cannot find the source file.

What to do?

The easiest solution is to recreate the file yourself.  Start by opening the Notepad program.

In the notepad, type “SOLIDWORKS 20XX SP0Y” without exclamation marks.

XX is the version number (19, 20, 21 etc.) and Y is the service pack (1, 2, 3, 4, 5). If the service pack has a revised number, you should separate them using a period.

If you wanted to modify the version number with service pack 5, then it would say “SOLIDWORKS 2022 SP05”.

Once this is modified, you should save the file in the folder specified in the error message and call it “swdata99”.

Close Notepad and browse to the location where you just saved the file. Rename the file to “” and press yes to change the extension.

You should now be able to run the modification.

“A Newer Version of this Application is Already Installed”

This issue first started to appear after SOLIDWORKS 2021 was released, and it only applies if you want to install SOLIDWORKS 2020 or older.


After filling out your serial number and deciding where to install SOLIDWORKS, you press “Install” and after a few seconds this error appears.

What is wrong?

In 2021, a newer version of VBA was released. This meant that the prerequisite VBA was obsolete. However, the software thinks this version is necessary and cannot skip it. The new VBA could be installed with a newer version of SOLIDWORKS or even with a Windows update.

What to do?

You have a couple of different options. You can start by using the original installation file set. Open it and go to prerequisites, find the VBA folder, locate the VBA then right click on it and press uninstall.

After installing your SOLIDWORKS, you can reinstall the VBA.

The other option applies if you have 3DEXPERIENCE products installed. Within your control panel, find the application: “Dassault Systèmes – VBA 7.1” and uninstall it.

You will be able to install SOLIDWORKS.

The final option applies if neither of the two above solutions are possible, such as if you no longer have the original install file set or if you do not have 3DEXPERIENCE installed.

If you contact your reseller, you can ask for the hotfix for S-078838. This is a text file called “S-078838_uninstall_vba.txt”. Rename this to “S-078838_uninstall_vba.bat”.

Right click on the file, and press “Run as administrator.”

This will remove the VBA installation, and you are ready to install SOLIDWORKS.

“Journal File Could Not Be Created”

This error appears when you start SOLIDWORKS. While it does not influence your ability to work on the software, it is still an annoying message that you want to be without.


When starting SOLIDWORKS, you get the message “Could not create journal file.” You press OK, and the software starts.

What is wrong?

This error can occur because of multiple things. The first is the most obvious: you already have an instance of SOLIDWORKS running and therefore a new journal file cannot be created.

A few other options could be an invalid file path to the journal file, or the fact that you do not have write access to the file for some reason.

What to do?

There are two solutions.

When the error involves an invalid file path, I usually see this when the user has copied the settings from a colleague and the file path is “C:\Users\<Username>\…” then links to a user that does not exist on the computer, and which cannot be created as it is on another Windows user.

Another reason could be that the user does not have write access to the folder in question.

In both cases, I recommend the same test: Open your regedit as an administrator.

Pro Tip: Be careful when editing the registry, as incorrect information can cause serious damage to your system. If you are in doubt, contact your IT department and they can assist you.

Go to “HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > SolidWorks > SolidWorks 20xx > ExtReferences”, with XX being the SOLIDWORKS version that you are using. For instance, in the screenshot I am using SOLIDWORKS 2023.

Within this you should look for a key called “SolidWorks Journal Folders.”

Change this to a folder that you know you have read access to, for instance C:\SW_Journal file\.

Close the registry editor and try and start SOLIDWORKS.

If the file error still occurs, it is easier to determine the cause, which can be one of two things:

1) No rights to write to the folder.

In Windows Explorer, find the folder that is referred to (in the example, “C:\SW_Journal file”) and right click on the folder. Go to Properties.

Ensure that you have the necessary rights to write to the folder.

2) Damaged log file.

The log file can be damaged due to improper shut down. To solve this, locate the log file, which is called “swxJRNL.swj” and delete it.

“Could Not Obtain License for SOLIDWORKS CAM”

This error can occur when you start up SOLIDWORKS and while this does have any effect on SOLIDWORKS, it can be annoying.


This error can appear out of nowhere and without the knowledge in this article, it can seem like it appears for no reason.

What is wrong?

 This issue is related to the CAM add-in. The CAM add-in is a part of your “standard” SOLIDWORKS installation, not a part of the SOLIDWORKS connected installation.

The license for CAM standard is part of your subscription. This means that the activation is only valid for your subscription period, which typically is one year.

What to do?

You have 3 different options:

1) Reactivate your CAM license. This, of course, requires subscription.

To reactivate your CAM license, open SOLIDWORKS, go to Help > License and press “Activate.” This will open the activation window.

Here you can select your CAM license and activate it by selecting SOLIDWORKS.

Press Next and then your CAM is reactivated, and the error disappears.

2) The quick and dirty solution.

This solution is used by people who do not use the CAM add-in and who either just want to get on with their work or don’t have time/permissions for solution 3.

Go to add-ins and find the CAM add-in, remove the checkmark in the “Start Up” box. This will ensure that a license is not needed.

3) Remove the CAM Program

The final option is to change your SOLIDWORKS installation. Of course, this is not an option if your company utilizes image installation. In this case, you need to speak to your CAD administrator to get them to remove it from the image installation.

However, if you have a standard installation, go to your control panel > Add/Remove Programs and find your SOLIDWORKS installation. Press “Change.”

The installation window will open. Press next until you get to the product selection and remove the checkmark for the CAM program.

Modify the installation and the error will no longer appear.

The License Will Expire in X Days

This is an error that has recently surfaced, due to new policies in the way license activations are handled within Dassault.


You start up SOLIDWORKS and this error appears, counting down each day. Once the countdown reaches zero, you cannot start SOLIDWORKS.

What is wrong?

It can be because you have a temporary license which has not been renewed, and then you cannot activate it. However, in 2022 it was decided that licenses did not need to be activated each year. This was done mainly done to ensure that licenses are not stuck on old machines that were not deactivated, and the machines reformatted with the license still active.

What to do?

The solution is actually quite simple. All you have to do is to reactivate your license before it expires.

Go to Help > License > Activate, select the SOLIDWORKS tab and press activate.

Select SOLIDWORKS and press “Next.”

You should be good to go.

All of these troubleshooting tips are specific solutions for well-known issues. I hope they will be of use.

Recent Articles

Related Stories

Enews Subscribe