Online licensing

Lars Haaland

By Lars Haaland



Have you ever needed to move your standalone SOLIDWORKS license from one PC to another? SOLIDWORKS offers an additional method of activating standalone licenses, which may be a little simpler to use e.g. for those who regularly needs to access a standalone license both from home and at work.

Your standalone SOLIDWORKS licenses can be switched between PCs. Using the traditional activation method called Machine Activation, this activation is tied to the PC. When you need to use SOLIDWORKS on a different PC, a machine activated PC first needs be deactivated. From SOLIDWORKS 2018 onwards, you can now use an activation method which follows you, the user. This Online Licensing associates a SOLIDWORKS license with your SOLIDWORKS user account, so that you can e.g. access your license at home or at work without having to remember to deactivate the license first. As long as SOLIDWORKS 2018 or newer is installed on the PC, your license is available to you when you log on.

The purpose of online licensing is to give each user easier access to a specific standalone license across several devices.

Online licensing is a choice for those who want to be able to switch their license between two or more PCs. The old way of activating the license is still there, though – so if you prefer to use that method you are free to do so. You can use the activation method which suits your company’s needs, and you can switch between the two methods. You can choose to keep some products on machine activation and others on online licensing. Some users in a company might use Online Licensing, while others use Machine Activation. It should be added that if you got one standalone license that you share between several users, online activation will not work very well. For this particular use scenario a network license with one seat might be a better alternative.

Online licensing will need Internet access, but there is an offline mode which will take the license offline for up to 30 days.

Online licensing is available for all SOLIDWORKS products on a standalone license, except SOLIDWORKS PDM. SNL license is not yet supported.

Whether or not Online Licensing is a thing to use for your company, is something you need to discuss – but for some users it may be worth looking into.

How to change a license from machine activation to online licensing?
The process of converting a machine activated license to an online activated license requires the license to be deactivated first, and an administrator need to access the Admin Portal to assign licenses to users.

If you have standalone licenses that are already activated using Machine activation, you can switch to online licensing by following the steps listed below.

Open SOLIDWORKS 2018 and deactivate the license using Help > Deactivate License, then complete the subsequent dialog steps. The license is now ready to be activated using Online activation.

An Administrator must login to SOLIDWORKS Admin Portal and assign a license to you and must also click to change the activation for this license to “Online activation”. The administrator does this by logging into SOLIDWORKS Admin Portal, found under your username when logged into

When starting SOLIDWORKS the next time, you will see a login screen. Login with your SOLIDWORKS ID and password and your license is now ready to use.

When logged in, you will see the user Icon on top and to the right of the SOLIDWORKS window indicate that you are logged in.

If you need to take the license offline, you can do so here.


Feel free to reach out to us if you got more questions regarding Online Licensing.



Lars Haaland
Technical Consultant – Application training
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