Dealing with Corrupted SOLIDWORKS Files

May 7, 2021

Unable to open your SOLIDWORKS document out of nowhere? Do you keep getting this warning message when trying?

Dealing with Corrupted SOLIDWORKS Files

Bad news, your file might be corrupted. Some data in the file has been lost or damaged somehow, therefore it cannot be opened.

Do check if you have any backup copies of the file that you can use first instead.

What are some possible causes?

Force Termination of the Application

Termination due to either crashes, force close of the application, power cut could be one of the causes. Try to wait for the application to respond and in the meanwhile check your computer’s Task Manager to see if SOLIDWORKS application memory value increases during this period. If memory value remains the same, you will have to end the task. Force termination may sometimes lead to data loss.

File transfers

Possibility that file could become corrupted when transferred from its source to another destination due to incomplete transfer.

E.g., through Hardware/drives, email attachment, network/cloud.

Network Issues

The most common cause. This is due to working and saving your data on a server/remote network/cloud platform, where chances of corruption are high. It would be a good practice to backup copies of your files in your local drive.

Also, it would be recommended to create a copy of your SOLIDWORKS files on your local desktop first for any editing and saving. You can transfer the files back to the network upon completion instead of opening and editing them directly on the network.

Power Fluctuations

It can damage hardware which are very sensitive to spikes/dip or cut in voltage/current. To prevent such damage to your data and hardware, consider an uninterruptible power supply and proper rated surge protectors on your hardware.


Assembly File
Determine if the file itself is corrupted or due to the assembly/part reference inside.
Inside SOLIDWORKS, go to Open folder, search for your file.
Select it, in Configuration: option change to <Advanced>. Open.

Dealing with Corrupted SOLIDWORKS Files

A Configure Document window will pop up, choose ‘New configuration showing assembly structure only’, key in a name. Click ‘OK’.

Dealing with Corrupted SOLIDWORKS Files

By doing so, we are attempting to open the assembly with a new configuration where all the parts suppressed. If the assembly opens, the issue could be with its part or sub-assemblies. Therefore, go through your design tree, un-suppressing each subassembly and part to find the problem. (You can speed up the process by multi selecting and un-suppressing in groups to narrow down the issue.)

Drawing File
Determine if the file itself is corrupted or due to the assembly/part reference inside.
Inside SOLIDWORKS, go to Open folder, search for your file.
Select it, in Mode: scroll to <Quick View>. Select Sheets…

Dealing with Corrupted SOLIDWORKS Files

Dealing with Corrupted SOLIDWORKS Files

You will be loading sheet by sheet to find if any are corrupted. Once identified, you can then try opening the parts/assemblies used on the sheet to check if they are corrupted.
If they are able to be opened, it is likely the drawing sheet is corrupted and needs to be recreated. If not, replace the part/assembly with a new file.

Part File
It is likely the file is corrupted in itself.
1. If the file is stored on a network, you should transfer a copy to your local drive and try again to open it from there, you may also consider sending/transferring it to another device to try.
2. Check the size of the file, if it is 0 KB, there is nothing left of it.
3. To find if out if it may be recoverable, send the file to a Compressed(zipped)folder, you can do so by right clicking the document and going to Send to. Check the properties of the new zip folder for its size.
If its size is significantly smaller than the original file, the file is likely unusable.

Dealing with Corrupted SOLIDWORKS Files

SOLIDWORKS Technical Support

If you are unable to recreate or start from scratch and have no other backup copies available, feel free to contact us directly so we can determine if your files can be repaired and advise you further.

• It is advisable to periodically backup your work, to prevent such issues from disrupting your work and minimize any downtime incurred.