SOLIDWORKS PDM Client Installation and Vault View Creation

dateOctober 24, 2023



SOLIDWORKS PDM is a document management product based on the client/server architecture.

Do note that SOLIDWORKS PDM has two types, PDM Standard and PDM Professional.

In this blog, we will be looking at how to install the PDM Client and how to create a view of the PDM Vault inside your Windows file explorer to access the PDM server files. Regardless of you having PDM Standard or Professional.


Part 1 (PDM Client installation)

If you have SOLIDWORKS on your computer already, access/edit your SOLIDWORKS program installation from the Control Panel, Programs and Features.


  1. You will come to the page below.



If your computer does not have SOLIDWORKS CAD yet:

You can run the setup.exe (the SW Installation manager) from the SOLIDWORKS installation files:


(Not recommended) You can install manually through the SWPDMClient folder’s setup.exe inside the full installation files set:


2. There is no need to input license serial numbers for PDM Client.


SOLIDWORKS PDM uses network/floating client licenses. When you log in to a vault, the license is taken from a pool of licenses that are managed by the SolidNetWork License Server. When you log out or exit SOLIDWORKS PDM, the license is returned to the pool and can be used by another client.


3.  Select the SOLIDWORKS PDM Client.

Install SOLIDWORKS PDM Client 20XX. If you are using PDM Professional, there is an option to install the *Item Explorer if you wish.


4. On the Summary page, click Change for SOLIDWORKS PDM Options.


5. Choose your PDM product, your Client Type (based on your license) and Add-ins.



For Add-ins:

  • Select SOLIDWORKS Add-in to have the client add-in available inside your SOLIDWORKS.
    You can select other CAD software’s Add-in, e.g. DraftSight if you have and wish to do so.
  • *Microsoft Office Integration is only available for PDM Professional.


    6. Head back to the Summary page and check your settings and options, and Install/Modify now.



     7.  Let the installation of the SOLIDWORKS PDM Client and any pre-requisites run:


    8. Once installation has been completed successfully, you can proceed to create the Vault view.


Part 2 (Vault view creation)

9. Search for “View Setup” in windows search or find it in your SOLIDWORKS PDM folder in windows menu.


10. Click “Next” on welcome screen window.



   11.  Look for and select your PDM Archive server name in the list.  



If not found, you can try to click “Add…” and type the server’s name to search. The PDM Server should be within the same network as your computer.


  12.  Select the PDM Vault(s) you wish to connect to.


Note that your PDM Client and the PDM Server must be of the same major SOLIDWORKS Version, but a difference in service pack within the same Version is alright.


   13.  Choose the location of the Vault view folder and access.

-Direct C:\ drive path is recommended, due to default 256-character path limit of Windows.

-Choose “For all users…” to allow different windows login to access the vault view.


  14. Finish



  15.  Check your C: drive folder, the vault view should be there.
Right-click and login if you have a PDM login account.



  *Bonus: How to remove your PDM Vault view* 


  1. Right-click the vault view and choose “Delete…” 

If you have checked-out/worked on files within the PDM vault on your computer, it is good to ensure that your files have been saved and checked-in back to the PDM vault before deleting the vault view.

   2. Ignore the prompts if seen.

  3. Choose which option you prefer for any local cached files left.

Option 1: Vault files you have accessed remain in the local cache.

Option 2: All local files are deleted.



If you encounter some issues while creating the PDM Vault view or removing a vault view, you can contact/email: