API: SolidWorks Add-ins and the Registry

Version 7

    The SolidWorks add-in templates register your add-ins at compile time.


    From a command window you can manually register your add-in with:


        regsvr32 yourDLL.dll

    And unregister it with:


        regsvr32 /u yourDLL.dll

    Most installation programs like InstallShield handle registration and unregistration for you.


    The availability of SolidWorks add-ins is controlled by registry keys under:


    The loading behavior of SolidWorks add-ins is controlled by registry keys under:



    A value of 1 for the Default key indicates that the add-in is activated.

    These keys should be removed when you un-register your add-in.

    You can inspect the registry by typing in a command window:







    The process of registering a DLL on Windows x64 is the same as Windows x32 with one exception:

    On Windows x64, there are 2 views on the registry:

    • a 64-bit view, which is the real view
    • a 32-bit view, which is represented by a set of special keys in the 64-bit view that are named Wow6432Node


    64-bit applications read from and write to the 64-bit registry view.

    32-bit applications read from and write to the 32-bit registry view.


    SolidWorks x64 is a native 64-bit application, so it looks for add-ins in the 64-bit registry view:

    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\SolidWorks\AddInsStartup


    The 32-bit version of SolidWorks running Windows x64 looks in:

    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\SolidWorks\AddIns
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Wow6432Node\SolidWorks\AddInsStartup


    To ensure that your add-in registration data ends up in the 64-bit registry view, please use the 64-bit version of the most common registration tools:

    • regsvr32.exe for COM dlls
    • regasm.exe for .NET assemblies registered for COM interoperability


    Please refer to the attached screenshots (*.jpg) that show where to find the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of these tools. Please note that the 64-bit version of regsvr32.exe has '32' in its name, which might be confusing.


    When installing an add-in using Windows Installer, please consult the Windows Installer user guide for how to set the target registry view for a registry entry.


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