The estimated time of completion is 8 minutes.

This section covers signing in to Onshape, checking your computer graphics compatibility and setting your personal work preferences. Work preferences are set once and then become immediately available to your Onshape account, regardless of what device or browser you access Onshape from.

If you have already created your account, all you need is the following Onshape URL (or the URL of your Onshape enterprise if your company has subscribed to an enterprise plan):

Create an account and sign in

If you haven't yet created your account, you must do so before you can sign in.

When you were added to a company subscription in Onshape, or you signed up for an Onshape plan on our website, you received an email notification. In that notification is a link to Onshape.

  1. Open the email and click CREATE YOUR ONSHAPE ACCOUNT:
  2. In the Onshape form that opens, fill in the fields:
    1. Your email is provided and is the one you were registered with, do not change this.
    2. Create a password with the following requirements: 
      1. Must be 8 characters or more in length
      2. Must include at least one of each: numeral, lowercase alphabetic character, and uppercase alphabetic character
    3. Make sure that the password and password confirmation match.
    4. Enter your first and last name and your phone number.
    5. Review Onshape's terms and privacy policy. Check the box to agree.
    6. Check the box to agree to be contacted by Onshape regarding products and services (this consent can be withdrawn at any time).
  3. Click Sign up.

Onshape opens. Now whenever you want to sign in to Onshape, simply go to your Onshape URL and enter your user credentials.

Check your system's compatibility

To check your system against Onshape's requirements and make sure that you have and are using the most beneficial configuration and graphics processor for Onshape:

  1. Click Help icon in the Onshape title bar (near the right end of the bar):

    Help icon in title bar

  2. Select System check from the menu.
  3. Wait for the system check to automatically complete. Green check marks appear when a test is completed.

This is an informational step only - for more information on the Performance check for graphics, you can click Hardware and Graphics Performance Recommendations and learn more about how Onshape handles graphics.

Set your personal preferences

Onshape understands that you may have habits and methods of working with your CAD data, and we have settings to make it easier for you to work the way you're accustomed to.

Set these preferences once and that's it. Whenever you sign in, on any device or browser at all, your preferences are already set and available, no resetting is necessary.

  1. Open the User menu Account icon (click your name in the right top corner of the window).
  2. Select My account from the menu.
  3. On the page that appears, select Preferences in the left panel.
  4. Make your preferential choices about your Onshape environment.
  5. Each section has its own Save button.

  6. Make sure to click Save for each section.

More details below.


Language - Select your preferred language for the user interface and help system. Upon clicking Save, Onshape refreshes the screen and you are required to sign in again.

Click Save language.

Decimal format

Decimal format - Optionally, select to use commas as decimal separators in numeric fields.

Click Save decimal format.


Units - Specify the default units for measurements in all documents that you create. To override the default at any time, enter the desired units at the time of creation (while dimensioning a sketch, for example). Otherwise, all numeric values will use these units by default.

Click Save mouse controls.

Mouse & view

Mouse controls - Use the drop down menu under View settings to select the CAD system with which you are most comfortable. Review the mouse settings for rotate, constrained rotate, pan, and zoom.

  • If you are most familiar with SOLIDWORKS, select SOLIDWORKS.
  • If you are most familiar with NX 10, select NX 10.
  • If you are most familiar with Creo, select Creo.
  • If you are most familiar with AutoCAD, select AutoCAD.

Click Save profile settings.

Pixel density on devices

Environment profile settings - To match the pixel density on high resolution displays (perhaps different devices or monitors), you can create profiles here. When using Onshape on a high resolution device or with a high resolution monitor, select the appropriate profile for that device.

Click Save profile settings.

Assembly settings

Display instance list properties - When checked, the part number, revision, and state properties of the instance appears in the Instances list on the right side in the Assembly.

Click Save assembly settings.


Keyboard shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts - Customize the keyboard shortcuts and hotkeys available for General tools, Sketch tools, Drawing tools, 3D View tools, Part Studio tools, and Assembly tools.

For more information on how to customize keyboard shortcuts and hotkeys, see Keyboard shortcuts.


Create shortcut toolbars

Shortcut toolbars - Configure your own in-app shortcut toolbars accessible through the 's' key while in a Part Studio, Assembly, or Drawing tab or with a sketch open in a Part Studio. This does not alter the window toolbar but rather supplies you with a quick and customized toolbar that appears at your cursor whenever you press the 's' key in empty space.

Reset customized toolbars to defaults

Toolbars - Click Reset to defaults to set the customized shortcut toolbars back to the Onshape defaults.

Click Save.

Set background color for imported drawings

Drawings - Set the background color (dark or light) of the model space in your imported drawings (.DWG and .DXF files). Note this does not change the color of drawings created in Onshape, just for drawings imported into Onshape.

Click Save drawing settings.

Use custom material libraries with Onshape

Material libraries - Use your own custom material libraries, if you want. Note that the material library must be added by an administrator in order for it to appear in this list so other users can make use of it as well.

For more detailed information on using material libraries, see Creating new material libraries.

Delegate release approval responsibilities

Release management - For Professional and Enterprise plan users, use the Release management section of the Preferences page to delegate your release approval responsibilities to another user or team.

Additional resources

Professional and Enterprise plan users: My Account Settings

Standard users: Manage Account