There were mixed reviews of the new feature in SolidWorks 2011 for taking the sting out of downloading patches called the Background Downloader. It is a small application that runs in the Windows system tray claiming not to hinder performance while downloading the latest and greatest from SolidWorks. At first mention this reminded me Google's Chrome browser, which downloads it's updates in the background, installing before the next launch without the user's intervention.
Although convenient in theory, a web browser and a 3D CAD application are completely different animals and with this new background downloader being setup to download by default, users are wondering how to turn it off and stop it from launching. Here are a few tips:
Disable SW Background Downloader:
In the system tray, as pictured above, right click on the SolidWorks Background Downloader icon and select "Disable Background Downloader". Once selected a message will display notifying you that to reenable you will need to go to Start > All Programs > SolidWorks Installation Manager > SolidWorks Background Downloader.
There have been issues with the background downloader returning on a restart. To prevent this from happening, go to Start > All Programs > Startup and remove the shortcut to the SolidWorks Background Downloader.
Although this can be a useful tool for some, it can sometimes choose the wrong time to start downloading and cause issues with companies that have a large majority of users on the same network. Personally I keep it enabled on my desktop and disabled on my laptop but would like to see this as an opt-in feature instead of an opt-out. ~Lou