Pre-tightening force and the mode of connection are of great influences on progressive damage of connection. Two three-dimensional.3D.models of composite laminates with bolted joint are developed with the finite element software and compared with the analytical results. Using 3D failure criteria, the influences on the strength and progressive damage of composite laminates with bolted joint are analyzed. The results indicate that the connection strength in single-lap laminated plates increases by a given range of pre-tightening force, but the connection strength will be reduced by excessive level of pre-tightening force. orce, but the connection strength will be reduced by excessive level of pre-tightening force. While in double-lap laminated plates, it increases with the addition of pre-tightening force. The connection strength of double-lap laminated plates is higher than that of the single-lap laminated plates. It may be attributed to the secondary bending because of the eccentric load. The initial failure loads of composite laminates are improved with the appropriate pre-tightening force. Delamination and matrix cracking failure load of composite laminates are reduced and the connection strength is improved.