Repairing SketchUp

It is only possible to repair a Mac SketchUp installation by doing a clean reinstallation.  But before that is attempted, there are some other things to try to fix the underlying cause of problem.  First try updating the operating system, then move on to repairing preferences and disk permissions.


Update the Operating System.   Unlike Windows, Apple bundles its graphics driver updates into operating system updates.  
  • Other mac users who were using System 10.7.3 (Lion) or 10.7.4 on their Macs, were having a problem where the cursor was about 1/4" from where it should be. According to the SketchUp guys, the solution was to upgrade to System 10.7.5 or higher. 
  • Open Call for OS X Mountain Lion Issues  Things to know about Mac upgrades and SketchUp AND another time to trash the plist and reset permissions...  xxxx [dead link]
Update Safari.  Take this time to clean out the browser cookies and cache.  SketchUp uses the default browser for dialogs and connections to the internet.  



    Close SketchUp before doing this.
    • Trash plist(s) associated with SketchUp, located at  /Users/<your_username>/Library/Preferences/ 
      • com.atlast.sketchup.plist
      • com.sketchup.SketchUp.2013.plist
      • com.sketchup.SketchUp.2014.plist
      • com.sketchup.SketchUp.2015.plist
      • com.sketchup.LayOut.plist
      • com.sketchup.style_builder.plist
      • Empty the trash.
      • PreferenceCleaner  An Apple utility to remove preference files.
    Note:  The preference list stores your customized SketchUp options.  Deleting the preference list will cause SketchUp to appear as it was freshly installed.  Toolbar will be in the default locations.  Sorry.
    Note²:  With the release of Lion, the User library is now hidden by default.  Type (or copy/paste) the following into terminal and your user library will no longer be hidden:
    chflags nohidden ~/Library/
      Access the preference folder by going to the Finder-->hold the <Option> key down ( this will unhide the needed folder)
      1. Choose GO menu-->Library---->Preferences. Scroll down until you find any SketchUp specific plist files. Delete them.
      2. While in the Library folder, find "Saved Application State" folder. Select any SketchUp specific files. Delete them.
      3. As of Mavericks (Mac OS X 10.9) preferences are cached by the OS and will be restored the next time you restart SketchUp unless you force the OS to reload the cache.  To do so, either log off and then back in, or else open the terminal and type: killall cfprefsd
      4. Restart SketchUp



      Saved State


        Disk and Folder Permission

        Repairing Disk Permissions is one of the things to do when little things start going wrong, like when File > Open recent files no longer show up, SketchUp keeps asking for license information...
        1. Restart your computer.
        2. Open a Finder window.
        3. Click "Applications."
        4. Click "Utilities."
        5. Double-click "Disk Utility."
        6. Select your hard drive.
        7. Select the "First Aid" tab.
        8. Click "Repair Disk Permissions."
        9. After the permissions are repaired, exit Disk Utility.
        10. Repeat steps one through nine once more just to be safe.
        Note: As of El Capitan (OS X 10.11) the repair disk permissions operation is gone from Disk Utility due to the introduction of System Integrity Protection (SIP).  Supposedly, due to the new permissions protection of critical system files this action is no longer necessary because nothing can change the permissions on the protected areas - not even a root user. There is a workaround for very advanced users, but it should not be necessary in general.

        Resetting File/Folder Permissions

        There have been some problems with stricter file/folder permissions in recent operating system updates.  This problem has affected access to the license file (affecting Pro and Free users both) and the program's Plugins folder.  Such permissions can be reset.

        Resetting the license file (from Barry Janzen, Trimble SketchUp team member):
        1. In Finder, type Command-shift-g
        2. Paste in this line "/Library/Application Support/Google SketchUp 8/SketchUp/SketchUp.dat" and type enter.
        3. Finder should be showing SketchUp.dat.  Type Command-i  (for Get Info)
        4. In the info panel, go to the bottom where it says "Sharing and Permissions".  Click on the lock in the lower left of the window and authenticate.
        5. Change the setting for everyone from "Read only" to "Read & Write".
        6. Now edit the file in TextEdit and it should stick.
        .rbz plugin files will not install or load with SU 8 and OS X Mountain Lion
        From Sage Berlydrue, the problem has cropped up because Mountain Lion does not allow any "unknown" entities to install. It's a new (and aggravating) level of security on the Mac. It happened to me also when I updated to Mountain Lion recently.
        The plugin folder where the "'.rbz" file has to be installed (unzipped) to, has a new higher level of "permissions". Previously (pre Mountain Lion) the permissions for this folder were set to "read & write". Now, in Mountain Lion, they are set to "read only". These permissions are also known as "chmod 666" or "chmod 755".
        It's easy to fix these permissions on the Mac, without having to use terminal commands.
        1. Find the plugin folder. MacHD/Library/Application Support/Google SketchUp 8/SketchUp/plugins
        2. Select the plugins folder by clicking once on it ( don't double click )
        3. Press <Command> i (for info)
        4. When the plugins folder info window opens, click on small padlock in bottom right, sign in with admin. pwd.
        5. Click on "sharing and permissions" to open options
        6. Change all groups to "Read & Write"
        7. Click on padlock again to prevent further changes.
        8. Close window
        9. Extensions installer should now be able to install ".rbz" plugins

        Problematic Freezes and Crashes

        Be prepared to dedicate some time investigating freezing and crashing problems - especially if the problem affects the entire computer.  All parts of a computer need to play nice together - OS, hardware, all software, all drivers, plugins, etc.  Yes, freezing from SketchUp can be caused by the program software OR it may be a symptom of something else going wrong.

        From SketchUp support Barry: If your computer freezes and you need to restart your machine, do not use the kill switch.  Does "your machine respond to Command-Option-Escape?  If so, kill it there rather than the power button.  That will induce a spincontrol dump and may give some clues, storing the spin dump at  /Library/Logs/HangReporter/.  
        • Use this information in a bug report and/or discussion
        • The dump may list problematic processes/drivers to better focus the crash investigation.

        Problematic Reinstallations

          Application cleaners, like AppCleaner, can be tried, but be careful.  Some cleaners may hunt for everything with "SketchUp" in the name.  If that happens, other SketchUp versions installed on the computer may also be inadvertently removed - or the application may only be partially removed.   AppCleaner displays the files it finds before removing them - which at least gives you the ability to double-check what is being deleted.

          Create a new user account

          There may be a unique conflict with with your system environment that is causing a conflict. One way to test this is to create a new user account on your computer. Please create a new user account with Admin permissions on your Mac, log in to this new account, then try re-installing SketchUp Pro once more with these instructions:
          1. Uninstall SketchUp by visiting our Uninstall instructions
          2. After uninstalling, try repairing disk permissions once more:
            1. Restart your computer.
            2. Open a Finder window.
            3. Click Applications.
            4. Click Utilities.
            5. Double-click Disk Utility.
            6. Select your hard drive.
            7. Select the First Aid tab.
            8. Click Repair Disk Permissions.
            9. After the permissions are repaired, exit Disk Utility.
            10. Please repeat steps "1" through "9" once more.
          3. Log in to your computer with the new user account that has administrative privileges.
          4. Download SketchUp again.
          5. When the download completes, double-click on the install file and follow the on-screen instructions.

          Disable Ruby Plugins

          Check to see if you have any Ruby plugins installed that could have accidentally disabled those features that are missing.  The old method of disabling plugins was to temporarily remove them from SketchUp's plugin folder: 

          'Hard Drive'/Library/Application Support/Google SketchUp 8/SketchUp/Plugins

          But if you have SketchUp 8, Maintenance release 2, or newer, the second maintenance released added a new way to disable all plugins
          through the Ruby Console.

          If disabling Ruby resolves the issue, then disabling or uninstalling any recently installed plugins.

          Safe Boot/Safe Mode

          In more extreme cases it may be necessary to try Safe Mode for troubleshooting.   By stopping some things from loading, a safe mode startup helps by isolating problems caused by other programs, drivers, and other stuff loading at startup.  And it can help by singling out the graphics driver.  Safe mode loads a default graphics card driver.  But it is also possible to mark that driver as essential so it will load.  

          Other Considerations



          Missing options in the Materials browser

          The basics

          The Mac Material browser has a lot of special features courtesy of the operating system - if the user can get to them...

          Activate the 'Colors' window, to see the colors...
          • it is found in the SU menu 'Windows' >> 'Materials'...
          • or you can set 'SketchUp' >> 'Preferences' >> 'Drawing' >> 'Auto Activate Paint Tool'

          If the Materials dialog box is gone all together, these steps are recommended to reset your workspace:
          1. Click "SketchUp" > "Preferences."
          2. Click "Workspace" in the left pane.
          3. Click "Reset Workspace."

          Ruby Console method

          1. Add the code below to the Ruby Console
          2. Press Return
          %x(open /Applications/SketchUp\\ 2013/



          Pre-Mac OS X 10.8

          In SketchUp, push the 'B' key to bring up the paint bucket.

          At the top-right of the pallet, you'll see a little pill shaped button. Push that button to expand the toolbar and all of the other color options along with the SketchUp brick will appear.

          Mac OS X 10.8

          The pill shaped button in the upper right corner from earlier versions of Mac OS X has been removed by Mac OS X 10.8.  If SketchUp was used under Mac OS 10.6, and last had the Color window in the collapsed state, the preferences file will have remembered that.  If you have the dialog box, but the Color wheel, sliders, brick, etc... icons are missing, then reset SketchUp's preferences file:
          1. Open a new Finder window. 
          2. Click the word "Go" in the menu bar. 
          3. Press and hold the Option key on your keyboard. The "Library" folder should appear in the Go drop-down list. 
          4. Click "Library" 
          5. Open the "Preferences" folder. 
          6. Drag any of these files (if present) to your Trash:
            • com.atlast.sketchup.plist
            • com.sketchup.SketchUp.2013.plist
            • com.sketchup.SketchUp.2014.plist
            • com.sketchup.LayOut.plist
            • com.sketchup.style_builder.plist

          More on preferences.

          If resetting the preferences is not enough, move on to fixing disk permissions:
          1. Restart your computer.
          2. Open a Finder window.
          3. Click Applications.
          4. Click Utilities.
          5. Double-click Disk Utility.
          6. Select your hard drive.
          7. Select the First Aid tab.
          8. Click Repair Disk Permissions.
          9. After the permissions are repaired, exit Disk Utility.
          10. Please repeat steps one through nine once more. 

          If rebuilding preferences and disk permissions do not restore the missing features to the Materials browser, then reinstall SketchUp.


          Plugin Issues


          Mac Plugin Survey

          Plugin Location

          • SketchUp 2013 
            • Mac HD > Users > [User] > Library > Application Support > SketchUp 2013 > SketchUp > [Folder, e.g. Components]
            • an alternative: Open a new Finder window, press and hold the Option key on your keyboard, the click Go in the menu bar > Library > Application Support > SketchUp 2013 > SketchUp > Plugins.
          • Pre-SketchUp 2013 - 'Hard Drive' [your user name]/Library/Application Support/Google SketchUp 8/SketchUp/Plugins
            • This "Library" folder is at the top level of your hard drive & should not be confused with the folder of the same name in your user (home) folder. If you are having trouble finding it, from the Finder, select "Go to Folder" from the "Go" menu. In the box that appears, type "/Library/Application Support/Google SketchUp 8/SketchUp/plugins" (without the quotes) & click the "Go" button. 
            • Calling Whaat and Fredo!! new MAC issues (SOLVED) Troubleshooting the confusing issues about plugin location on a Mac hard drive.
          If there is a problem finding the Plugins directory to manually install a plugin - in either Windows or Mac - open SketchUp and open the Ruby Console (found under the Window menu).  Enter the following code:
          Press Enter (Return on a Mac.)
          This will open a window with the correct directory.
          Note:  Some scripts come with several files and folders. They all go in the Program's Plugins directory shown above. Do not create any sub-directories of your own to contain script files and folders

          Troubleshooting Plugins - Binary Tree Method

          Some program freezing and crashing can be caused by 3rd party plugins. Troubleshooting plugin-related crashes have become easier with SketchUp 8 maintenance release 2.  All plugins can be disabled from the Ruby console inside SketchUp.  However, disabling all plugins only helps to identify a problem caused by some plugin, not which plugin.  An if someone has over two hundred plugins, The long-standing method of troubleshooting naughty plugins (and what needs to be done to identify a specific plugin) is to remove half of the plugins form the Plugins directory, restart SketchUp.  If the problem continues, remove half of the remaining plugins and restart SketchUp again. You get the idea?  Continuing to dividing things in half to isolate the problem forms a binary tree. 

          Other Issues From Changing Operating System Permissions

          When the upgrade to Mountain Lion occurred, it ushered in a new level of permission security by not allowing any "unknown" entities to install.  This affects the ability to install plugins.  See how to add folder permission above.


          Mouse and keyboard tricks


          To get the middle button of a 3 button mouse to Orbit, go to Mac System Preferences --- choose Mouse settings.  Set the middle (orbit) button to "button 3" instead of "Mission Control".


          Sick installer issues


          Getting a request for keychain permission when starting SketchUp?  
          Go to /Applications/Utilities/Keychain and search for SketchUp.  You should find one for SketchUp.  Click on Access Control.  It should have "Confirm before allowing access" selected, but not "Ask for Keychain password" checked underneath that.


            A few other quirks


            Google Earth Related Issues


            Screen resolution

            • SwitchResX  For people with high-resolution monitors, customize screen resolution for each running program.  Fee




            Diagnostic info


            If anyone needs to submit any bug or technical support requests about a problematic Mac installation, there is some useful stuff which should be included.

            A technical support request to SketchUp or any of the other Mac technical support sites would be more complete with the following information:

            In a Terminal session enter:

              system_profiler -detaillevel full > ~/filenameofyourchoice
            (~ or tilde is Unix for "your home directory")

            The results will appear in the User directory.


            Find recent boo-boo reports from crashes, hangs and panics from SketchUp at:

              Finder > ~/Library/Logs/CrashReporter/ 
              Finder > ~/Library/Logs/PanicReporter/ 
              Finder > ~/Library/Logs/HangReporter/ 


             Additional required info:

            • Confirm if this happens on any file, even a brand new file.
            • If it's on a specific file, send in that file.
            • Makes notes about what was being done in SketchUp when the problem occurred.
            • Try to duplicate the problem.
            • Is there anything else running when you use SketchUp... iTunes?  Firefox? Safari? EVERYTHING (System Profiles is only gives general system configuration information - not what happened when the crash or other problem occurred)
            • Is SketchUp slow before the crash?


            Troubleshooting web sites

            If SketchUp malfunctions are symptoms of something going array with the computer, here are some other place to check out for help.
            • Macsimum   Links to troubleshooting sites, utilities and forums 
            • Developer Connection  An Apple site.  Information about memory management in this specific link.  
            • basic troubleshooting  bob collected some articles about how to hunt down problems. 

            Troubleshooting Mac




            Dynamic Guide

            SketchUp Group member bob began compiling this Mac troubleshooting guide:

            SketchUp community contributions are appreciated.  So...
            add comments and suggestions...
            Become a collaborator...
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