Basic Stuff on Installing SketchUp


Install SketchUp

  • SketchUp Pro requires .NET Framework.  Different versions of .NET Framework can co-exist together.  Make sure you have the right version installed.  Note SketchUp requires version 2.0. 
  • Permissions is something Windows introduced after XP to help prevent malicious code developers from introducing naughty files/apps on your computer.  
  • Update your graphics card driver.  Even a new system may not have the latest driver.  And you if updated your operating system, an updated graphics driver hopefully has been developed to go with the new OS.
    • Some systems require that the manufacturer supplies the drivers.
    • Otherwise go to the graphics card/chipset manufacturer website
    • LaptopVideo2Go  Third-party NVIDIA drivers for laptops
  • Troubleshooting
  • It there is a problem accessing the 3D Warehouse and Google Earth from inside of SketchUp:
    • Make sure to be signed to your Google account from inside of SketchUp. 
      • The account button down in the status bar should look actIve,  (pre-SketchUp 2013) or .
      • If the button is grayed out, click on it to sign into your Google account.
    • You If you have a firewall, you want to make sure that the following URLs and ports are open
      • (port 80)
      • (ports 80 and 443)
  • More troubleshooting tips.
If SketchUp works when it is first installed, go to the following SketchUp menu item: Window > Preferences > OpenGL.  Uncheck Use hardware acceleration.  Restart SketchUp.  (Use fast feedback, found in the same Window sub-menu also may have to be disabled). 
When SketchUp is initially installed and opened, it checks the computer for graphics driver OpenGL compliance.  The program will adjust the OpenGL preferences accordingly.  Sometimes that automatic adjustment will not hold.  So the settings need to be manually changed.
People running 64-bit operating systems may want Mystic Thumbs, a thumbnail generator for Windows Explorer.  SketchUp file thumbnail support was recently added.  SKP, SKB and SKM thumbnails will show up in an Explorer window.

Enable Dedicated Graphics Card on Laptops

Integrated graphics chipsets on the laptop motherboard use less power than a dedicated graphics video card, which is important to extend the battery life on laptops, but it is bad for SketchUp performance.  If you are using a notebook computer that has both Intel HD integrated graphics chipset and an AMD or NVIDIA graphics card,  you need to tell your computer which card you want to use.  Check in the 3D application settings in the dedicated graphic card control panel that SketchUp and your other applications are set to use the AMD/NVIDIA graphics card. Leaving the settings to automatic selection tends to favor the Intel graphics that are incompatible with SketchUp.

NVIDIA Control Panel:  Open the control panel by right-clicking your Windows desktop and selecting NVIDIA Control Panel from the menu. Left on the control panel is a sidebar, expand "3D settings" and select "Manage 3D settings". On the right pane, select "Program settings" and select SketchUp from the popup menu, or, if it isn't there, click the Add button and locate it from the program folder. In the settings window, change the "OpenGL rendering GPU" setting from "Use global setting(Auto-select)" to point direrctly to your Nvidia GPU, and do the same for all other settings where the choice is related to your two graphics processors.


Problem: The mouse in SketchUp it is moving VERY slowly.  
  • This can happen with Logitech mice that are using the Logitech drivers. You should be able to resolve this by going to the Logitech drivers and disable acceleration in games.
  • Install a new driver, the old driver may be corrupted.  Or use the default mouse driver that comes with Windows.
  • Switch mice.  Another mouse with a different driver may work better.

JavaScript Loading Error

SketchUp will 'ping' an analytics site to give the software developers a head count of unique users.  SketchUp will use the operating system's default browser for all internet browser and dialog window functions.  So with Windows, Internet Explorer and Explorer are the default applications.   Internet browsing history files can interfere with browser functionality.  Try clearing the cache of Internet Explorer or follow Microsoft's guide on this Microsoft support page (especially 4).


Installer, .NET, MSI File Problems


Sick Installer

Sometimes the Windows installer program can have problems.  If the installer is sick, SketchUp may not install or some program parts may be missing from the program directory.

Note:  After XP, Windows operating systems tightened up security.  SketchUp need to be install under an administrator user account.  To install, r-click on the installer and select Run as administrator.
Note:  Several of the links below refer to SketchUp 6.  SketchUp 7 no longer uses InstallShield installer, so some of the suggestion will not apply to SketchUp 7 problems.  But SketchUp Guide Jody recommends, "the suggestion of reinstalling is to update all temp or uninstall files is never a bad idea, regardless of the installation engine used."
Try one of Microsoft's repair utilities like Fixit.

Repair .NET Framework

Microsoft has a tool to try to fixing the .NET installation on your computer if you are getting error messages regarding .NET Framework - like if the SketchUp installer does not recognize the version of .NET you have installed.

"Microsoft VC80..." error message at install

An error ocurred during the installation of assembly ´Microsoft.VC80.ATL,type="
win32", version ="8.0.50727.6195", publicKeyToken="1fc8b3b9a1e18e3b", processorArchitecture="86". Please refer to Help and Support for more information. HRESULT: 0x80070424. 

Fix SketchUp Installation


SketchUp loads, but... 

SketchUp loads slower than before

  • Troubleshoot graphics-related issues.  A great many bug splats have to do with graphic driver deficiencies.
  • Problem with SU  Clearing out excessive toolbar entries in the registry may help those who have collected 'millions' of plugins. 
  • The next time you are inside SketchUp, close Window palettes, like Components and Materials, before closing SketchUp.  The palette browsers have to repopulate before you can use the program.  While at it, choose list viewing instead of thumbnails in those browser windows if possible.  That can help speed up the modeling process a bit too.

Error message "cannot connect to the 3D Warehouse"

SketchUp uses your operating system's default browser to do things like open window dialogs and search the 3D Warehouse when using the Components browser.  If you get the message that SketchUp cannot connect to the 3D Warehouse, on Windows systems, open Internet Explorer, open the Tools menu and check if Internet Explorer was set to Work Offline.
While the Internet Explorer's Tools menu is open, it is a good opportunity to clear the browser cache and cookies if that has not been done recently.  From the Tools menu, go to Internet Options > General > Browsing history > Delete.  A dialog will open will several things that can be deleted.  Keeping the Temp folder clean can help improve browser performance.  Microsoft's guide: (especially 4).
 Yet more tips to tune-up Internet Explorer if clearing out cache and cookies is not enough...


SketchUp crashes more than before

Update your graphics card driver.  More

The Plugins folder can simply be renames to prevent plugins from loading.  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.  The old method of troubleshooting naughty plugins (and what needs to be done to identify a specific plugin) is to remove half of the plugins from the Plugins directory, restart SketchUp.  If the problem continues, remove half of the remaining plugins and restart SketchUp again... You get the idea?

"CFile exception 2" error message

This error may appear if you try to use non-alphanumeric characters in a SKP file name.


Uninstalling SketchUp


OK, there are a few good reasons to do this....

Downgrading SketchUp Pro to Free

Before SketchUp 8 was released, the Pro trial version of SketchUp could downgrade to SketchUp Free.  This feature caused some confusion for some licensed Pro users who neglected to entered their licensing information yet continued using SketchUp after the trial expired and thought they were still using the Pro version.  So now there are two separate installations - Pro and Free.  

Now a new problem popped up - an incomplete uninstallation of SketchUp Pro 8 when some people go through the SketchUp Pro trial and decide to downgrade and install SketchUp Free.  Some files and registry entries may be left behind after uninstalling SketchUp Pro and replacing it with SketchUp Free which makes the computer think the Pro version is still installed,

Uninstall SketchUp Pro

Help Center  General instructions for uninstalling the program.  However, this may not be enough...

Reboot (restart the computer) after uninstalling SketchUp Pro to help insure stray files and registry keys have been removed.  Then install SketchUp Free.  But if that is not enough....

Search for the Pro trial license file and manually remove (or just rename) the file located at:
    C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Google\Google SketchUp 8\SketchUp8.If

Look over the other tips on uninstalling SketchUp listed below - which include clearing the registry...

  • Use Start > Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs.
  • can't remove SketchUp6  If SketchUp was not able to uninstall, there are some additional steps to try for a manual uninstallation.
  • Revo Uninstaller  An uninstaller which removes all bits, including registry entries.
  • Windows Installer Cleanup Utility  Cleans up residual bits and pieces.  NOTE:  Microsoft retired Windows Installer CleanUp Utility on June, 2010, due to conflicts with Office 2007.

Some notes about the Registry

Note:  Many people have mixed feelings about registry cleaner utilities.  If anyone goes this route, do the research necessary to learn about the Registry, setting up system restore points, and finding the right cleaning utility for the job.

  • Advanced Registry  Site has video previews of 3 registry cleaners.
  • Backuping the XP Registry  An article covering some facts about the brain center of your computer.  Don't mess with the Registry unless comfortable.
  • CCleaner  All-around fantastic utility for cleaning out accumulated crap which also has a registry cleaning tool. 
  • Wise Cleaner  Recommended by Microsoft, yet the malware scanner Ad-Adware tagged it as a threat (but then WiseCleaner does alter the registry.)
  • NRUNT  Free, complete registry backup utility.

If comfortable mucking about in the registry...

Search the registry for "sketchup".  Look for a key for "AllowRevertToFree" with the value set to 0. Change the value to 1.  Now open Sketchup from the desktop shortcut.  When the opening splash screen prompts that the trial time was up, there should be a button for "Downgrade to SketchUp Free".
untested tip from forum member Marlin84 

In case SketchUp was installed on an external drive which latter failed...

If the drive J (or some other lettered drive): is completely removed (not listed in Explorer), the installer starts with an error message "Invalid drive: J:\" and finishes. Trying to uninstall SketchUp from the System Control/Software also fails the same way.

If the drive J: is still listed in Explorer but unaccessible, the installer also starts with an error message "'Program Files' is not a valid short file name." and finishes.

Solution 1: Make J: available again so that you can properly uninstall SketchUp.
Remove your broken hard drive if you haven't yet. If you have a usb thumb drive, insert it. Go to "Computer management" and "Disk management". There should be a list of storage media. Right-click on the thumb drive and change the drive letter to J. Then launch the SketchUp installer and uninstall SketchUp.
Now you can change the drive letter back to normal and reinstall SketchUp to the system's default drive.

Solution 2: Remove SketchUp from the registry.
Try a registry cleaner (CCleaner). If it doesn't find/fix it, try it manually. Open as administrator regedit.exe. Create a backup by selecting the top most element (Computer) and in the menu File → Export... . Then Edit → Search... for the original install location like "J:\Program Files\Google\Google SketchUp 8". You should find at least two entries with name "InstallLocation" and that file path; delete them.


Blue Screen of Death


The blue screen of death appears from system conflict.  If one happens while trying to use SketchUp, a prime suspect would be a driver, specifically the graphics driver.  But a graphics driver is one of many things that can cause a BSOD.  A sickly mouse driver can cause a BSOD too.  All parts have to play together nicely - hardware, services, drivers, software, OS, BIOS - everything. 
To test if the graphics driver is involved, temporarily disable hardware acceleration at the system level - or try installing in Clean Boot mode or Safe Mode as described in the next section.
  • Disable hardware acceleration through the graphics card control panel
  • Disable hardware acceleration through Windows control panels
    1. Right-click on desktop (in XP at least)
    2. Go to Properties > Settings > Advanced > Troubleshoot
    3. Set hardware acceleration slider to none
    4. Try reloading SketchUp
  • If SketchUp functions, then there is a deficiency with the graphics card and/or its driver.
If "lucky," a system failure error report sent to Microsoft will report back with some clues about the failure cause which may help troubleshoot the problem.
For example, if Microsoft reports back there is a problem with some unidentified system driver and you notice mouse preferences have been lost, it would be a good clue that the mouse driver should be updated.
Go to the next section :(


System Troubleshooting


SketchUp won't start on my PC Help Center | The installation won't run

Uninstall or Repair an installation

  •  Help Center  General instructions for uninstalling the program
    • Windows uninstaller windows may have a Repair or Change option in addition to the Remove option.  In some cases, the program can be repaired by this method.  If that does not work,  then uninstall/reinstall the program.
  • Some additional uninstall/reinstallation steps
    • Save SketchUp preferences
      • Windows > Preferences > Files or Shortcuts > Export
    • Uninstalling the program does not remove anything the user added, like plugins, materials, and components
      • To be on the safe side, make a copy of the customized folders
      • Some folders may be left in the program directory after uninstalling.  If they are kept around for the reinstallation, rename the folders by adding something like the word "old" to the title.  That way the content of the old folder will not intermingle with the new installation folders.
  • System Restore will roll back your computer to an earlier system state without affecting personal files.
  • Reinstalling your operating system is also an extreme option to keep in mind, depending on the problem.  Investigating, finding and fixing software conflict can take a considerable amount of time.  Some people may prefer to repair or reinstall the operating system instead.  It is sometimes possible just overwrite the operating system files from the installation CD without affecting personal files.


This is not a pleasant process.  While you troubleshoot, keep an open mind about what could be the cause,,,

The process

General system maintenance on your computer is a good place to start to first rule out any issues your system's health as a cause of the problem.
  • Clean your computer.  For a desktop, open the case and blow out the dust with canned air.  On a laptop, follow your manufacturer's directions.
  • Computer Health  This old article mainly deals with XP systems, but much of it will apply to other operating systems as well.
  • CCleaner is a great clean-up utility. 
    • Protect valuable cookies by going to Options > Cookies.  But a thorough clean would entail getting rid of those too :(
    • Clean out old Prefetch data through the Advanced menu options.  Other good advanced options to check include Tray Notifications Cache, IIS Log Files and Hotfix Uninstallers.
  • Scan your system with your anti-virus software.  Double-check that scan for missed items by running the free, respected malware finders: Ad-Aware and Spybot.
  • Update Internet Explorer.  Programs use the system provided browser for webdialogs and browser use (for security reasons and keeping the program installer smaller.)  Update Internet Explorer, clear the cache files, update Adobe Flash for Internet Explorer, etc.  See more.
  • Submit SketchUp bugsplat reports.  SketchUp Pro uses can submit support tickets within one year of purchasing the license.  A bugsplat crash report can help to identify the cause of the problem.  Bugsplat reports also help to track the prevalence of recurring problems.
  • Disable plugins.  Either temporarily remove user-added plugins from SketchUp's Plugins directory or just rename the Plugins directory so the plugins will not load when restarting SketchUp.  If the problem goes away, return a few plugins at a time to the Plugins directory and restart SketchUp until the problem appears again to isolate which plugin is causing the problem.  Go to the plugin developer for help or check if the plugin has be updated.
  • Update your graphics driver
    • If you can open SketchUp, test your driver by disabling hardware acceleration from inside SketchUp.  Go to Windows > Preferences > OpenGL and disable Use hardware acceleration.  Restart SketchUp.  If the SketchUp problem goes away, the real problem is the graphics driver.  Keep the driver updated or install an older driver.  SketchUp will operate without hardware acceleration provided through your graphics card, but modeling will be noticably slower. Information
    • Hardware acceleration also can be disabled at the system level.  With Windows XP, right-click on the desktop > Properties >   Settings > Advanced > Troubleshoot.  Select None and click on Apply (this will keep the display properties dialogs open so the acceleration can be reversed after testing.)  Restart SketchUp.  If the problem goes away, adjust SketchUp OpenGL preferences and/or settings in the graphics card control panel.  Close SketchUp, re-enable system-level hardware acceleration and open SketchUp again to check if the problem disappears.  Repeat as needed.

Clean boot, safe mode

There are at least two reasons to use these two alternative system start modes...

  1. Some systems may have better success installing SketchUp in clean boot or safe mode, when temporarily disabling the anti-virus software was not enough to get the program to install. This problem has not been popping up in the help forum much, but it is still a possibility. 
  2. For more serious installation and troubleshooting problems, clean boot and safe mode can be useful to help isolate whatever process is interfering with SketchUp.  Instead of wondering about the cause of the problem - going around blaming your OS, video card or dog - you will quickly get an answer on whether SketchUp will even run on your machine.

Safe mode loads the minimum processes, services and drivers. The graphics driver is not loaded. A default Microsoft driver is used instead. Clean boot isn't as extreme as safe mode, but it too loads less processes than normal mode.  Because these boot modes loads less processes than normal mode, if one of those stopped processes was actually a naughty process that interfered with SketchUp, SketchUp may function correctly. 

Move on to isolating conflicting background process with clean boot and safe mode.  First start the computer in clean boot (see link section below) and try running SketchUp.  If SketchUp runs well, then compare the log file* of the running processes in clean boot with the log file* of the running processes in normal mode.  Through the process of elimination, note the processes that run in normal mode but not in clean boot.  One of the processes that run in normal mode - but not clean boot - could be causing the problem with SketchUp.  Try disabling that process in normal mode, through the Task Manager, or use Process Manager, an application now owned by Microsoft.  But for a more systematic method use the Windows system utility called msconfig to help isolate the problematic process

If the problem in SketchUp still exists in clean boot, then try starting the computer in safe mode and create another log file* of running processes.  If the problem goes away (bear in mind the default Microsoft graphic driver load so display resolution is crappy and hardware acceleration may not exist)  compare the log file from safe mode with the log file* from clean boot.  Again through the process of elimination, note the processes that run in clean boot but not in safe mode.  One of the processes that run in clean boot mode - but not safe mode - could be causing the problem with SketchUp.  But for a more systematic method use the Windows system utility called msconfig to help isolate the problematic process. 

* If a conflicting process is a possible suspect for interfering with SketchUp, make a log file of running processes in normal mode, clean boot and safe mode. By comparing the logs from start modes that run SketchUp correctly with modes that fail to run SketchUp correctly, you can greatly narrow down which process(es) may be causing the problem.    

Create the log as soon as the system finish loading so the file doesn't get overly cluttered.  Make a process log in normal mode for comparison.  The free utility HijackThis is one program that can make a log file to track down a naughty process.   Several Windows troubleshooting sites, like malwarebytes and I am not a Geek, use it for diagnostic purposes.  Open HijackThis and first click on the "Scan" button and after scanning click on the "Save log" button.

To begin interpreting the log file for malware, try the online HijackThis log analyzer at I am not a Geek.


Disable 'problem' processes

Disable possible problem processes temporarily, before uninstalling them to ensure you found the right process to eliminate.

 Retrieving Error Info

  • Using the Event Viewer  to retrieve the text of an error message.
  • Dr. Watson  XP error debugger
  • In Vista go to Start > Control Panel > Problem Reports and Solutions to find error debugging info.


General Computer Health Issues

Keep it clean

  • Increase PC speed: Set up an automated PC maintenance routine in Windows
  • outlines some simple maintenance steps to clean out your system.  Even though this page is quite dated, mainly for people running XP and Vista, it still helps guide you on what needs to be done to clean up you system.
  • CCleaner is a great clean-up utility. 
    • Protect valuable cookies by going to Options > Cookies
    • Clean out old Prefetch data through the Advanced menu options.  Other good advanced options to check include Tray Notifications Cache, IIS Log Files and Hotfix Uninstallers.
  • Speccy is an advanced System Information tool for your PC from the developers of CCleaner. Need to find out what's inside your computer?  No problem! Speccy will give you all the information you need.

The program NetDog is reportedly causing Bug Splats at SketchUp startup.


Diagnostic Information for Bug Reports


System Information

If a problem warrants filling out a request for technical support or filing a bug report there is some useful info to help troubleshoot the problem.  In either XP or Vista find graphics driver information through the Device Manager:  Start > right-click on My Computer > Properties > Hardware > Device Manager > Hardware > right-click on Display adapters > Properties.  Or just install the program Speccy,  an advanced System Information tool for your PC from the developers of CCleaner.


  • Click Start, type System in the Search box, and then click System under Programs.
  • Double-click System in Control Panel.
  • Click Start, right-click Computer, and then click Properties.
  • Click Show more details in the Windows Vista Welcome Center window.


  • For very detailed information go to Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > System Information
    • system summary - General info
    • components > display - Information on the graphics card

Additional Info

  • Confirm if this happens on any file, even a brand new file.
  • If it's on a specific file, please send in that file
  • Is there anything else running when you use SketchUp... iTunes?  Firefox?  Photoshop? EVERYTHING.  A system profiles only gives general system configuration information - (not what happened when the crash or other problem occurred)
  • Is SketchUp slow before the crash?


Special Vista Issues


  • If SketchUp freezes upon launch  Help Center answer
    • Try double-clicking on a SKP file to open SketchUp instead of a shortcut icon.  First-time users can find SKP files in the installation directory.  Go to the program folder > Components > Components Sampler.
    • Several people have added a blank SKP file, set to their favorite file preferences, on the desktop as a shortcut if this method of opening SketchUp worked.  Then either navigated to an existing model or promptly Saved As a new model. 
    • Disable the Instructor wizard by going to Window (SketchUp in Mac) menu and unchecking Instructor before closing the program.  Also Tip of the Day can cause this problem. 
  • Otherwise, "I discovered that by turning off Data Execution Prevention in the Performance Options menu of Vista (I was able to turn it off just for Sketchup) I was able to get Sketchup running." [Information provided by Paul via email - SketchUp Guide Tommy]
  • OpenGL issues  SketchUp Guide Jody describes a reinstallation method to try when SketchUp has a problem installing on a Vista system.  Some related installation issues may be caused by the graphics driver.  This thread covers some of that too. 
  • Also see Graphics Card Issues as some installation malfunctions can be caused by the graphics card driver too.
  • can't load SketchUp  An issue possibly related to Vista SP1


Windows 7



So far the reports on installing SU in Win7 beta are good.


Windows 8


Nothing official about support Windows 8, not even with SketchUp 2013, but the operating system seems to work well with SketchUp - so long as the graphics driver contains all the OpenGL stuff SketchUp requires.  Official support for Windows 8 finally came with SketchUp 14.

One of the more interesting things about Windows 8 is the automatic updating of device drivers.  This can hurt SketchUp if the graphics driver included with the automatic updates is sub-par.  This issue has adversely affected people with the Microsoft Surface Pro tablet, that has integrated Intel graphic accelerator instead of a dedicated graphics card.  Intel has made a valiant effort creating a driver to run OpenGL demanding graphics applications.  Unfortunately, the latest-and-greatest Intel drivers may not be distributed through automatic updates.

16-bit Displays


No Shaded With Textures Displayed in Recently Downloaded SketchUp 7  SketchUp doesn't support 19-bit displays.