Upgrading SketchUp Checklist
 Things to do for an orderly upgrade:

Re-evaluate your Computer

  • All SketchUp versions are separate installations.  They will co-exist fine on the same computer.  
  • If someone starts with free version, the Pro version can be installed over the Free version at a later date.  Nothing has to be uninstalled.  So all preferences, plugins and libraries that where set up in Free will not be affected.
  • Some systems may need their graphics driver updated. 



NOTE:  If upgrading to SketchUp 8 - and beyond - on the same machine, your preferences will be fetched from the older version and added to the latest SketchUp version. 
Earlier versions and in cases of adding preferences to another machine running SketchUp
  • In older version of SketchUp, go to Window > Preferences > Shortcuts and press Export to export your custom preferences.
  • In newer version of SketchUp, navigate to the same menu and Import your preferences.
  • The vast majority of preferences should imported fine.  Even many keyboard shortcuts that over-rid the default shortcuts remained intact.  But some people may not have the same experience.


Transfer Collections / Libraries


Existing Materials, Component, and Styles collections can be transferred.

Help Center


Move old libraries/collections to the appropriate program folder.

  • Windows

  • i.e.,   C:\Program Files\Google\Google SketchUp 7\Materials  
  • C:\Program Files\SketchUp\SketchUp 2016\Materials

Alternatively, add new collections by directing the Materials, Components or Styles browser to a directory site anywhere on your hard drive.  There are two notable benefits of locating collections outside of the program directory.  Nothing has to be moved.  And the same collections can be used by all versions of SketchUp installed on your system.
For library collections stored anywhere on the hard drive, open the Material, Components or Styles Brewer, go to the details menu (), and add collections to populate the new SketchUp installation.
  • Mac
    • Mac, i.e.,   ~/ library/application support/google/sketchUp 7/materials  
    • /Users/{your name}/Library/Application\ Support/SketchUp\ 201x/SketchUp/Templates
    • /Users/<your name>/Library/Application\ Support/SketchUp\ 201x/LayOut/Templates
  • By default in SketchUp 2013, the Materials and Components folders have moved into the SketchUp App bundle (if you don't know what that is, don't worry about it). What you can do, however, is create a set of new folders called "Materials" and "Components" in Finder > Go > Option key > Library > Application Support > SketchUp 2013. SketchUp 2013 will know to check for Materials and Components folders at that location as well. You can then copy and paste Materials and Components from previous versions into the new folders that you create.

NOTE: You can't have custom material folders that have the same name as the default material folders. SketchUp 2013 will load the default materials over a custom folder with the same name. To work around this issue, modify the folder name for any duplicate folder in your local Materials folder. For example, rename your "Blinds" folder to "Blinds2" or similar. 

Here's an image of the default folder names so that you know what not to name your folders under ~/Library/Application Support/SketchUp 2013/SketchUp/Materials

 SketchUp Guide Tommy


Review Your Collection of Extensions / Plugins / Add-ons


Most plugins can be successfully moved into the latest version and function well.  The SketchUp 6 plugins can be copied and pasted into SketchUp 7.  And the same thing applies about moving plugins from SketchUp 7 to SketchUp 8.  But don't over-write any of the folders or files that come with the program.  For example, do not mess with plugins in the Tools directory, extensions.rb, sketchup.rb or LangHandler.rb.  Those come with SketchUp  and most likely they were updated along with the rest of the software.

If you are updating to SketchUp 2013, there have been some notable changes to SketchUp's Plugins and Tools folders.  The plugins that used to install with SketchUp, and lived in SketchUp's Plugins and Tools folder (Dynamic Components, Examples, Ocean, Sandbox, Utilities , are now optional and something that will need to be installed by the user from the Extension Warehouse.  The optional plugins the used to be in the Tools folder will now be installed in the Plugins folder. 

The default content of the SketchUp 2013 Plugins and Tools directories

The default content of the SketchUp 8 Plugins and Tools directories


As with any upgrade, this is a good time to reacquaint yourself with your plugin collection - especially if upgrading to SketchUp 2013 and beyond.   SketchUp 2014 upgraded to Ruby 2.0 and SketchUp 2017 upgraded to Ruby 2.2, so quite a few plugins "broke".

In general:
  • Remove plugins you do not use.
  • Some people like to copy over plugins in small batches.  If that is done, do not forget that some plugins are composed of several files/folders. So if you get an error message, maybe some plug-in parts were not transferred yet.

  • A few of the plugins may need to be updated.  Each SketchUp version updates something in its Ruby library which means each version of SketchUp has pickier coding syntax requirements
Some Windows computers are missing msvcr71.dll.  This issue popped up when Windows 7 beta was being tested by someone who wanted to use the SketchyPhysics with the new operating system, but that plugin would not work.  That DLL used to be included in SketchUp 6, but it is missing in SketchUp 7 and SketchUp 8.  Scripts that require win32api.so require msvcr71.dll either to be added to the SketchUp program directory or to the windows/system/win 32 directory.
Plugin developers may or may not have adjusted their work to account for this little problem.
  • Do not un-install your old copy of SketchUp until you know all your critical plugins and add-ons work OK.  Check with the plugin developer(s) if their tool is not working.  


SketchUp 2013 introduces the Extension Warehouse 

Plugins can still be manually installed, just as before.  And many plugins may always have to be manually installed if the plugin developers choose not to migrate their plugins to the Extension Warehouse or some other plugin repository.  But there are now new ways to manage one's plugin collection.  

The Extension Warehouse is the official online plugin repository integrated into SketchUp.  The new Warehouse has brought some changes to how users can manage their plugin collection - and brings up another good reason to reacquaint yourself with your plugin collection.  

Plugins offered on the Warehouse are now extensions - plugins users can load through SketchUp preferences - if they were not coded that way before.  The files/folders from an old favorite may be different if obtained through the warehouse.  For example:

when re-written as an extension has become:

Both 'flavors' of the plugin function the same - but you only need one.    

There are two ways to get plugins from the Warehouse - or another third-party site.  Navigate to the website through your favorite browser, download the .RBZ file and install through Window (SketchUp on Mac) > Preferences > Extensions:


Or install Extension Warehouse plugins from inside SketchUp.  In SketchUp, access the Extension Warehouse through the Window menu.  A browser window will open.  Log in with a Gmail account, or Trimble account, and install and manage plugins online.

SketchUp 2017 introduces the Extension Manager.

SketchUcation has a tool to manage plugins stored on its site.  Try the SketchUcation Plugin Store.

Search for "hidden" plugins.

  • People using Vista and above may find some plugins hidden in the compatibility folder.

  • Some Mac-users may have plugins in two locations.  As Fredo6 indicates at the post end, it may be time to try locating plugins in one location again for less confusion.

Finally, some plugins may be installed correctly but need to be enabled.  Pre-SketchUp 2017, go to Window > Preferences > Extensions and enable all the plugins you want to install.  In SketchUp 2017, go to Window > Extension Manager.