2 Sketchup installations on 1 mac

I’m curious if any Sketchup users in a Mac have ever tried this:

is it possible to install Sketchup twice on the same Mac?

I assume, but certainly don’t know, that it would require formatting the drive into 2 partitions.

If anyone has any experience at this, please share.


Loading a lot of extensions can make Sketchup behave erratically. For instance, in my main installation (I currently have SU loaded on 2 Macs) has a number of extensions / plug ins (is there a difference?) and crashes every time I try to import a dxf / dwg file. Every time. I have no idea which extension of combination of is the issue, nor the time to sort it out. The SU installation on my MacBook Pro has extensions, but not all of them, and it will import CAD formats fine. But, I’m simplifying.

Any thoughts? Has anyone worked with a set up like this?



I’ve done it on my PC by setting up a different username for the second version.Then I can open one or the other. I did it so I could keep one setup with simplified toolbar display. Only the default toolbars and sometimes toolbars for specific extensions. I did this for tutorial videos so I wouldn’t have to change my normal working toolbars every time I want to do a tutorial.

Seems like it would make sense to spend time tracking down the offending extensions and dealing with it instead of the option your a proposing, though.

If it’s crashing on a different computer it may not even be an extension issue, could be a graphic card issue or something else entirely. Try installing all the same extensions on the second one and see if that crashes too. You can just rename the plugin folder to keep the current set ready to put back.

I am in SketchUp QA, and have to test in a lot of versions of SketchUp at the same time. On Mac, if the different version folders are named differently, they all can work at the same time. For any given major version, they will share plugins and other support files.

For testing different extensions, you could set up different users in macOS. Each one will get there own set of plugins.

Hi, Dave

Good to hear that the 2nd user name worked. I think I will give the a go.

As for tracking down the source f the problem, whoo, no way to know how many hours one could spending diving down that rabbit hole. Is it a single extension? The interaction of 2? 3? With +/- 25 installed, well, it’s not an infinite number of possibilities, but far more than I want investigate. Especially since creating a 2nd user account seems to work.

Besides, I’ve long thought that is Trimble’s responsibility. Apple has a pretty comprehensive set of developer guidelines, it seems, I’d think Trimble would do some work in that direction.

I suppose that’s true, Box.

I do like Dave’s idea to create the 2nd user account. Seems the simplest.


Well, you could try disabling a third of them and see if the problem goes away. If it does, bring back a third of what you disabled. If the problem comes back it’s likely in that third.

Since the majority of extension authors aren’t on Trimble’s payroll and Trimble has no control over what extensions any one user installs, it’s really out of their control to test for adverse interactions between all combinations of extensions. I suppose they could add staff to do that testing but staff cost money and someone gets to pay their salaries. I wouldn’t want to have an increase in subscription cost to pay for that.

Sorry, Colin, but that’s a little confusing. Sounds like you’re talking about interim update releases? I would be working with (2) installed copies of the same SU version. So, if this is correct, then each installed version would use the same set of installed extensions, which then makes me think Dave’s idea won’t work (unless I partition the drive first).

My first idea was only answering the question about how to get two copies of the same version of SketchUp going at the same time. I hadn’t spotted the part about you trying to track down extension issues, and my first idea would not help with that.

My second suggestion was the same as Dave had done on his PC, and you can do the same thing on a Mac without repartitioning. You would need to log out of one account and log in on the other. Each account would have its own independent Plugins folder, and you could set up one user to have a small set of plugins.

But, that has its own drawbacks, mainly that the new user you set up wouldn’t know anything about your email, browser bookmarks, documents, and so on. It would be better to try to track down the offending extension.

To do that you can use the Go menu in Finder, and with the Go to Folder… option you would paste in this text:

~/Library/Application Support/SketchUp 2020/SketchUp/

In that folder you will see the Plugins folder. You could close SketchUp, rename that folder to anything else, and open SketchUp again. The Plugins folder gets recreated with only the built in extensions, and SketchUp is hopefully not going to crash.

After that you would close SketchUp, go into your renamed Plugins folder and move some number of extensions into the newly created Plugins folder. Open SketchUp again and see if the crash happens. As Dave suggested, you could do a batch of them at a time. When the crash reoccurs you would move the last batch out of the Plugins folder, and move back in a smaller batch, until you get to the point where adding one extension makes the problem happen.

The only purpose for the 2nd user would be to import dwg or dxf files into Sketchup. So, no concerns about email etc.

I’ve thought about using multiple user accounts to sort out preferences for screen setups between home at the desk with and external monitor and on the road with just the laptop screen.