Abysmal performance

I have always had performance problems with sketchup at times across several versions 2016, 2017 and 2018. It will be working ok (it could never be accused of being a speed demon) but then it will start slowing down. It usually starts when I try to rotate my drawing. It will rotate very, very slowly taking several seconds to finally stop. Once I counted up ten … 1001, 1002, etc before it stopped. I have 2018 Pro on my Macbook and now it is really slow. Select something and it is three seconds before it is selected. Delete another 5 seconds. The wierder thing is that it does not seem to correlate to anything I’m doing or running.

I have tried lots of things found on the net. Nada! Still slow.


Can you share a file with your reported performance issues? If it’s large, use something like dropbox and share a link.

I have a large file that I sometimes have performance issues with it, a
house with furniture objects in it, etc. However, the one I was having
the slowness problem recently is pretty small. It is a cart made of
plywood to hold plywood scrap pieces. I’m going to build it tomorrow and
put dimensions on it. Clicking on anything to highlight it (a dimension
line) would take 3 seconds to highlight it. To delete it would take 5
seconds. To rotate it sometimes would take up to 30 seconds before the
drawing came to astop.
The slowness comes and goes. I just opened the attached file and it was
normal performance. As I mentioned, it is really difficult to figure out
what is causing the slowness. I had cleared all my caches and had
performance monitor up and shutdown anything I thought may be competeing
for resources. But everything was slooow. Just now using it was normal
plus I have multiple apps running so theorectically it should have been
slower but it wasn’t.
If there is something I can investigate let me know.

John Syre

plywood-cutoff-cart.skp (53.7 KB)

That’s a small model, only 164 edges, 78 faces, so you shouldn’t be seeing any kind of slowdown even on a MacBook. I don’t see anything wrong with your model that could slow it down and it is fast here.

Which exact machine do you have? MacBooks aren’t the fastest machines with only 1.2 or 1.3GHz processor. Is that really what you have? Your graphics card makes me think its a MacBook Pro instead. You mentioned “performance monitor”. That’s a windows program. Did you mean Activity Monitor or are you running Windows on your MacBook?

Is your RAM full and it’s swapping out to disk? SketchUp is only using about 280MB here with just your plywood-cutoff-cart open, so it shouldn’t be running out of RAM but you should check anyway. Check the memory pressure in Activity Monitor and see if its using swap files down at the bottom of the Memory tab: “Swap Used: 0 bytes”.

Check your settings in System Preferences / Energy Saver. It might be set to only use the NVIDIA card when running on mains power.

Try disabling all your extensions and see if it still slows down. If not, you need to find out which extension is causing the slowdown by a process of elimination.


Here’s the specs on my machine

MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Late 2013)
Processor 2.3 GHz Intel Core i7
Memory 16 GB 1600 MHz DDR3
NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M 2048 MB

As you can see the model was so small that there should have been no
reason for Sketchup to take three seconds to highlight a dimension and
then 5 seconds to delete. The response was same every time I did a
dimension. Putting a new one in was equally slow but I did not count how
long it took. Just shut down the machine because it was operating so
slow and went to do other stuff.
I was running activity monitor and there was no swapping. I frequently
say ‘process monitor’ out of habit. I’m a retired software engineer
and programmed a ton in UNIX and Windows (why I have a Mac). No
programming experience on any Apple platform. I also killed any
process that was creating a load. There was no swapping going on. The
only other app running was Firefox. I do have Avast Security for virus
protection. Don’t know if that would cause any weird issues. From
Activity Monitor I did not see anything unusual going on with Avast. I
will disable any extension next time Sketchup starts going into slow
mode to see if that has any affect. BTW, since I recently installed
the 2018 version of Sketchup the only extension I currently have
installed is CleanUp3. The other thing that might be relevant is that
I was connected to two other monitors.
I attached a screen snapshot of the video settings.

Let me repeat that the slowness does not happen every time I use
Sketchup. I have been using it a lot lately because I’m having a
house/shop built and Sketchup has been very useful for visually how
things should be, i.e. the look of the house, shop layout, electrical
outlet positions, etc. I would say in the past three months the
slowness has occurred about 1 of 5 times I use it. The crazy part is
the macbook has been in all different states when the slowness occurs.
Right after a powerup with nothing running to times when I have a bunch
of apps running.
Let me know if you need any other information.

John Syre

Thanks for the specs. Nothing stands out as an obvious reason for it running slow. I’m a bit suspicious of the Avast software. I’ve not used it myself, but could it be scanning files when you get the slowdown? I’ve heard of it scanning at the same time as the system’s Spotlight index is running causing slowdowns, especially after copying a lot of files.

Virus scanners I always view as a necessary evil. I had troubles with
Norton on a windows machine and went to uninstall it. It was a nightmare
and had a huge number of registry entries left behind after the
uninstall. Avast has blocked a number of viruses so don’t want to fly
without it but will look closely at it when another slowness occurs.
During my software career I have encountered some very bizarre bugs in
the applications I was working and others. Some of the more bizarre and
difficult to debug have been threaded programs. Does Sketchup use
threads? I have not closely enough at any forensics to tell.
Appreciate you looking into this.


I don’t think virus scanners are necessary on a Mac. There have been zero viruses on OS X. Yes, there’s been some malware, but someone can always write something malicious and trick someone into installing it.

SketchUp is only single threaded.

I didn’t see mention: did you try disconnecting the multiple monitors and using just the built-in screen? Seems like there could be an issue handling them that is bogging down the GPU. You could try an OpenGL driver monitor to see that load, which won’t appear on the Activity Monitor.

iStat Menus is an easier to understand way of seeing the amount of Video memory in use and the load on the graphics processor. You can see hourly, weekly, monthly graphs so you don’t have to start the logging in advance. You could look back and see when it was under heavy load, or you’d used up all the video RAM with 3 high res screens.

It’s not free but you get a 14 day free trial and I won’t get any money if you buy it. I just like it and it’s handy for troubleshooting.


Thanks. Here’s a link to threats to OSX platforms.

So, will keep Avast. A while back there was virus that had hit OSX
machines in the news. Sure, enough my machine had been attacked but
Avast caught it and I was not affected. Compared to Windows machines
certainly OSX platforms are lot less vulnerable, plus I don’t have to
reboot them several times a week, :-).
I will look closely at Avast the next slowness episode. Appreciate
you taking time to respond. Shows your company actually cares about
the product.
Believe me when I say I’m well aware how crazy software systems can be.
I once had an application doing bizarre things at a couple of customer
sites. I was a developer in the group that wrote it. The problem was
driving us crazy and management since they were big customers. I
resorted to looking and debugging at the assembly level. It turned out
to be the Microsoft C++ compiler was producing the wrong assembly code!
Those two customers happened to be invoking the execution paths that hit
the bad code. I sent the evidence to Microsoft and they provided a fix.
The problem went away.

Duh! I should have thought to try just the Macbook without the other
monitors. I will give that a try the next time.

Thanks guys. It is nice to know you guys care about your product. I will
be sure to mention that the next time I post anything. As good as
response as I have encountered in my long software career and you can
tell your managers that!!

Best Regards,

John Syre

No one in this thread is a Trimble employee. The employees have a “SketchUp Team Member” badge. We’re just SketchUp users like you.

My bad. In any case thx for trying to help out. Much appreciated. Not all that skilled with Sketchup. Did manage to draw up a house design concept solid walls no framing detail, being built now. The perf issues while doing it were pretty annoying. I was always working with the three displays so will look at that the next time.


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