Cannot manage 2021 "activations"

Installed Sketchup 2021 Pro, Annual Subscription on my Macbook Pro (macos Catalina) today. Downloaded from the 2020 Update Software link. Sketchup 2020 works fine on my laptop. Ran 2021 and I get a “Please Authorize Sketchup” pop-up saying that I have too many machines. The “Manage Activations” button leads to my profile with no indication as to what to do next to “manage activations”. License enforcement through obscurity is poor practice.

I was under the impression that with the annual subscription, I logged in at each use and the “authorized machines” were moot, I could run sketchup on the machine I was currently logged into. If this is not the case, I cannot use sketchup. Did the license change with 2021 and I didn’t read it? Do I have to do something unrelated to the software use like clear my cache? Poor programming.

I de-installed 2020 pro using the instructions on the Trimble site, in case that was the issue, and it did not change anything. I cannot tell which machine is blocking execution of 2021 nor how to actually deactivate the offending machine, if there is one.

Note that 2020 works fine, but offers no way to deactivate that instance (that I can tell) if that is the problem.

Hate to have to leave sketchup because of overly restrictive and hard to manage licensing. I have abandoned other CAD programs for this.

This page tells you everything about managing your account, the link I’ll give goes straight to the deauthorizing of devices part:

There is one aspect of the signing in that I have argued is unfair, or at least slightly confusing. You are allowed to be signed in on two computers, but what is counted is the number of copies of SketchUp you signed in under, and not the number of different computers. Which means that if you were signed in with SketchUp 2019, and 2020, on the same machine you are trying to use 2021 on, the 2021 sign in will seem like a third sign in.

You could have solved the immediate problem by opening 2020 and signing out, then reopen 2021, and it will be allowed to sign in. If you don’t want to quit then reopen 2021, you could instead sign out, then sign in again. It’s when you either open SketchUp, or sign in, that the check to see if a spare sign in is available happens.

The short version of the article I linked to is:

  1. In the account management page, under My Products, click on the View Included Applications link in the SketchUp Pro panel.
  2. In the first box that appears, for SketchUp Pro, click on Manage Devices.
  3. Confirm that you want to deauthorize devices.
  4. Reopen SketchUp 2021, and sign in if you are not signed in already.

This hasn’t changed with 2021, but it is more of an issue now. When the sign in approach first appeared with the 2019 version, you could only possibly be signed in with one version. With 2020 it became easier to be signed in twice on the same machine, and you would only hit an issue when trying to sign in on a second machine. With 2021, quite a few people will hit a case where on one machine they can seem to be signing in three times.

As for the general approach, I would say that you shouldn’t sign in every time. When you sign in on one version of SketchUp, on one computer, that SketchUp is authorized for 28 days. If after four weeks you see a message about not being authorized, sign out and in again.

If you are about to go on a long trip where you may not have any Internet connection, you could then proactively sign out and in again, to make sure the 28 days is reset.

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Thanks! That cleared up the issue. Note that each application in the license has a different device management button. I missed that when scrambling through the profile/license screens It is really not intuitive and I have used multi-user licenses for a number of engineering tools.

I would note that signing out of 2020 and back in with 2021 did NOT work. I had to deactivate ALL DEVICES to get into 2021. With the way that models are tied to versions, this limitation on versions doesn’t seem well thought out.

Again thanks!


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