Can't set SU 2016 as default program for .skp files

Recently made the mistake of downloading SU 2017 Pro Trial (my mistake). Now my Licensed version of SketchUp Pro 2016 isn’t recognised in my Control Panel > Default Programs. SU 2016 still works ok but can’t seem to set .skp file default to SU 2016. Both .skb & .skm file extensions are set to SU2016, only .skp files I’m having trouble with. I changed the name of SketchUp.exe. to SketchUp2016.exe but this didn’t seem to make any difference. Same problem exists with LayOut files.

About ready to uninstall SU 2016 and re-install to see if that fixes it! Bit drastic but after wasting an hour stuffing around already could be quicker.

Anyone else experiencing this issue?

I really wish when software companies offer you an update, they would clarify that it is a trial version only, or not have the trial program stuff up settings in the version that you actually paid for at least.

Thanks Trimble. One momentary lapse of reason…and now I gotta spend hours stuffing around. Thanks a lot.

I don’t know how it looks in your version of Windows but usually you can right click on a file, click “Open with…”, click “Set default program”, click something like “More Option” and then click something like “Browse” or “Seacrh for program” that lets you select the exact .exe file you want to associate with the file extension. I’m currently on my friend’s computer with the Swedish version of Win 8 so I can’t say the exact names of what to click but something similar to that usually works.

Saying SU has taken of your computer makes it sound like it’s a virus that has locked you out of Windows. An installer changing the file extension association isn’t really that odd.

And depending on when you purchased SU16 Pro, an upgrade to SU17 Pro may be included if you are still within the 1 year maintenance period.

When you install a version of SketchUp, it automatically sets itself to be the default for opening skp files. Since multiple versions can be installed on the same computer, this can be confusing. If you’d rather have a different version be the default, reassign using methods such as eneroth described.

Thanks mate, that is the problem as far as I’m aware. Don’t like it. Didn’t tell it to install as default & it didn’t ask. Which would of been nice. Cheers.

I’ll try & take some screenshots to show what’s going on. Just weird how SU 2016 seems to have disappeared of my default program options. Just all SU 2017 now, even after uninstalling it.

Just uninstalled all SketchUp programs, reinstalled my SU 2016 Pro license & everything is back to normal.:slight_smile: Just have to remember not to download the 2017 Trial version again. Thanks for wasting my time unnecessarily Trimble. Good on ya!:disappointed:

I’m not sure why you are getting upset.
If you have pro2016 you are probably eligible to Upgrade to Pro2017
Use the License Wizard to get a new license once you decide you want to use 2017 more than 2016.
Until then you can simply right click on the file you want to open and choose 2016 to open it.

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If everything works normally, SketchUp will change the file association of SKP files to point to the version of the application that was opened last. So, if, after trying 2017, you open 2016 via the Start menu, subsequently double-clicking on a model file in Explorer should open the file in 2016. If this doesn’t work for you, there might be something like a company policy that stops users from changing file associations.


That was changed one or two versions back. Now you have to either run the installer or manually change the file ending association.

More confused than upset. Just couldn’t work out what was going on re: what version I was running. I have an educational (12mth license) and was worried that the trial upgrade would expire, and then I wouldn’t be able to open 2016 files due to incompatibility issues. And once 2017 was installed, I couldn’t choose 2016 to open files, it was no longer available as a choice. It had seemingly disappeared off my computer default options. Also played havoc with file icons, wouldn’t preview drawings in Explorer etc. Anyway, all good again.

Just for the records, screenshot showing how no option exists to use SU 2016, only shows 2017 as option. Even when I looked “Choose another app” and located SU 2016.exe it would still open in 2017.

in your image, it’s in the list under Open…

did you try clicking that?


I see 3 SketchUp version “Open with” commands on your context menu:

Yeah, they didn’t seem to work. The only one that worked was the SketchUp 2017 with the icon on the right. I have an educational license, so the 2015 one is uninstalled, I had uninstalled SU 2017 but it still showed up & if I chose one of the other ones you highlighted they didn’t work. It just reverted to 2017 every time. I don’t know what was going on but after reinstalling 2016 license every thing is working fine again. Just kept getting message about opening files in 2017 version and not being able to load in older versions unless Saved As.

No need to uninstall all versions of Sketchup. Uninstall and reinstall just the one you want to use as the default Sketchup to open files with.
I was testing out 2018 for a while, but kept 2017 as the main Sketchup. Now that I wanted to turn 2018 into the default, same issue. I needed to reinstall 2018…

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I’m having this same issue with files trying to open in version 2019 rather than version 2020 and now 2021. I’ve tried all of the previous reccomendations and now plan to uninstall and reinstall 2021. Will I lose all of the 2021 settings that I have in place to this point?

This conversation is from 4 to 5 years ago. You would probably have better luck asking a fresh question that more people will see. Can you complete your profile so you can receive answers that are relevant to you? What operating system are you using?

Thanks, Riley… I will start a new topic… also, I thought my profile was complete, can you not view it?

Ah yes, your profile is complete. I was wrong, must have been viewing on my phone and forgot to scroll downward. :pensive:

Hi Drew,

Actually (and unfortunately) your question is still relevant to this thread, since I was having the same issue as you have (again) with files opening in Sketchup 2020 instead of in 2021. I eventually fixed it. I don’t remember the exact steps, but I think it involved uninstalling 2019 and 2020 as well as reinstalling Sketchup 2021 and also messing with registry entries just to make sure… it was quite a hassle.

Which settings are you afraid of losing?
Extensions / plugins - if I’m not mistaken will remain in place after uninstalling and reinstalling.
If you have customized a template file, it’s possible that you will have to redo that.
Toolbars will probably have to be rearranged.
I think shortcuts remain.

Best to ask more in the forum for what exactly gets removes and what remains after uninstalling and re-installing.

Good luck! :slight_smile: