Changing File Locations Preferences does nothing

I’ve been using Sketchup for a few years now and have amassed a fairly large Component and Material library. I’ve saved all of those files to my OneDrive folder in similar structure to the default paths under \ProgramData\SketchUp\SketchUp 2019\SketchUp. When I point Sketchup 2019 to those folders in OneDrive, nothing shows up in the Materials or Components list from those different folders; Sketchup continues to list the files folders in the \ProgramData\SketchUp\SketchUp 2019\SketchUp\Materials and \ProgramData\SketchUp\SketchUp 2019\SketchUp\Components. To test this I copy/pasted one of the files in my OneDrive folder to the under \ProgramData\SketchUp\SketchUp 2019\SketchUp\Materials\Wood and it showed right up in the list without closing Sketchup down and restarting. What gives?

Naming folders the same is not the best practice. Why not create a folder with a more comprehensive name like: Resources/SketchUp/Components?
If you create that folder on your Onedrive and set the path to it in Window-Preferences -General, does SketchUp see it?
If not, you might have installed SketchUp incorrectly.
If nit certain, look for the installer file, rightclick on it and choose ‘run as administrator, when prompted, choose ‘repair’

BTW. For components or materials, saving directly to a cloud storage does not directly cause problems, depending on the filesize. It is not recommended for your Models to save directly (Autosave!)to cloud storage, those files tend to grow bigger in size, causing all kinds of conflicts and corrupting the file.

Thanks for the reply Mike.

I’m not sure I see the difference with your comprehensive name and the names that I gave them. Mine are just in a different path in my OneDrive folder, but they are both named \Components or \Materials as in your example. I think maybe something more like \Custom Components or \Custom Materials is likely a better example.
There isn’t anything in Window -> Preferences -> General to set a file path to. I think you mean Window -> Preferences -> Files. Yes Sketchup can map to the OneDrive folders, but Sketchup doesn’t display the contents of those folders under the Components or Materials Menus (right side of the screen). I have to take the extra step of clicking Details -> Open or Create Collection in both the Materials and Components tray menu.
I guess my point here is what is the use in setting Sketchup to look at different folders from default if you still have to go through the extra step of adding them as a collection anyway? And the default collections are there whether you want them or not.

Yes I figured that saving models directly to OneDrive or other cloud based solutions would cause issues and therefore save to a folder on my HD then backup to a NAS HD that I have setup as a cloud drive I can access remotely.


This is because those path settings have always had another use, not setting the path to the user’s custom collections. (Ie, meaning that the preference path settings predated the automatic enumeration of user resource folders. Back in the day, SketchUp itself kept it’s resources in it’s program path instead of the Data path, so it was easiest to just add custom resource subfolders to SketchUp’s collections. But this had major access issues for users without administrative privileges.)

These preference path settings control the file save dialogs ONLY (up through the current version, 2019.)

For example when you right-click a component (either in the model view or in the model’s “In Model” collection in the “Components” inspector panel,) and choose "Save As...", then this preference path setting is where the dialog will open the browse session for saving.

The same is true for saving a material you’ve edited within the model as a new material for your use in other models. The “Materials” preference path setting is where the "Save As..." dialog will open.

If you wish to add a custom classification to the current model, then the "Classifications" preference path is where the .skc file open dialog will open to.

Etc., etc. So it is possible for you to change these paths temporarily to a special path when doing batch saves, without effecting where your root custom user collections are located.

This is explained quite well in the SketchUp User Guide

Therefore, we might argue that the Preferences panel should be named “Dialogs” instead of “Files”.

Beginning with SketchUp version 2017, when SketchUp starts it will automatically enumerate the "Components" and "Materials" folders in the user’s %APPDATA% path, for the current SketchUp version.
So (on MS Windows) …

"%APPDATA%/SketchUp/SketchUp 2017/SketchUp/Components"

Normally %APPDATA% will be like: “C:/Users/%USERNAME%/AppData/Roaming”

On Mac it will be something like: "~/Application Support"

This is also true of "Styles" and "Templates". The enumeration is automatic, and any subfolders will be added to their respective resource inspectors in the tray panels (wherever you have them docked or floating.) So you do not need to add these folders maunally as a “Favorite” or “Local Collection”. It is done automatically.

The caveat is that each year we need to migrate these version resource folders to the current version’s APPDATA path.

Explained in the User Guide > Migrating plugins, materials, and components

Many users would like to have a version independent path where their SketchUp resources can be used by ALL SketchUp versions. This is workable for most (non-versioned) resource files like images, materials, etc.
However, components (.skp) and Style (.style) files often change as new features are added each year, so putting them all in one collection could be problematic if you still use older SketchUp versions. Trying to load a component made in a newer verison into an older SketchUp version can result in either a crash or a warning in newer versions (ie, the crash bug was fixed.)


I would think best practice for your custom folders would be in your Windows documents folder, and then have that mirrored to One Drive (I think I used to use it that way).

Way back, I used to remove SketchUp materials etc, and replace with my own. Gets messy with reinstalls (I think I kept a set of custom folders and just pasted them back into the SU installation after reinstall).

Not sure how that would work with recent versions.