Dropbox won't sync Layout files while Layout is open

On my system Layout files will not sync toDropbox while Layout is open. I have to quit Layout to sync its files.

Anyone else notice the behavior? Is this a Sketch issue or a Dropbox issue?


Mac mini M2 2023
OSX Sonoma 14.5
Sketchup 2024.0.554

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It’s a general computer thing.

Layout is using the files, so dropbox cannot use them at the same time.
When this doesn’t happen, it is when files get corrupted.

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Why doesn’t this happen with Sketchup then?


Now you have been warned. Many of the people who come to this forum with unrecoverable corrupted files have used them by opening them directly from a cloud service. Saving locally, the risks seem to be smaller. Don’t know why it happens, but not knowing doesn’t stop it from happening.

The files are on my local computer synced to Dropbox
I’ve been working this way for nearly 20 years

I’ve yet to experience a corrupted file or should I say a file I can’t open in Sketchup or Layout
Not saying it can’t happen but with Dropbox at least I have 30 days to retrieve an older version if need be

I’m just wondering why only recently some Layout files don’t always sync up to Dropbox unless I quit Layout, which doesn’t occur with Sketchup files?
This didn’t use to be the case…


Perhaps your OS , or Dropbox has been updated recently and changed the behaviour.
SketchUp and Layout are different softwares, so they could well save in different ways or do things differently and thus OS/Dropbox doesn’t interact with them in the same way?

I might be wrong but I remember a similar q years ago, either here or on Sketchucation.

Layout files are like a zip file in that they contain multiple elements such as the embedded SketchUp file and the structure of the pages you are creating.
As such when you have 1 layout file open your computer ‘sees’ multiple files as being open; only when you save does the compiled .layout file get created/updated.

Think of it this way, you cannot move/delete/rename a folder if you have one of its files open, layout files are like the folder.

In fact try this as a test, make a copy of a layout file and rename it so that it has a .zip extension and then see if you can unpack it.

MacOS has had this for years, they’re called sandwich files, all apps on MacOS are sandwich files, you can right click on an app and ‘explore it’s contents’ you’ll find all the components that that go to make the app such as the icons for all the tool bars etc.

I understand that just wondering if this is a common issue.
Looks like the bottom line is this issue is specific to my system, at least for now.


I’m not surprised Layout files are zip files
LibreOffice files are also zip files. This may be true for other apps as well not sure

I don’t get this behavior with LibreOffice.

I experience other strange behaviors:

I often have to open referenced files twice in Layout to open them. The first time they’re greyed out. (This happens with some other apps as well)
Importing dxfs into an existing file usually crashes Sketchup
Importing into a new file doesn’t
I sometimes end up with double Scene tabs in my drawings in Sketchup. Quitting and reopening fixes it

I’m tempted to purchase another Mini to set up for Work just to see if the problem is my OS install
I’d rather do that than wipe my existing system and reinstall everything, which is very time-consuming and risky
I have everything backed up in multiple places but stuff happens
My backup mini is now 10 years old running OSX Mojave but still runs great. Just not great enough to run todays Sketchup



I’ve noticed that Layout files synced through iCloud don’t have this issue…the problem may be Dropbox


I dropped Dropbox some years ago, I can’t remember exactly why, but I think it was some compatibility/syncing issue.

My current setup is to use OneDrive to backup my locally saved work, every night my project folders are synced with OneDrive and every week everything else gets synced.

This is of course no good if you’re using iCloud/OneDrive/Dropbox to sync files between multiple users continuously but it suits me as I’m then divorced from the problem of saving/working directly from them.

I’ve tried to find alternatives to Dropbox since I share with multiple offices/clients but nothing else seems usable
Dropbox like everything else started out as a great system but has been crapified over the years along with incessant upselling of new “features”
The part that would be hard to replace is the ability to recall versions from the past 30 days, which I often use
This isn’t so great a feature though if an app isn’t being synced regularly

I tried Syncthing but couldn’t get it to work properly. Maybe time to revisit


I used OneDrive as its built straight into Windows - that keeps a version history of files by default . Although it’s very well hidden, so I don’t know if many people know that.