[error unexpected file format]

I had noticed that, thanks. I added that to the bug report.

Short version is, that problem fixing was changed in some way with 2021, and something that was being fixed ok in 2020 and earlier, was no longer being fixed. For anyone coming here with a file that won’t open in 2021 or later, opening it in 2020 would be worth a try.


thanks a lot, the file worked.
br rpicht

which SU version did you take for opening and repairing the model?
regards rpicht

can you help recover a file.
it was saved but when opened error prompted was “unexpected file format”

I still have the skb file but I cannot open it also even if I change the extension name.

I am due to present this for my defense. need help please.

here is the skb file also

can you help recover my file also, it is due for presentation, iwas able to save if but upon opening it says unexpected file format

really need help I hope somebody can help with this

The file opens quickly for the 8 million edges

Basics of SketchUp at learn.sketchup.com about groups, tags and face orientation.

Hola, soy nueva en la comunidad y llegué acá buscando la frase “formato de archivo inesperado” que aparece cuando intento abrir un archivo que tiene un proyecto que aún no fue visto por el cliente.
Encontré la manera… gracias b.superal por explicar cómo lo pudiste hacer!!

i have same problem in my file , i cannot open my file …it’s showing error unexpected file format.
can you help me to open file??

I tried what I could with the file, but didn’t succeed. I have asked a developer to take a look. He does sometimes check messages over the weekend, but otherwise would look at it on Monday morning.

The developer looked at the file. It seems to have been made with the first version of SketchUp 2021, and that did have some file saving issues that we quickly fixed. There is no hope for this file, but if you are still using 2021 you should update it to the current version.

You can get the latest 2021 installer from this page:

Hi can anyone help? Unexpected file format in my project
kindly price a prompt reply on this file.

Thanks and regards to the team

Your profile says you are using the free web version of SketchUp. Is that correct? Your file is 225 Mb which is huge even for the desktop version.

So far as I can see, that file doesn’t show the typical effects of mangling from saving to somewhere other than the local hard drive. But I can’t open it either. Perhaps @colin can do more, or pass it to a developer who can assess what is wrong.

The header on the file says it is from SketchUp 2019 (19.3.253), for whatever that is worth.

1 Like

I wonder what’s the point of putting false information in the profile then.
Screenshot - 4_3_2023 , 9_39_15 AM

The scene is empty, but this recovered file is nearly as big as the original, which suggests that you used components that included large areas of the model. See if you recognize any of the components, and place them in the scene.


I have recovered 35 Sketchup files, some of which I can open as normal while the rest prompt the error “Unexpected file format” or “Failed to open document”. I have recovered the files from a corrupted external hard drive and would like to know if the files are still recoverable as they’re extremely important to me. If you could help me figure this out I would really appreciate it. Three of the 35 files are in the Wetransfer link below.


Thank you!

You were in touch with support, and they will be replying some time. I did manage to recover one of the files. The other two seem to have missing bits of data.

If you have other example files that were made in SketchUp 2021 or later, I can look at those as well. Meanwhile, here is the file I recovered: