How to enable my legacy perpetual license?

Hi Trimble,

This subject came up in another thread and I was advised to create a new thread, so here it is.

Over many years I have paid well over a couple thousand dollars for multiple copies of SketchUp and SketchUp Pro. I also have thousands of .skp files that I, and those who have worked for me, have created.

And typically I renew computers to stay up to date with current technology. When this happens, my current machine is wiped and passed off to someone else, and I just install the latest version of SketchUp on my new machine.

Up until now, that required an email or phone call to tech support and they provided me the correct information to supply my current license to my new hardware.

I am now told that will no longer work for me-- unless I have the latest paid for and/or subscribed version. But, I no longer intend to use SketchUp, other than to access older files and export some objects.

So, my question is, why would SketchUp not want me to be able to use a legacy version with a paid for license on my new computer? Or, put another way, what is the business case for disenfranchising good paying customers by not allowing them to readily access their paid for licenses?

FWIW, I am also told if my computer is stolen or it breaks, my license is also no longer valid.

Perhaps someone from Trimble can shed some light on this very strange one-of-a-kind licensing policy, which I’ve never heard or seen before?

My best thinking is there should be an easy remedy for this-- email or call to get a fix, just like before.


Disclaimer: I am not a Trimble employee, I do work for a SketchUp Distributor and handle support and licensing issues.

If you remove the license before wiping the computer, you ‘release the activation’ and it comes available for you to use on the new.
This has been the case from version 3 or 4 ( I dunno, maybe even version before that)
If you had called support before you wiped the computer, they would have told you that, being a user that ha(s)(d) a Maintenance & Support plan, you probably got back the activation by manually editing the licensing servers database by someone from support!

Removing software doesn’t free up the activation, you have to remove it actively (in the welcome screen).
You may activate a classic license on two machines and you have a ‘spare’ activation when a machine crashes.

Giving support needs to be scalable and proportional, better to instruct people how to than clean up the mess afterwards.


or under “Help > License” (Win) resp. “SketchUp > License” (Mac).

Removing a license from a system before dropping it is a common processing for lots of (commercial) software, nothing new or surprising here.

• SketchUp Help Center: Transferring SketchUp to a new computer or licensing multiple computers

I do remind ACAD in those days writing a C-dilla token somewhere in an inaccessible area of the HDD which easily gets lost by e.g. reinstalling the operating system w/o saving it first… hardware security keys (aka dongles) are not always bad.


This guidance is useful for “normal” situations, where the customer has access to a working computer.

But, what about the situations where the computer has crashed or was stolen, where access to the original SU install is not possible? The repair scenario is interesting, since hard drives and other components do fail.

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In those cases, please contact the SketchUp Support team and we will help you.


This is not true. Customers can move their licenses around regardless of version. As Mike points out if you don’t remove your license from a machine before wiping it, your seat/machine will not be returned to our system.

There is one exception to this and that is when you upgrade from one version to a newer version, you will loose the ability to install new instances of the older version. For example if you upgraded from 2018 to 2019, you won’t be able to install your 2018 license on new machines.

You should be able to though, without restrictions. A user should have the right to install any version they paid for, perpetually. In my opinion.


Per our EULA, upgrading does not entitle you to an additional seat of the software. Upgrading means you can only use the version you upgrade to. We assume that customers only renew their M&S subscription if they want the latest version. Though I realize there are sometimes situations where people can’t upgrade.

If I purchased 2015 outright at full price. Then 3 years later bought 2018 at full price. I should have the right to install and use either one whenever I want. They are separate licenses and not a replacement.


Hey Ben

You are correct those licenses would be separate.

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[disclaimer: I’m a colleague of Mikewayzovski]

One of the fun aspects of the new subscription type licensing is that it is version independent. For now it is just the 2019 and 2020 versions that can be activated with it, since the system wasn’t implemented before that, but in 2025 a subscription user might choose to activate all versions 2019-2025!
The other fun aspect is that you don’t even need to call support to get your license activations wiped; you can do that yourself in the account management portal.

Fantastic !


Hypothetically, why would you want to activate all versions 2019-2025? The only reason I can surmise is because of extension incompatibilities between versions?

and operating systems not supported any more.