License renewal shell game?

These discussions are becoming endless, very boring. So everyone who bought a T-Ford still gets the newest Ford model for half the price…

to an extent perhaps…

but people are confused (for whatever reason) and are seeking clarity

I too had a similar e-mail as noted below. I guess I’m a long-time user, been using SU since the ‘AT-LAST’ folks released their version 5 in 2005. As noted before, I’m just not comfortable with this form of software licencing, it must be something psychological that causes me to question this direction, as where there’s a perpetual option, I can’t but help to take that avenue with nearly all my software. The only exception I think is MS-365, but then, their pricing of £59.99 for their six main software programmes including ONE-DRIVE & SKYPE doesn’t seem to cause me to question this at all, so, it must be the pricing element.

The only tease for me would have been to just say to ‘long-time’ users, that SU’s new subscription pricing would be the same as the Perpetual 1 year Maintenance & Support, Single User pricing of £102.00 for the next few years. If SU-HQ then said they intend to bring better upgrades/fixes than they have done of late, but to do this gradual price increases will be needed, then I’m sure this approach would be supported more so.

I think it should be made clear that one’s old or current perpetual licence will remain unaffected, i.e. if one does change over to subscription & you need a holiday of not paying, then one can still use your perpetual SU programme. Not sure if this is the case ?


Lask week (ever!) to renew M&S!

Long-time SketchUppers deserve the best deal we’ve ever offered. That’s why as our M&S program comes to an end on November 4th, you have two options:

Get the first two years of a SketchUp Pro Subscription for just $240 (a $358 savings!) and access every feature update past, present, and future.

Update your current perpetual license before November 4 to access SketchUp Pro 2021 when it’s released.

You can’t lose either way. We think that’s pretty sweet.


This is true, it will be the version when you ‘migrated’.

I couldn’t agree more. Why is it such a cluster? Trimble needs to get things sorted out and stick with a plan.

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I’m Soooo confused! I have looked at the license manager page and it tells me nothing. Just says try back later. I just know one of these days I will try and use my sketchUp and it will be gone!

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There is a large pink warning box that you might have taken as meaning there is a page error, but if you scroll down the page you should see something like this:

Hello Colin -

So, does this mean I HAVE to migrate and pay more to be able to use my SketchUp Pro in perpetuity< or do I already have it as it is in perpetuity? THAT is what confuses me. It also says my renewal date is July4, 2021. Can I renew it at that time instead and continue to use it?

I had thought I could use it as it is on the 4th of July 2021 after the S&M runs out, forever after that date, if I did nothing. That is how I am using my Autodesk products.

Do you see my dilemma?

I do woodworking as a hobby and I am now retired living on SS, so every penny counts for me.



It’s only the support that ends in July, you can still install SketchUp and activate it with your later license, and it will work.

It’s the same as you have described for Authdesk software.

You only need to migrate if you need to get support from SketchUp, or if you need to use features in a later version. The one you will have by July will continue to work without you needing to pay us anything.

Thank you.

Well, I just looked over past renewals. In 2017, it was $180USD, now it’s $299.
So I can sympathise with the feeling ripped off bit.
I can sympatise a lot, actually.
I’ve been with SU since the @Last days as well, and have been watching the corporatising of SU as well, with disquiet.

I had perpetual licences of AutoCAD LT 2008, that I was running until Windows 10 dragged me kicking and screaming to a subscription service. So I got to see what 11 years of subscription royalties does to software developers in makeing teh leaps from 2008 to 2020 in one swoop.

It makes them lazy.

AutoCAD LT was a mature product in 2008, and it was an old friend. The new LT is a bloated whale that is slower, has “improved” keyboard shortcuts so they don’t work for veterans, stolen the awful ribbon from Microsoft Office and inserted it into AutoCAD, then created mischief with the familar UI to dumb it down to novice level familar to MS Office users.

I can count the real world positive improvements on one hand. Do I like them? Yes. Is it worth the trade off? Hell, no. And I’ve lost my perpetual liberty as well, in return for Subscription subsistence.

Since Sproutsradio broached the car theme, it’s like I had an original '66 Mustang with my beloved LT and got “upgraded” to the abyssmal mid 80’s piece of rubbish, when Ford removed the classic body panels that weren’t broke, and stuck plastic twaddle over techno sheetmetal flimflam, a 2.3l 4 pot motor that wouldn’t pull a fly off a greasy drumstick, and to add insult to injury gave out complimentary tickets to a Wham! concert.
Now if that what the ultra serious nerds at Autodesk can do to justify a subscription, what will the trendy party people at SketchUp do in a state with legalised marijauna (as Trimble also has in the Netherlands)?

I bet we’ll see all sorts of wierd & wonderful stuff over the next few years- but it probably won’t occur to them that a Mirror command might be useful, until Autodesk or Graphisoft buys SketchUp off Trimble.

As for Layout… well, that’s a mid 80’s Lincoln with phony rear wheel on the boot, peeling plastic wood grain and Las Vegas roulette hubcaps- to start with! Great for perspectives and elevations that automatically update, but have you ever tried to dimension a floor plan with that? That’s the closest I’ve ever come to keyboard rage, trying to get dimensions to align while deadlines whizz by, then an update causes them to disassociate. And the absolutely mental behaviour of leaders arrows on text notes- when you can get the text box to behave- and the way annotation slows to a crawl the more notes you have.

They didn’t miss an opportunity to make documents more impressive to behold, but insanely difficult to turn into real contract documents- basics, basics, basics are what’s needed Trimble/ SketchUp- a TrimUp, not flimflam & Wham.

Final word: Subscription is good for Trimble cashflow, executive bonuses, and maverick software developers seeking credit for making an impressive widget to go on their CV- but bad news for real world users who need a productive suite, in real time.

Look to AutoCAD LT as a bad example of Subscription slothfulness - and a good example of annotation- yes, Layout I’m talking 'bout you! .


I would like to renew my M&S one final time in the next day or so. I cannot figure out how to do this. The License Manager page looks similar to your screen-shot, showing my expiration date of December 29 2020. I cannot see how to renew one final time. There is a Migrate button, but I am not prepared to migrate to a subscription at this time (assuming that is what “Migrate” means here). Note: I have never downloaded or installed or activated SketchUp 2020 (or 2019), though I am entitled to them. Is downloading 2020 a pre-requisite to renewing my M&S?

Your support lasts until near the end of the year. Anything past November 4th can’t be renewed. Don’t do anything before Christmas, and see what your options are by then.

Even a 2016 license can be used in the migration promotion.

Hi Colin, and all,

One, easy, dumb question:

Since I’ve recently “purchased” and installed my own SU2020, will there be a chance or not to update to a “classic” SU2021 when it comes out? As you have told me, my M&S expires in Sept 2021. Or will that program, SU2021, (and any future versions) only be available to the subscribers (like the company I work for)?

This may be an underlying question from all of us in this forum.

Thanks !

Your license will get upgraded to a permanent 2021 license before then.

Anything released after November 4th 2021 will only be for subscribers.

Hi Colin, Tab 1 has already purchased SU2020 that expires in Sept 2021, so how can be be “uprgraded” to something he already owns?

There was a period where his license didn’t have support, but at the end of September he reinstated that, which immediately let him update to 2020. It also paid for the next 12 months of support and updates. His 2020 license doesn’t expire ever, only his support expires in Sept 2021.

It is highly likely that a 2021 version will be released before then, and so without paying anything new, he will have had his license upgraded to the permanent 2021 Classic license, long before he needs to worry about whether to migrate or not.

My renewal date is 12/9/20 and because that is after the 11/4/20 drop dead date I can’t renew my M&S? Is that right? To take up on SketchUp’s $240/2 year offer, do I have to do this by the 4th? Or can I do it just before my renewal date? Thanks everyone for your help!

The reason Trimble might be in such a headlong rush to stampede their existing user base into some fairly draconian licensing options may be hidden in the bowels of the US Patent Office.

System and method for three-dimensional modeling

The drawing method that makes SketchUp so unique in 3D design and modeling, and had won so many loyal fans, -the patent on that method expires on May 6th, 2021.

That’s a scant 6+ months from now. I would not be surprised if some upstart software company sees an opportunity here. Just like the case of Serif Affinity and Adobe.

For Trimble, the best strategy is to lock as many customers in as possible, as soon as possible. Enterprise and large design firms will have a hard time breaking free but individuals and small organization will vote with their feet.

They will remember how they were treated by Trimble.