My solution for "Failed to open document"

Hi everyone,

For the first time today I experienced the “Failed to open document”. After a little panic attack as my deadline is next week, I easily got it fixed. I copied the .skb file (which had the correct saving date and time, which the .skp didn’t) into another map and changed “.skb” to “.skp”. This solved my issue and I hope it helps you too.

Another tip I saw was to go to the properties of the file and recover a previous version.

Hope this helps!

Renaming the .skb to .skp does sometimes work although not always. We’ve seen plenty of examples of the .skb file being just as badly corrupted as the original .skp file. Still it’s worth a try to rename it. You should not need to move the file before renaming it.

The most common reason for the Failed to Open Document message is due to working on it while it is saved to an external drive or cloud storage. The safest option is to ensure the file is saved on the internal drive while you are working on it.

Another reason seems to be bad objects that have either been created by the user or downloaded from the 3D Warehouse. The latest version of SketchUp 2023 can usually identify those and remove them on opening though. Best practice for getting content from the 3D Warehouse is to download it into a separate SketchUp file so you can examine it to make sure that it is suitable for your project. If it isn’t, either clean it up or go back and look for a different one. Purge unused content from your project file regularly to keep it slim and trim.

BTW, please correct your forum profile. SketchUp 2023 would be the SketchUp Version and Windows 10 or Windows 11 would be the operating system since you have .skb files to rename. You should be able to identify the graphics card and add that, too.


I desperately need some help on why my file won’t save on sketchup.

I press save as and nothing happens :frowning:

(This is on MacBook)

Your profile says you are using SketchUp for Schools which is web based. Saving is done to the cloud. What are you expecting? Give more details.

Please correct your forum profile. The operating system is not ‘2023’. It is some version of the Mac OS if you are using a MacBook.

Hey there, could you help me out? I can’t seem to open a file.

You file is about two-thirds filled with zeroes. Did you try renaming the .skb file to .skp and opening that?

Where have you been saving the file as you worked on it?

I tried everything, but nothing helped. The file was stored in a Dropbox folder
Is it possible to update it, or should I just forget it
skb file

The .skb isn’t as full of zeroes as the .skp but it looks pretty grim.

That’s likely the cause. Many users have reported issues with corrupted files due to working on files directly aved to the cloud. The reccomendation is to save files locally while working on them and syncing them to the cloud when you finish for the time being.

Instead of using DropBox for your cloud storage you could use your Trimble Connect storage. It’s designed for handling the more complex SketchUp files. It also creates and incremental save when you save your model there. Very useful if need to go back to an earlier version for some reason.

Thanks for the advice, I’ll definitely do that next time. But what about this file? Is there any way to recover it, or is it beyond retrieval?

@colin might be able to recover something from the .skb but I wouldn’t hold my breath. I guess I would be getting started on rebuilding it while waiting for him to have time to look at it.

I understand, that’s a shame because there was a lot of work put into it. It’ll be a lesson for next time

I wish I could tell you what exactly fails when files saved outside the local (internal) drive become corrupted. We see this so often I also wish there was a way to get to users like you in time to head it off. The preventative steps are so simple. It’s getting users to know about that is so difficult. On the positive side I’ve never seen anyone report a file becoming corrupted when it is saved to their Trimble Connect storage. And it’s included as part of the price of your subscription so it seems silly not to take advantage of it.

I know I’m a very small statistical sample of SketchUp users but so far in 21 years of using SketchUp I’ve never once had a file become corrupted like yours are. I only work on files that are resident on a local drive. And since the advent of Trimble Connect I save my files there as a backup in addition to keeping them on the internal drive.

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There are two large chunks of the file that are wiped out, and it’s missing vital information, that makes recovering anything not possible.

@ramiux3 did you see Colin’s reply?

So I saw it and came to terms with it, moving on. Thanks, guys, for the help

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hi Dave mine was “this Appear not ot be skeychup model”

unfortunately, i was working a few hours then blackout happen, my pc dont have UPS, so when i came this day. this error happens.

i user sketchup 2023 PRO
RTX 3060

this is the skp file

this is the Skb file

There’s nothing in either file to recover.

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