No Internet, No SketchUp 2020/21

Helping someone who has a login problem with SketchUp Studio 2020 (Subscription). They have been using the product daily for a month. Today their internet connection went down. When they tried to launch SketchUp Pro, they were presented with this:

I then tried my SketchUp Pro 2019, without an internet connection, and the program launched without a problem.

So, it appears that SU 2020 requires an internet connection each time the program is launched. Is this correct? And, if so, is this requirement listed somewhere?


I believe SketchUp 2020 needs an internet connection to validate your subscription as it launches. @colin, am I correct?

The subscription checks in with the server every 28 days. Normally no Internet won’t matter, except for if SketchUp was due to check in right at that moment.

It would be worth opening a document instead of SketchUp, in the hope that it’s the welcome screen that is affected, and not SketchUp itself.


I agree, albeit, based upon a sample of one. With the Internet connection re-established, the customer was able to login with their Trimble account and successfully launch SU Pro 2020. With SU Pro 2019 they routinely worked at locations without Internet connectivity.

My understanding about SU Pro 2019, was that only one login per month was required. Which seems to be a more reasonable approach.

But, this reveals a significant problem for a segment of SU 2020 users and potential customers: Those users/customers who routinely work at remote locations without Internet connectivity.

I had anticipated upgrading in the near future, but this has derailed my plan. I will postpone until a solution exists.


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Colin, my experience today is different than your guidance. I had the customer logout/login with and without an Internet connection multiple times. If they had no Internet connection, and were unable to login into their Trimble account, SU Pro 2020 would not launch.

Could you test this scenario?

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Colin, this is what the customer sees (image below), if no Internet connection exists. Notice that “New” file is not available. Also, but not shown, is “Open Recents” does not permit files to be opened. Without an Internet connection, this customer cannot use SU Pro 2020.

How would they succeed in logging into their account if there is no Internet?

I tried various combinations, and the only one that stops me getting in is if I had previously signed out, closed SketchUp, disconnect Internet, then open SketchUp. Then there is a message saying I’m offline. If I then only turn on Internet, the welcome screen updates to give me the sign in option.

If I was signed in before quitting SketchUp, turn off Internet, and open SketchUp, I see this message in the license status.


I am able to do work.

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Right, that is showing the state I get, if I had previously signed out. Unfortunately, signing in does need the Internet. Even a phone hotspot would be enough of a connection for the sign in to work.

The signing in isn’t just so you can then use 3D Warehouse, Extension Warehouse, and Geo Location, it’s also what is used to determine if this is one of your two authorized machines.

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Interesting Colin, I understood that subscriptions needed to check in once in 28 days to authorize. But, I had assumed that was a running total of 28 days unconnected, not a scheduled event. In other words I had thought that I would have 27 days of off line function from the last internet check in whenever that was. I was not so concerned about it because I am generally online at least once in a 28 day window. A scheduled event is a problem.

I work underground in caves and mine shafts, sometimes for weeks, and far away from connection, and on airplanes. Does this mean that under a subscription if I happen to be offline at the moment Sketchup wants to check in I will not be able to launch? Even if I had opened and authorized SketchUp the day before online?


And if the remote location does not have cellular service, then what? You simply would not be able to login. Forget about 3DW et al. And you are assuming that all cell phone and service providers have “hot spot” features, they DO NOT! This also adds another level of complexity for the user, not all users would know how to setup and use this feature.

Maybe you are suggesting that this scenario is so rare that it would not be “acceptable use”?

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I think that it ought to work like you are saying, and the problem in this case is that they were signed out, not that they were offline for 28 days.


More testing. I am using SU Pro 2019. This is how the test went:

  1. Online and logged into my account, SU launched, working normally.

  2. Still connected to Internet, SU running, I logged out of my account within SU.

  3. Close SU

  4. Disconnect from Internet

  5. While disconnected, I launch SU, it opens and functions normally !

So, unless I am missing something crucial, SU Pro 2019 and SU Pro 2020 behave very differently in this situation.

Are you suggesting that “signing out” of SU is abnormal and to be avoided at the cost of not being able to use SU offline?

I don’t mind if all cases are taken care of, there shouldn’t be such a thing as an acceptable failure. Most users do stay signed in, and the case of someone signing out before quitting SketchUp on a computer that they intend to open SketchUp on the next day, is unusual.

Educating people could be improved, so that if they do sign out (which would require an Internet connection), they could be told that to sign in again will also require an Internet connection. An Internet outage for someone who was online moments ago, but chose to sign out, is not common.

For the remote person without even cell coverage, just make sure they didn’t sign out before going off grid.

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Copy that, thank you. So the lesson here is: don’t sign out.

Ha! There are times when signing out is the right thing to do. Mainly say if you’re leaving your office two computers and want to do work on two home computers, signing out would free up the activations. If you forget to do that you can deauthorize devices, but in all cases an Internet connection would be needed while signing in or out. So, only sign out if there is a need to do so.

With Classic licenses it’s a bit easier to understand. If you were to do a Remove License, disconnect the Internet, then try to activate the license again, you would not be shocked to find that an Internet connection was needed to activate the license. Subscriptions are the same, only they are using your email address instead of a serial number.

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Colin, thanks for the information. In this case, you hit the nail on the head. The customer had a history of problems with multiple SU installations and had learned early on that signing out was a workaround solution. An example of a “bad day”.

For me, SU 2019 seems to a lot more forgiving in this scenario (see test above). :grinning:

To my best knowledge, there is no difference regarding licensing between those versions.
Maybe something else was causing this…

In this particular comparison:

2019 SU Pro uses a serial no.
2020 SU Pro uses a subscription.

This is why I will de-install SU 2020 and going back to 2019 on 2021/02