Not a new topic, but new problem for me

I’ve been using Sketchup and Layout for some time; and, have never had this problem before. I have a Windows 64 with 2018 Sketchup Pro. I created a residential addition in Sketchup and had completed nearly half of the layout sheets for construction drawings. After adding details today, I attempted to save and close the file. Throughout the process, I noticed (not responding) and the blue spinning circle on my screen. Eventually, the file closed and I assumed it was still there, as I exported a PDF of one of the sheets (24x36 format). When I returned to make a few corrections, I repeatedly got an error message when trying to load the file in Layout. In the ‘recent files’ window of Layout, it only shows a white/blank sheet, as where other layout sets are miniature sets that can be opened. I’m not terribly savvy with computers and have tried rebooting, and copying and pasting the file into a zip folder. Still nothing.

If anyone has experience or can assist with recovering hours of potentially lost time, that would be great.

Thank you,

Hi, Vince.

If you have any files you can upload to this forum… working or not, it would be nice to be able to see them if possible.

Just taking things on face value (and summarizing a bit)… Layout is generating a Read Error, and showing you the directory path to the location of the file that can’t be read (/opened)… and this is the same file you were working on, and attempted to save when your computer hung up, and became non responsive.

Stating the Worst case scenario up front… this botched up Save attempt could have resulted in a corrupted file, which ultimately can’t be read correctly by Layout anymore. the error message already suggests this, but of course not by claiming actual file corruption.

Since Layout’s Recent Files list is also now blank, I think it’s worth navigating manually (via Windows Explorer) to where this file is being saved. This of course should be the same directory path that’s being shown in Layout’s Read Error message: C:\Users\Vince\Desktop\PLANNED SUCCESS\Pifer_Edinburg…

And once there I’d check the properties info to see how large the file size actually is. If it’s a really small file size, indicating that noting of substance is being saved, then there’s not going to be a lot to recover, I’m afraid.

However, for a file size which is closer to what you’d expect it to be, (… even shy of being close to reasonable) then that’s worth spending a little bit of time on.

Obviously, if you do notice backup files being present… it’s worth looking at those just to get an idea how far back you are, in terms of lost work.

There’s always a trade off in balancing file recovery time vs. just re-drawing the lost work.

Regardless of what you see, if possible please upload something, so others can have a try at things too.

Thank you for taking the time to respond and offer some insight. The file size indicates 2.03 GB, which I assume means that something is still there. I’ve tried to upload the file, but it’s too large to upload here. Therefore, I had to upload into Google Drive and create a link:


Did you modelled the world?:grinning:
That is a large file, but chunked up in pieces if you rename it to .zip and unzip it, maybe there is something usefull.

It would certainly seem like it, based on the size of that file. I’m not entirely sure how to rename it to .zip and unzip it. I tried to do that initially, after reading similar posts, but was unsuccessful.

Step-by-step instructions would be helpful.


Hi Vince,

Sorry for the delay on my part, I wasn’t able to even download your file using the internet connection I was on yesterday.

I have it now, but have not been able to open it in Layout.

In the past I’ve been able to open regular .skp files by importing them into other CAD software, and for whatever reason that kind of workaround has been able to open a stubborn file that SketchUp itself didn’t want to open.

In this case I don’t know of any other programs that even import .layout files, so such a test can’t be done.

The idea which Mike outlines above is a nice one, and I tried that as well, but to no real effect either.
[…though this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try this too. ]

While I’m certainly no expert on this, it’s my understanding that Layout creates a type of compressed file container… in which the various resources/attributes of the project are linked together and referenced by an included .xml file.

Mike’s idea, as far as I interpret it, is that if you rename your file so it has a .zip extension, rather than a .layout extension (keeping the main file name the same)… from there you can try to see if it’s possible to then unzip the file, and possibly gain some access of the included resources found within it.

For my part, I tried this with a couple of compression programs I normally use, but I’m unable to unwrap what’s there.

As a last ditch effort which has no promise to recover anything anyhow—only some conformation of readability—I also tried to look at the file in a plain text editor, just to see if it would open. Successful results would have only produced scrambled text looking like gibberish, but that’s sometime fun to see right before you send the file off to the graveyard. (… and it didn’t open, btw)

Unfortunately, my next steps in troubleshooting start to involve calling in on a favor from the GODs. I’ve built up a small balance of good karma… but probably not enough to fix this.

There’s a Layout specialist at SketchUp @Marc …. who I’ve just now invited into this thread… Maybe he has some insights, or even some software tools which can get into things that regular users can’t… I’m not really sure… but it’s probably worth a try.


For a file this large, if you end up having to Trash Can it… keep in mind how big it is, and how much grief you’ve suffered from it. It may ultimately be more rewarding for you if you were to give a special send-off… something that’s completely unique, and well deserving with respect to the circumstances involved.

The Late Great analog circuit design engineer Bob Widlar developed a special process which he liked to use to mark the end of a failed research attempt, or bad project design. Some now refer to it as the Widlar-izer, others simply call it a hammer… of course there’s also something to be said for forgiveness too, so…

I’m not deleting the file I’ve downloaded just yet. But it’s highly unlikely I can do much more than what I’ve already tried. So I’m sorry to give you such bad news.

I like to tinker around however, and experiment, so If it I end up getting lucky, or I am able to cash in on my good karma account within the next day or two, I’ll let you know.

Take Care, Vince,


I’ll ping @Marc once again (not meaning to nag him).

[ Sorry, Marc… try to think of it as two thumbs up instead of one… and in return you can flip me the double bird, if you want to… I know you guys are busy these days. ] :slight_smile:

Thank you for all your assistance and tireless effort. I truly appreciate it. I’ll let you know if something changes.


Hi Jim-

I’m less busy these days now that I’m self employed :wink:

Your information about how LayOut saves files is correct - LayOut works in a temporary folder, and then zips the contents of that folder into a single “.layout” file to save it.

@PlannedSuccess, unfortunately when LayOut tried to save this file for you, something happened during the zip process and the file got truncated - the end of the file is missing. Also unfortunately, one of the missing files is the “references.xml” file that tells LayOut how to connect the various pieces of the document. (@adam I wonder if LayOut could write out references.xml before writing the “refs” folder?)

I was able to repair the zip archive in the following manner:

  1. Rename it to
  2. Run a zip-repair utility on it. Since I’m on Mac, I could use the following command:
    zip -FF --out
  3. Rename to Fixed.layout to open it in LayOut (or leave it as a .zip to use an unzip utility to look at the internals of the file)

However, I still haven’t been able to get LayOut to load this file due to the missing references.xml file.

In regards to the large file size, I noticed that you have multiple SketchUp models with basically the same name - I think that perhaps you could make some workflow changes that would dramatically reduce the size of your file, which in turn would make it less likely that you’d run into file corruption issues. I’m not a workflow expert so I don’t have an exact recommendation but do some reading up on the best ways to pull multiple models into a single LayOut file.

I think most of your work could be recovered from this file with about half a day’s work but even then you’d still need to review everything to make sure nothing was missing. Sorry I wasn’t able to be more help.



Thank you for everything you’ve done to assist and how you’ve spelled everything out. I definitely think I can make some changes for the future and have already begun re-creating the layout set. Thankfully, the homeowners are considering design changes that would otherwise nullify my previous images anyway, except for details and typ wall section, etc.


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