Not authorised, no internet connection... I just need the software to work

Imagine, you’re on a building site, you hired three carpenters payed by the hour and you need to instruct them about the project they are about to build. The customer is there also.

All the drawing nicely printed out, but as always, questions pop up. No worries, The evening before I made sure everything was working fine on the laptop. Made sure the model was available offline.

So I start up Sketchup: “You have no internet connection”. Why do I need one? I’m in a basement, we are building a home cinema, so surely there is no internet connection. So I go up and try a wifi hotspot with my phone. The hotspot seems to work, but: “This device is not authorised”.
It all worked the evening before.

It’s not the first time something like this happens, but it surely is the most costly and embarrassing time.

I understand you want to protect your software, but it seems to me you have overdone it, Trimble. I wonder if this is the moment where cracked software is actually more reliable than the software you payed for.


And thats exactly why i do miss the StandAlone software we used to have!

It is just a workaround, but maybe you could install SU17 Free/Make as a backup?
So you don’t need internet and it will not have to check any licencing since its free.
Downside is the reduced functionality, it may present the model, but may not be able to use all PRO features. :thinking:

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Hey fellow resident of the Netherlands.

Thanks for the suggestion. I actually had SU Make 2017 installed, but that collided with the installation of pro at some point. You also need to constantly save extra copies with backwards compatibility.

I know it’s just a suggestion for a workaround, but I think we are allowed to expect the software to work properly. Without Trimble expecting from the user to cope with all these problems and quasi solutions. It shouldn’t be the users problem.


I don’t understand.

You have Pro, so that means the software is resident on your laptop, right?

If you are working as recommended, you are also saving files locally. Or are you? I can see that you would need an internet connection if the files were in the cloud.

The issue is not where the software or files are stored. Due to the Phone Home nature of the license authentication you can be locked out and unable to use the softwae and files stored on your pc until you connect to the internet. This is not good for site work.

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Like I said, I made sure the .skp was available offline, as in downloading it to my desktop.

But I did manage to connect to the internet via a wifi hotspot on my phone, yet still I couldn’t use the software. The evening before everything worked fine.

Two weeks ago I drove 1000km to France to take very detailed measurements of a room. I totally relied on the software to work there. It did, but now it’s seems like mere luck, not something I can depend on.

So from now on I just can’t expect Sketchup to work, except in the office.

Two things I can think of: The first is that the SketchUp Pro Subscription needs to connect with Trimble’s online servers about every 28 days If I remember correctly, and that this case might have been bad timing. This is to check that the user still has access to a license. Between those 28 days, offline use should work.

The second which most likely did not happen in your case is that the network card was completely disabled. The SketchUp licensing systems need access to the mac-address on the said card to function so if it’s disabled SketchUp will not work.

When preparing the laptop for working of the grid, it is best to sign out and back in while still connected.

Then, exit all instances of SketchUp.

Turn of wifi and ethernet and start SketchUp to test.

It should now work for the next 28 days (or period left to the end of the subscription)

Closing SketchUp is the important step…


Eventually I was connected to the internet, but still it wouldn’t work.

But seriously, everyone just thinks it’s ok to deal with all this? All these stupid workarounds, guesses, and then maybe you’re lucky? I’m a real pro in my line of work, but I’m no network expert, nor do I aspire to be one.


I agree with you, for those of us that don’t sit in an office with a permanent connection to a broadband network this is a very poor authentication system.


I would not say that I’m OK with it. I wish that there was a more effective tool to manage offline use. And I sincerely hope Trimble has something planned for the future. Especially nos since SketchUp for iPad is available which is more intended for field use.

But for now, I simply shared potential reasons as to why this situation happened. And Mike provided steps on how to prepare for the next time you need to go out.

I do appreciate the help of the community. But even with the workarounds you can’t be certain. I’ve delt with the “signing out/signing in” before, but what I experienced yesterday was totally new.

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You should know that using cloud storage to work from is considered bad practice, save local and synchonize to the cloud later.

BTW, I wouldn’t call preparing a workaround…

I’m not sure I understand you. I made sure the file was downloaded to my harddrive, like I said.
And I did prepare. But a completely new issue arose.

It was because you said you downloaded your model to your harddrive that made me think you are saving directly to the cloud. I was trying to warn you that can result in broken files.

By preparing I meant the steps that @MikeWayzovski gave you to make sure you can work offline for 28 days.

I have also found the licensing to be incredibly badly implemented. I have had way too many situations where Trimble lock me out and I have to sign back in again - it’s really annoying & disruptive.
There should be an offline option, even if it’s just for a day or so.


The intended functionality is that SketchUp should only have to connect with the licensing server every 28 days. So In theory if you sign out and back in again once then quit SketchUp to save the authorization ticking clock file, the next time you open you should be authorized for offline use over the next 27 days. Hence the advice further up this thread.

Unfortunately, in practice I also find this license system to be sometimes unreliable, logging me out, requiring repeated sign ins and other trust eroding behavior. I do work sometimes for weeks without reliable internet and it does mostly work as expected, except when it does not.


100% this. I have been pestered far too much with authentication issues, device authentication. far more than once every 28 days. And often in the field, as our original commenter experienced. This is massively irritating.


I agree. You buy an annual license, hand over the annual fee so there’s absolutely no need to keep checking.

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Case in point: I closed and re-opened SketchUp while online yesterday, and I was online this morning. Show up onsite and I am confronted with this:

Very frustrating. Also a few comments about the dialogue box once back online; “You can continue to use SketchUp, but you will not be allowed to start a new file or open an existing one” With those restrictions, in what way can I continue to use SketchUp? I can stare at the menu bar on my screen?!?

And why in the world does this dialogue box not have a button link to the Trimble sign in page? I think it’s a source of confusion for many the the text here encourages you to go sign in, but if I look under the Help menu SketchUp lists me as currently signed in already under my correct identity, so signing in appears unnecessary. What it should say is please sign out and then sign back in to continue.