Open sketchup without extensions

I’ve been trying to import a dxf file into Sketchup and it’s been crashing every time. Certainly an incompatibility with an extension. I noticed this last time I tried, it crashed on start up and the next time I opened Sketchup it asked if I wanted to start SU without loading extensions. So I did, was able to import and save the dxf file, quit and reopened SU, this time loading the extensions I work with all of the time.

Which begs the question

is there a method to start up SU without loading extensions? Something like holding down an option or control key (I’m on a Mac). What a handy ability that might be.

I don’t know of a keyboard shortcut to do that but you could temporarily rename the Plugins folder so SketchUp doesn’t see it. It’ll be under ~/Library/Application Support/SketchUp… SketchUp will make a new Plugins folder when it starts but you can delete that one and correct the name on the other one later.

Not quite as handy as a keyboard shortcut, but that will certainly do the trick when needed!

Thanks, Dave! We need to make sure your brain is preserved through the ages! Heheh!!


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Ha! Someone can just take the pickles out of the jar and stick my brain in.

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It would take a couple of re-opens of SketchUp to do this, but as it will only be occasionally needed, maybe that would be ok.

After opening SketchUp, show the Ruby Console, and enter this line:

Sketchup.plugins_disabled = true

Close and open SketchUp, do your import, then in the Ruby Console enter this:

Sketchup.plugins_disabled = false

Close and reopen SketchUp again.


I don’t want a pickle…


Arlo popped into my head right after I posted that picture. :smiley:

what a nice trip down memory lane! Arlo Guthrie!

Dave’s solution sounds a bit simpler, Colin, but thanks.

I guess a key combo on startup is too much to ask of the programming geniuses…

To do this, an extension would have to be able to assure that it was loaded before any others. Once upon a time this was possible because the OS listed the Plugins folder’s contents in alphabetical order, and one could choose a name to sort before all the others. I don’t know whether that is still true on Windows. But on macOS Apple changed the directory listing function to return contents in the unsorted quasi-random hash order they are maintained on the disk. SketchUp would have to add its own sorting to restore the old behavior. I don’t know for sure, but I don’t think they have done so.

Startup parameters could be added to the SketchUp program itself, but those would be usable only by people who know how to launch SketchUp from a script or command line. For example, this is how extension developers can launch SketchUp in Ruby debug mode. I am not sure, but there may also be a way to disable Ruby via a command line argument.

I just tried this, and though it worked, when I went back and re-named the two plugin folders, all my extensions loaded but I lost the tools on my tool bar at the top of the window as I had set them up.

Doing this must reset the preferences list plist.

That’s a bit above my head, but I’ll take that to mean, no, a key press cannot be used to start up Sketchup and not load extensions.

I suppose it would write a new .json file. Sorry. I forgot about that. I guess you could save a copy of the PrivatePreferences.json file with the correct toolbar locations and replace the rewritten one when you go back to rename the Plugins folder. I guess no matter how you disable the extension loading you would end up with a similar result.

And I thought that was your brain.


As you are on a Mac, can you use Automator to do any of the things suggested?

Sour or Dill?

Probably, Simon, if I took the time to understand Automator. Never gotten into that over the years.