Saving sometimes creates a .skp and .skb file. Normal?

Hello all,

I normally save my sketchup models on Dropbox so I can work on them from either my office computer or my home computer.

Sometimes, saving a file creates not only a .skp file but also I notice a .skb file with the same name. (but only one of them shows the sketchup recognized file avatar).

Is this normal, or am I causing something weird by saving to dropbox folder instead of a normal windows folder?

Just wondering if there is anything wrong with my workflow. I normally just delete the other file if it pops up.


don’t know if I posted this in the right category.

OK, thanks DaveR.

So it does this file structure on any folder. I thought it was strange though because it does not always create both each time I save. I think it’s kind of random, no?

It’s set up in your Sketch menu Window > Preferences > General tab
In the ‘Create Backup’ [SKB] and ‘Auto Save’ [at set time interval] check-box options…

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Thank you, TIG. Appreciate that info.

But be aware that if your Dropbox or network folder you are saving to has a glitch, slow or dropped connection, you’ll get some 0.skb files.
It generally accepted that working local is best and drop to the box as required.

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Hi Rick,

SketchUp relies upon a stable path to the directory where the original .skp file exists.
The path to an external drive is subject to change, which may cause the loss of Backup and Auto-Save files.
Your term “Sometimes” would indicate files aren’t being saved as expected.

Best Practice:

Always open files from your local drive and save your work to the local drive.
Afterward; copy your original file from your local drive to other drives if you wish.

I sense some confusion about the difference between Auto-Save and Create Backup.
They are two separate functions that come into play during different events.

• An Auto-Save file is a temporary file available on the file system should SketchUp abnormally exit (crash).
The temporary file’s name will be a combination of the word “AutoSave” with the original filename, such as AutoSave_Smith Home.skp.

When an abnormal exit occurs, the Auto-Save file is saved in the directory where the original .skp file exists.

• A Backup file is created only when you save an existing SketchUp (.skp) file and Create Backup is enabled.
The original as-opened file is converted to a backup file (.skb), and the new drawing (.skp) is saved in place of that existing file. Thus, the backup (.skb) file is always chronologically one save behind the (.skp) model file.

The Backup file (.skb) is saved in the directory where the original .skp file exists.


[ I apologize for disintering (…exhuming? …resurrecting? …resuscitating?) an old thread – the issue is a new one for me. ]

My thanks to you, Geo, for a clear, well-written post. I am a SketchUp newbie, and was bothered by the .skp/.skb issue. Even after reading your post I was still a bit confused…why do some of my SketchUp projects have only the .skp, while others have both the .skp AND .skb files. …Then it hit me. The projects with only the .skp file were only saved once. When I’d saved a project two or more times, there was always the .skb file too. Makes sense – the only time you’d need to go back to an earlier iteration is if there is a subsequent iteration. Is my logic correct?

Thanks again.

Excellent explanation and clarification of the difference between AutoSave_***.skp files and Backup *.skb files! I’m a novice Sketchup user and never really understood until now why sometimes a backup file is created and sometimes not and I didn’t realise either that the backup file wasn’t the same as the file saved but effectively the file before it was saved. I didn’t notice either the AutoSave files being created because if all works as it should they obviously these get deleted automatically. Wonderful.