Sequence: Mac OS Catalina & SU 2020?

I’m due to upgrade my iMac OS up to Catalina as well as updating my SketchUp from 2018 to 2020. Does it matter which one I do first? For those who have been through this, what are the Pros and Cons for which one first?

I’d be inclined to do macOS first, just in case there is any technical aspect of installing SketchUp that depends on the OS version (e.g. a change in security). I don’t know of one, but just in case…

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I think I agree. But make sure you are committed to installing both because once you install Catalina I believe Sketchup18 will stop working?

I have Su20 running on Mojave still to keep access to older versions that I am concerned Catalina will break. And I still don’t trust Catalina not to break some other stuff too, but I’m cautious. There were some initial issues with Layout on Catalina but I believe that maintenance update 20.2 has fixed this.

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I’ve been running SketchUp v2019 and v 2020.2 on Catalina now and haven’t experienced any problems (with SketchUp). As you know, other apps are not yet compatible with Catalina but that’s another issue.

Edit: I didn’t answer your question but I’ve done it both ways SU first, then Catalina and reversed. Didn’t seem to care either way. Just my experience.


I’ve held off from upgrading from Mojave to Catalina, but not mainly for SU, although I would be concerned too that older versions of SU which I keep for occasional testing of plugins might no longer work.

Watch out too for any other apps that won’t run on Catalina. I have several.

Check your system for anything that you need to have, and which might not work on Catalina.

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Thanks Riley,
Thanks for the head up about SU 2018 and Catalina compatibility! I DO want to be able to run SU 2018 after transitioning to SU 2020 … I need to research this, maybe I’ll hold off on the Catalina!

Thanks John - good advice!

I updated to Catalina last week and I’m happy to report that SketchUp Pro 2018 works perfectly fine.


Shouldn’t be a problem. My entire team of designers has made the update to Catalina without any issues with SU 2018.

Thanks Ben,
I appreciate the information!

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Thanks Eric,
I appreciate the feedback!
I have an “off topic” question - I was looking at your profile and noticed that you have a high end iMac Pro w/ that 16 GB Pro Vega graphics card. I’ve been debating for some time if it would be worth upgrading to an iMac like yours to improve the performance of LayOut. How does LayOut perform on your machine? Is it snappy, or just so-so?

It’s super snappy. It doesn’t seem to do much for Vector mode though. That slowdown you may already know so well seems independent of machine specs. I went with iMac Pro primarily for VRAY since Mac doesn’t support GPU…I needed something with a CPU that can support heavy rendering loads.

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Well I recently upgraded my iMac which came pre-loaded with Catalina. I just tried opening SU 2018 and got this message:

Maybe that wouldn’t happen just by upgrading the OS on an existing machine.

That has nothing to do with updating to Catalina. Your sketchup license is attached to a completely separate computer.

Possibly so but SU2020 got transferrred too and that works fine. Maybe I reconnected…

SketchUp 2020 doesn’t have the same license system as 2018. You have to deactivate the 2018 license on your old computer in order to activate it on your new one. Ultimately, the point is that SU Pro 2018 is compatible with Catalina.

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I can’t easily tell what SketchUp licenses you have, but if 2020 was a classic license and you used Time Machine to migrate to the new machine, it should have given the same error message. If you have a subscription, then that’s why it would work, it only needs the right email address.

Do you need 2018 to be working on the new machine?

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No Colin, I don’t personally. I was just testing it out for the benefit of this thread.

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