Setup guide for IMac 5K

I’m not a techie guy and never have problem working with SU/LO on my iMac 27-Inch “Core i7” 3.5 (Late 2013),NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M with 4 GB, but due to an accident, it started to work weird. Repair is not an option would cost me more than $1.3M, no way!.

Got a good deal and bought the 2019 5K iMac 3.7GHz 6-core 9th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, Radeon Pro 580X with 8GB of GDDR5, that will arrive on Friday. This is where my worries begin, because I have read user post with similar system having troubles with SU/LO, such as: SU small icons, LO laggy zoom, space mouse bad performance…

What I ask is your contribution to create a guide to setup this type of system, based on your experience, to optimize SU/LO performance. Guys like @MikeWayzovski, @MichaelSiggers, @simoncbevans, @Anssi, and others could contribute with their experiences.

I hope my request is clear and reasonable, thank you very much.

Hi @Charevir

My iMac is slightly older than yours. It’s now a year old but is a 5K 27 Inch i7 etc. From the same range as yours, but mine came with OS Mojave. I only opted for the 4GB GPU but I do have an External AMD 8GB Vega 64 in a Razer Core case, used for Rendering with Twinmotion.

I have had absolutely no problems running Sketchup on mine. It’s absolutely flies. Using Twinmotion produces 4K Still Renders in about 6 seconds.

The ONLY issue I have/had is/was with Layout and zooming. It was absolutely awful. However, a few days ago, another Forum Member suggested changing the Colour Profile in System Settings, and it has made a huge difference. It now zooms a lot quicker and more smoothly. I think there is an ongoing investigation by the Sketchup Team as to why the default Colour Profile for the screen affects Layout so much.

I’ve changed my Colour Profile to sRGB. I do have a MacBook Pro as well, which uses a Colour Profile I created using a Spyder 5 Pro Colour Profiler, from when I used to do Photography. I might calibrate my iMac screen and see how that Profile affects layout. I do prefer a calibrated screen as it means colours are shown correctly.

I’ve had no issues with weird or small icons etc.

Hope that helps.



Aside from installing SketchUp on your internal HD and running it normally, there’s nothing special you need to do to optimize your machine. There’s no setup procedure or settings that you can tweak that would alter performance in any way that I’m aware of.

If you aren’t a fan of how small the UI gets at full resolution, you can lower it, but that’s personal preference and nothing more.

Nobody would recommend using Apple’s Magic Mouse with SketchUp. You’ll need to get a proper 3rd party 3-button mouse, as per SketchUp’s recommendations for standard usage. That’s the only custom thing you’ll have to invest in.


So, an update on the Zooming;

I’ve just calibrated my Screen using the Spyder 5 Pro, creating a Colour Profile.

With this Profile enabled, the Zooming is as bad as the Standard iMac Profile.

Looks like I’ll be switching to sRGB when using Layout.


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my concern would be waiting till friday… I think your good to go! (except maybe the zoom issue in Layout. I have not experienced the issue though. maybe I am getting older, I can’t handle my son’s mouse either.

I would suggest removing the license(s) from the old, though. Make a last backup with TimeMachine first. Then remove all licenses that came with a serial or authocode Open SketchUp and remove the licenses of the extensions, first (ProfileBuilder, SuPodium, any extension that has a serial) extensions that are tied to your SketchUp account don’t count. Most Extensions have a menu - item in the [menu]Extensions
Then Remove the license of SketchUp itself ([menu]Help->License
You know when you succeded if you close SKetchUp and start it up, again.
You can migrate the backup when configuring the new iMac, but I always prefer to install everything, The latest OS’s are becoming more and more protective, and installing kind of sets all everything right.

Licenses are tied to a physical harddrive or MacAddress (Lan or networkadapter) That is why removing from the old is preferred.


I know almost nothing of current Macs. I used to be a Mac user until the release of OS X made all my Mac computers and software obsolete so I had to get rid of them.

Regarding small icons, in my experience as a Mac user, the version of SketchUp controls the behavior. Versions from 2016 and earlier are not fully aware of high-resolution (e.g., 4K, 5K) displays. The icons are displayed with a given pixel size, resulting in small-appearing icons on high-DPI displays. Starting with 2017 (as I recall), SketchUp scales icons to have more consistent “physical” size (thus spanning more pixels on a high-DPI display).

I can’t tell from your description whether your old/original iMac is a 5K model. If it is, then the new iMac with 5K display should have the same screen appearance. If the old iMac is not 5K, then get ready for a super-sharp appearing display! I love mine.

Rather than the display, I would be much more wary of macOS Catalina (10.15) which will presumably be pre-installed on your new iMac. That causes trouble for a disappointingly large set of applications. In particular, it will simply not run at all any so-called 32-bit applications. (I have a few of them which haven’t been updated in many years, and so will die when and if I upgrade from Mojave/10.14.)

Thank you all for your answers, it seems to me that the setup will not be as bad as I had anticipated :sweat_smile:

Regarding the TimeMichine I won’t be able to do the last backup but I hope I can remove SU and extension licenses (good call). One more dumb question, using the TimeMachine to setup the new iMac means that will install all my application or just my files.

Thanks again.

Thanks for tagging me but I don’t think I can add much as I am still using a late 2012 iMac. I do have the latest version of SU Pro but have not upgraded to the latest OSX.

The main problem I have noticed with LO is the lag when you try typing but that is just a minor nuisance.

As for the SpaceMouse, I don’t think that is anything to do with SU/LO and is mostly to do with 3DX and a conflict with the firewall that Macs apply. I do find that the SM occasionally loses connection. It can be restored by reinstalling the driver and because of the firewall issue, that is a bit of a pain. Sometimes functionality is restored of its own accord and I have no idea how that can happen!

Despite being a Time Machine user beginning shortly after the feature was introduced, I have never actually done a full restore using Time Machine, so I don’t know from personal experience. However, I believe that everything will be restored - your documents, installed applications, etc. Here is an Apple support article on the topic.

Yes, this is the case. It does its best to make it feel like you’re picking up right where you left off, OS version aside. I have done a Time Machine restore before, after water was spilled on my Mac and shorted the motherboard.

I would highly recommend going with a clean, fresh install and just migrate over files. Install apps clean. This is the best way to ensure the system is as efficient as possible.

A Time Machine related thing to know: If you do a Time Machine restore to a new machine, of a backup from a machine that died before you could remove the SketchUp license, the license in the new machine will still be based on the old machine. You will get an error message about the license being created for another machine (which it was).

The fix is to Remove License, and then Add License on the new machine. That will fix the license on the new machine.

Something I should test some time is whether doing a remove license clears the activation from the machine you are on, or the machine the license was created on. In a worse case you might remove the license from the new machine and not be able to add the license, because removing the license didn’t free up that activation.

That’s one thing I’m avoiding like the Plague, is updating to Catalina. I’m convinced that Apple are getting more sloppy with their various updates and seem to rush them out just so they can market a new OS. I’d rather they kept the same one for longer and released updates to it.

Thanks to all of you again. Today is Friday I still waiting my new iMac, at least now I have better idea how to set up it:

  1. Remove the licenses of the extension, hopefully in their menu will find the serial number.
  2. Remove SketcUp licenses, I don’t know yet how to get serial number for older version like 2008, 2016, that I use with older plugins.
  3. Regarding the set up I will go with the clean an fresh install and migrate the files from the TimeMachine.

The big problem I’m facing when removing the licenses is that the computer is so laggy, it take like 15’ to start, 5K to respond any click and I don’t know how long is going to take to open SketchUp, but I believe that no matter how long it takes, I will make it.

Another concern I have is if SU8/SU16 will be compatible with new OS, because with HighSierra I didn’t have any problem.

I will let you know how I am doing.

Your 2013 iMac is that slow? That doesn’t sound right at all. My 2012 iMac is doing great.

The reason why my iMac 2013 does not work as it should is because it fell off the desk while it was on. The repair service guy said that the HD and logic board need to be replaced ($1.3M) and the Apple Store said it’s ready for recycling. Before the accident it was doing great, as you said.

I’m going to keep it and tray to repair it myself.

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Been a long time since my last post and here is an update:

  • iMac with OS Mojave

  • On December I did a clean and fresh install of SU 19 (trial) and later SU 20 also trial.

  • Connected to older LED Cinema Display 2560 x 1440

  • Setting changed in System Preferences: 1) Display’s Colour Profile changed to sRGB to correct LO zooming problem and 2) disable the Shake Mouse Pointer feature to resolve the problem with the mouse pointer icon, that it did not change according the tool selected in SU.

  • To date have not activated any license.

After these changes SU/LO 2019 run fast/smooth, much better than on my older iMac, but I can’t say the same for SU20, although SU runs fast, LO does it slowly. Both version were tested with plain SU installation, this mean no plugins, no shortcuts or anything that just 3 button mouse.

One more question: have a classic license since SU16 and would like to know if it is possible to activate the previous versions in addition to SU2020, which are the same installed on my broken machine as still have their licenses.


You can only activate ‘active’ licenses on new machines.
The active license being the latest version you activated.
Say you have always payed maintenance, you bought version 2016 and activated it on your old machine. When you received the license info of 2017 and activated that version on the same machine (or another), you no longer can activate version 2016 on another machine. Version 2017 is then the active version.
Suppose two years pass (but you did pay Maintenance) and you received the license info of 2019 and decide to use that to activate that version on a new bought machine. Now, 2018 hasn’t been activated at all and is ‘skipped’ .The active version is then 2019 and you can not activate 2017 and 2016 either on that new machine.
So if you don’t activate a version, it might get ‘lost’.

Mike thanks for your help, for me this is so confusing.
All my licenses until 2019 have been installed on the same old machine.

If I understood correctly, I can activate license 2019 and 2020 on my new machine, this because the last license activated was 2019 and 2020 never have been installed.

You could confirm if I am correct.

Yes, start with 2019, though!