SketchUp 2016 reduced functionality

I own an individual licence for SketchUp pro 2016. I use it for designing things for my use several times a year and not professional use. In 2016 it contained all the features that I felt I needed so I did not continue to upgrade. Now I find that the functionality that I had (purchased, and paid to upgrade and maintain for several years) is no longer a part of my sketchup pro 2016. Some features were taken away. I do not recall receiving any notice that access to the 3D warehouse or extensions would be discontinued for my version until I found them missing. I can work around the extensions by manually installing them, but the access to the 3D warehouse is now limited to generic files which require substantial manipulation to be usable. I also use solid geometry and printing to scale in layout which is why I purchased the pro version in the first place.

Now it appears that it will cost $299/year to get that same capability.

I would have expected to be notified before functionality of my software licence was removed. I feel ripped off, and I am looking for a good way forward.

Any suggestions that do not cost $299/ per year would be appreciated.

Thank you

As you say, you can still install Extensions Manually.
You can download the Collada files from the warehouse and import them.
Solid tools still work.
The version of Layout you have hasn’t changed.

You can continue to use 2016 indefinitely, until your OS will no longer support it.

You can still download models from the 3D Warehouse, but you will have to access them via your browser, not from within SU itself, and as Box says, download the Collada version. Unless they were originally uploaded in SU 2016, models in that format are no longer available.

But as you are on Windows, you can use the Eneroth Open Newer Versions plugin to open models saved in versions later than 2016, and save them back to 2016.

So you haven’t lost any significant functionality, you just need to access some of it differently.

There were multiple attempts to notify users that certain features would not be available after certain points in time. Since you seem to rarely ever use SketchUp, it’s not surprising you would have missed them.

The geo-location feature changed because Google changed their policies which made it not possible for SketchUp to continue offering their terrain and image data. As Box wrote, you can get models from the 3D Warehouse as Collada files through your browser which can then be imported into SketchUp. The Warehouse doesn’t support SU versions earlier than 2017 due to security issues created by changes made by Microsoft and Apple to their browsers. This was also reported before it happened.

If you were keeping your maintenance and support up to date you could have been upgrading all along. You most likely would have been entitled to SketchUp 2017 Pro.

There has been announcements on the forum but if you don’t regularly visit you are not very likely to see them. I don’t know if SketchUp could have sent out emails to existing customers. Since this isn’t super important to know in advance, and something you discover once it happens, it may have been wise to not spam everyone’s inbox.

Technically SketchUp always broke the Google Maps license agreement, but as it was Google breaking their own agreement at the time they didn’t care. When Trimble acquired SketchUp I think they were allowed to continue using this data for 5 years or something, even though Google Maps data was never really supposed to be saved down anywhere.

Some additional technical info: SketchUp up to 2017 used an embedded system browser for its internal web based interfaces. On Mac this was Safari and on Windows it was Internet Explorer. Since these web browsers differed quite bit in how they read web pages, it was tricky to generate content that worked well in both, especially for Extension developers that often don’t have more than one system to try on. Also Internet Explorer has pretty much always been behind in following web specifications and haven’t behaved properly.

In 2017 a Chromium web engine was embedded, and available for use in Extensions and SketchUp’s native interfaces. This makes it much, much easier to create content as there is no platform inconsistency, and the browser engine is in itself of proper quality. However, it means that web content wont work in pre 2017 versions unless the developers take all kinds of little bugs and weirdnesses into account, even those already fixed. At a first glance it may look like Trimble trying to trick people to update by removing functionality, but from a technical perspective it does make a lot of sense to drop support. It is painful to support outdated and buggy software. It’s a bit like working with old rusty tools, even though you have brand new tools in front of you just waiting to be used.

As much as I like perpetual licenses and the promise to always, with no additional payments, have access to (at least the offline functionality of) the application, I can’t help saying subscriptions do save this problem with outdated technology.


Thank you for the very thoughtful description of the problem. Obviously I have not been keeping up with the forum news, and I am late to the awareness of the impact of this change. I understand that support for older software is difficult and not always in the best interest of new products. I am confident that every version has many improvements, but there comes a point where they are not useful to the occasional user as myself. But regression does not seem right either. Please correct me if I am wrong, but the 3D warehouse seems much more difficult to use now than it was in 2016. If Sketchup 2017 makes the 3D Warehouse more usable and easier for Trimble, and better for me, can I upgrade to that version?

Thank you for your comments.


I think Trimble only sales licenses for the most recent version. While still supporting some of the web services, SketchUp 2017 is also outdated, and might have similar problems in the future. Generallyits best to use one of the newest versions of a software.

I have some astuce to access in 3d warehouse again in sketchup
DM if you want