SketchUp 2016, should I upgrade?

SketchUp 2016 has been released. Whenever a new version of SketchUp is released, many questions arise regarding settings, plugins, operating system compatibility, etc. I’d like to address some of the common questions I hear regarding new releases.

Should I Upgrade?

The first question people typically ask is “Should I upgrade?” After assessing the list of new features and updates, your decision to upgrade typically depends on the following concerns:

  • Is SketchUp 2016 compatible with Windows 10/OS X El Capitan? - Yes! SketchUp ran an extensive beta program testing SketchUp 2016 with the latest operating systems. Don’t feel like you’ll be jumping into untested software on a new OS.

  • I’m afraid to upgrade because I don’t want to lose my existing SketchUp version & settings - Whenever a new version of SketchUp is released, it is a completely separate software installation, independent from any existing versions of SketchUp you have installed. It’s not released as a “software update”. It doesn’t affect your existing installations in any way, so don’t be afraid to upgrade for this reason. WORST CASE SCENARIO, if for whatever reason you’ve installed SketchUp 2016 and decide you’re not quite ready to switch over, you can always just open up your old version of SketchUp/LayOut instead. I personally have SketchUp 8, 2013, 2014, 2015, & 2016 installed on my computer, all with their independent settings and plugins.

  • Darn! I just bought SketchUp 2015 last week! I should’ve waited!- Actually, because of the way the SketchUp Pro licenses and maintenance agreements are set up, whenever you purchase a SketchUp license you get one year of updates/upgrades included with your license. Just go here to find out if you’re eligible. It’s worth reading through the very detailed upgrade & maintenance guide to learn about various scenarios and understanding exactly how it works.

  • What’s the easiest way to transfer plugins, keyboard shortcuts, materials, styles, components, settings, etc.? - This is admittedly one of the most annoying parts about upgrading. If you’ve never customized your install, you have nothing to worry about, just install the new version, a new set of defaults will be installed for 2016. Custom keyboard shortcuts and file locations should transfer over automatically. As far as plugins, If you log into Extension Warehouse and click on your name, you will see all the plugins you’ve installed, and an overview of whether or not they are compatible. Right now, it looks like most plugins are marked as incompatible, so if you want to install them you’re forced to install them manually one by one. I wrote a guide on migrating plugins and settings from 2014 to 2015, and i’ve updated it for 2016. Check it out here.


Will SketchUp 2016 allow us to monitor network licenses the way we could in SketchUp 2014 (and can no longer do in SketchUp 2015)?

I believe the licensing scheme for 2016 is exactly the same as for 2015.

Hi Matt
How about transfering custom materials from an old version to 2016? I created a new list of textures and I dont want to import them one at a time again like I did when I set it up. Is there another way of doing this?

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not yet… but it is promised: