Sketchup now subscription based? Keeping 2017 FOREVER

I signed up for this forum just to voice my views on this subscription-only move. The words used in the release we’re strategic but misleading nonetheless. The marketing team doesn’t clearly explain thy “Why” for this move, but promise a better product in the long run. Well, fortunately for me, I have a purchased version of sketchup and will never upgrade again. When that product becomes obsolete, then Blender and CSP will be my new 3D format workflow. Giving customers the option to both subscribe and buy perpetual, like MD or Cinema 4D, is a fair business practice, no? Either way, it’s their business, I’m just a client so they can do what they please, it may only cost faithful clients in the long run. For now, I’m keeping my old version and will stick with it.


You can no longer buy Maya. All Autodesk went subscription. Just saying…


Yeah, realized that, but you know what I meant. Still good looking out for catching that, I’m gonna re-edit that part.


Didn’t say I agree with AutoDesk or SketchUp’s decisions;)


Totally agree with your sentiments, very upset with Trimbles decision to go subscription. Seems that the people who buy these programs are not important enough? A real shame. When my “Bought” version Pro 2016 can’t keep up any more I shall be looking for something else?


Not related to the changes in your buying options, it’s worth knowing that many people who didn’t renew their support were still under maintenance and support at the time the the following version of SketchUp came out. Such an example person might decide that (picking completely at random) 2016 was going well, they didn’t think they would need support, and so didn’t renew support when it was due for the first time.

That does mean there would be a 2017 license, sat unused. Anyone who has a classic license can go to this page:

put in the older serial number, the 2016 one in this example, also the associated email address, and then look up their licenses. Under each license is an envelope icon, with the text Email my authorization code. Clicking on that will send you your latest version license. Suddenly, out of the blue, you have a 2017 version license in your mailbox.

While I’m describing these steps, one combination that can happen can lead to some confusion. If you had 2018 and stayed using that one, then got around to looking up your license at the end of January this year, the 2019 license you hoped for won’t be available. That’s because your 2019 upgrade that you didn’t use had already been upgraded to 2020. The page shows your 2018 license as On Hold, and you can have the system send you your 2020 license.


My appologies if I’m asking what might seem an obvious question Colin, but I have SU 2016 pro on my Mac Mini and my Mac Book Pro (as allowed in my original license - because I need to work at/or visit my clients on and off) I take it that that version on my machines will continue to work for as long as possible? And if one of my machines has a mishap, can I then put one half of my SU 2016 licence of another machine (as long as it would take it of course?) Does that make sense?

Once your maintenance is over, any ‘lost’ activations (stolen or crashed computers) are definitive, that was part of the Maintenance and Support plan.This might be the case for you al ready, since you use 2016.
You can move your active license to other computers, do not remove the software, but the license (Help->Welcome Screen->License->Remove license)

You’re on an older Mac OS, which may be why 2016 is still working well for you. You have a 2017 license that you can use if you like, and that works in 10.10 as well.

In Windows there is sometimes a reason to stay with 2016, I’m not sure if there is a reason you need to stay on 2016 on Mac, and certainly Catalina likes 2017.3 better than it likes 2016, if you ever update Mac OS.

If a machine is dying, you could remove the license from it, and be sure that you can add the license to a replacement machine. If it completely died before you had a chance to do that, you would still be ok, because we have a safety extra activation you can do. If all of the machines you own die at the same time, you would get in touch with me, and I would fix things.


Thank you for the info Colin.

I’ve been using 2017 Make ever since it came out. I never went to the web version; 2017 has just worked for me (personal use only).
I just tried to open Make to access a model I last worked on in December.
Result: can’t open Sketchup due to licence error.
Can anyone tell me what’s going on? Am I locked out of Make 2017 and my models?

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Yes sir, agreed!, I still love Sketchup, I’m just venting, lol. I know unfortunately most businesses are adjusting to this model approach moving forward because it’s more lucrative. I just hope I can use 2017’s version as long as possible before were all locked to subscribe.


Yes, I’ve moved 2017 to my Mac from my Windows laptop when it died last summer. My Mac, I got last Christmas (refurbished from Best Buy) I plan to use it as long as possible. I own an indie comic studio and spend thousands a year in license subscriptions. The last thing I wished for is for Sketchup to implement this subscription model to help the small studios out a bit.

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One thing that is better on Windows than on Mac is backward compatibility. I have SketchUp 1.0.3 running in Windows 10, though Windows itself is running n Parallels, on my Mac. Crazy in a way that I’m able to run v1 inside an emulator, on the same system that cannot keep the Mac 2016 version going for very long.


Thankyou guys, you wisdom and common sense has put my mind at rest at least for now. My Dad bought me my version of SU 2016 pro in 2016 and to be fair it has paid for itself many times over. I just was getting very concerned about my files and work that I have done for my clients over the years. I can rest easy I think?

Are there any significant updates?

I actually learned something new while watching the tips window in v1.0.3. I bet everyone but me knew this, but watching Aaron live modeling made me wonder if he knows it. That is: click-release-click with the Line tool will then continue with the next line segment. Click-drag-release will draw that line, but won’t start a new segment.

I didn’t. But then I don’t drag myself, I only watch.

Consider Rhino Grasshopper : productivity x 100 compared to SketchUp…

Trimble have lost trust of their client. Trimble change unilaterally the license and have sold more expansive classic license.

I reject without exception subscription for any software.

The 300$ is very expansive. I compare prices.
If you add PlusSpec BIM subscription, SketchUp (or CashUp ?) is much more expansive than Revit LT !

If you consider the perpetual license and updates policy by Rhino, after 10 years, Rhino is half of the price of SketchUp : )) !

Trimble SketchUp is +71% more expansive (license + updates on 5 years) than LastSoftware SketchUp who invent SketchUp

Trimble SketchUp is +136% !! more expansive (license + updates on 5 years) than Google SketchUp.

Google and LastSoftware had developed more SketchUp than Trimble.
Trimble updates are just a shame.

Of course I will banish SketchUp after almost 20 years as an enthusiast user of SketchUp. I am responsible of a lot of license sold, and I trained a lot of people and company during 11 years.

I have found a solution to SwitchUp from CashUp.

Colin, my reseller told me that it is not possible to activate an older pro version once you have deinstalled it and installed a newer version. I had the pro versions 2015 – 19. After my Macbook died I then bought V 20 to install it on a new iMac. Now I removed all old licenses at And now trying to activate one of the older versions, which I still have including all codes and SN, I am told that I shall contact my reseller. He tells me that it is not possible any more – old licenses will not activate any more. Is that so – what can I do?