Sketchup on Mac OS

Hey sketchup community,

I’ve been using sketchup for 20 years now, and still use it almost every day, but it’s been a decade since I used it on a mac, and at the time I remember it was almost a beta version of the windows program. Is it safe to assume that sketchup is virtually identical on the two platforms now, or does the Mac OS version still lag behind it’s PC counterpart? I’m asking because I’m considering purchasing a macbook pro for home use. Thanks!

Cosmetically they are different but for the most part everything works the same. Most notable differences are the various inspector windows and floating toolbars on Mac. Note that at this point in time SketchUp does not officially support the latest Mac OS version. That doesn’t mean it won’t work but it doesn’t yet support it.

What version of SketchUp are you using? Please update and complete your forum profile.

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My office hasn’t rolled out sketchup 2023 yet, so I"m still using 2022. I have 2023 at home, but haven’t had a chance to play with it yet. It sounds like sketchup is still a PC first program though, which is good to know.

Thanks for the quick and helpful response

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I have used SketchUp on both PC and Mac. Personally I prefer it on the PC. There are many Mac users, though, and they prefer SketchUp on Mac. If you’re thinking about buying a new computer, maybe it’s a good idea to look more broadly. What is it about the Mac Book Pro that is enticing? Is there something you need to do that can’t be done on a PC? I’m an Apple share holder so of course I’d like them to sell more product. But when it came time for me to buy a new notebook sized machine I went with a PC with Nvidia graphics card. It was much less expensive than a Mac Book Pro and had a graphics card that has been shown to be bulletproof with SketchUp.

Very likely someone will come along extolling the virtues of Mac over PC for SketchUp so you’ll get both sides and have more to think about as you decide. :slight_smile:

After I updated, I found that SU did NOT work with Sonoma, and it was a nightmare going back to Ventura, but I finally did it and now SU is working properly again. But I would advise AGAINST updating to Sonoma until such time as SU works with it.
Unfortunately, PS ELEMENTS 2024 won’t work with Ventura and I need it for my rendering work.
Glad to see that we have a OS forum, because tutorials are much easier to follow when they are on OS for us users who are not on PC.


I’m considering a macbook pro for a few reasons. First, is that I’m writing this on a 2015 macbook pro that is still going strong, but definitely not up for any 3d work. Second, the alienware M15 I bought in 2019 has a battery that would never last more than an hour, among other issues, and the surface book pro I bought a couple years after that bricked after 13 months (just after the warranty expired), and microsoft wanted $700 upfront to fix it. In short, I don’t want to purchase another windows laptop, even though I prefer the OS.


BTW, please complete your forum profile with SketchUp version.

I used a Dell for a long time when I needed to run AutoCad as one of my consulting clients needed me to be able work on their files. Once I moved away from that work I went back to a Mac.

I used a MacBook Pro 17” for my professional work for a long while (until it started to fail) - then I moved to the smaller but more capable 15” in 2015 and once we relocated and I stopped traveling for client work I moved to an iMac in 2019. The 2015 MacBook Pro is still going strong - I have it setup for photo processing for my son.

I use SketchUp and LayOut everyday. , sometimes VRay and Photoshop, Lightroom every week.

Aside from specific reasons to have access to Nvidia’s GPU for rendering (I do all my VRay work via the cloud) I don’t see why you couldn’t do professional work on a Mac.

I’m holding out upgrading hardware for software to catch up to the new Mac chips - I think VRay will come around (Enscape is already supported on the new M chips) - once they do I’ll likely upgrade my 2019 machine. But it’s working fine, so I am not in any hurry.

I am a student and downloaded SketchUp a couple of months ago on a brand-new MacBook Pro (M2 chip). It’s been very very slow from the beginning (even before importing large furniture files). Recently when I started using Vray it got even slower and crashes 2-3 times an hour. I haven’t used Sketchup on PC so I can’t speak to that, but I think this is a Mac problem and would not suggest switching over. Re battery life - it lasts significantly longer than my old pc, when using Vray however, the battery dies much quicker.

As would be expected… lots of computing happening.

Please fill out your forum profile. Without knowing what version of SketchUp or macOS you are using, it is hard to offer useful help. For example, if you are running SketchUp 2023 on macOS Sonoma 14, several people have reported various issues with that combination. But others have reported SketchUp 2023 running quite smoothly on macOS Ventura on a M2.

If you can share an example model that runs slowly we can take a look and see if we can find a reason.

Because Vray does not use GPU acceleration on Mac, all its rendering is done on the CPU. That makes it much slower and more of a battery hog than on a PC with an NVidia GPU, where Vray uses the special features of that hardware.