SketchUp Pro 2019 = Let's talk about Saving

With SketchUp Pro 2019, we have made some changes to how we execute Auto-saves. Let’s go over Saves, Backups, and Auto-saves with SketchUp to make sure there’s a good understanding.

Save - When you save a SketchUp model, you are saving a .skp file. This file contains everything used to make your model, from geometry to components and materials. It’s all in there. If you have a bunch of really large images or textures in your model, they will be there too AND they will impact the size of your .skp file. It’s possible to build an entire city block in a 4MB file just as it’s possible to have a model of a picture frame with a 20MB photo in it. It’s going to be a 20-something-megabyte .skp file. If you have experimented with a large number of textures, styles, or components consider using the “Purge Unused” feature before you save. It can make for significant space saving. To prevent errors while saving a SketchUp Pro 2019 file be sure to heed the following suggestions:

  • Keep the total length of the file name and path to less than 255 characters in length when possible
  • Stick with English printable characters for your file names and paths. Generally speaking, use English letters and numbers but avoid reserved characters like / \ : * ? " < > |%
  • Load and Save your SketchUp files from your local hard drive and not from a network drive or cloud service to avoid corruption or locked file permissions

Backup - Backups are duplicate model files and are saved by default. In your SketchUp Preferences, under General, you should see a checkbox under both “Create backup” and “Auto-save”. A backup file is triggered during subsequent Save events, after your initial save. They will appear in the same folder as your .skp file, but will have a slightly different name. On Windows, you’ll see them as a .skb (for backup) file and on a Mac, you will see the file name with a tilde at the end like Filename~.skp

Recovered Files - While you are actively working, by default, a Recovered file is saved every 5 minutes. This file should be useful in the event of a crash. The Recovered File is now saved in a different location than it was in previous versions of SketchUp. To find and open a recovered file, open the “Welcome to SketchUp” window, select the Files tab, and select the file you want to recover from the Recent list. This Recovered file will have the same name as the file you are working on and can normally be found in C:\Users\UserName\AppData\Local\Temp\SKETCHUP on a Windows system. On a Mac, its location varies depending on the user. It will be in a /var/folders path that includes SKETCHUP/RecoveredFiles. With a successful save, the Recovered file will eventually be erased during normal system maintenance.

UPDATE April 9th
Since first posting this back on Feb 21st we (you and SketchUp) had discovered new information, a bug, and have incorporated a fix into a new maintenance release. One of the biggest changes is:
● Fixed an issue where auto-save files did not persist on the Mac after a reboot or shutdown.

○ On Windows, recovered files are now saved here:

○ On the Mac, recovered files are now saved here:
~/Library/Application Support/SketchUp
2019/working/SKETCHUP/Recovered Files

The new release is now available for download from the normal locations. The release notes can be found here.


Very good information. Thank you!

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Might wanna add the .

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If I do not go through the “Welcome to SketchUp” window, is there another “quick” way to access the Recovered File without going to the file management system and then navigating to the folders you mentioned?

However, this is a very good description of the file system. Thanks for posting. :+1:

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Am I right that this happens only if Auto-save is enabled?

Yes, that’s correct.

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Now if we can just get default save year version preferences like AutoCAD.

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What’s the difference from the behavior outlined here to how autosave used to work?


This is useful clarification.

I don’t think this is possible, but I would welcome the ability to define a location for Autosave files with the default being the same as the normally saved files. If I had that, I would maintain a dedicated backup folder for Autosave files. It would keep my main working folder uncluttered and avoid errors in selecting the right file (it’s quite easy to overlook that little tilde if you’re in a hurry - or sloppy). As part of my normal housekeeping regime, I would then delete autosave files older than a week, say, every so often.


Is this just standard advice, or has something changed with v2019 that makes file corruption and locked permissions more likely when saving/opening from a cloud service? I have been saving 2018 models on ShareFile without issue so far. It would be good to know if something has changed. Thanks!

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(As I had mentioned in another thread,) … this forum has many many reported problems (for many years) by users who where trying to work directly from network drives or cloud storage. The “canned solution” has been what Guz recommended.

I think (but could be wrong) that the heart of such problems stem from latency of network connections. So it could be that those who have no issues working off of networks drives or cloud storage have very good connections. Or perhaps they have tweaked connections to give priority to network storage processes ?


The most noticeable differences are that we no longer prepend Autosave_ to the recovered file name, and the directories were changed (as outlined in @TheGuz 's post).


No changes. The possibility has always been there, but it is dependent on lots of factors. If it works for you, great! It was important to mention this as a possibility, since we’re on the topic of files. It may reduce the chances of corruption for someone reading.

If one does a Google search for “nas corrupting files”, you’ll find it’s more common than any of us would like. Cyclic redundancy check (CRC) checksum errors, bad firmware, corrupt disks, networking issues, permission issues… basically everything between clicking “save” in SketchUp and storing the file on a drive has the potential to impact file integrity. The fewer the factors between those actions, the better the likelihood of a good save.


So has Autosave now been made into a background process, that runs in the background invisibly, instead of hanging Sketchup for several seconds every time on large files? That’s a feature request that has been around for a while… has that STILL not been implemented?

Such a feature isn’t trivial. To start with it would require enough RAM to take a snapshot of the model for later storage to disk. I’d reckon In many cases that amount of free RAM isn’t available.


Clarification: I think I must have meant backup files.

as your on a mac, you could set up a ‘Folder Action’ to automatically move any ~.skp as soon as they are created…

here’s a link to a simple tutorial



Brilliant! I shall do exactly that.

Re your last point

Load from you PC drive, not a network drive…

This is highly impractical in an office environment
[ if fact its very bad organisational practice ]
… surely this is not a problem to sketchup in 2019…

PS I ran a 70 staff office, we never kept files on local drives [they were on a file server and snapshot backup every hour. an I have been running of a NAS at home for 4 years with no issues…

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This was mostly to save people from the potential of an issue. In an office environment with knowledgeable file server administrator and a fiber backbone, this is probably less of an issue. For someone, like myself, with an unconfigured Synology NAS (known for a variety of issues) in my basement; connected wirelessly? I wouldn’t chance losing 40 hours of work because I didn’t want to save on my hard drive. In the end, do what you are comfortable with.