SketchUp Pro 2019 = Let's talk about Saving



What kind of NAS do you use I have been looking into but I used to have issues with the cloud server and thought it might be the same with the NAS


Shared in the FB Trimble SketchUp Group


nothing special, D-Link Share Server with 2 mirrored 1TB drives… but been running continuously for 4 years now… its a cabled connection


What about Layout? @TheGuz

Can ALL of these guidelines be applied directly to Layout as well?.. or if not, then what notable distinctions can be made between the two?

In recent times I’ve seen two threads with broken Layout Files—both of which reached the 2GB file size threshold, and neither one of them was fully recovered. Is there a known upper limit for where Layout file sizes starts to become unreliable?

And if this hasn’t been fully tested to warrant an ‘official’ response,… is there enough info to hazard a guess for what can constitute a best practices approach?


I cannot find the autosaved files on my Mac. Nor can I find a recovered files folder (And why are we calling them “recovered files” now when the preferences options still calls it Auto-save?)

I just messed up my model. In previous versions I could go to the backup (or was it autosave then?) made 5 minutes ago. If I recall correctly, this was stored in the same folder as the .skp file but with the ~.skp extension. I still have the ~.skp files, but they’re backups now (I think) since they are much older than 5 minutes. In previous versions the Autosaves were distinct because they had the prefix “Autosave” and only were created upon crashes.

I tried going to the welcome window and restoring the "most recent’ version, but that was about an hour old! Where did that file come from–was it the ~.skp version? (Shame on SU for not putting a time stamp on the file in the welcome window). It’s also odd that there’s an Autosave folder in User/Library/Application support/Sketchup 2019/Sketchup/Autosave. But it’s empty. I’ve lost an hour of work, and another hour searching for where my every 5 minute auto-saves are. HELP! Something is nuts–is it me?


they are now kept in the temp directory…

from ‘Ruby Console’ you can copy’paste >> return…

`open "#{Sketchup.temp_dir}"/SKETCHUP/RecoveredFiles`



Thanks John. This temp directory currently shows two files from last night: a .skp file and a ~.skp file timestamped about 3 minutes earlier. I have been working for an hour today, repeated the Ruby command, and the same two files from last night are there. This leads me to the same question–where are my 5 minute autosaves from today?

Not sure if it is related, but SU has been doing a few other quirky things today–mainly, it decided it would no longer update a scene forcing e to create a new one and delete the old. Never seen that before.


This makes sense, but doesn’t work this way for me on a Mac. When I went to the Welcome To SketchUp window and loaded what I thought was a file saved within the last 5 minutes (I couldn’t be sure because SU doesn’t time stamp the files in this window), I got a file that was at least 45 minutes old–probably my last save. Am I supposed to crash the program to get the recent auto-save???

The main reason I want direct access to the autosaves is not due to crashing, but to be able to backtrack a few minutes after I’ve broken something (undo doesn’t always work for all functions). So if I just broke my model, and my last save was 20 minutes ago, I know there is supposed to be an autosave file somewhere standing by in case of a crash. I WANT TO OPEN THAT FILE. In these situations, I would typically save my broken model somewhere in case I want to refer back to it, and grab the autosave file which is less than 5 minutes old. I used to do this all the time, but I’ve already forgotten where I found the file in SU 2018 and prior. Some people advocate simply saving constantly, but that’s a double edged sword since you may have just saved and realized you broke the model a few moves before that. Part of the answer is to save incremental versions periodically (I usually do this every couple hours or when I make a radical change), but doing incremental versions every few minutes gets insane. I like multiple backstops–saved incremental model versions going back to the beginning of my model, my last saved version (usually no more than 20 minutes old), the saved version prior to that (=the current SU backup file), and an automatic version saved every 5 minutes. It’s the latter that’s giving me headaches.


Found this thread after sketchup stopped responding and I went to go find the backup or autosave file - there isn’t one.
Autosave it set to 35mins but the most recent savepoint/file is over 2 hours old…pretty frustrating.

I am working on a network location - but i am on an office network (all our files are network based - intel servers & cisco managed switches with gigabit wired via usb-c).

When I go to load a file from the Welcome screen startup, it has the date of the files but not the time. Can it show the time as well?


@audiobrad, I did a bit more digging and just want to add some detail to the original post…

the var/folder [temp_dir] is completely purged after a mac menu ‘Restart’ or ‘Shut Down’…

the active ‘autosaved’ skp is completely purged when the window is closed with ‘Save’ or ‘Don’t Save’ option…

after a ‘force quit’ or crash, if you use the

The recovered version of this file is newer than the file.
Open the recovered version instead?

a ‘new’ autosave skp [appended with a digit] is created, and the old one remains…

a further ‘force quit’ or crash, and restart will give the same message, and another ‘new’ autosave skp [appended with a digit] is created, and any older skp’s remain…

closing the window now only purges the last autosaved file…

unless you run long enough for an autosave to trigger, only the older versions are available…

@TheGuz, is this a fair appraisal of the current mac situation?



Yes! Your abridgement is accurate. Thanks John!


That mostly makes sense, though I’m curious why a Mac restart or shutdown would purge the RecoveredFiles folder. Would that also be true if the computer crashes? These would seem to be scenarios where you would want your autosaves preserved. BUT, that’s a secondary point to my current situation where the RecoveredFiles folder is simply empty all the time (with the single exception of a few days ago where I spotted a couple files in there). Is there any chance that this command:
open "#{Sketchup.temp_dir}"/SKETCHUP/RecoveredFiles
may not be taking me to the correct folder? Does that temp folder move around?


You could try the following:

Open a terminal window and copy/paste this command into the terminal:
find /var/folders/ -type d -name "*com.sketchup.SketchUp.2019.$USER*" 2> /dev/null

The output of that command will be the path to the user’s recovered files. If you navigate to that directory you should find the SKETCHUP/RecoveredFiles folder.


OK, I’ve made some progress and have some new information to report that may be helpful to some Mac users. First of all, I restarted my Mac and ran disk utility. I’m now getting autosaves in the RecoveredFiles folder (yay!) BTW, the terminal command you suggested only gave the last half of the directory path, but I was able to find the entire path using the Ruby Console command. The path lives in a root folder called “private” which is hidden, so neither the Finder or Spotlight could find it.

A few observations:

  1. It appears that SU only autosaves a file if there is a change made. If you simply open a file with no changes, it won’t write anything there–which makes sense I guess.
  2. The “Welcome To SketchUp” window does not give access to the autosaved file. I checked the timestamps and tested this–it only shows the last saved version. ***It would be very helpful if SU actually provided access to the autosave file as TheGuz indicated in the top post. SU should also provide a time stamp on these files in the “Welcome To SketchUp” window as well as the File/Open menu. When using Open, it displays a familiar Finder window, except the timestamp is removed from the date. Odd. So if checking the time stamp is important to you, you need to double click the file in Finder outside of SU.
  3. If you close the file, the autosave is purged (as mentioned above).
  4. If you want to go back to the last autosave voluntarily (which is something I do fairly often–not due to a crash), then you must navigate to the RecoveredFiles folder and open that file BEFORE closing the file of the same name in SU. Interestingly, this will give you two models open with the exact same name–so you have to know which one to close. A better approach is to drag the autosave out of the RecoveredFiles folder first (before it is purged), then close the open file in SU and then open the autosaved file.

Now that my computer is behaving, and I understand how autosave works and where it parks the file, I can make use of the autosaves for going back less than 5 minutes if I haven’t saved in a while. I find this enormously useful and hope that SU will provide a more transparent path for utilizing autosave in non-crash scenarios.


Thanks for the added detail audiobrad! I’m sure it will come in good use.


Hey JimD! I don’t have a lot of details yet on what’s new with Layout and Saving or upper limit for file sizes, but I understand that we now create a “working” folder for LayOut documents when they get opened. That is where recovered files will be found by the welcome window and it is also intended to fix the lost references issue that many were experiencing in the past. We’ll post more details as they are available.


I was looking into this recently. The working folder is deleted when you close the document, but when you open the document the working folder is created again, and it is filled with the embedded images. This is handy if you have lost the original that was inserted into the document.

To get to the working directory, open Document Setup, choose References, choose a file that is missing, select Relink (because Go To is disabled), point to a file in the Ref folder, and Command-click on it. That will open the folder in Finder, and you can copy any of the missing files to somewhere else. Once they are there, do another Relink, and link to the external copy you made.

In Windows you can right-click on a file and Open in New Window, to get an explorer window open.

I made a video.


I am hoping someone here may be able to help…. I seem to have lost lots of my recent work due to this new autosave, and the lack of any preserved autosaves after a restart (Mac OS). SketchUp was “hanging” for a really long time, and it seems to have slowed the entire machine, so it was time to restart, which included Force Quit for SketchUp . After the restart, there are no Recovered Files nor autosaved files to be found whatsoever. And after reading all posts here, I understand that this is now the intended way? Why? I never have had any problems in this situation before, as the autosaves were always there in the hidden Library folder… Now the Autosave subfolder is not used anymore? It is placed there during installation, but just to sit empty? Is that what you are saying?

Then why is this text still being offered to users from (link : • If you’re a macOS user, you find the file in the following folder: ~User/Library/Application Support/SketchUp Version /SketchUp/Autosave. On recent versions of macOS, the Library folder is hidden, so you must make the folder visible before you can find your auto-saved file.

And the actual new location for any autosaves is only being revealed here, in a forum thread?

I did access the supposed recovered files location using the Ruby console (#{Sketchup.temp_dir}"/SKETCHUP/RecoveredFiles). Not only there was nothing there after the restart, and but I was headed to further frustration. I do have Time Machine set up, so I thought I would only need to locate the private/var/folder in the backups, and there would be some recovered files there (since my AutoSave is set to every 5 mins), from some time earlier in the day. But no such luck. Turns out, Time Machine does not back up the content of this folder that I need (the RecoveredFiles would sit under a subfolder named “T” - for temporary, and this subfolder is not backed up by Time Machine, along with other temp folders that it does not back up).

So - and trying hard not to sound too frustrated here, I have two questions: why was this change to where autosaves are placed done so quietly in the new version? I can see that I’m not the only who lost work due to this important but not well-announced change. And second, why would the developers pick a location for the autosaves that would ensure no trace of them would be found after a restart that includes a SketchUp force quit? What was wrong with the previously used Autosave subfolder? I would have been able to recover files from there in my Time Machine backups, if nothing else. But now I can’t.

Or maybe I misunderstood the points made in this thread, and there is still hope for me to find my lost “recovered files”? It would certainly be lovely if that was the case. Please let me know if I missed anything, and I certainly hope to get answers to my questions from the SketchUp team members, would be much appreciated.


I hear ya, Ria! I might have a few insights based on my efforts so far. I read in one of these forums–though haven’t tested it–that the Autosave folder in Application Support only exists to catch autosaves of unnamed files, otherwise they go to the temp folder you mentioned. It’s interesting that SU doesn’t treat a force quit like a crash and retain the autosave. What I learned from your experience is that at the first hint of trouble, drag the autosave out of the temp folder before it gets purged by a force quit or restart. I don’t know why they changed it, or why they don’t make autosaves easily accessible if you want to roll back to the autosave voluntarily. Far as I can tell, TheGuz erred in his comment that “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.” I believe this is the backup file, not the autosave–which isn’t that helpful because the backup is right there in the folder with your working file. Again–timestamps!

I also use Time Machine, which is also an “autosave” device. It’s not just for crashes and drive failures, but for recovering deleted files, corruptions, and previous setups. Autosave could be so much more useful than it currently is.


Auto-save files are shown in the Welcome Window and are indicated by the red recovered “banner.”