Skp file icons switch from preview to icon on Mac

When looking for files in Finder or opening files in SketchUp using Gallery view, the files initially show previews, but then suddenly change to graphic icons. When the window is closed and opened again, the issue continues: at first previews are displayed, but after a while they change to icons. There is no such behavior with other formats, like pdf or dwg. Does somebody have had similar experience?

Thanks Jim, I am running a native copy of SketchUp and original OS.

His OS would have to be Mojave, and SketchUp 2019 is current. It works for me on my Mojave box. I’d open Applications/Utilities/ and see if there are errors thrown. Is the default app to open these SketchUp 19.0 ?

Edit: it also works fine when I save a SketchUp 17 file.

I’ve experienced this same behavior across several versions of macOS and SketchUp for over 4 years. I don’t think it’s a “bug” or anything, nor does it modify workflow.

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Yes, same here, happens all the time. several versions of both SU & OS

Finder has a size threshold for showing either icons or previews…

if the preview size is set too close to the minimum for Finder, it can flip-flop depending on what’s happening elsewhere…

you can also run qlmanage -r in the to reload the SU quicklook plugin…


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Same happens to me, I use my PC to manage all my files as I can view hundreds at a time as thumbnails, on the Mac I can see maybe e a handful before all of a sudden they revert to graphic icons.

I used to put it down to memory issues but I have the most upgraded MBPro currently and have this issue constantly.

So it’s not in Gallery view, though, which @Jabberwox noticed, because that’s new in Mojave. May be related, but not the issue he reported.

Understood. For me it’s in any and all views, regardless of operating system version. Icon view, column view, etc.

I take it QuickLook (hit space bar when file selected in Finder) either?

Yes … once Finder decides to remove the graphic preview and switch to a SketchUp default icon, it’s pervasive in all views, including QuickLook.

Ah, now we’re getting somewhere; check out the man page for qlmange, and what that tells me is (doing qlmanage -m | grep skp )

com.sketchup.skp -> /Applications/SketchUp 2019/ (3.0)

Do you have that present?

Do you have DropBox installed? Apparently, that can be a problem. Glad to see we’re NOT on the problem list: Since this is now working for me, but in case it still doesn’t for you, here are some apps that would normally be suspects but are NOT the cause.

If you really wanna dive deep and are comfortable in the terminal, see

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Yes, but it’s 2.0 on mine, not 3.0. No DropBox.

This behavior was experienced before Mojave too, going back to 2015. It’s not a problem, I’m just saying that I’ve seen it and just ignored it. I personally don’t require a visual preview of my models in my icons. Having those disappear is odd, since it’s the only program that seems to do this on my computer(s).

You can delete the existing (per that article), flush cache, reload etc… and it should work. My guess is an old version got installed, cached and didn’t update or didn’t get overwritten? Well, at least people will know what to do if they want it back. We haven’t been able to repro, and that includes a SketchUp 6 file I just launched and saved.

I’m not really convinced this is about specific versions of sketchup files though, and it doesn’t seem to have anything to do with launching and saving them either.

What happens is that the file icon presents as a visual preview of the model, and then after a few moments, switches to a generic icon. And this isn’t per model, it’s for all SketchUp files anywhere in the Finder, simultaneously. They all work and then, suddenly, they all go generic. Does that make sense?

I was able to capture this happening in real time as an animated gif. It shows a preview in the icon in Finder and QuickLook, and then it disappears eventually. No biggie, but I believe this is what the OP was referring to.

I wonder if QL is crashing? And what the cache time is for what it gen’s? Hey, I just repro’d it! And guess what? qlmanage -r fixes it (per the article or man page). I’ll file a bug with these details.

I don’t think QL has anything to do with it. This happens regardless of trying to use QL or not. It’s simply a matter of time before the preview is replaced.

Did you type qlmanage -r in terminal? It immediately reappears for me. Then eventually dies again, wash, rinse, repeat.