I originally contacted Sketchup support by email, and the suggested that I repost my email here. So here it is:


I just wanted to express my disappointment and I couldn’t find anywhere else to send this message. I renewed my pro license annual subscription in May of this year, and now you want another $120 from me to transition to the new subscription program (or I will no longer be able to upgrade). In effect you aren’t even honouring the service I paid for in May that was supposed to cover me for the year for all additional upgrades.

I have been a long time user, since the beginning of sketch up. By switching to a subscription only system, I see your company really seems only interested in money, and not the many users who have been loyal for so long.

I won’t be subscribing. I’m sure many will and the little guys like me won’t matter. I just wished you had decided to continue honouring both the classic license as well as adding the new subscription option.

Thanks for the solid program over the years. We will miss it.

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Same here. I absolutely loved SketchUp in the earlier days, and evangelized it as important, even outside of the CAD and Design realm… I thought EVERYONE should learn 3D design, and that SketchUp was the way. I taught my kids to think in 3D with it.

SU is clearly a dead-end now. The pricing and subscription model is foolish, but more importantly, it is clear that there is no focus on development - features nor quality.

We sadly need to part ways. It’s not you, it’s me. Actually, it is you. All the best, maybe the next company will be better.

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Since you are still using SketchUp 2016, I guess you haven’t actually seen the improvements they’ve been making, especially in the last few years.

Good luck finding the replacement you seek.

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Where did I mention 2016? You guessed wrong amigo. I’ve been a user since 2002, and followed the whole sordid demise. I’m genuinely heartbroken at how it went.

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No. You are misleading in your forum profile.

I wonder why 37 minutes ago you would put 2006 as the SketchUp version if you are using 2020.

Make no difference, though.

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It’s hard sometimes to track down a support case from a forum post, given that users can have obscure and very short users names. So, I couldn’t find the corresponding case. It might even have involved me!

But yes, we answer getting installed and up and running problems in support, and ‘how to’ or general feedback, needs to be posted in the forum. This isn’t a bad thing. We in support pass on suggestions and feedback, but that can be a slow process sometimes. The product managers directly read to forum, and hopefully will respond too.

I hope that one of them will add a comment.

In a way, I share your pain. Being a user for only the past 2-3 years, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed everything that Sketchup Pro has to offer, but lingering issues with stability and functionality with my 3rd party renderer, has frustrated me with each passing version, holding out hope that the next release would address these issues. Alas, with the “Dear John” email from Trimble, it was icing on the cake on how I wanted to continue forward. While the first year discount equated to the M&S fee that I would normally pay, it would only be delaying the inevitable, and then have to pony up the $300/yr to keep hoping and wishing that the extra cash would light a fire under the collective behinds of the developers to really offer true value to the user. Even though I was a late bloomer with SU, I’m no stranger to 3D modeling and for the apps I’ve used over the past couple of decades, great strides were made to improve the apps, but with all that Trimble has done, it’s been a bit underwhelming.

I guess at this point, no matter how long you’ve been in the current cycle of your perpetual license, you really have to ask yourself if it’s worth the “upgrade”, because once you do the switch, there’s no turning back, as I was told that once you transfer to subscription, that perpetual license you had, won’t work again, if you decide to go back to the previous version you got the license for…seems a bit heavy-handed in my opinion, but hey, Trimble can do whatever they like, they’re the boss. There are many other options out there for 3D, so it isn’t as if we don’t have much of a choice. Some argue that the cost is a drop in bucket for those who use the Pro version in a full professional capacity (for some it equates to one day’s pay) but for others, it’s quite a lot of cash to plop down. You still have time to decide though, as do I, but the real question, and one I haven’t seen a clear answer on, is what one could expect from Trimble that could become a game-changer, because for me, I frown upon false promises or plans that never come to fruition.

That’s when I upgraded from free to Pro. How is that relevant, or misleading? Anyway, BYE.

I’ve heard that rumor is not true. @colin ?

The existing license is bound to work. You can use each subscription on two new computers, and continue to use the classic license on two other computers.

I’ve heard that 5g will render your perpetual license null and void.


Also no ability to have offspring.

I suppose I should retract that statement, due to a misunderstanding. I know I read somewhere, and it may have been during an email communication with a rep from Trimble, that once you transferred or “upgraded” the classic perpetual to subscription (i.e. taking advantage of Trimble’s offer of going subscription for $120), that you were now locked into subscription mode, and if and when you canceled the subscription, you couldn’t take the current license you have and use it forever with the current version you were using.

Ok, maybe I wasn’t totally wrong. I went to Trimble’s site, looked up my license, and found this. To me, the wording (highlighted) is misleading:

In essence, you migrate the license, trimble states you can use the license perpetually, yet it states you are starting a subscription. If you decide to end the subscription, then what happens to your ability to use Sketchup? Does it work the same way as not renewing the M&S with a classic license?

@colin Today I got an email from my reseller (Netherlands) who states: “if you continue using classic and at some point you need to re-install classic (for instance if upgrading to a new windows, refresh your windows install etc), this won’t be possible anymore if your maintenance has expired. At that point you will have to use the new subscription model a € 274 / year”.

I was under the impression that classic would behave just like it always has so when doing a new install - remove license from old machine - install fresh classic on new machine - enter classic license code.

Could you clarify / have a link to the accurate info?

Thanks, Max

It’s worded so that there is no confusion. If you bought a perpetual license it will work in perpetuity. If you subscribe you can get the newest version for the duration of subscription also. There’s nothing contradictory there.

For classic licenses, if you don’t renew M&S it changes nothing. I never paid for M&S and still have access to any version I paid for.

If you stop subscribing you simply don’t have access to the newest sketchup. You would still have access to the perpetual version only.

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Ok, how about we cease the $25 words, and call it al what it is…

Classic License = Buy Sketchup at full cost, pay $120 per year (maintenance & support) to maintain access to the latest version. If M&S is not renewed, then you still have the rights to use the last version you paid up for.

Subscription is what it is, paying each year to access the latest version, including whatever Trimble releases in the interim of each year. If you stop subscribing, then what, you can still use the last subscribed version?

If someone migrates or transfers their classic license to a subscription license (like what Trimble is trying to get people to do), then they are lumped in with the subscription and again, if they decide to cancel at some point, they don’t have the ability to go back to a classic license scenario, yet can keep using the version they stopped in during the subscription phase, correct?

If you pay for a perpetual license it’s good in perpetuity. You can literally use it for the rest of your life no matter what for the version you are licensed for. What is so confusing?

A subscription is different. If you don’t pay you can’t use the software. You don’t get to keep using it. That wouldn’t be a subscription.

No big words.

A troublesome word in the Trimble emails and web pages about Classic vs. subscription is “switch.” Current SketchUp Pro Classic-license holders can “switch” to a subscription license. That word “switch” somewhat implies to me that changing from Classic to subscription cancels the effect of the Classic license behavior, and starts the subscription behavior.

But from what I have read in the past week or two from users here is that there is no canceling of the perpetual aspect of the Classic license, even if a license-holder “switches,” or in other words, simply “activates” a subscription. In effect, the user would have the benefit of two behaviors concurrently:

  • a perpetual license for the particular version of SketchUp Pro (let’s say 2018) that they have activated with that license, using it as long as their computer and its operating system remain compatible,
  • and a subscription which allows the user to obtain new versions of SketchUp Pro (2022, 2023, etc.) as and if they are released (along with updates in between major new versions)

Thus, taking advantage of the discounted-one-time $120-per-year subscription (vs. the normal $300-per-year subscription cost) for current Classic license holders does not jeopardize or impact the user’s legal ability to use their current Classic-activated SketchUp Pro in any manner. Is that all correct?



The classic behaves like it always did and does, except that you can’t have it supported or maintained from the date coming.
So, if your M&S has ended, you are ‘on your own’ when you have a crash and loose an activation.