{unexpected file format}

I’m experiencing the unexpected file format error that I had a file opened yesterday and saved.
Landscaping GOA Naivasha.skb.skp (5.0 MB)
This morning when trying to open the file unexpectedly, this error occurred.

I was able to recover the file.

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Thanks Colin!
I received the file.

Hi @colin
I am running into the same issue. Could you please help with recovering this file?

Thank you!

I was able to recover the file:

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Thank you!

Hi Colin, i am also running into this issue. Could you assist with this? The model is appearing in the thumbnail but not much luck opening it.



I’m not sure why I didn’t see this post before. The link expired, if you still need help upload the file again to get a new link.

Hi Colin,
Are you the Gatekeeper for all “Unexpected File Format” files? I can’t find any ‘how to’ information online in regards to recovering files with this issue. Seems like you are the guy. Can you help with this file?

Thanks in advance,
2023 0927 - ALT 2.skp (3.1 MB)

See if this one opens for you. There was a bad group in the model although I couldn’t identify which one.
2023 0927 - ALT 2 recovered.skp (3.1 MB)

I also fixed the incorrect tag usage in the model.
Screenshot - 9_27_2023 , 6_16_54 PM

wow that was fast. It worked. Thanks!

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Fortunately the amount of times I have to be the one to fix these files has gone down. The 2023.1 update is able to automatically fix some of the problems when they occur.


I am having the same unexpected file format and I can’t access my files. I need help as soon as possible please. @colin @DaveR

I tried various things, and couldn’t get anything out of either file.

Alright thanks.
Is there anything I can do to prevent this from happening again?

Any normal backup system would help. On my Mac files are backed up every hour for the last day, and every day for the last month. If I had a file that started to fail I can go backward in time looking for a copy that worked ok.

Windows has a History feature that ought to be something on those lines, but I haven’t figured out how to use it!

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In addition to saving your models locally on the internal drive, also publish the models to your Trimble Connect storage as a back up. With your subscription to SketchUp you have unlimited storage with Trimble Connect. You might as well use it.

Thank you

Hello Colin, i am having uxpected file format issue, i have been searching for solutions online but seems no luck. may you help me fix if the file is recovable?

Download link here:

Thanks for your time! greatly appriciated!


Update to the current version of SkethUp 2023 and you will be able to open the file. Also correct your forum profile. 2023 does not identify an operating system.

After you get SketchUP updated to the current 2023 release, it wouldn’t hurt to clean up the model.

I corrected tag usage.
Screenshot - 3_25_2024 , 9_48_09 PM

Purged unused content.
Screenshot - 3_25_2024 , 9_53_23 PM

And resized a bunch of excessively large texture files.
Screenshot - 3_25_2024 , 9_56_06 PM
There are a large number of wood grain textures that are all identical except for their names. They could be consolidated. The purging and texture resizing I did took almost 45% off the file size. You can do the same thing after you update SketchUp.

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