Using Sketchup Free when Offline

I don’t have a reliable internet connection. Is there a way I could use Sketchup Free when offline?


At this point, no. It is a cloud-based application that requires an internet connection.

Not being able to work offline, and having to disable a popup blocker will be a huge problem for free users. Many will be forced to abandon the application.

I personally would be happy to pay for the use of the application, at a rate that reflects my usage.

I’m not willing to pay for a Pro Version that carries the cost of file format licensing I don’t need.

I’d pay for Sketchup Make, if it was available going forward.

Please don’t respond by telling me I can still download the old version.

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Bennett, from your link it is evident you are using SketchUp for commercial work so you would need to be using SketchUp Pro anyway and that can be used without an Internet connection.

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I appreciate the responses to this question. For the record, DaveR, I do
have a Sketchup Pro license.

Cool. It’s not indicated in your profile so I couldn’t tell.

have you tried?

I need to be online to open it but I can insert local models and use it offline…


@jbacus indicated that SU Free can be used offline once it’s open though web-based functions like saving models to Trimble Connect need an internet connection.

Google encountered this issue too with it’s online apps, like Docs. Google spend some resources refining the ability to work offline. It was interesting to monitor how that developed and progressed over the years…

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Remember, however, that I also said this was an unsupported configuration :wink:

Exactly right. In Google’s case, it was business folks who spent a lot of time on airplanes who most suffered from the ‘always online’ requirement. The requirements, in the end, are however very similar to those being shared in this thread.

Well, if you want to get picky. But I remember that it took Google a few years between the release of Google Docs and the introduction of its offline toggle. Having something at this point, even “unsupported”, is eye-raising and bodes well for what’s coming in the future. For now be sure to frequently save file locally if offline.

Instead of bemoaning the downsides of an online Free in this forum, I interpret the complaints as a feature request for an offline toggle.


Indeed. That’s how I’m interpreting as well.

Sorry another company that screw upped. First adobe, Sorry not all us don’t have full time internet connection.
I’m not fighting in line at the library just to use sketch 2018. I’ll just stick to 2017 version. Till there a new offline version.
I’m not buying the pro. Plus who has that type money to throw away on a hobby. Also I do not use sketchup as my main 3d graphic program. Just for minor quick projects.
I can give you hundreds of reason that this is bad ideal. But then again you will give hundreds of reason why the move.
Bottom line to both sides. MONEY.
I’m not lying about that. Seam like everything about money now days.


Has Adobe one cloud based?

I haven’t used it for maybe a year really. I opened it up for the first time again just a few days ago at my university. It had dialogs that were a bit unresponsive (I had to click several times as I got no immediately response from the first click). The dialogs also looked quite weird with trendy flat buttons not looking like buttons.

Perhaps this is the result of another web based program, and web developers being overly trendy :confused: .

It’s more than just an offline button. It simply doesn’t make sense to neuter SketchUp in order to have it work inside other notoriously unreliable programs (chrome, ie, etc.). If one wanted remote use of SketchUp it’s already achievable through remote desktop connections - and in those cases you actually can make use of a high powered PC instead of the limited power of your mobile device. Cloud storage already exists if one only needs remote access to files - and that has the benefit of keeping all of ones project files in one place.

As for Google apps - people use them because they are a free alternative to office and come with your Gmail account. It doesn’t mean it’s great software - nor does it mean people love working inside a browser.


Remote desktop is way more bandwidth heavy that SketchUp Free. Iv’e used remote connection while on the road and it can be sketchy (no-pun intended). My desktop is on a 1GB line too while my wifi is just under 500MB/s and it can still cause issues.

Using Remote Desktop you need a constant high connection on both sides, SketchUp free, once loaded, runs off the hardware locally.

Ed: the main problem with remote is when you are rendering it can send the desktop into super slow mode.

I know it runs off the local hardware - which makes it even more ridiculous. If it’s using your hardware - it might as well just be a regular app.

Whilst that’s true, from a development point of view it means that they only have to create one version to hit all machines running Open GL so thats pretty much all of them. When I used to work building apps it was a nightmare trying to build for iOS and Android even covering just a few release versions. That’s why we are seeing app streaming more and more now. With the advent of 3G/4G local apps will soon be in the minority.

I believe it’s a split team at the SketchUp office, the majority are working on Pro on a yearly cycle while a small team are building and maintaining the online version.

They can then iterate continually as they have been rather than having to wait for bi-annual updates, it makes much more sense for the education sector they are targeting.

I think it’s a bit of a mistake. In browser programs are a bit of a stop-gap for what’s probably coming down the line - completely mobile operating systems.

I just built a new workshop for my hobby woodworking habit which intentionally does NOT have internet access. I have been using Sketchup to design hobby woodworking projects for several years and it is or was a quite useful tool. Now with the newest version I can’t use it in my workshop. This is probably one of the most asinine business decisions I’ve seen from a software company. At this point, I’ll probably default to my drafting board and pencils.

BTW, I’m an Architect and my company does have the pro version as well as the full Autodesk Suite. It just seems really petty to penalize the folks who have been using the free version for non-professional tasks.

So use 2017 Make or buy Pro it’s a bargain