Why cant I open multiple Sketchup models on a PC, But I can on a Mac?

Is there a way to make it so I can open multiples Sketchup models on a PC? Yes, I know there is a work around if I double click on a model file to open it. But I don’t understand why I can’t have a model open, and the go to “File -> Open” or “File -> New” and have it NOT close the model I already have open and working on.

Is there a problem with having multiple SketchUp sessions open? I do it quite frequently and have never had a problem. I had 6 open earlier today.


It’s windows vs mac, not just SketchUp: on Windows each document opens in a separate instance of an app, on Mac multiple documents open in a single instance.


No. It works fine, when it works. The problem I’m having right now is I’m having to use multiple versions of sketchup (2020 and 2019) because some of the extensions I need haven’t been updated to 2020. I have many files that have been created in 2020 (by me and others in my office) so I can’t just double click on a file and have it open in 2019 when I need it to. Everything wants to open in 2020. And if right click on a file and do “open with” 2019 doesn’t show up as an option, so I have to navigate to it. It’s a mess. Always happens when new versions of software come out. It’ll all resolve itself once the extensions I need get updated.
But it’s one of those things that happens from time to time where I’m like, “Why does it have to be this way?!?”

Not with Adobe software or Autodesk software. If I have an instance of InDesing or Revit Open, and I need to open or create a new file, it happens in the same instance. Nothing gets closed, and no new instances of the software are launched. Sketchup is the only software I use that does this. Very frustrating.

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But do they open at the same time? That’s different from toggling quickly to another open file.

Yes. Right now I have two different indesign files open at the same time in the same instance of indesign. they are tabs. is that what you mean by toggling? If so, why can’t Sketchup do this?

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Another example case of documents as tabs would be LayOut.

This suggests to me that there is an issue with Explorer rather than an issue with SketchUp.
Sketchup versions should show up in the right click menu.
(Since the 2020 update there has been an issue where the actual ‘open with’ list is incorrect. I recently installed 2017 to check something which is why it is doubled in the Open With menu.)
Do you use the Right click on the installer and Run as Admin installation method?

To complete your test, what opens with each one? The 2020 problem might be that it duplicates the last installed version.

Are you talking to me @colin, I was not making a test, I was pointing out what should be seen and if not then there is an issue.
Yes 2020 duplicates the entry of the last installed version. So yes, the top entry opens 2020 and the bottom one opens 2017.

you can always open multiple models at the same time in windows, just do not open them in the model you are working on but open them in a new sketchup window or from the model file itself in the folder where you saved it.

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For the record, double clicking a file isn’t a “work around” but the normal way of opening a file. In this case your problem isn’t really opening multiple files, which works at least as good on PC as Mac, but opening multiple files in the same SketchUp version that isn’t the default program, without having to use the context menu and explicitly select a version. For that you can middle click SketchUp on the taskbar to open a new instance of it.

Edit: This is btw a Mac vs PC thing. On Mac clicking File > Open opens a new Window and on Windows it replaces your open document in the same window. Lately more and more programs support multiple open documents as tabs, and then it makes sense to open new documents in new tabs, but for single document programs the Windows convention has always been replace the open document. Personally I find it annoying how Open Office opens new windows and keep the old ones when I’m done working in them, and want to open another file instead, but I suppose that is a Linux convention.


On Mac you can View/Show Tab Bar on two SketchUp windows, then drag the tab bar of one document onto the other one, to get multiple documents as tabs.


Thanks, that was my guess. I’ll get the internal bug report modified, at the moment they would be looking for a reason 2020 is showing as 2019, when really it’s showing as either the last installed version, or perhaps it’s showing as the version that currently owns SKP.

I tested that, and setting another version to open SKPs doesn’t change the double entry, it remains two of the last installed version.

Usually double click on an installer. I usually use right click as a short cut to “open with…” when I need it.

Yes, I know this. My question is, why? Why can’t I open multiple files in the same instance of sketchup like I can with other software like InDesign, AutoCAD and Revit?
Seems archaic and clunky to have to open a a new model, then open a new file if I have to work on multiple models at once. a lot simpler and better for my workflow if I can just go File > Open, or File > New while working in another model to open other models, and have it not close the model I already have open and am working on.

I so badly wish I could be back on a Mac, But, Revit :frowning_face:

I cant think of many sketchup users who only work on one file at a time. Not to say it doesn’t happen. But most people I know who use sketchup have multiple models open while they’re working. So why not make it so users can work like this? Sounds like tabs is a thing on the MAC version? Why not for PC to?
Again. seems archaic and dated

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it may seem that way, but it has some advantages when running extensions…

on a mac, all your open models use the one instance of Ruby, so if one model crashes they all crash without saving any changes…

I often run SU on my mac using ‘instances’ the same as the windows version…

render a copy while working on the original…


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