Files and General

The Files and General sections of Preferences both deal with managing how SketchUp interacts with your computer. 


The Files section provides options allowing you to choose where SketchUp saves different types of files.

Each option designates where a specific type of file will be saved: 

OptionChanges the default location used when…
Models…opening or saving a model.
Components…opening or saving a collection from the Components browser.
Materials…opening or creating a collection from the Materials browser.
Styles…opening or creating a collection from the Styles browser. 
Texture Images…inserting images using the Insert Image As Texture command.
Watermark Images…using an image as a watermark.
Export …exporting models.
Classifications…setting up classification systems with the Classifier.
Templates…saving customized SketchUp templates.

Windows Preferences Exporting and Importing

SketchUp saves your file preferences anytime you make any changes. If you use SketchUp on different computers or are upgrading to a new one you may want to export those preferences and import them into SketchUp on the new device. 

To export your file preferences: 

  • Click Export
  • Choose a location where you want to save your exported preferences. 
  • (Optional) Your keyboard shortcuts preferences will also be included in this exported file. To exclude them from the export click Options and deselect Shortcuts. 
  • Click Export to save the file. 

To import your file preferences: 

  • Click Import.
  • Locate the exported preferences file in the File Explorer window. 
  • (Optional) If you do not want to import shortcuts preferences from the exported file select Options and deselect Shortcuts. 
  • Click Import to import your preferences. 

Note: If you are transferring File Preferences from one computer to another, the user name on both machines must be identical or the file pathways will not be correct.



Under Saving you can set some default behaviors to help you control backup files and auto-saves. 

Create Backup is enabled by default. SketchUp will automatically create a backup file of the previous saved version of a model anytime you create a new save. Backup files use the .skb file type on Windows and a ~ in the file name on Mac. They save in the same location as the .skp file. A backup will not be created until the second time you save a model. 

Auto-save is enabled and set to 5 minutes by default. At the designated interval, SketchUp will save all changes to your model in a temporary file. These temporary files will persist after crashes, but if you quit SketchUp temporary files are deleted. Auto-save does NOT automatically save to the same file you opened. It is no substitute for saving early and saving often.

Tip: Want to find an auto-saved file? You can find them in the Welcome Window. If you’re seeing a recovered file, you have the ability to open it and re-save it to a new location. If you’ve disabled the Welcome Window you can always access it by going to Help > Welcome to SketchUp.

Check for Problems

Automatically Fix Problems When They Are Found is enabled by default. SketchUp will check for problems anytime you open a model, when auto-saving, or when you manually save a model. Notify Me When Problems Are Fixed is not enabled by default. When selected, anytime SketchUp fixes an error, a warning message will appear letting you know that your model has been updated. 

Warning Messages

Performing certain actions may cause a warning message to appear. Each message contains an option that tells SketchUp not to show that particular message again. Clicking Reset All Warning Messages will cause all messages to appear again. 

Software Updates

Allow Checking for Updates is enabled by defaults. When enabled, this option tells SketchUp to check for updates anytime you are connected to the internet. 


Show Welcome Window is enabled by default. This option tells SketchUp to open the Welcome Window every time you open it. Having the Welcome Window at startup helps you find your recovered files if SketchUp crashes and makes it easier to choose a template when creating a new model. If disabled, you can always access the Welcome Window by going to Help > Welcome to SketchUp. 

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