Improving Performance

Whatever your experience level or modeling style, the way you model impacts SketchUp’s performance. Using the recommended system requirements helps, but there are a few other things you can do to optimize your SketchUp experience. 

Update, Update, Update!

Make sure you are using the latest version of SketchUp. Staying current with updates helps you make sure SketchUp runs at peak efficiency. Supported versions of SketchUp should prompt you to install an update when one is available. If you aren’t sure, you can always check for updates. For Windows users, go to the Help menu and click Check for Update. For MacOS, go to the SketchUp menu and click Check Web for Update. 

Your computer should be updated with all the latest updates as well. For more information, or if you are having other performance issues, see Graphics and Performance

Optimized Modeling Techniques

SketchUp renders everything you do as you do it. Whether you are drawing, orbiting, or editing, SketchUp is using resources to update what you see in the drawing window. The more edges, faces, and materials you have in a model, the more resources SketchUp needs to use. Minimizing these aspects of your model, also known as keeping your model light, can really improve the way SketchUp performs. 

Here are a few ways to keep your model light: 

  • Stick to simple styles. Whenever possible turn off shadows, textures, and special display effects while modeling. A great way to do this is to create two separate styles – one for modeling and another for presentation. See Fast Styles for more information. 
  • Components are your friends. When you use the same entity multiple times in a model, make it a component, then make copies of that component. Multiple instances of a component are lighter weight than multiple copies of an entity or group. 
  • Hide geometry you don’t need. The more visible geometry the slower SketchUp will run. Hiding geometry you don’t need improves performance. One of the best ways to hide geometry is by controlling its visibility with layers and tags. For more information see Controlling Visibility with Tags
  • Image file format matters. If you import images into your model you may want to use a lighter file format for that image. While TIFF files are high quality, they also tend to be larger files and take more resources to display. Try using an image in JPEG format instead. 
  • Disable fog and shadows. Special effects like fog and shadows give SketchUp more work to do and aren’t really necessary if you are still drawing or editing your model.  You can turn off both in the View options. 
  • Purge unused data from your model. Your model stores all the components, styles, and materials you’ve added while modeling even after you’ve erased or replaced them. This can be handy if you need to use them later, but if you won’t they will just hang out behind the scenes and take up resources that could be used for other parts of your model. You can purge the following types of data: 

To purge all unused items at once select Window>Model Info>Statistics then click Purge Unused.