11 Ways to Avoid a Sketchup Bug Splat

sketchup bug splat

If you’ve been (seriously) modelling in sketchup, chances are you’ve been plagued a sketchup bug splat.  They’re absolutely frustrating, but you can take some proactive steps to avoid (or at least reduce) them.

Before we start…

  • The best way to combat losing work from bug splats is by being proactive.  Make sure to save early & often.
  • If you came across this page after experiencing a bug splat, all of your progress may not be lost.  By default, sketchup saves backup files with a *.skb extension.  To reclaim your file… Make a copy of that *.skb file & change the extension of your copy from .skb to .skp.
  • If for some reason sketchup isn’t saving backup files go to Window Tab>Preferences>General and make sure your settings match the below image.
    sketchup backup

11 Ways to Avoid a Sketchup Bug Splat

sketchup bug splat

  1. The Latest & Greatest – If you’re using Google Sketchup there’s a problem.  Google hasn’t owned sketchup since 2012!  Go download the latest version of Trimble Sketchup.  This alone might stop a sketchup bug splat.
  2. Purge Unused – Every component you import into your model stays in the model even after you delete it.  That’s great when you want to bring a component back to life that you had previously deleted.  It’s not great for your file size.  Periodically you need to purge unused components from your file.  Doing so will reduce your file size and stop some of those sketchup bug splats.  To purge unused, go to the Window Tab>Model Info>Statistics>Purge Unused. While you’re there you might as well click the Fix Problems button for good measure.
    purge unused
  3. Untheme Things – If you’re modelling with styles and shadows on, consider making a scene that has shadows off and using a default style.  Some of those sketchy styles can really slow down the program and lead to crashes.
  4. Hidden Items – Make sure there isn’t a ton of hidden geometry in your model that you’re not aware of (especially if you’ve been importing components from the 3dwarehouse).  To see hidden geometry go to the View Tab>Hidden Geometry.  You delete hidden geometry the same way you would delete anything.
  5. Scene Names – Sketchup suggests that having unusual characters (IE. / * ? < > \@ # ) in your scene names might cause problems.  If you have any, give your scene names a makeover.
  6. Layer Man – If there are heavy components like 3d trees or cars that you have in your model consider moving them to an entourage layer.  Toggle the visibility of this layer off until your ready to render or export an image file.
    layer visibility
  7. Abandon Ship – It is possible that the file you’re working in is corrupt.  Copy all of the 3d data in your existing file and paste it into a fresh file.
  8. Graphics Driver – Sketchup recommends that you update your graphics card driver.
  9. Plugin – If you recently installed or updated a plugin it may be the source of your bug splats.   This also may be the case if your getting bug splats when you try to create a new file. Uninstall the plugin.
  10. Massive File Size – If you get a sketchup bug splat when you try to open a file, look at the file size.  Is it massive (meaning 10 mb or more)? It is very important that you be conscious of keeping your file sizes down by using components and maximizing effectiveness of every polygon you create.   Try opening your file on a heavy duty machine and getting rid of some things you don’t really need. If you have items modeled that you’ll never see get rid of them.  If you haven’t already, follow step 2.
  11. The Upgrade – If none of the above work you may need to upgrade your system.  Look at the sketchup system requirements to help you with your new hardware selection.

If you’re looking for more, we have more helpful sketchup tutorials on how to make sketchup run faster & how groups and components affect file size.

Have you noticed any other ways of avoiding a sketchup bug splat?  Share it in the comments below!



  1. allstarcarpetandtiles June 24, 2019 at 10:31 am #

    Great tips. I’m bookmarking this page. Its a great resource to keep. Thanks for sharing.

  2. hamzakhan17826 May 19, 2019 at 7:16 am #

    Ok sure, I will follow your steps before going to do exams. I hope your article will help me more.

  3. karlmistos May 14, 2019 at 10:41 pm #

    Thanks for sharing this. I’ll definitely share this with my classmates at de la salle zobel.

  4. classboat01 October 17, 2018 at 7:37 am #

    Hello there and thanks for your information, I have certainly picked up allot new info from right your post. You are also provided information about best tips for exam,Which is very helpful to me and other people also.

  5. mikemoreno September 5, 2018 at 3:48 am #

    thank you very much, verry helpfull…

  6. jogesh12345 August 14, 2018 at 1:55 am #

    Very effective and informative article.Thanks for sharing such an important tutorial.

  7. FLMIMA August 11, 2018 at 9:20 pm #

    Really helpful website

  8. Rumi July 15, 2018 at 7:16 am #

    I feel very grateful that I read this. It is very helpful and very informative and I really learned a lot from it.

  9. RJennings April 28, 2018 at 6:12 pm #

    Thank you for this website. The practice questions are helpful.

  10. Scott March 22, 2018 at 1:50 pm #

    Taking this test on Saturday. Last 4.0 exam to complete for the trio, then on to 5.0. This site is my go-to place when organizing what materials I’ll be studying

  11. shozab January 30, 2018 at 2:22 pm #

    Hi , very good article.

    thanks for sharing, keep up the good work

  12. dyba January 27, 2018 at 1:08 am #

    Good advice. Best of luck to all!

  13. KendraShirley January 16, 2018 at 4:04 pm #

    This is my favorite site for practicing for my tests! Great advise and super helpful.

  14. reximagetrim January 16, 2018 at 10:37 am #

    Nice post to read. A complete guide that can help all of us.

  15. tylerstockholm December 17, 2017 at 9:37 pm #

    Nice one… very helpful! Thanks!!!

  16. Aartiwalvekar November 21, 2017 at 8:56 am #

    Nice post

  17. Aartiwalvekar October 9, 2017 at 9:45 pm #

    Great post!

  18. Tony August 30, 2017 at 7:07 am #

    In the NCARB ARE 5.0 handbook they reference Fundamentals of Building Construction: Materials and Methods in both of their example questions for cost estimating. Unfortunately there isn’t a specific chapter on cost estimating, it’s woven throughout the content.

  19. Spencer August 30, 2017 at 1:15 am #

    What is the best reference for cost estimating for PDD.

  20. Amy July 26, 2017 at 3:24 pm #

    Thanks! Great advice

  21. Tony June 29, 2017 at 7:23 am #

    Deciduous trees should only be used for shade (especially in temperate climates). Deciduous trees lose their leaves in the fall and will have little protection against wind in the winter when it is most needed. Likewise, the leafless trees allow solar heat gain in the winter when it is desired, and shade in the summer.

    Coniferous trees are only to be used to block wind and views. Since they don’t lose their needles, they work great for these two items year-round.

  22. Shahid Logan June 28, 2017 at 4:50 pm #

    Hello. My name is Shahid. This comment is for anyone who would like to reply. On the Siteplanning test. To block the wind, can you use a Deciduous tree or must you use a Coniferous tree?

  23. Mike January 4, 2017 at 11:04 am #

    Hi Tony,

    I need to take 5.0 PPD & PDD. Do you plan on posting notes such as “Caroline’s Notes” that you had posted for the various 4.0 exams for either of those sections? I found those notes to be some of the best resources in studying for the 4.0 sections. If so any idea when? Thanks

  24. Stephen October 17, 2016 at 9:30 pm #

    Hi Tony,
    Any updates on the SS exam ? If there’s an expected release date ? Thanks

  25. DesignerHacks October 4, 2016 at 12:11 pm #


    We are releasing practice exams for the SS exam later this fall.


  26. Paige October 4, 2016 at 11:34 am #

    Will you have SS questions on here at some point?

  27. Daniel September 9, 2016 at 8:47 am #

    Great post, very helpful with the lists of suggested materials, I just passed CDs in July and am taking PPP in November so I definitely needed the list.

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