How to speed up slow sketchup files

Written by hugh patterson
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How to speed up slow sketchup files
SketchUp allows users to create shop drawings normally created by professionals. ( Images)

SketchUp is a drawing program that allows users to quickly create presentation drawings. Unlike many CAD programs, SketchUp is easy to use, and a free version is available for download. While the program has few problems associated with it, occasional issues do arise. One of the most common is the speed at which files are processed, which requires just a few simple techniques to fix.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Administrator's privileges

Show MoreHide


  1. 1

    Log on as the computer's administrator or owner. Click on the computer's "Start" button. Click on "All Programs" and select "Accessories." Choose "System Tools" and click on "Disk Cleanup." The scanning process starts automatically. When the cleanup process has ended, a pop-up window will appear. Check-mark all file option boxes. Click "OK." A second window will appear asking for permission to delete the selected files. Click "Yes" to start the deletion process. Disk Cleanup removes temporary files that can slow programs down.

    How to speed up slow sketchup files
    Always remove temporary computer files before using SketchUp. (Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)
  2. 2

    Shut down any other programs running on the computer before starting SketchUp. Programs running in the background, such as Internet Explorer, compete for the computer's CPU power and memory resources. Older computers with limited RAM and a slower CPU will have problems running multiple programs at the same time because of the computer's limited resources.

    How to speed up slow sketchup files
    Shut down all other programs before starting SketchUp. (Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images)
  3. 3

    Make sure the computer has enough RAM, free disk space and a compatible graphics card. The majority of user problems can be traced to RAM and graphics card issues. SketchUp is designed to work with most computers. However, there are system requirements that must be met if the SketchUp is to operate at smoothly.

  4. 4

    Select the correct template for the project. When the program starts, the user must select a template for the drawing. SketchUp offers a number of options ranging from engineering templates that use the metric system to Google Earth modelling templates meant for use with Google Earth. Select the "Simple Template" for basic drawing. Simpler templates put less strain on the CPU and require less RAM.

  5. 5

    Click on "Windows" and select "Styles." A pop-up window appears that allows the user to edit the appearance of the drawing being created. Within the window are three tabs. Choose the "Edit" tab. Check-mark the box labelled "Edges." All other boxes should remain unchecked. At the bottom of the window is a drop-down menu. Choose "Default Styles." In the window below the drop-down menu, pass the cursor over each icon until "Simple Style" is reached. Click on this icon. Close the window and proceed with the project.

    How to speed up slow sketchup files
    Keep the drawing as simple as possible to ensure smooth operation. (Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Tips and warnings

  • Download operating system updates regularly. These updates will keep the computer performing at peak performance levels. Consider using a secondary file cleaner to keep the computer running faster. Microsoft's built-in "Disk Cleanup" program does not remove all of the temporary files that can slow the computer down. Deselect shading and shadowing options when creating simple drawings. These features can cause the program to run slowly. Use these features only when necessary.

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