How Do I Save a SketchUp File as a Lower Version?

SketchUp is a popular 3D modeling software that allows users to create and manipulate 3D models. However, sometimes you may need to save your SketchUp file in a lower version to ensure compatibility with other software or to share it with someone who has an older version of SketchUp. In this tutorial, we will guide you through the steps to save a SketchUp file as a lower version.

Step 1: Open Your SketchUp File

To begin, open your SketchUp file that you want to save as a lower version. You can do this by launching SketchUp and selecting “File” from the menu bar, then choosing “Open” and browsing for your file.

Step 2: Export Your Model

Once your file is open in SketchUp, go to the “File” menu and select “Export” followed by “3D Model”. This will open the Export dialog box.

Step 3: Choose the File Format

In the Export dialog box, choose the desired file format for the lower version of SketchUp. The available options include SKP (SketchUp’s native format), DWG (AutoCAD compatible), DXF (Drawing Exchange Format), and STL (Standard Tessellation Language).

Step 4: Select Compatibility Options

In this step, you have the option to adjust compatibility settings for the exported file. Depending on your requirements, you can choose to enable or disable various options such as exporting textures, exporting edges, exporting materials, etc. It’s important to note that enabling more options may result in a larger file size.

Step 5: Choose Save Location

After adjusting the compatibility settings, choose a destination folder on your computer where you want to save the exported file. Give it a suitable name and make sure to include the file extension corresponding to the chosen file format (e.g., .skp, .dwg, .dxf, .stl).

Step 6: Export Your File

Once you have selected the save location and provided a name for your exported file, click on the “Export” button to begin the export process. Depending on the complexity of your model and chosen options, this process may take some time.

Step 7: Open the Lower Version of SketchUp

To ensure that your saved file is compatible with the lower version of SketchUp, open that version of SketchUp on your computer. If you don’t have it installed, make sure to download and install it from the official SketchUp website.

Step 8: Import Your Saved File

With the lower version of SketchUp open, go to the “File” menu and select “Import”. Browse for the exported file from Step 6 and select it. Click on “Import” to import your saved file into SketchUp.

Step 9: Review and Adjust

Once imported, you may need to review and adjust any elements or settings that may have been affected during the conversion process. Check for any missing textures or materials and make necessary adjustments as needed.


  • If you are using SketchUp Pro, you can also save your file as an older version directly from within SketchUp by selecting “Save As” and choosing the desired version from the available options.
  • Remember that when you save a file as a lower version, some features or functionalities specific to the newer version may not be retained.
  • Always make sure to keep a backup of your original file before saving it as a lower version to avoid any data loss or irreversible changes.

By following these steps, you can easily save your SketchUp file as a lower version and ensure compatibility with older versions of the software. Remember to consider any potential loss of features or functionalities when using this method.

Happy Sketching!