On-Demand Plugin/Extension Loader
This tool lets you use plugins/extensions without installing them (good for computer labs or keeping SketchUp lean).
On-Demand Plugin/Extension Loader

This SketchUp extension was created out of a need for having extensions available in a “locked down” computer lab setting (similar to my solution for AutoCAD). It also provides an easy way to use extensions in SketchUp without having to install them - therefore making SketchUp start (and possibly run) faster.

To use this tool, you need to save extensions (their RB files and any folders that the plugin author packages with them) to a convenient location (a folder on your harddisk or network drive or a USB stick). Make sure, the file/folder structure remains intact (exactly as it would be inside SketchUp's own Plugins folder).

With the menu items that this tool provides, you can then:

  • On-demand load a single plugin/extension (RB file). After loading the plugin, it will be immediately available for use.
  • On-demand load several plugins/extensions at once that are all contained in a folder. For this option, simply select any file within the folder and all RB plugins will be loaded.
  • Permanently install an RBZ or ZIP plugin/extension in SketchUp. This is simply another way to do what the "Install Extensions..." button does.
  • Manage Extensions. This is simply a convenient shortcut to the preferences panel. You can disable/enable plugins here.
  • If you get stuck, the About option has some information and allows you to contact the author.

Some Ideas:

  • Organize your extensions by task (e.g. woodworking, modeling, etc.) into folders and load each group only when needed.
  • Create a "Plugins" folder in your Dropbox and have it sync across all your computers. Then load extensions as needed using this tool.
  • In a computer lab, permanently install this extension and distribute extension collection folders to students on USB sticks. Let them load whichever extensions they need.

Please note: After restarting SketchUp, the loaded extensions become unavailable and you will have to load them again when you need them (this is by design). To install extensions permanently, use the install function.


Use the submenu items under Plugins > Plugin/Extension Loader

You can also find this extension on GitHub.

More Info and Help:



HI, I wish to use your plugin, however I have an older mac and I cannot find sketchup 8.0 version for Snow leopard. Would you help, plz.

Does not work in sketchup 2016

jeremy S.'s picture

it dont work with su 8

alexschreyer's picture

Just submitted a fix. Version 1.7 will work.

K C.'s picture

The concept is brilliant but would be more useful if the temporary load applied also to rbz files - most extensions here are rbz.

alexschreyer's picture

You just need to unzip an RBZ file to a convenient location. I might make that feature available in the next version.

Hans H's picture

How to download plugins from warehouse, with this plugin?

alexschreyer's picture

You need to first download the RBZ file for a plugin. Then you can do one of two things:

- Install the plugin, browse to the SketchUp Plugins folder and move all of its files to a separate location.
- Change the RBZ file ending to a ZIP ending and unzip the plugin's files to any convenient location.

Then just load that plugin from that location using my plugin.

Devin L's picture

Can't get this to install. Loaded in my Plugins folder manually it shows up under Preferences/Extensions but I'm not seeing it under any of the menus.

this is awesome.. thanks Mr. Schreyer..

Amazing Artist's picture

I am SU and plug ins junkie. There are so many GREAT plugins out there. However, every plug in does not work for every designer. No reflection on the plug in or the author. A problem that I have encountered is I love to try lots of plug-ins. Some work for me, and some don't. In order to evaluate each plug in, it has to be dropped into the "plugin" folder of SU. After a while I end up with lots of plugins, some that I like and some that I don't. This can become very "heavy" on the program. When looking to purge unused plug-ins, I need to figure out all the specific parts of a specific plug-in and remove all of them. This "On Demand" plugin, allows me to move a new plugin to my Dropbox folder, try the plugin and figure out if I want to keep it. "On Demand" plug in also allows me to carry my plug ins with me on a thumb drive and use them while working on my projects using my school computer, without having to get special permission to install from my teacher. BRAVO!!!!!

alexschreyer's picture

Hi Jo-Lynn, very happy you like it!

5953 users
3.7 KB
On-Demand Plugin/Extension Loader (1.7); February 22, 2015
Number of Views: 
OS Compatibility: 
Extensions: 7
I am a Senior Lecturer at the University of Massachusetts and author of the book "Architectural Design with SketchUp". My favorite topics are SketchUp, AEC-CAD/BIM, Wood Engineering, Web Design, and Photography.