Skyrim is famous for its huge range of mods and customization, but eventually, you may find your game not even launching. So how do you fix Skyrim crashing after the Bethesda logo displays?
You’ll likely need to uninstall problem mods or have the mods load up in a specific order to get the game to load. You may also have some success verifying system files and manually reinstalling DirectX.
Let’s look at how to fix this type of Skyrim crash easily using some simple methods and additional software, as well as some other tactics if that doesn’t work.
Skyrim Crash Fixes
This type of crash occurs very soon after the game is launched, and you don’t get an error message or other useful diagnostic information.
So you’ll want to bring up the launcher which gives you the options of Play, Options, Data Files, Tech Support and Exit.
This can be accessed by running the game from your Steam library. This menu will also come up if you just right click on the Steam logo in the notifications area and run Skyrim from there.
Open up Data Files, and uncheck all the items that are in there. If you are worried about breaking something, you can also take a screenshot of every box that is checked so you can restore it back later.
The idea is that you uncheck everything, and then add them back in a few at a time, and then try running the game. I recommend you select somewhere around two to five, then hit OK, then hit Play.
If your game successfully loads up, then you want to experiment further and try to find out exactly which entry in the Data Files list is the one that is causing it to fail to load. The items listed in the Data Files are mods, and some mods can cause the main game to crash.
If you narrow it down to one mod, then it’s worth uninstalling this. Generally, you’ll find that after an update, the mod may break or stop working, which means it will cause Skyrim to crash.
Other Software to Manage Skyrim Crashes
Nexus Mod Manager allows you to go in and look at your mods, as any that are highlighted in red generally reflect that you’re missing a file or configuration setting.
Another method is to use Get Loot, which is software designed to automatically fix common mod issues. It does this by forcing the mods to load the correct order, and also keeps FNIS (Fore’s New Idles in Skyrim) up to date.
You can also look into using TES5 Edit (The Elder Scrolls 5 Edit), which allows you to manually fix certain issues with install and manage the master files.
Generally, you’ll want the main Skyrim game to launch first, so ensure Skyrim.esp has top priority and it is advised to never mess around with this file.
After that, you want any DLC to load next, such as Dawnguard.esp, followed by any DLC patches.
After that, you want your mods loading up, followed by the patches for those mods.
General Fixes for Skyrim Crashing
As with any game, you’ll always want to use the game client to validate the file cache or file integrity. For Steam, go into Library and right click on the game, check Properties, click on Local Files on the left, then hit Verify (the third option).
Try restarting Steam after this by force closing the steam app and then give your computer a reboot while you’re at it.
Sometimes a faulty DirectX installation can cause issues, so go into the Common folder in your Steam client install filepath, and find Skyrim\DirectX. Inside that DirectX folder, you can manually run DirectX to repair it.
If you don’t have any mods installed but are still seeing these crashes, some people have seen success by dropping the audio format to 16 bit (CD quality) by going to Control Panel, selecting Sound, go to Properties of your sound card, then Advanced, then Default Format.
You can also try resetting graphics settings by deleting the .ini files and by uninstalling and doing a clean install of your graphics drivers.