Skyrim CTD on Startup

Nothing seems more frustrating than your favourite game crashing on its startup. You might have tried relaunching the game or even restarting the PC, but it doesn’t seem to work. Well, Skyrim has been in the gaming industry for quite a long time. And, it was never supposed to be on the low level of popularity. However, gamers have been complaining that Skyrim CTD on startup is something that has been bothering them.

If you face the same situation, it can be due to a corrupt installation of Direct-X. On the other hand, there can be something wrong with the mod compilation. Most of the gamers’ fan-base is depends upon modders, and a wrong configuration can lead to Skyrim CTD on startup.

In addition to this, connectivity with the internet should be steady and strong. Otherwise, difficult situations with the Skyrim game are quite inevitable. So, check the internet connectivity before jumping to any conclusion and trying any fix. If that doesn’t seem to work, you must use the following solutions.

Check the Integrity of Game Files

Let’s start with the easiest solution when it’s about Skyrim CTD on startup. Skyrim’s crash to desktop issue can be fixed by verifying the integrity of game files. This basically discards all the corrupted files, so they can’t trigger the same instance again.

Here’s how you can proceed with the following steps.

  • Explore Steam and navigate to the LIBRARY.
  • Select your game, Skyrim from the list of games. Right-Click on Skyrim and choose Properties from the Context menu.
  • Now, go to the LOCAL FILES tab. Now, you have to opt for VERIFY INTEGRITY OF GAME FILES….
  • The process would take some time; wait till then. After that, you can close Steam.

Launch Skyrim and check if it’s crashing on startup again.

Install Direct-X

The corrupt files of Direct-X are one of the most annoying reasons behind Skyrim CTD on startup. If the first solution was of no use, you could try reinstalling Direct-X from its official website. An unstable installation of Direct-X will result in the game crashing every now and then.

Therefore, you need to go to the official Microsoft website and download the Direct-X software. Additionally, make sure that the installation remains seamless.

You should better go for a wired connection while the installation is ongoing. Moreover, a power surge can result in corrupted Direct-X installation. So, try to keep all these hassles at bay.

Go for a Manual Save

Skyrim offers its users to save all the game achievements and progress automatically. So that you need not worry about losing your progress. Additionally, it comes with a quick-save option.

But, you can switch to a manual save option for your character, and you might erase the rest of them. Selecting a manual save rather than a quick save option is better. And, users have reported that it has stopped Skyrim CTD on startup.

Go through the following instructions to stick to the Manual Save:

  • Start the game and press the Esc button to pause the game. Now, select the Save tab.
  • Save your progress under the newly created slot. Ensure that you use this saved file afterwards.
  • Make sure that you always save your progress with Manual Save rather than Auto-Save.
  • Now, navigate to your saved game files. The default position should look like C:\Users\Username\Documents\My Games\Skyrim\Saves.
  • You can delete those files saved as auto-save files or that you no longer need.

The manual-save will safeguard your game from buggy components, such as auto-saved files. Hopefully, this will prevent Skyrim from crashing on startup. If you can’t explore such files in File Explorer, they are hidden.

To make them visible, you need to click the View tab on the menu of File Explorer. Now, select the Hidden items checkbox to make files show or hide.

Quit Background Applications

Skyrim CTD on startup can occur due to multiple programs running in the background. When other programs are running simultaneously, it’s quite obvious that your computer might fall short on resources.

And, it will disrupt the flow of the game and, consequently, crash on startup. Hence, you have to close all the background programs in the following steps:

  • Press the Ctrl, Shift, and Esc keys simultaneously to explore Task Manager.
  • Go to the tab named Processes. There you will find the memory and CPU usage. And, you have to identify those programs that are consuming most of the resources.
  • Right-click on processes that are excessively high on consuming resources. Click the End Task option from the pop-up menu.

You should be cautious with this trick. If you close any program associated with your computer’s critical functioning, then you’ll be in trouble. So, wisely choose the programs that need to be closed.

Reinstall your Game

If you still haven’t found a solution for Skyrim CTD on startup, then you might have to reinstall Skyrim. You can try the following steps to fix the crash to desktop error of Skyrim.

  • Ensure that you have logged into your computer as the administrator. Otherwise, the method won’t work. Additionally, you need to backup saved files of Skyrim so that you don’t lose your progress.
  • Now, go to the Start menu and explore the Control Panel. Select the View as: Category from the top-right corner. Then, opt for Uninstall a Program from the section called Programs.
  • Find Skyrim in the Control Panel. After that, you have to click the Uninstall option.
  • A wizard will open, and select a prompt to continue with your preferred choice. Confirm the uninstallation and click Finish when it shows up.
  • After successful uninstallation, you have to work on the installation of Skyrim. Insert the disc and follow the on-screen instructions. Otherwise, you can download and install the game from Steam.

You have to launch Skyrim to check if the Skyrim CTD on startup persists.


You can deactivate the ffdshow audio and video decoders to erase the issue from your gaming experience.  On the other hand, you can consider deactivating firewall settings while playing Skyrim. Users have benefitted from these fixes, and hopefully, you will find a solution, too.