Skyrim SE Not Launching, Responding: How to Fix

If you're facing Skyrim SE not responding errors, check if your graphics driver are updated


A lot of players are complaining because Skyrim SE is not starting on their PC. When they try to start the game and click the Play button in the Steam Library, nothing happens and the game won’t start.

The following Skyrim Special Edition errors are making the game unplayable and a lot of players are currently complaining about them.

For example, some of these issues are Skyrim SE not responding at startup, or the game is not starting. When you try to start the game nothing happens or you receive an error.

Also, players encounter specific issues with the game such as Skyrim SE not launching with mods, on full screen, or Skyrim SE not launching SKSE when the tool is not working.

Before trying to fix your issues, you need to make sure that you meet the minimum system requirements of the game because this version of the game will require a lot from your PC.

If you don’t meet the minimum system requirements, you need to upgrade your PC and see if you encounter the same issue again.

Why is my Skyrim SE not launching?

There are different reasons why you’re not able to start the Skyrim SE gameplay, and the most essential ones are due to corrupted game files on Steam or outdated graphics drivers.

It’s also possible that your PC doesn’t have the minimum system requirements or you run resource-consuming background programs.

System Requirements


    • OS: Windows 7/8.1/10 (64-bit Version)
    • Processor: Intel i5-750/AMD Phenom II X4-945
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GTX 470 1GB /AMD HD 7870 2GB
    • Storage: 12 GB available space


    • OS: Windows 7/8.1/10 (64-bit Version)
    • Processor: Intel i5-2400/AMD FX-8320
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GTX 780 3GB /AMD R9 290 4GB
    • Storage: 12 GB available space

How to fix Skyrim SE not launching?

Table of contents:

  1. Update the graphics card driver
  2. Verify the integrity of game files
  3. Remove background application
  4. Run the game as an administrator
  5. Disable the game mods
  6. Reinstall the game

1. Update the graphics card driver

  1. Type Device Manager in the search bar and press Enter.
    Device Manager
  2. Go to the Display drivers and right-click on your graphics driver.
  3. Click on the Update driver option.
    Update driver
  4. Pick Search automatically for drivers.
    Search automatically for drivers to fix xcom 2 crashing
  5. Restart your PC after the process is complete.

If you need a better alternative to update any drivers automatically in a short time, PC HelpSoft is the go-to software:

  1. Download and install PC HelpSoft on your PC.
  2. Launch PC HelpSoft to start the system scanning.
  3. After the scan is done, select Update All Drivers Now to start the process.
  4. Check if your game is still not launching.

2. Verify the integrity of game files

  1. Open Steam on your desktop and go to Library.
  2. Go to the games, right-click on XCOM 2, and select Properties.
    select the Properties option
  3. Next, select the Local Files option.
  4. Now, just select Verify integrity of game files.
    Verify Integrity of Game File
  5. Repair the corrupted files if there are any.

3. Remove background applications

  1. In the Windows search bar, type Task Manager.
    type Task Manager
  2. Go to the Processes tab and click on the Memory column to filter by size.
  3. Right-click on unnecessary programs and select End task.
  4. Repeat the process for other consuming applications.

4. Run the game as an administrator

For this solution, you might need to set both the Steam client and the game copy as an administrator in order to fix the launching issue. This is how to proceed with it.

  1. Right-click on your Steam shortcut and select Properties.
  2. Go to the Compatibility tab and check Run this program as an administrator.
    Check the box Run this program as an administrator
  3. Select the Apply button and click OK.
  4. Afterward, open the Steam app and go to Library.
  5. Right-click on the game and select Properties.
  6. On the Local Files tab, click Browse local files.
  7. In the opened window, right-click on the game file and select Run as administrator.

5. Disable the game mods

Another practical method that worked for other players is to delete all the game mods you have installed since the launching issue occurred.

Afterward, in case the game is now starting without issues, you can try to enable back the mods and see if the launching error appears again. In that way, you find out the exact cause of Skyrim SE not responding on loading screen.

6. Reinstall the game

The last but not least method to fix your game is to uninstall it from your PC and then install it fresh.

As a result, it can resolve your launching errors due to game file restoration and erasing corrupted cache that may cause Skyrim SE to not respond.

Other solutions that might help:

  • Try to run the game in compatibility mode
  • Reinstall Visual C++
  • Try to change Skyrim SE’s video setup to borderless and window mode. This has been reported to help many.

That’s about it. Let’s hope that by now you managed to fix all your Skyrim Special Edition not launching issues and that you are enjoying the game. After you fix it, you can as well learn how to make Elder Scrolls Online download faster.

If you still encounter some issues, and you are unable to fix them, or you don’t know how to apply our workarounds, reach out in the comments below to get your answer. 

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  1. Micheal says

    These fixes would be nice on xbox one. I deal with going to start screen and not able to press start. The only solution i have found is to hard reset the xbox everytime i want to play

  2. Kenny says

    Skyrim- PS4

    I had Athis (companions) following me into Sarthal, and that was the last time I saw him. I can’t recruit another follower because the game says hes still alive. I didnt have him wait anywhere.

    I tried getting arrested, didn’t work

    I tried doing missions that force a new follower on you: I did the moss mother one. Nothing. So I went and completed the thieves guild quests. Still cannot recruit a new follower and Athis is no where to be found. Anyone else have this issue or have a solution, please help!

    1. Kenny says

      Alright I got lucky and solved this issue. I finally got to the totems of hircine quest for the companions radiant list. Aela replaced my current follower. Athis has not reappeared so I assume he died somewhere and the game didn’t recognize the death.

  3. Aj says

    I am having a big issue with the game not even loading in saves iv been on this issue for at least several hours and haven’t had anything change. And when I did work the game wouldn’t even let me fast travel without the game getting stuck in a loading screen. Have tried everything under then sun and even in and reinstalled it and still having issues….

  4. Meghan says

    Mine for ps4 lets me choose the last save but then stays on a loading screen never actually loading i just paid 60 bucks for this game and i cant even play it

    1. Will says

      I had the exact same problem… the way i fixed it is by uninstalling pretty much every mod. One way of checking if your game will load is if there is music playing on the menu screen. At least it was for me anyways

  5. SkuseyBoy says

    Im getting a problem in bleak falls barrow after you kill the first restless draug my game just freezes and i have to use the task manager to close it. I have tried literally everything i can think of i have updated windows, all nvidea drivers. Deleted the .exe files and validated them to reinstall them, I have checked to make sure i got latest directx, i have the latest C++ thing and i have the latest .Netframework. i have run it as admin, i didnt run compatability mode for windows 7 as i have windows 10. My PC is Beafy enough for the game 5680k i7, 16gb ddr4 ram, gtx 980 with 4gb of card memory. i made a new save with 2 mods the unofficial patch and SMIM. I also tried the triple buffer thing didnt work. i also had an FPS issue but i changed the Vsync thing in the .ini files to fix that. i dont know what else to try pls help!!

    1. lalaru says

      I have this issue also and its fucking driving me nuts 🙁 if you find a fix let me know

    2. Mattia says

      I have the very same problem. I also have the unofficial and SMIM mods. There is a specific point in bleakfalls barrow where turning around and, apparently, looking after a certain corner, freezes the game.

      1. Hjorven says

        Update SMIM it fixes this error from 2.03 version

  6. GeronimoBit says

    The issue I’m having is the game refusing to launch when I click “PLAY” on the launch menu. I’ll select the icon, the menu comes up, and then User Account Controls asks if I want SkyrimSElauncher.exe to make changes to my computer. I press “Yes”, then the menu reloads, and if I continue pressing “PLAY”, the menu will keep refreshing over and over and never actually start the game. I’m very confused. Please help

    1. Hjorven says

      Update SMIM it fixes this error from 2.03 version

  7. Pompey says

    Please help…. I am running a brand new High end pc…GTX 1080, i7 cpu 32 g ram… the works…

    Got the game working…and the son of a bitch freezes after about 5 minutes of play… I am even limiting my FPS to less than 70 to stop the physics engine from freaking the hell out. I don’t know what is up. Help please

    1. Tyson says

      If you use Avast, it’s possible that it could be the issue, infact, this little post DOES state that right under workarounds if not, no clue.

  8. Mario Colucci says

    How could you release Skyrim for PS4 without ensuring it works correctly. I am a huge fan of your elder scrolls and fallout series but you have disappointed me. 59.99 for a remade game that crashes??? Hmm you would think it would be more perfected since it was a remake. I can’t even get into the game anymore on PS4. This is BS.

  9. Gregorey says

    Please help…. I am running a brand new High end pc…GTX 1080, i7 cpu 32 g ram…

  10. Daniel says

    I have Skyrim Special edition on Xbox One and everytime I try to enter Riften, the game crashes and takes me back to my Xbox homepage. Any suggestions?

    1. Matt says

      I’m having the same issue but it happens at random places

  11. Crystal says

    Up until an hour ago my game was running smooth with no graphical issues what so ever, until I entered the Ratway Vaults. I am absolutely prettified to touch anything to do with my graphics card just in case I screw up something and can’t fix it. Do you have a video tutorial that I could watch?

  12. Alex skillett says

    I’m on PS4 when I try to save it’s says I have to free up 0kb of space to save I’ve tried everything deleted about 3GB of games and still not loading. Any suggestions?

    1. Bryan says

      Having same problem I can’t find a fix..let me know if you do ..dumped 2 times so far and reloaded works for short time .

  13. Kevin McCoy says

    mange is a skin disease

  14. Andrei says

    Ok, It worked when I select window mode/ bordeless, but how can I change to fullscreen in game ?

    Thanks for your help!

  15. Clara Beasley says

    im not doing some dumbass survey

  16. Lemon Mix says

    kys with your stupid survey shit

  17. vermiss says

    got a great pc never no issues, play with a crappy pc you get crap. This is why I built my own gaming pc and I have no issues. power talks

  18. Nathan says

    I don’t understand. These are all hardware issues, not Skyrim SE issues. Maybe buy a compatible computer before installing the game?

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