How To Fix Skyrim Won’t Launch Issue

Skyrim won’t launch? The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition game is giving a hard time to a lot of users these days. When the users launch the game and click on the “Play” button, the game just doesn’t launch and gets stuck there itself.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim SE is an RPG video game available on Steam developed by Bethesda Studios. This game is the special edition release of The Elder Scrolls franchise and is quite a popular video game on Steam. One can play this game online as well as offline.

skyrim won't launch

You can also find a wide range of mods provided in this game to enjoy Skyrim SE to its fullest. But, what is worrisome is, Skyrim won’t launch after mods are applied to the game. Whereas for some users, even without using any mods, Skyrim is not launching. If you are also here for the same problem, then this post is for you.

How To Fix Skyrim Won’t Launch Issue

The reason why your Skyrim Special Edition won’t launch is not known exactly. It can be due to outdated graphics drivers, the Operating System of your device, clashes in the game mods, or unidentified game files. Whatever the cause is behind it, you can easily fix it. Here are the most working and useful methods that will help the Skyrim game to launch normally.

1. Run Skyrim and Steam as Administrator

Start with running the Steam launcher and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim SE as administrator. Giving admin access to these applications will fix the Skyrim won’t launch issue on your Windows device. Here is how to run Steam and then Skyrim as administrator.

  • Locate Steam on your desktop, or search in the Start menu.
  • Right-click on Steam and select “Run as administrator”.

skyrim special edition won't launch

  • A confirmation window will appear. Click on “Yes”.
  • Now, once in the Steam app, click on the “Library” tab.

skyrim se won't launch

  • Find “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Speical Edition” game.
  • Right-click on this game and click on the “Properties” option.
  • In the Properties window, switch to the “Local Files” tab and click on “Browse Local Files..”.

skyrim won't launch after mods

  • Right-click on Skyrim’s executable file and select “Run as administrator”.

skyrim won't launch steam

  • Confirm again by clicking “Yes”. Skyrim should launch normally by now.

2. Disable or Remove Mods

Did you install any high-end mods for your game? Mods make great changes in your game’s settings, graphics, FPS, etc, and can literally make your Skyrim SE won’t launch due to these issues. For the time being, firstly, disable the mods that you have installed on your game and then try to launch the game without any mods applied to it.

 skyrim won't start after launcher

If you are not using any mods, then just remove them from the game. Also, if you have noticed that using a particular mod for Skyrim creates issues with the game, then permanently get rid of this mod. Most users have fixed their Skyrim game by performing this step.

3. Close Other Programs On The Device

A lot of files running in the background can sometimes lead to clashes in your game launching. To fix Skyrim won’t launch on your device, close all the other unnecessary programs in the Task Manager and then launch Skyrim. To do so, follow the steps given below.

  • On your Windows PC, press Ctrl+Shift+Esc keys to open the Task Manager.
  • Now, click on the “Processes” tab and go through all the programs.
  • Any unnecessary program you find running in the Background apps, right-click on it.
  • Select the “End task” option to close the program.

 skyrim won't launch windows 10

  • Do not close the programs or apps with which you are not familiar.
  • Exit the window and launch Steam. Play Skyrim SE and check if Skyrim won’t launch still.

4. Update Graphics Drivers

When did you update the device drivers last time? A lot of people forget to keep their device drivers up to date. Outdated driver software can also be the reason why Skyrim won’t launch. Whichever graphics card you use to play Skyrim, either NVIDIA or AMD, update its drivers.

  • Press Windows+R keys on your computer to get the Run dialog box.
  • In this box, type “devmgmt.msc” and press Enter to open Device Manager.
  • Now, scroll down and expand the option for “Display adapters”.

skyrim won't launch after pressing play

  • Right-click on your graphics card, and select “Update driver”.
  • Next, click on “Search automatically for updated driver software”.
  • Wait until the drivers are installed and then restart your PC.
  • Once reboots, launch Steam and see if Skyrim is launching.

5. Verify Integrity Of Game Files

The game files installed on your device need to be verified in order to work properly. Here is how to verify the game file integrity for the Skyrim Special Edition game.

  • Launch Steam and click on the “Library” tab.

skyrim won't launch pc mods

  • Go to “Skyrim SE”, right-click on it, and select “Properties”.
  • Now, switch to the “Local Files” tab.

skyrim won't launch with mods

  • Click on the “Verify Integrity Of Game Files” option.
  • Let the game files be verified and once done, click on “Close”.
  • Then, play Skyrim SE game and if Skyrim won’t launch still, try the next method.

6. Run SFC Command

Use the System File Checker command on your Windows computer to fix the Skyrim won’t launch issue. Follow the steps given below.

  • Go to the search bar and type “command prompt”.
  • From the results, click on “Run as administrator” under Command Prompt.
  • Now, type the “sfc/scannow” command and press Enter.

why is skyrim not launching

  • Wait for the scan to complete and then restart your PC.
  • Go to Steam and check if Skyrim won’t launch still.

7. Update Windows OS & DirectX

According to Bethesda Support, you must have your Windows firmware updated to the latest version to run the applications on your PC properly. Make sure you are using an updated Windows software or otherwise, update it as soon as possible. Installing Windows updates will also make sure to update the DirectX version of your device.

  • On your Windows 10, go to the search bar next to the Start menu.
  • Type “check for updates” and click on “Check for updates” from the results.
  • If there are any pending updates seen on the screen, install them on your device.

how to fix skyrim won't launch issue

  • Once you have installed the Windows updates, restart your PC.
  • Launch Steam and go to The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition.
  • Hopefully, the game will launch without creating any issues this time.

8. Reinstall Skyrim SE

If unfortunately, you are still not able to get rid of the Skyrim won’t launch issue, then the last and most working method is reinstalling the game itself. Uninstall the game and then get a fresh and latest version of the game to install on your device. This will make sure to fix the Skyrim not launching issue.

  • Press Windows+R keys to open the Run box on your screen.
  • Now, type “appwiz.cpl” and click on the “OK” button.
  • Next, on the Programs and Features page, scroll down and find Skyrim.
  • Click on the “Skyrim” game and then click on “Uninstall”.

skyrim special edition not launching

  • Delete all the folders of the game from the Local Disk folder.
  • Launch Steam and install The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition.
  • Open the game and start playing. The Skyrim won’t launch issue will not occur.


The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition is one of the most favorite video games of teens and adults nowadays. Due to excessive usage of mods, outdated software and drivers, and unverified game files, Skyrim won’t launch Steam problem arises.  We have given the working methods here to fix the Skyrim won’t launch issue successfully. We hope you found this article helpful. For more useful articles, visit TechyGun.

Leave a Comment