KB: Startup issue - Failure to Launch (or install)

Created: May 13, 2021 | Updated: September 14, 2023

This article has a long list of things to try when Altium won't start. Some of these also apply if Altium won't install.

Starting in Version: 18.0
Up to Version: Current

Solution Details

Here's a list of things to try when this happens:

- Press and hold the Ctrl key when you launch Altium and keep it held down until after the program is fully loaded. (If it loads.)  This will allow Altium to start up without loading the last document set.

- Are you running NVIDIA nView desktop manager or RTX Desktop Manager (formerly Quadro View) on your machine? We have determined it to be incompatible, and uninstalling it resolves this issue.  (Disabling usually is enough):  The Windows taskbar should have an entry for NVIDIA Settings - it will appear as an icon in the system tray (notification area), next to the clock. Right-click and select nView Desktop Manager » nView Properties. The nView Desktop Management dialog appears. Go to the Desktop Management tab and click the Disable button.  Once the nView Desktop Manager is disabled, the button will say Enable.  Some have found that Altium won't start if NVIDIA Control Panel is running.  Check the notification area (formerly known as the system tray) and exit if it's running.  You may find the NVIDIA desktop manager in the Desktop menu;  Right click on an open area on the desktop, then select "Nvidia RTX desktop manager", then disable.  Try this fix especially if Altium starts intermittently.  Here's a Knowledge Base article:


- Please check to see if there is a difference when you log onto your computer with an administrative account and launch Altium Designer by right-clicking on it and choosing "Run as Administrator".
*** If that makes a difference, here are places to which your account needs permissions:
Registry keys:

- HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Altium
- HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\MenuOrder\Start Menu\Programs\Altium
- HKEY_USERS\S-1-5-21-149779583-799757147-1568867282-45119\Software\Altium
(The ID here is only a example-ID. It should show you only that the right key is the one with the longer ID.)
- C:\Users\Public\Documents\Altium
- C:\Users\<WIN-LOGINNAME>\AppData\Local\Altium
- C:\Users\<WIN-LOGINNAME>\AppData\Roaming\Altium
- C:\ProgramData\Altium
- C:\Program Files\Altium This folder is the installation folder of the Altium Designers. If you have installed Altium Designer at another location you have to setup the rights there.)
(C:\Program Files (x86)/Altium (for 32-bit versions)

- Make sure your computer meets the program's system requirements:

- Update your video board driver(s).  It's always a good idea to have the latest video board driver from the board manufacture's web page (rather than using Windows update or from Device Manager.)  You can use the Windows control panel ► Device Manager ► Display adapters, to see what's installed, then go to the manufacturer's web page to download and install the latest driver.

- Verify your firewall is not blocking X2.EXE access to the internet in Domain, Private, and Public networks

- Verify antivirus software running on the machine is not blocking the startup process. (X2.exe or DXP.exe) Or scanning every file as it's accessed.

- Remove Preferences - from Control Panel ► Programs and Features (Save them first)  Please note, this process will leave your Altium software in a freshly installed state, so if you connect to a private license server, please record that information before starting this process  Here's a Knowledge Base article with detail:

How do I reset the Altium Designer configuration to the installation defaults?

- Try deleting all hard copy printers and say yes to remove drivers if asked. - This has been known to cause Altium to crash when saving the project as well.

- Try Installing latest version (without importing preferences until after testing)  You can get it from here:

- The network being used has to have "Network Discovery" and "File and Printer Sharing" turned on

- If you are using a program called autorun to turn off extra startup services/programs, and have turned off any Office related services, including “ClickToRunSvc”. Altium will crash when it tries to open a dblib that is based on an Excel sheet.

- Discord app may make Altium Designer slow or crash.

- Use the Windows System File Checker tool to repair missing or corrupted Windows system files.
1. Click on the windows start button
2. Type in CMD then from the results right-click on Command Prompt and select “Run as Administrator”. 
(afterward, you may need to click on yes to allow the app to make changes)
3. Type in “sfc /scannow” without quotes.
4. This process will verify their Windows Installation and replace any corrupted or missing DLL along with any other Windows protected system files.
5. Reboot the PC.
6. If the issue persists, perform a complete un-install and then a fresh install of Altium:

Using the offline installer package is a good idea since you are having issues:

- If you are getting an error "Could not start Vault Explorer...",
Could not start Vault explorer.png
You will need to perform a complete un-install and then a fresh install of Altium:

Using the offline installer package is a good idea since you are having issues:

If you get an error like this one when launching Altium Designer after an update:

Install Altium Designer from our downloads page:
...as a new install rather than an upgrade.  You may need to read this Knowledge Base article:


During the install and first launch, don't import preferences if asked. If Altium starts up and runs without error, you can then go to Preferences and use the Import From... button at the bottom to import preferences from your most recent previously installed version.

If you get the errors when you launch Altium: Could not decompress the image and/or Runtime error 216 as in these images:

Please see this Knowledge Base article:
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