Cakewalk Keeps Crashing at Startup? Try This Simple Solution

You’re here because Cakewalk keeps crashing when you open a project. But in this instance, there are some frustrating elements:

  • You open a project in Cakewalk by Bandlab, but then it suddenly closes during startup.
  • There’s no error message, so you can’t diagnose the specific problem.
  • The problem only happens when opening specific projects. Other Cakewalk projects open just fine.

Your issue might be related to a specific plugin. When that happens, you can open your project in Safe Mode and bypass the problem plugin(s).

Open Cakewalk in Safe Mode

On the startup screen, hold down the SHIFT key and click to open your project. 

A dialog box will open asking, “Would you like to load the following plug-in?”

It will ask this for every plugin in your session. Click “No” on the plugins you suspect are causing the problem.

If the project still crashes, try running it in Safe Mode again and choose different plugins until it opens successfully.

A text box in Cakewalk by Bandlab

Additional Solutions to Prevent Cakewalk from Closing on Startup

If the problem keeps occurring, you may want to try these other solutions.

1. Remove Any Problematic Plugins

Some plugins may have some compatibility issues with Cakewalk. In which case, you may need to get rid of the plugin altogether. 

Remove the plugin that’s causing the crash from your VST folder. And if necessary, uninstall it completely from your computer.

2. Turn Off the VST Scanner

By default, Cakewalk will automatically scan for VST plugins in the background. But the automatic scan might be taxing on some computers, especially during startup.

To turn this feature off, go to Edit > Preferences > File > VST Settings. You’ll see a section titled “Scan Options”.

Click the drop-down menu and select “Manual Scan”. This will prevent Cakewalk from scanning for plugins during startup.

As the name suggests, you’ll have to manually scan for plugins each time you install one. So keep that in mind when you use this option.

Preferences window in Cakewalk by Bandlab

3. Uninstall and Reinstall Cakewalk

As dumb and simple as it sounds, you may just need to reinstall Cakewalk. There could be an issue with the current version you’re using. A fresh install might clear some of the “gunk” from your computer system.

If All Else Fails, Contact Cakewalk Support

These are just some possible solutions. But your specific problem could be unique.

The best way to get help is by emailing

You could also post your problem on the Cakewalk Discuss forums. The Cakewalk development team are active there and often chime in with answers. Other members of the community are more than willing to help too.