Why is Sketch crashing? Try these solutions first

We do our best to make Sketch as stable as possible, but if you’re running to issues and experiencing crashes, there are a few things you can try to fix it.

If none of the solutions below work for you, please get in touch with us for more help. If you get in touch, we’ll ask you for a few different things to help us diagnose your issue and find a solution. You can find a full list of what we might need in the Providing Feedback article.

Note: If you’re experiencing issues with Sketch being slow, there are a few other solutions to try, you can find more details of these in the Why is Sketch Slow? article.

1. Check your plugins

Sometimes an incompatible our outdated plugin may be causing Sketch to Crash. So, it’s a good idea to try using Sketch without any plugins running, to see if that could be causing your problem.

To disable your plugins temporarily, quit Sketch and then launch it again while holding down Shift. This opens it in Safe mode and if everything works as expected, a plugin may have been causing the crash.

To find out which plugin(s) are the cause of your problem, close Sketch and launch without holding Shift to enable plugins again. Choose Sketch › Preferences › Plugins and disable or uninstall all of them. Then add them back one by one until you find which plugin is causing you issues.

Note: Some plugins, like Craft, will still be loaded even when you disable them, so uninstalling is the only way to make sure they’re not interfering with Sketch.

If a plugin is crashing Sketch on launch, you can uninstall all of them by moving the Plugins folder to your Desktop:

  • Quit Sketch
  • Open Finder
  • Select Go › Go to Folder… (Cmd + Shift + G)
  • Enter the following path in the dialog that appears: ~/Library/Application Support/com.bohemiancoding.sketch3 and click Go
  • Drag the Plugins folder to your Desktop and relaunch Sketch

Now you can proceed to install your plugins one by one, until you find the one that’s causing the crash.

Plugins are created by third-party developers, so you’d need to get in touch with them for further support and assistance. But before you do, try checking to see if there’s an update available for the plugin that’s causing you issues. That can often solve things.

If disabling your plugins doesn’t help, move on to the next suggestion.

2. Restart your Mac

We know this sounds a lot like “Have you tried turning it off and on again?”, but sometimes a simple restart can be a fool-proof way to fix a problem in Sketch.

If possible, save your work, then quit Sketch and restart your Mac. If a full reboot doesn’t resolve your issue, try the next solution.

3. Remove corrupted preference files

Sketch stores your preferences in a file, and sometimes this file can get corrupted with bad data. Removing this file forces Sketch to create a fresh preferences file, that won’t cause the same issues.

Don’t worry, we won’t delete the file completely — we’ll just move the file out of the way, so we can restore it later if needed. Follow these steps to remove the file and have Sketch create a new one.

  • Close Sketch
  • Open Finder
  • Select Go › Go to Folder… (Cmd + Shift + G)
  • Enter the following path in the dialog that appears: ~/Library/Preferences/com.bohemiancoding.sketch3.plist and click Go
  • The preferences file will be selected. Drag it to your Desktop and relaunch Sketch

If everything is now working as expected, you can delete the preferences file from your Desktop.

Please note: When you delete the preferences file you may need to set some preferences in the app and plugins again.

If your issue still isn’t resolved, you can close Sketch and drag your original preferences file back to its place (overwriting the new version) to restore your user defaults.

Last modified on Jul 12, 2018

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