Why is Sketch crashing? Try these solutions first

We do our best to make Sketch as stable as possible, but sometimes even the best built things can break. If Sketch is crashing and you’re not sure why, take a look at this list of known issues — it could solve your problem and save you some headaches.

1. Disable your plugins

Plugins are great. They let you do amazing things, save you time, and are usually pretty useful.

However, sometimes an incompatible plugin may be causing more harm than good, and it’s a good idea to run Sketch without any third party code running in the background, to check and see if that could be causing your problem.

To disable your plugins temporarily, close Sketch and then launch it again while holding down Shift. If the app now works as expected, you probably have a rogue plugin installed.

To find out which plugin(s) are the cause of your problem, close Sketch and launch it again to enable the plugins, and then click on Sketch › Preferences › Plugins and disable or uninstall all of them. Then add them back one by one until you find the culprit.

Please 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.

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

  • Close 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.

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 the on-off switch can be a fool-proof way to fix a problem in Sketch.

If possible, remember to save your work, then close 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.

Is Sketch still crashing?

If none of these solutions solved your problem, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us using our support form and we’ll help you resolve your issue, as quickly as possible.