How To Fix Skyrim Failed To Initialize Renderer Issue

Skyrim, otherwise known as The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, is an action role playing video game developed by Bethesda Game Studios and is the fifth installment in The Elder Scroll series. The game revolves around the main character’s goal to defeat Alduin, a dragon that is said to destroy the world. Although this is a solid performing game there are instances when certain issues can occur. In this latest installment of our troubleshooting series we will tackle the Skyrim rendering issue.

What to do when Skyrim fails to initialize the renderer

Before performing any of the recommended troubleshooting steps listed below it’s best to restart your computer or phone first. This action refreshes the operating system and remove any corrupt temporary data that could be causing the problem.

There are several factors that can cause this particular problem ranging from an outdated software to a driver issue. Listed below are the recommended troubleshooting steps you need to do to fix this problem.

Disable the mods and update the patches

If you are using any mods in the game then it’s best to disable these first. You should also make sure that the game has the latest patches installed.

  • Launch The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition and select Mods from the main menu.
  • Find the mod you wish to uninstall in your Library.
  • Select the mod you wish to uninstall and select Delete. Do this for all mods.
  • You can also disable the mod from this menu if you don’t want to delete them.

Try to check if the the Skyrim failed to start the renderer issue still occurs.

Launch the game in Windowed mode

One fix that most people find effective in temporarily fixing the problem is to launch the game in windowed mode.

  • Open the Skyrim launcher and click on “Options” present at the main screen.
  • Check the box “Windowed Mode” present at the bottom left side of the screen.
  • You can also try making changes on the resolution and check if it helps.
  • Press Apply.

Check if the rendering problem still occurs.

Delete the game files

There are times when the game preference files can cause this problem. Try to delete these files so that the default preferences will be loaded.

  • Close the game completely.
  • Navigate to the directory where Steam is installed and remove the folder “appcache”. Steam will automatically create this the next time it starts up.
  • Go to the directory of Skyrim. The default location is: C:\Users\”User name”\Documents\MyGames
  • Delete the following two files: Skyrim.ini, SkyrimPrefs.ini
  • Restart the computer

Check if the Skyrim rendering problem still occurs.

Update your graphics driver

Most of the time this problem is caused by outdated or corrupted graphics drivers which is why you will need to make sure that the driver installed in your computer is updated.

If you have an NVIDIA graphics card then follow the steps listed below.

  • Press Win+R (Windows logo key and R key) at the same time to invoke the Run box.
  • Type msconfig and click OK. Then the System Configurations will open.
  • When System Configuration opens, click the Boot tab. Under Boot options, check Safe boot then click OK.
  • When you’re prompted to restart your computer to apply these changes, click Restart then you will boot into Safe Mode.
  • Go to your local hard disk by clicking on This PC then Local Disk C. You should be able to see the NVIDIA folder right there. Right-click on it and choose Delete.
  • Click Start and type Run. Select Run, the Run dialog box will appear.
  • Type “devmgmt.msc” in the run box and click the OK button which should open the Device Manager Window.
  • Expand the “Display Adapters” field. This will list all network adapters that the machine has installed. Right click on the Nvidia adapter you want to uninstall and select “Uninstall”.
  • Click “OK” when prompted to uninstall the device. This will remove the adapter from the list and uninstall the driver.
  • Press Win+R (Windows logo key and R key) at the same time to invoke the Run box.
  • Type msconfig and click OK. Then the System Configurations will open.
  • When System Configuration opens, click the Boot tab. Under Boot options, uncheck Safe boot then click OK.
  • When you’re prompted to restart your computer to apply these changes, click Restart.
  • Download the latest NVIDIA driver for your computer from here
  • Run the setup file and follow the instructions which appear on screen. Choose the Custom installation option and check all the boxes in the custom install options windows. Also check the box which states “perform clean install”.
  • Restart your computer

If you have an AMD graphics card then follow the steps listed below.

  • Download the AMD Cleanup Utility from here
  • Locate the file where it was saved and double-click on the “AMDCleanupUtility.exe’ file.
  • A dialogue box should appear stating AMD Cleanup Utility has detected the system is not in safe mode and provide an option to reboot the system to run the Utility in safe mode:
  • Click “Yes” the system will be rebooted and AMD Cleanup Utility will run in safe mode.
  • The next dialogue box provides a warning message stating that the AMD Cleanup Utility will remove all AMD driver and application components.
  • Click “OK” to continue
  • After clicking “OK” the Utility will be minimized to the notification area (system tray) and the progress will be displayed as a tool tip.
  • The cleanup process will continue to run in the background.  To check the progress, hover the mouse over the AMD icon in the notification area.
  • Once the cleanup process is finished, a message is displayed stating it has successfully completed. Click “View Report” to see the list of components that were uninstalled, otherwise click “Finish” to exit the Utility.
  • Reboot your computer.

Once the drivers have been uninstalled it’s time to install the latest driver update. You can do this with the help of the AMD Driver Auto-detect tool  which you can download from

  • Visit the AMD Driver and Support page and see section Auto-Detect and Install Radeon Graphics Drivers for Windows.
  • Click the DOWNLOAD NOW button to begin downloading the executable file for the tool.
  • Once download is complete, run the file to launch the Installer.
  • Click Install to extract the needed files.
  • After file extraction is complete the tool should automatically launch.
  • Review the End User License Agreement and information about the User Experience Improvement Program.
  • Click Accept and Install to continue or close the window to exit the AMD Driver Auto-detect tool.
  • After clicking Accept and Install, the tool will attempt to detect the installed AMD graphics product and operating system.
  • Upon successful detection of your system configuration, the tool will display the latest Recommended and Optional driver packages that are compatible with your graphics product, as well as the currently installed driver version
  • Select the desired version and choose Express installation.
  • After the driver package has been downloaded, installation should begin automatically.
  • Restart your computer

If you have an integrated graphics (Intel)

  • Press the Windows Logo key + R to launch a Run
  • Type devmgmt.msc into the Run dialog and press Enter to launch the Device Manager.
  • In the Device Manager, expand the Display adapters
  • Right-click on your graphics drivers, click on Uninstall and then go through the uninstallation wizard to uninstall the drivers.
  • Restart your computer. Once your computer boots up, it should automatically reinstall the same version of the graphics drivers.

Check if the Skyrim initialize renderer issue still occurs.

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