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How to troubleshoot Path of Exile crashing to desktop

Path of Exile crashes to desktop (CTD) with some regularity for some players without any error message. This article will explain how to fix your PoE that crash constantly.

How to troubleshoot Path of Exile crashing to desktop

How do I fix PoE freezing and crashing on my PC?

Is Path of Exile crashing to desktop without error message? If yes, try the following methods:

1. Change the Renderer setting

If you are experience random crashes in Path of Exile, the Renderer setting may be the cause of the problem. I recommend that you switch the Renderer to Vulkan from DirectX11 / to DirectX11 from Vulkan.

In particular, the crash issue for players using DX 11 has been resolved after switching to Vulkan. Doing this can also fix the BSOD issue.

To change the Renderer setting:

  • Go to in-game Options menu.
  • Find the Renderer option that under the Display Settings section in the Graphics tab.
  • Select the different API from the drop-down list. Vulkan (Beta) / DirectX11 (Default)
  • Save
Path of Exile Renderer

2. Turn off the Hyper-threading

If you have been experiencing crashes since the “Echoes of the Atlas” – content update 3.13, hyperthreading is most likely the cause of the crash, especially for Ryzen users. You should disable it for a temporary fix.

You need to disable the feature (Hyper-threading or SMT) from your BIOS.


3. Uninstall Windows update

In some cases this problem is caused by the Windows update. Uninstalling the Windows 10 Update KB4598242 worked for some of Path of Exile players.

Keep in mind that KB4598242 is a security update for Microsoft Windows. So it is at your own risk. Follow these steps to uninstall the update on Windows 10:

  • Navigate to Windows Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update > View update history > Uninstall Updates
  • Right-click on the update that you want to uninstall.
  • Select the Uninstall

4. Minimap & Shaders

This method applies only to Steam and Epic Games.

  • Go to the folder that the Path of Exile is installed on.
  • Delete the “ShaderCacheD3D11” and “ShaderCacheVulkan” folders.
  • Then navigate to the Documents\My Games\Path of Exile
  • Delete the Minimap folder.
  • After that, reset or disable the Shader Cache. (NVIDIA Control Panel & AMD Radeon Adrenalin)

Nvidia: NVIDIA Control Panel > 3D Settings > Manage 3D Settings > Shader Cache > Off

AMD: Radeon Software Adrenalin > Gaming > Global Graphics > Graphics > Advanced > Reset Shader Cache

  • Repair the game’s files.

Steam: Library > right-click on Path of Exile > Properties > Local Files > Verify integrity of game files

Epic Games: Library > Path of Exile > click the three dots > Verify

  • Clean temporary files on your system.
  • When it’s done, restart your PC.
  • Re-enable the Shader Cache in the NVIDIA Control Panel and play the game.

5. Engine Multithreading

Disabling the Engine Multithreading might help. Give it a try. Options > Graphics > Engine Multithreading > Disabled

POE engine multithreading

Note: Disabling Engine Multithreading may decrease game performance. So if it doesn’t work you should re-enable the Engine Multithreading.

What is the Engine Multithreading in PoE?

This feature allows using more than a single core of your CPU.

Also, in the graphics settings, switching the display mode to fullscreen (not windowed full screen), turning off VSync, capping FPS to monitor’s refresh rate (Enable the Foreground FPS Cap), and lowering other graphics options may reduce crashes on low-end PCs.


6. DDU

Reinstall your GPU driver. After completely uninstalling the graphics drivers, download the latest version driver and install it. You should use DDU to uninstall the driver from your PC, without leaving registry keys, folders and files behind. How to use DDU?


I hope this guide helped you to resolve PoE crashing issue. Tell us if you managed to fix it. Feel free to leave a comment below.

By the way, if you encounter poor performance in PoE, check out the “Path of Exile Performance Guide“.

Last Updated on 5 February, 2021 7:22 am EST

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