Why Is Blender No Longer Responsive?

Blender is used for a variety of applications including 3D modeling, animation, and video editing. Sometimes though, when working on, say a 3D scene, you’ll find that blender begins to lag and even reaches the point where it no longer becomes responsive to your inputs.

Blender can become unresponsive to user inputs when it is attempting to calculate the value change of a previous tool or function. For example, when using the subdivision Surface modifier on an object that already has a lot of geometry, Blender can take a lot of time to calculate the new value and even freeze.

If you find yourself in a situation where Blender is no longer responsive, then you will have two options, either to wait for it to finish its calculation or to close Blender and reopen it. So let’s take a look at exactly how and why Blender becomes unresponsive during certain projects like 3D modeling.

The Reasons Why Blender Stops Responding During A Project

A lot of the tools that you use in Blender have numerical values that define the effect that those tools have on your objects or elements.

Every time you make a change to a tool that has a numerical value, Blender needs a little bit of time to calculate that change and its effect on your scene.

The greater the change to the original value and the greater the new value is, the longer it will take for Blender to calculate.

For example, let’s say you used the subdivide tool on a cube. If you set the number of subdivisions to a value of 10, then it would likely take just a second for Blender to calculate the new geometry.

However, if you set the subdivision level to 100, it would likely take much longer for Blender to calculate the new geometry.

Another example may be when you choose to use a modifier like the Boolean modifier. The Boolean modifier allows you to take one object and use it to cut new geometry into your main objects.

If the two objects in question are dense in terms of their geometry. Then the amount of time taken to calculate the effect of the boolean modifier will increase.

If the shape of the Boolean is also complex, then this can further increase the time that it takes for the blender software to calculate the effect on the model.

Sometimes you may find that Blender becomes unresponsive even if you use a simpler tool, or if you don’t change a value by a significant degree. This may seem to be a random occurrence, but it could be down to the poor quality of the code used in that version of Blender. If you attempt to use the same tool again and it still crashes, then you know it is a bug in the code.

Why Is Blender Not Opening On My PC At All?

On the rare occasion, you may find that blend that does not even open a tool when you try to select it from your desktop or from your directory. In this scenario, the likely cause of Blender not opening is an out-of-date graphics driver.

Your GPU is like many of the other components of your computer, a combination of good hardware and good software. But even if the hardware is powerful, if the software is out of date then this can cause issues when working with more technical applications like 3D modeling suites.

If you have a GPU, then it will belong to one of two manufacturers, either NVIDIA or AMD. Each of these manufacturers has a platform that you can access where you can update the graphics driver of your GPU to the latest version.

For example, with an NVIDIA GTX1070, I can access GeForce now and then update my graphics driver for that GPU. Another reason why blender may not be able to start up is that the downloaded version of Blender that you have installed onto your computer has faulty code. This is similar to when Blender crashes for a seemingly unknown reason when 3D modeling with specific tools or when creating a certain scenario.

The solution, in this case, is to uninstall Blender and then reinstall it, ideally directly from the Blender website. If you did not download Blender from the blender.org website itself and Blender fails to open, then you may need to run a background cheque on the software using Windows Defender.

If you have a Windows device or comparative applications for Mac. On Linux. It is possible, though unlikely, that it will have downloaded a form of malware instead of the actual blender software. So make sure to double cheque this if you have downloaded it from a third party.

We always recommend downloading Blender directly from the blender.org website, but if you are looking at downloading from another location then we recommend the Steam library as the alternative.

Using The Autosave System To Protect Your Work

When your project crashes on you, you will lose all of the work that you had built up from your previous save, so it makes sense to save on a very regular basis.

But we often forget to save our work even if we’re trying to get into the habit of doing so. And it makes a lot of sense to have an autosave system in place when working on our projects in Blender. Fortunately, Blender itself does have an autosave system that we can enable.

Go to the edit menu in the blender user interface. From this menu, select the preferences option which should be at the bottom of the list. This will open up the preferences panel in a separate window. To the side, we will have a column of tabs or sections that we can access. The tab that we are looking for is the save and load tab. So select that and it will be highlighted blue.

The options for the save and load tab would then be visible in the preferences panel. The one that you’re looking for is the autosave option, which should be a tick box. Make sure this box is ticked and Blender will periodically save your work.

The autosave feature has one attribute that you can change and that is the timer. This property sets a value in minutes where Blender will save after that interval. So for example, if you set the timer to two then Blender will create an autosave every two minutes.

We recommend keeping the autosave option turned on, and we also recommend keeping the timer value set to a fairly low level as the autosave feature can work very well in the background without disrupting your work.

A bonus tip is to enable another feature that allows you to keep older saves. This is the save previous versions feature and is located directly above the timer feature for auto-saving. The value for the previous versions dictates how many versions of your file you’re going to keep.

This does not mean that when you press the save button, it saves your project multiple times. Instead what it does is it keeps the previous version. For example, you work on a project for five minutes and you create a save for that project. Then you work on the projects for another five minutes and save again. Normally you are overwriting the previous save.

But by using the previous versions option, you will effectively overwrite the previous save as the main save point, but then the old version of your work will be stored in the background.

To access your previous versions, open up your file directory by going file, then open. Locate where the main save of your project is found. You will notice a filter icon in the top corner of your panel. There will be a down arrow next to the filter icon. Left Click to open up a menu. In this menu, there will be an option labeled backup dot blend files.

Enable this icon and you will then be able to view the previous versions of your work depending on the value you defined in the preferences panel. This is a great way of restoring your project back to an older state, just in case you wanted to make any significant changes to your workflow. It’s also a handy backup option in case blender crashes and potentially corrupts your main save file.

How To Prevent Blender From Becoming Unresponsive

The more complex the operations that you will perform in Blender, the more likely you are to come across this scenario of Blender becoming laggy or unresponsive. You can’t really predict when Blender is going to behave in this manner, so the best thing that you can do is keep on top of every action that you make, especially the changes to some of the numerical values that you will find. Across the blender interface, when working with objects, geometry, materials, lighting strength, etc, make sure to keep an eye on each of these.

If you think the problem lies with Blender itself, then you can delete the current version of Blender and try a different version. If we form of the blender software can be accessed from the blender.org website. So if you’re not happy with one version, you can always try another.

It’s more common for Blender to become unresponsive when working on lower end hardware, so if you have the financial ability to see if you can upgrade the hardware being used.

Should I Wait When Blender Is Not Responding?

In the large majority of cases when Blender becomes unresponsive, the best thing to do is to just wait. The main reason why Blender is unresponsive after all is that it is trying to calculate a change that the user has made.

Sometimes this change requires more time, so that’s what we need to give Blender, just a bit more time. The exception to this rule is when Blender is trying to calculate a value that shouldn’t exist, and this can happen quite easily.

When you tell Blender or if you tell any type of program to run a calculation that has no end value, it’s going to keep trying to find that value forever, which is effectively what happens when the software crashes or freezes.

It is looking for a value in its own language, but it cannot find that value and will continue to search for it indefinitely until told otherwise. An example of this could be when using drivers in Blender. Drivers allow for much more complex animations between objects. They are often defined by user based formulas and if the formula is set up so that it would have a recurring infinite value, then Blender will continuously look to find the value. In this case, you may need to simply close Blender.

Another example of when you may wish to close Blender is if the software has been unresponsive for a set amount of time, even when you expect it to come to a final value. So for example, let’s say you were to use these subdivide tools and set the value to 100 for your objects.

This is going to take a bit of time for Blender to calculate, but it should take no more than 15 seconds even on low-end hardware. We’d like to use the 30 second rule in cases like this. If it takes over 30 seconds for blender to calculate a new value, then it’s likely frozen as a result.

At this point, we would then close Blender and load it back up again, but until we passed the 30 second mark we should allow Blender that time to try and find that value.

How Do I Uninstall My Blender Software?

When the issue of blender crashing or being just plain unresponsive becomes too common to bare you may wish to uninstall your current version of the blender software.

There are two ways that you could go about installing your software. The first method is to just locate your blender application in your directory and then delete it as you would any other application.

The second method is to run at the installer for that version of Blender. If you run the installer with Blender already on your machine, you will eventually be met with this window.

From here you’ll be able to either change, modify, or uninstall the current version of Blender using the installer software. Choose Uninstall from this menu and Blender will be deleted from your computer.

You can then reuse the installer. An attempt to reinstall the blender software. This may or may not help when it comes to the performance of the application on your computer.

If it does not, then this could be because the version is buggy or it could be a result of your hardware. If using low-end hardware like a laptop for example, then it may simply be something that you have to deal with when using applications like Blender.

Thanks For Reading The Article

We appreciate you taking the time to read through the article and we hope that you were able to find the information that you were looking for. We have compiled a list of additional topics that you may be interested in reading which you can see directly below.

  • Topology for Blender Rigging: Best Practices

    Best practices for topology in Blender rigging for animation efficiency.

    Continue Reading

  • Blender Community Favorites: Top Models

    Celebrating community-voted favorite models and creations in Blender.

    Continue Reading

  • Real-Time vs Pre-Rendered in Blender

    Comparing real-time and pre-rendered graphics in Blender projects.

    Continue Reading