Storyline crashing consistently when playing timeline

Articulate Storyline crashes probably 5+ times a day for me (this has been going on for weeks). It always occurs when I try to preview a timeline for a slide.  I hit the "play" icon in the lower left corner of the timeline and the application crashes.  Is anybody else getting this?  It's quite annoying.  I have lost quite a bit of work becuase of this bug. No other program or hardware on my system is malfunctioning.  Occasionally, I am able to save my work in between the error pop-ups.

Intel Core i7-3720QM / 8 GB RAM / Plenty of HD space

The .story file and all assets are located on my local drive

Windows 7 Pro

Articulate Storyline Update 5: 1401.2415

Flash Player: for IE 9

This is the error window I see, usually seconds after I hit "play" button:

18 Replies
Geert De Rycke

Hi Ryan,

Welcome to the heroes page.

We had similar problems to, not when clicking the preview button but when changing fonts etc...

I don not exactly know what goes wrong, yet this worked for us.

  • Rebooted the computer
  • Created a new storyline file
  • Imported the erroneous one into it

Hope it helps for you too



Ryan Byford

Thanks for the suggestions!   This has been going on for weeks and has occured when working on three different .story files. I've rebooted many times.  The only commonality between these three files is they use voiceover imported using the Insert, Sound, Record Mic feature in Storyline.  I believe most of the time the slide contains a 10-60 second audio recording.

Sam Carter

Storyline crashes for me when using the Play icon (lower left) or the Preview button (ribbon), almost exclusively on slides that have an abundance of large images.  I have some slides with many images that will crash Storyline 90% of the time I click Preview, and other slides with minimal images that never crash.

You might try to keep your image data to a reasonable minimum until Articulate comes up with a fix.  Let me know if this helps.

Ryan Byford

We might be having different issues. I have never experienced a crash using the preview button in the ribbon.  I only crash when using the "play" button near the timeline.  Unfortunately, I need to add cue points to time graphics with the audio and cannot do this in "preview" mode. 

I would love to know if the developers actually acknowledge this is a bug and if they are working on a fix.

Is there a list of known issues listed on the site somewhere?

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Ryan and welcome to Heroes!

I'm sorry to hear about the crashing you're experiencing when using that play button. I haven't experienced it myself, and don't see it as a known bug (they are not listed publicly, but you can always as us, or connect with our Support engineers) but it doesn't mean that it's not a bug. So with that being said, I'd like to have you go through the following troubleshooting steps, and then if the behavior continues on a new file, can you share that file with us here or using the previous link to our Support team? 

1. First, you already confirmed you were working with local project files, but please also check the file name and file path as described here. 

2. Follow the repair steps outlined here to repair Storyline. 

Also, if the crash continues you'll want to pull the error logs as described here. 

Joy Soler

I CONSTANTLY have the same issue.  Storyline crashes repeatedly.  Sometimes it is still running in the task manager even after it has crashed.  I have learned that I have to make sure that there are not two instances running or I end up with a real mess.  It started out that SL did not like the logo I had, so I had to change it... three times.  Now that that is stable, it really does not letting me use the timeline preview.  I have to make sure that I have saved any changes before I hit the play button or it will definitely crash. I thought it was an Adobe Flash issue, but after uninstalling and reinstalling flash multiple times, I have decided that is not the issue.  Also, every time there is a Microsoft update, I have to uninstall, reboot, and reinstall Storyline.  It really hates MS updates.  I really like this program, but the crashing eats so much time.  And it is totally inconsistent.  I can work two days with no problems and then have a day that is more problematic than not.

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Joy and welcome to Heroes,

I'm sorry to hear about the constant crashing you're experiencing - and it's definitely something we'd like to look into. 

First, I'd like to check that you're following along with the steps detailed here which are known to cause odd behavior in Storyline:

Next, what version of Storyline are you using? We're currently on update 5.  You'll also want to make sure Storyline is installed on your local drive and that you're up to date with the minimum requirements here. 

Lastly, you mentioned uninstall Flash and repairing Microsoft, but I'd also recommend going through the repair steps for Storyline here. 

Dan Barnes

I too have the problem of Storyline crashing almost every time I click the play button on the timeline. I have uninstalled Storyline according to Support's instructions and uninstalled Adobe Flash. I re-installed both according to Support's instructions. I have done this three times now, and the problem persists. All of this started after a recent update about a month ago. Before that, Storyline NEVER crashed period.

There has to be a solution to this problem, I can scarcely get any of my work done as a result of the constant crashes. I can see I am not the only one with this problem. I have always praised Storyline, but I am beginning to very frustrated with Storyline and this issue.

Can someone please help?



Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Dan,

Our last update (update 5) was at about the end of January and there was an update released last week (update 6). Do you know which update you're using?

I see you're working on this with Jayem in a case (# 00413341 for my reference). I don't see yet, that Jayem as you to pull the error logs as described here, although I suspect that is the next step since you've conducted the detailed repair and that you're working locally.

I'll let him know that I shared that information here, and once you've pulled the logs you can send them along to Jayem.

Kevin Thorn

I've ran into this issue on occasion. Never the same apple twice. I have discovered though that I've narrowed it down - at least in my cases - that the problem is whatever media file on that slide.

When it happens to me and I get constant crashes, it's usually a video file or audio file. And those files were typically sent to me from the client. The only thing I can deduce is whatever software the final rendering output of media files may be causing the problem either in the codec or some other setting.

I've never taken the time to dig in deeper to troubleshoot, but hope my testimony helps in identifying the cause on your end.

Dan Barnes

I think the solution to my problem has been resolved by the steps suggested by Greert, above:

  • Rebooted the computer
  • Created a new storyline file
  • Imported the erroneous one into it

I created a new Storyline project. I then re-sized the slide dimensions to match my original projected and imported my player skin which I had saved. I then imported the project which was exhibiting the freezing when the timeline play button was clicked.

I have been working on the project all morning and have not had one problem with the timeline player crashing the project.

Thank you Greet, for the suggestion.


Rusty Worden

I was just having the same issue - I updated the SL software to the July 27th 2021 build and poof - problem gone. 

Makes me wonder what Articulate updated without my consent on the backend while waiting for me to upgrade to the latest rev... ? Two days ago it worked fine on this same project file - I don't like to update SW in the middle of projects so was holding off.  But before I upgraded the software starts crashing every time i play a slide - not cool brah!

Then again - with the glass half-karen lenses on - my software works again, so yay team!

Leslie McKerchie

Hi Rusty, and welcome to E-Learning Heroes. 😊

I'm glad to hear that things are working well for you now.

We had a few issues that were causing prompts to save and/or crashing the software, and we've corrected it in the latest version. You can read all of the details here.

In addition, I wanted to share some information about automatic updates, which you can control:

Articulate 360: Automatic Updates