Sometimes, when I open Mathematica, while the opening splash screen still says "Initializing Kernel Connections", Windows will tell me that "Wolfram Mathematica 9 has stopped working". This will happen every time I try to open Mathematica for a while, but then just as randomly as it started, it will stop, and I'll be able to open Mathematica again with no problems. When it stops working, I'm given the option to Debug it, but all I can tell is that it's a segmentation fault that seems to be caused by dereferencing a null pointer. Interestingly, MathKernel still runs fine even when Mathematica is refusing to launch. Does anyone know how I can start fixing/investigating the cause of this?

Version: Mathematica Version, Microsoft Windows 64-bit
OS: Windows 8

  • $\begingroup$ You should include more information about the precise version of Mathematica you have and your OS. I had this problem on WinXP with Mma8, on a slow computer. I never fixed it but it was more of an annoyance than a real problem. $\endgroup$
    – Szabolcs
    Sep 13, 2013 at 4:34
  • $\begingroup$ I don't remember if I had any messages like initializing kernel connections, but on my MBP (OS X Snow Leopard) from 2009, which is a pretty good laptop, MMA would sometimes freeze and you'd have to force quit it and try to start it again. But sometimes it didn't work for several tries. I concluded then that the splash screen seems to be a lot more demanding than the software itself, but I didn't figure out how to solve it. $\endgroup$
    – C. E.
    Sep 13, 2013 at 7:34
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    $\begingroup$ I observe similar behavior with Mma 9.0.1 and Windows 8. For me it seems to occur most with notebooks containing dynamic elements, but I can't consistently reproduce the behavior. $\endgroup$ Sep 14, 2013 at 14:54
  • $\begingroup$ Same Problem, stuck on Splash screen with $"Initializing \;kernel\; connections..."$ Kernel starts fine by itself. Called Wolfram, they had me try a "clean start" by <kbd>Shift</kbd>+<kbd>Ctrl</kbd>+<kbd>Click</kbd> the Mathematica icon without success, then remove C:\ProgramData\Mathematica and C:Users\x\AppData\Roaming\Mathematica which also did not help. Disabling virus protection as they asked did not help either. Next they asked for a core dump (112 MB) of the front end from the task manager, which I tried to upload to upload.wolfram.com along with a case ID. However the server kept $\endgroup$
    – user10404
    Nov 5, 2013 at 21:49
  • $\begingroup$ For me, Mathematica kept crashing when it opened the splash screen and some other notebooks. I fixed it by running mathematica -clean. $\endgroup$
    – Andrew
    Apr 17, 2014 at 1:07

2 Answers 2


Version: Mathematica Version, Microsoft Windows 64-bit OS: Windows 7

My mathematica crashed the same way. But only when it was not connected to the internet. I changed my default printer , and it fixed the problem. Follow these steps:

  1. Start menu>>Devices and printers

  2. There will be one/many printers listed there. The one with a green check mark on it is the default printer.

  3. If you have only one printer, uninstall it (remove the printer). That means you will not be able to use your printer. In my case, the trouble was because of the printer

  4. If you have more than one printer, right click on the printer which you want to set as the default printer (choose any one, other than the one already selected as the default printer). Click 'set as default printer'.

  5. If this doesn't work, set another printer as the default printer (using the steps described in point no 4).

  6. If mathematica doesn't work even after trying out all the printers, uninstall all the printers. This should do it.

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    $\begingroup$ Because, that makes sense... sometimes, one wonders... $\endgroup$ May 8, 2014 at 13:44
  • $\begingroup$ Had this problem with Mathematica 10.2 on Windows 10 (64-bit). Setting a different default printer worked perfectly. Note: you can install CutePDF and set that as the default printer if necessary. $\endgroup$
    – jcai
    Mar 2, 2016 at 23:02

This is close. Don't know if this helps.

I was getting the some error when I upgraded to Mathematica 9 from Mathematica 8 on Windows 7 64-bit. It crashed right when it was initializing preferences ( as displayed on the spikey icon). (But the kernel was working fine, if I manually launched it from the start menu. I could run some calculations on it as well). I deleted the preferences folder http://reference.wolfram.com/mathematica/tutorial/ConfigurationFiles.html). Then I reinstalled Mathematica 9. After that Mathematica 9 works fine.

( Sidenote 1 : I checked my comp for viruses. Incidentally my comp was infected with some virus (as reported by Malwarebytes anti-malware). I removed them. I am not sure if this was the cause for this problem.

Sidenote 2 : I still have my Mathematica 8 installed and working and this was working even when Mathematica 9 was not working )

  • $\begingroup$ Just in case... I installed Mathematica 10 on windows 8 setup which had already Mathematica 9, had startupscreen crash and removing the configuration files solved it. $\endgroup$
    – Johu
    Sep 9, 2014 at 9:23

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