RStudio Desktop Will Not Start


The R session failed to start.

Below is a list of common start-up problems. If one of the following does not describe your problem, see the information at the bottom to start a new support discussion.

Check the version of R

RStudio requires R 2.11.1 (or higher) to run. Make sure your current installation meets this requirement or download it here

Note: On Windows, if you have multiple versions of R installed, you can press and hold Ctrl when starting RStudio to select your version of R.

Check for Startup files

Try removing all startup files such as .Rprofile, .Renviron, and .RData from your initial working directory. The R code within these files may be causing an error (see R Code is Not Working). If RStudio successfully starts after removing these files, try to pinpoint which file resulted in the error. If you are able to determine the source of the problem, please notify us with the details. Be sure to include the steps to reproduce this error (including necessary code) and we'll investigate.

RStudio cannot find R

If you installed R to a non-default location, it is possible RStudio cannot find R on your machine. Open a standard console session (RGui,, Terminal, etc) and type the following command at the console:

> Sys.which("R")

The displayed location must be in your search path for RStudio to successfully bind to your R installation.

Note: On Windows, you can force RStudio to bind to a specific version of R by pressing and holding Ctrl when starting RStudio.

Check firewall and proxy settings

Although RStudio does not require internet access, it does use a localhost connection to link your R session with the RStudio IDE. As a result, it is possible a (software-based) firewall or network setting is blocking access to RStudio. If you have a firewall, HTTP or HTTPS proxy configured, add localhost and to the list of approved Hosts and Domains. After this, try restarting RStudio.

Check the permissions on the ~/.rstudio-desktop directory

RStudio saves some session files in the ~/.rstudio-desktop directory - if this directory has its permissions changed, RStudio may not be able to read and write to that folder and may fail to start. Check the permissions and make sure that you have read/write/execute permissions to this folder - if not, change the permissions or reset RStudio's state as described below.

Reset RStudio's state

In some cases, it is necessary to reset RStudio's state analogous to a fresh installation. To do this, see the following Knowledge Base article on Resetting RStudio's State. Note, this will delete all temporary files and unsaved changes made in RStudio. In this case, we recommend creating a backup version as described in the Knowledge Base article.

Using Macports R

To use Macports R with RStudio, you need to install the "R-framework" port. For additional information, see the following Knowledge Base article on Using Macports R with RStudio.

Other Start-Up Problems

If you are still unable to start RStudio, please open a new discussion and provide any relevant details as noted below:

System information

Upload a diagnostics report and the output from the associated terminal session to a service like Gist and include the link.

Error information

  • General description
  • The output of RStudio.Version()
  • Error messages
  • Log files (See here)
  • Crash Report (See here)
  • Attempted steps taken to fix
  • Have you successfully launched RStudio in the past?

Return to Troubleshooting Guide: Using RStudio

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