If Twine Won't Start

This page only applies to app Twine.

If Twine shows an error message when first starting and immediately quits, it's most likely because it is having trouble loading either your preferences or stories. Twine tries its best to repair problems it finds in saved files at startup, but sometimes it's not successful.

There are a few steps you can take that may fix this problem:

  1. Reset your preferences.
  2. If you are using app Twine, remove all files from your story library folder. Add them back in one-by-one, launching Twine each time. If Twine won't start when you add back a story, that story is the source of the problem.
  3. Reinstall Twine.

Getting More Detail on Startup Problems

Twine logs information as it starts up and works that is not normally visible. If you're having problems, though, these logs might tell you more about the source of the problem. To see them, you'll need to start Twine from the command line. Once you've started Twine from the command line, you'll see Twine's logs in that window.


How to do this depends on the distribution of Linux you use. In a desktop environment, you will need to start a terminal session. Gnome and KDE have apps (called "Gnome Terminal" and "Konsole") to do this.

Once you've started a terminal session, you'll need to run Twine from wherever it was installed. Unfortunately, this varies by distribution as well.


Open your Applications folder, then the Utilities folder. Open Terminal in this folder, then type the following into the window that appears and press the Enter key:



Open the Start menu, then run the Command Prompt application. This will open a window. After it's opened, open the Start menu again and locate Twine, but right-click on it instead of opening the entry. Choose the Open file location option from the context menu. This will open a folder containing the Twine icon. Right-click this icon and choose Copy as path from the context menu.

Finally, go back to the Command Prompt window and right-click inside the window. This will paste the location of Twine into the window. If you've copied the path correctly, what you have pasted should end with Twine.exe. Don't edit what was pasted; only press the Enter key to launch Twine.

Resetting Preferences in Browser Twine

To reset your preferences, you'll need to edit your browser local storage. Delete all local storage keys that begin with twine-prefs. Don't delete any other local storage keys. Your stories are also stored in local storage, so altering those parts of local storage can cause you to lose them.

Once you've deleted all preference-related keys, reload Twine. Twine will restore your preferences to their defaults and try to continue loading.

Resetting Preferences in App Twine

Your preferences are stored in a file named prefs.json. Its location depends on what operating system you're using.

  • On Linux, it's in ~/.config/Twine.
  • On macOS, it's in /Users/yourusername/Library/Application Support/Twine. The Library folder is normally hidden in the Finder. You can use the Go to Folder... menu item to go there, however.
  • On Windows, it's probably in C:\Users\yourusername\AppData\Roaming\Twine. The AppData folder is also normally hidden, but you can go to it by typing %AppData% into the location bar of an Explorer window.

To reset your preferences, delete the prefs.json file and re-open Twine. It will restore preferences to defaults and try to continue loading.