Troubleshooting Chief Architect Software Closing Unexpectedly on a Mac

Reference Number: KB-02940
Last Modified: June 4, 2024

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect InteriorsHome Designer Professional or Home Designer Architectural or Home Designer Suite


I keep encountering errors, lockups, or the program closes unexpectedly when I run Chief Architect on my Mac computer. What might be the cause?  


There are a number of different reasons why Chief Architect may be encountering errors or suddenly exiting, including the Mac not meeting the System Requirements for running the software, needing to have updated drivers (particularly for the video card), or a third party application may be conflicting with the software's operation.

Before continuing, please access our Known Incompatibilities page to learn more about the software and hardware incompatibilities with Chief Architect software.


Since there are a number of possible causes for the undesirable software behavior, some basic troubleshooting is required in order to identify the reason for a particular issue. 

Please follow all of the recommendations in this article in order, from most to least common, until the issue has been corrected. When followed, the steps below resolve almost all known issues with Chief Architect software programs crashing on a Mac.

Step 1 -
Verify System Requirements
Step 2 - Download Program Updates
Step 3 - Basic Initial Troubleshooting
Step 4 - Restart in Safe Mode
Step 5 - Modify Accessibility Settings
Step 6 - Repair a Storage Device
Step 7 - Create a New User Account
Step 8 - Advanced Troubleshooting

STEP 1 - Verify System Requirements

First, it is extremely important to make certain that your computer meets the minimum system requirements for running the software. The minimum and recommended system requirements for running the software can be found on the website at the appropriate link for your program below.

Please note that running in an emulator, or virtual machine environment, such as Hyper-V, VMWare, Parallels, or VirtualBox is not supported.

System requirements for previous versions of Chief Architect can be found in the Related Articles section below.

If your Mac does not meet the minimum system requirements for your version, then you should consider installing on an alternate system that does meet, or exceed, the requirements.

STEP 2 - Download Program Updates

If your computer meets the System Requirements for running the software, then the next step is to make sure you are using the most current program version of your Chief Architect software program.

In Chief Architect and Home Designer software programs, you can verify whether you have the latest program update by selecting Help> Download Program Updates from the program menu.

  • If you have the most recent update, then the updates page will state this.
  • If you are not running the most recent update, then selecting this option under the Help menu will take you to the most recent update for your version of Chief Architect. Follow the instructions to download and install it.

You can also access the Program Updates page on the website at the appropriate link below for your version.

STEP 3 - Basic Initial Troubleshooting

If your Mac computer meets or exceeds the System Requirements, and you are running the most recent update available for your software, then all of these additional basic troubleshooting steps bulleted below should be tested.

  • First, please note that working on files stored on a network server, external hard drive, or USB flash drive device is not supported. When working with Chief Architect files, always make sure they are saved on the local machine's hard drive. To learn more, please see the "Organizing your Plan and Layout Files" resource in the Related Articles section.

    Having automated backups that run when files are not in use to back up to a network server or cloud drive is a great idea to ensure that in the event of a computer crash, hard drive failure, computer theft, fire or other natural disaster that you do not lose your important files.

  • If the unexpected closure of the program appears to be particularly linked to 3D camera views, dialogs which display object previews, or accessing particular objects in the Library Browser where a preview is displayed in the panes below, then please follow the instructions in the Knowledge Base article that applies to your product below:

    Troubleshooting 3D Camera View Display Problems in Chief Architect
    Troubleshooting 3D Camera View Display Problems in Home Designer

  • If your Mac has both an integrated chipset and an actual video card that it switches between for better battery life, then you may want to disable Automatic graphics switching so that the best graphics will always be used.

    Instructions on how to accomplish this can be located on Apple's website at:

    If the slowness or exiting on the Mac appears to be particularly linked to 3D camera views, dialogs which display object previews, or accessing particular objects in the Library Browser where a preview is displayed, and you have already followed the previous steps in this article, then go through the steps to Adjust the Render Preferences in your version of the software.

    Chief Architect
    Home Designer

  • If the program seems to hang or close unexpectedly when attempting to print, please see the appropriate article below for additional troubleshooting specific to printing.

    Chief Architect
    Home Designer

STEP 4 - Restart in Safe Mode

After testing the basic troubleshooting steps above, if you are still experiencing issues with the operation of your Chief Architect software program on a Mac, then you should try restarting the system in Safe Mode by following the instructions in this Apple article:

Once you have completed the instructions, launch Chief Architect and test to see whether the issue still occurs.

If starting up your Mac in Safe Mode resolves the behavior, and if it continues to fail when restarting the Mac normally, then there is likely a conflict with a third party application running on your system.

STEP 5 - Modify Accessibility Settings

The most common conflicts that we have recorded have to do with software that modifies the Accessibility settings of the Mac.

To troubleshoot if this is the case, first Save your work then close out of the Chief Architect software if you have it open.

Select the Apple menu, access System Settings, select the Privacy & Security category, then click on the Accessibility subcategory.

In prior macOS versions, navigate to Apple> System Preferences> Security & Privacy, then select the Privacy tab on the next window that appears. Scroll down to the Accessibility section on the left and select it.

If any applications in this list are allowed to control your computer, disable them.

Accessibility section located on the Privacy tab of Security & Privacy

Note: You may need to provide your user account password to make changes in this section.

If you're unable to disable an application in this section, you may be using macOS Monterey 12 or prior and will need to click on the padlock icon in the lower left corner before you can make changes.

STEP 6 - Repair a Storage Device

To attempt to fix issues relating to error messages and program crashes, you may consider running a repair on the storage device inside your Mac. For information on this process, please see this Apple article:

After repairing a storage device, please complete the following steps:

  • Uninstall the Chief Architect Software.
  • Shut down and restart your Mac.
  • Re-install the Chief Architect Software.
  • Test to see whether or not the software failure continues to occur after completing these steps.

STEP 7 - Create a New User Account

If none of the above steps have resolved the issues on your Mac, then you should create a brand new Administrator User Account, log in using that Account, and attempt to use the software using the new account to test whether or not you continue to experience problems with regards to running the program.

For information on creating a new user account, please see this Apple article:

STEP 8 - Advanced Troubleshooting

Finally, if you continue to experience problems with the software closing unexpectedly on your Mac computer after going through all of these steps, please contact our Technical Support department directly, and include all of the following files listed below.

Please make sure you have already completed all of the earlier troubleshooting steps listed in this article before following the steps below, as these files will not be helpful unless all of the preliminarily steps have already been completed.

  1. If the software freezes or crashes, we will need to gather the Diagnostic Report (also commonly known as a "crash log") which contains data on what the software was attempting to do just before the issue occurred. To access this, please navigate to Go> Go To Folder from the Mac menu bar and enter the following file path:


    Press Enter.

  2. When the crash occurs, it is a good idea to take a moment to write down what you were doing just prior to the crash, including what kind of view was open, what tools you were using, and what objects you were drawing or editing. If you receive an error or warning, attach a screenshot image of the message.

    See Knowledge Base article: Creating a Screenshot.

  3. If the issue only seems to occur in one particular file, use the Backup Entire Plan/Layout  tool to create a folder with a copy of the file in which the error occurs, along with all referenced files.

    See Knowledge Base article: Using the Backup Entire Plan/Layout Tool to Send Files to Another User.

  4. Locate and save the program's Message Log file.

    See Knowledge Base article: Locating the Message Log.

  5. Export or save your System Information.

    See Knowledge Base article: Retrieving System Information to Send to Technical Support.

  6. Sign in to the Technical Support Center and create a new support case to send to Technical Support.

    See Knowledge Base article: Using the Technical Support Center.

  7. Give the case a short but descriptive title.

    In the text of the case, type a detailed description of the problem, including the exact steps that caused the crash or error to occur, if at all possible.

    Click the Browse button and attach the Crash Log, Screenshot Images, the Project
    Backup, Message Log, and System Information files to your case before submitting it.

    Note: Some of the requested information may identify you, as well as specific information about your computer, but it will also help us determine the source of the problem. Please be assured that any files submitted to Chief Architect Technical Support will be used for troubleshooting purposes only.