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Q100038: Launching Nuke/NukeX/NukeStudio/Hiero in safe mode


This article shows how to launch Nuke, NukeX, NukeStudio or Hiero in safe mode. This is useful for troubleshooting problems you may encounter.


When Nuke runs in safe mode it will not load any 3rd party plug-ins or user customisations and only runs using the contents of the Nuke install directory.

It specifically prevents the loading of custom python plugins and export presets on startup and stops any scripts or plugins in ~/.nuke and $NUKE_PATH locations from being executed. OFX plugins are also prevented from being loaded (including FurnaceCore).

Nuke's safe mode can help determine if any problems you encounter are caused by user customisations and/or 3rd party plug-ins or if they happen with the core Nuke install.



You can launch Nuke/NukeX/NukeStudio/Hiero in safe mode from a command prompt or terminal with the --safe flag. Exact steps are below.

NOTE: The commands below are to launch Nuke 10.5v1 in safe mode, if you are running a different version then please change the command to your version of Nuke.

NOTE: You can launch Nuke's different modes in safe mode by adding --safe to the command to launch the mode

  • to launch NukeX in safe mode simply add '--nukex'. For example: Nuke10.0.exe --safe --nukex
  • to launch NukeStudio in safe mode simply add '--studio'. For example: Nuke10.0.exe --safe --studio
  • to launch Hiero in safe mode simply add '--hiero'. For example: Nuke10.0.exe --safe --hiero



Open a Command Prompt and run the following command:

"C:\Program Files\Nuke10.5v1\Nuke10.5.exe" --safe

Open a Terminal from Applications > Utilities and run the following command (note this should all be on one line)

/Applications/Nuke10.5v1/ --safe

Run the following in a terminal

/usr/local/Nuke10.5v1/Nuke10.5 --safe

TIP: If you wish to see all of the command line options available for Nuke then you can replace '--safe' with '--help' to get a list of options.


If launching Nuke/NukeX/NukeStudio/Hiero in safe mode resolves your issue, then this would indicate a customisation or plugin is the likely cause for the problem you are encountering.

We would recommend that you remove all plugins and customisations and reintroduce them one by one until you encounter the issue again. This will enable you to determine what is causing the problem.

If this doesn't resolve the problem then please open a Support ticket and let us know the exact issue you are encountering and the troubleshooting steps you have taken so far.
For more information on how to open a Support ticket, please refer to the 'Using the Support Portal' article.

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