Atom on Windows 7 hangs on startup - every time

If I leave Atom open for long periods of time, it begins to stutter and slow down over time.
If I close Atom, I am guaranteed to lose my state, because whenever Atom is started, it just hangs. And it will eventually time out, prompting me to force it to close. It is simply impossible to re-open a project. I can open a single file from a folder by right-clicking in the folder and choosing to open it with Atom, and from there, I can re-open a recent project and chose the option to discard state, but I can never close Atom and re-open a project. Ever. And I’m getting really frustrated and annoyed with it.

Tonight, I tried to copy a folder to a new folder within Atom, and it hung, eventually prompting me to close it. I wish Atom had better error handling around whatever was hanging it up, and I wish it could give me some clue as to what is causing the issue.

How do I fix this?

You could of course try reinstalling Atom as a “fix” or take other steps to locate the cause. But if I were in your shoes I would take the radical step of gathering evidence by installing VSStudio to see if you experience similar issues. Then come back to Atom to compare what is different.

What evidence do I need? Atom has been locking up since I installed it. Every time. I managed to turn off anything that auto-updates, or opens on startup (aside from my project), and yet it is guaranteed to lock up every single time, without exception. I’ve used many different editors, and I use Atom on a Mac without any problems. But on Windows, Atom is not working properly, so I would like to know how to address Atom’s issues. Any “steps to locate the cause” would be helpful and appreciated.


I have read other threads which suggest installing Atom portable. I am on Ubuntu and with no experience of using Atom in Windows.

Presumably you have studied any errors logged in console?

That’s certainly not normal behavior on the Windows machines I’ve had, but none of them have been Windows 7, so if that OS has issues I wouldn’t know about them. The step of installing VS Code is a potential troubleshooting step since VS Code also implements a text editor using the Electron project as a base (Electron spawned off of Atom). The theory: if two programs performing similar tasks have similar problems, then a problem with the host machine is more likely. I don’t personally know how operationally similar Atom and VS Code are, so that step might be a bit of a red herring, or it might be definitive.

Have you tried running Atom in safe mode? Just open the command line and run atom --safe.

I did not know there was a console in Atom, though I’m not sure how I would get to it if I can’t get Atom to start. I’ll play around with it.

Thanks for the info - I’ll give safe mode a try.

It comes up in safe mode (so I’m happy I didn’t lose my state). On one normal load (not safe mode), I was able to do Ctrl+Shift+I to open the console just before it hang, but it still hung, and I couldn’t even enter anything in the console. Normally, it would time out and prompt me to force-close Atom, but with the console open, it didn’t do that - I had to force it closed from the OS.

So, it looks like there may be a package at fault somewhere. I guess the next trick is to try to track down which one it is. Is there any log file saved anywhere?

Thanks for the safe mode suggestion! I was able to resolve the issue (yay!). I disabled all my (non-core) packages, and Atom started working again, so I turned the packages back on, one by one, until it died again. It turns out a package, linter 2.3.0, was hanging things up. I have disabled it, and Atom is now working as expected and I can continue without interruption. Except, now I don’t get any lint, so I’ll have to see what can be done about that.

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Actually, it appears the issue is not with linter, but with something running on top of that - linter-eslint.

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Glad you got to narrow it down. I have no knowledge of why that package might cause issues.

I’m posting this for the benefit of anybody else running into the issue, but for some reason, the eslint config file, when set to “extends”: “eslint:recommended”, it was causing Atom to hang. I installed the eslint-config-rallycoding module and change the config to “extends”: “rallycoding” and it works fine. I had to update my eslint config to change some of the rallycoding defaults to my preferences, but now I’m up and running. :slightly_smiling_face:

My original reply …

Just being curious … found some tips here in running same on VSCode.


My challenge …

I am puzzled why some in the community classed my reply as “spam”. I was replying to this from OP …

> Actually, it appears the issue is not with linter, but with something running on top of that - linter-eslint.

In my reply …

(a) There is reference to the subject matter (albeit running on VSCode). The point being that the same errors occurred in VSCode and the solution cited was to install eslint-config-rallycoding globally and locally. Quoting from the link I published.

> The reason for that error is that the link between eslint and ‘eslint-config-rallycoding’ is broken. It happened on one of my computers where the project was on one disk, while eslint installed globally was in another place. The solution is to install either both packages globally or both locally.

(b) At foot of the linked article there is an embedded link referring specifically to ESLint + Atom Editor and further troubleshooting tips.

Thanks, I’ll have a look. ESLint is hanging again.