PCBNEW shows only white screen then eventually Shows as not responding

I’ve searched here for the answer to this problem. I started with Kicad Ver. 5.1.5 and when I tried to view the 3D layout, that window hung on my system. Since then I can’t open any PCB files without PCBNEW only displaying toolbars and a completely white background (No Grid). It eventually pops up on the titlebar that its Not Responding.

I have tired the nightly version posted 12/21/19 and that does the same thing. I have even downgraded to the 5.1.0 version (currently loaded) and am still having the same issue. Prior to loading the 5.1.0 I uninstalled Kicad.

When PCBNew runs I have hit the F9 hotkey to see if I could force it to the Legacy canvas. It failed to switch or was hung and never got the keystroke.

Any help would be greatly appreciate. I will till a response keep trying stuff on my end.


In Kicad configuration directory there is a file named pcbnew with no extension. Open it with text editor, find line like


and try different values there from 0 to 2. Close kicad completely before changing the value and saving that file.
0 is legacy canvas (no hardware acceleration)
1 is modern open gl canvas
2 is modern fallback canvas

Most likely you have some issues with opengl not working.
See this topic to find configuration files:


Thanks qu1ck. That fixed the issue for getting into PCBNEW. I think your right about the OpenGL issue as when I enable opengl from within the PCBNew it hangs and crashes again.

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