Silhouette: Trouble shooting

Silhouette: Trouble shooting

Sadly, I had to do quite a bit of trouble shooting for my first go around with the silhouette.  Thankfully, I’m no stranger to trouble shooting so I persevered.  I left out a lot of this in the earlier posts, as I wanted to compile it here if you are having a problem.  Here is a list of problems that I had and how I eventually fixed them.  Maybe I’ll even make a pretty table for pinterest!

Program gets stuck in Initializing

From what I can tell, it’s probably a graphics drive error.  If you are using win 8 on a surface, you will need to roll back your driver and set your computer to not allow updates. This wasn’t acceptable for me, so I just use the program on my win 7 desktop.

A word of caution:  As Ryan states below, unless you are comfortable working with your drivers, you’re better off having someone else who is comfortable do it for you.

Silhouette can’t read SD card

Make sure you are saving through the Studio software.  Try saving both to the root folder as well as to a secondary folder named studio.

Silhouette cuts the top of your mat

You probably hit “load media’ instead of  ‘load cutting mat’.  It’s annoying, but you can pause and cancel the cut using the buttons on the front panel of the machine.


Silhouette cuts off center, tearing up the side of your mat

Eek!  Pause and cancel the job as soon as you see this happening.  Then, turn off the machine, have a hot cup of tea, and try again.  I have no idea why this happened, but giving the machine a time out seemed to help.

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The machine doesn’t register print and cut marks properly

As before, pause and cancel your cut to try and salvage the paper.  Check your paper, do the registration marks look slanted?  If so, it was a bad print and you’ll need to re-print.  Otherwise, turn off the machine, shut down the program, open the program back up, and turn the machine back on in that order.  You might want to give it another time out as well.

The mat isn’t sticky

There are a few things you can do:  you can rinse it with water to remove paper debris and let it dry,  you can get some re positional adhesive spray, or you can use a third party re-stick adhesive that goes over the whole mat.  I use the third method and will have to find the brand I use.  Also, try really hard to keep the protective cover on your mat to keep it sticky.  This is the number one reason my mats aren’t sticky any more.  I’m in the process of making a brief case like thing to help have a protective home for them.

The mat is too sticky

Keep using it.  It will tame down pretty quickly.  If it’s a problem, do a few cuts of something you don’t care about just to tone down the sticky.

The Silhouette Pen didn’t draw consistently

Try using the double cut option from the machine.  If that doesn’t work, you might just have a bum pen.  Sorry.


Still stumped?

Contact silhouette support.  Their FAQ page is a bit odd to try and poke around, but their customer service is excellent.  I did have to send them an email about the Surface, and they knew right away what the issue was and how to help me. The turn around response was also pretty quick.  Customer service is never my first choice (I like to fiddle, and I never want to wait for a reply), but I was pleased with the service they provided.

This is not a comprehensive list of silhouette problems, just the ones I had during my first cuts.  I”ll do another one of these again if the need arises.  Feel free to post questions below about troubleshooting and I’ll help if I can!


This post is part of my First Cuts Series!  Want to read the rest?  Here’s the whole group of them!

Silhouette Cameo: The Unboxing
Silhouette Cameo: Installing the Software and Shapes
Silhouette: First Contact with the Software
Silhouette: First Cuts
Silhouette: Trouble Shooting

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17 Responses to Silhouette: Trouble shooting

  1. Thank you for this series of very useful articles. I have just bought a Cameo and finding the learning curve very steep as I am not a bit techno trained. Most helpful.

  2. THANK YOU! I have many years of experience fixing computers, and I was beyond frustration until I found your advice to “Program gets stuck in Initializing” – “it’s probably a graphics drive error.”

    I uninstalled my driver, restarted Windows, and it detected and installed the driver correctly. Then Silhouette Studio opened flawlessly!

    A word of caution to the listeners: if you are a novice and have never played with uninstalling / reinstalling drivers, you might want to leave that to someone who knows what they are doing.

    • Glad it helped! When I first installed Studio and ran into that issue myself, I was frustrated beyond anything that I couldn’t get it to work.

      And good word of caution! I forget sometimes that I’m more comfortable than most around computers. I’ll be sure to add that word of caution up above as well.

  3. I am trying to download some things i bought from the silhouette store but it will not download.I keep getting an error message saying cannot connect to server. PLEASE HELP!!!!

  4. Hello, I wanted to do a milestone onsie project. So I have to print it off first on iron-on paper and then cut. But when I cut, it does not cut the design. its completely off centre. HELP!!!!!!

  5. my cameo gets stuck in queue my bars on screen keep moving around the bar like its cutting but says in queue

  6. I am not able to complete a print job with the sketch pens. I was able to when I first got it 6 months ago with no problems. I have always ran my program with windows 10. I select sketch pens under material, sketch pens instead of a blade, turned off machine and program, opened multiple windows. The writing portion is not the problem so I have no clue what I am doing that won’t allow it to finish. -PJ

  7. screen lights up on cameo but no display when I press on button it lights up but there is no display on it.Why does my mat go in and twist from side to side when it is cutting design

    • John, I’m not sure what your display problem could be. You should definitely contact customer service at Silhouette America for that. For the mat, if the actual mat is twisting around, check to see that your bar is locked down. There is a little lever on the right hand side. It should be pointing up. If it’s not, then there isn’t any pressure being applied to the right side of the mat to keep it in place.

  8. Hello, I am having the same problem where Silhouette Studio gets stuck in Initializing Library…. only I am on a MacBook Pro and I am totally not comfortable messing with drivers! Any help would be greatly appreciated! TIA!

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  10. Hey hopefully someone can help me here, I cant seem to figure it out on my own.
    so here’s the deal, when I get the image traced and ready to cut that I want and I send the job to silhouette to cut it… its like it doesn’t know there is something there to cut. Its not showing the cut lines at all. And yes, before someone asks, I did double check to make sure the cut option is selected.

    • Hi Brittany,

      I have that problem sometimes. Assuming you are using the latest version of Silhouette Studio, when in the “Send” window, look at the top where it says “Action by:” Try selecting a different option: “Simple” “Line”, “Fill” or “Layer”. Sometimes it’s obvious why an alternate option is better, sometimes not. Trial and error!

  11. thank you so much… i had contacted support, jumped thru hoops and no luck…i tried this, selected rgb(255,0,0 and it worked

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