Cubase 10/11 Pro GUI locks up for no apparent reason

I have reported this problem before but never was able to establish the cause. After working on a project in either Cubase 10 or 11 Pro I leave the system unattended for a matter of minutes or hours. When I return to resume work the UI has spontaneously locked up. Cubase no longer responds to mouse or keyboard input. All other applications (Chrome, Gmail, Explorer etc.) are fine. Cubase has to be killed from the Task Manager. Every time this happens it takes 10+minutes to reload the project followed by redoing any lost work.

This is happening on Windows 10. Details of the system as per the attached file.

What is the first thing I need to check to get to the bottom of this? I am a fairly experienced PC user and I am willing to put some time in to this.

The first thing would be to eliminate corrupted Cubase preferences as the culprit.

You can use cubase safe mode to do that.

There seem to be a lot of them (preferences). Is there a simple way to reset them all to defaults?

Also, I use a LOT of 3rd party plugins. Is there a way to find out which one is the problem short of trial and error?

Use Safe Mode. Check the appropriate boxes and they will be set to default.

If there is, none that I know of. Start fresh, and gradually add them back making sure they are solidly working.

The quickest way is by splitting them into two. Move or rename half then restart. If all works fine then the problem is in the other half. Divide the half the problem is in in two etc… it sounds laborious but it’s a lot faster than one by one.

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When we say plugins, does that include virtual instruments that run in Kontakt? If I have to cut out 50-60 vsts even temporarily it’s probably easier to just live with the problem. Is there no list of plugins that have caused problems?

I just wanted to make a final appeal for advice on this problem,. I am really thankful for any help I can get.

At present I am losing approximately 5% of my working day to Cubase spontaneously locking me out. It is happening on a fairly powerful PC, Windows 10, that is otherwise 100% stable. Considering the power and control of music creation I am getting from Cubase it’s not like I’m considering changing my computer/os/DAW. To do so would cost me a completely unacceptable amount of time. I am a lot closer to the end of my creative life than the beginning.

The troubleshooting approach that y’all have suggested entails a requirement for a lot of new learning, more time away from music. Also the objective seems to be to reach a point where I am not not seeing the problem anymore, which is trying to prove a negative, never a good use of time. I’d be pleased if it goes away, but it’s not a deal breaker.

Is anyone working on mining the data of this forum to identify ways to investigate this kind of complex and obscure problem? The condition is very clearly defined but I know nothing about the cause, therefore there is no fix or workaround (except making sure I auto save a lot.)

OK, back to some music.