This is a common and longstanding crash that has occurred since at least 4.9. The issue appears to be due to missing ShaderCompileWorker.exe in binaries, but many of these crashes occur in the vanilla editor, and many user comments below claim the editor was working fine until the user opens the Material Editor.

User Descriptions

  • Opening a required material for a particle system
  • UE4 crashes when opening Material Editor. Strangely enough I've used the Material editor many times.
  • Open material editor
  • Imported an FBX file from blender.
  • 2:15 into building the enemy character. I was step by step with him in the video and it crashed when opening the material editor.
  • I was attempting to change the shader of the hero character.
  • Double clicked on material to eddit it. [Image Removed] Crashed with something to do with shaders
  • changed shader permutation while disabling instanced stereo

Source Context

 1556       		FPlatformMisc::LowLevelOutputDebugStringf(TEXT("Launching shader compile worker:\n\t%s\n"), *WorkerParameters);
 1557       #endif
 1558       		uint32 WorkerId = 0;
 1559       		FProcHandle WorkerHandle = FPlatformProcess::CreateProc(*ShaderCompileWorkerName, *WorkerParameters, true, false, false, &WorkerId, PriorityModifier, NULL, NULL);
 1560       		if (!WorkerHandle.IsValid())
 1561       		{
 1562       			// If this doesn't error, the app will hang waiting for jobs that can never be completed
 1563 ***** 				UE_LOG(LogShaderCompilers, Fatal, TEXT("Couldn't launch %s! Make sure the file is in your binaries folder."), *ShaderCompileWorkerName);
 1564       		}
 1566       		return WorkerHandle;
 1567       	}
 1568       }
Steps to Reproduce

repro steps currently unknown

Fatal error: [File:D:\Build\++UE4+Release-4.16+Compile\Sync\Engine\Source\Runtime\Engine\Private\ShaderCompiler\ShaderCompiler.cpp] [Line: 1564] Couldn't launch D:/Epic Games/UE_4.16/Engine/Binaries/Win64/ShaderCompileWorker.exe! Make sure the file is in your binaries folder.

UE4Editor_Engine!FShaderCompilingManager::LaunchWorker() [shadercompiler.cpp:1573]
UE4Editor_Engine!FShaderCompileThreadRunnable::LaunchWorkersIfNeeded() [shadercompiler.cpp:1156]
UE4Editor_Engine!FShaderCompileThreadRunnable::CompilingLoop() [shadercompiler.cpp:1324]
UE4Editor_Engine!FShaderCompileThreadRunnableBase::Run() [shadercompiler.cpp:865]
UE4Editor_Core!FRunnableThreadWin::Run() [windowsrunnablethread.cpp:76]

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Won't Fix
ComponentUE - Graphics Features
Affects Versions4.
Target Fix4.23
CreatedAug 21, 2017
ResolvedMay 30, 2019
UpdatedJan 8, 2020