Are you using Pro Tools on your computer, but all of your sessions keep playing from the start? Does the issue occur no matter where you move the cursor on the play head? Don’t worry; this guide will explain why you face this annoying problem.

Avid Pro Tools is audio recording software that lets you compose, edit, master, and mix music with a fully-featured recording package providing exceptional sound quality and an intuitive interface. Furthermore, you can record audio synced to your video in real-time.

However, some problems with the music software keep frustrating its users. A few users are experiencing an issue where the session will only play from the beginning. Sometimes, users can start the session playing from a mouse click only at the minute: second ruler but clicking anywhere else does not move the start point.

Why Pro Tools keeps playing from the start?

Why Pro Tools keeps playing from the start?

If Avid Pro Tools is playing your session only from the start, it could be due to any of the following reasons.

  • A temporary glitch in the Pro Tools software is causing the playback to not move from the point of the cursor.
  • Pro Tools Disk cache has an issue loading or playing media from a session.
  • Your Windows or Mac computer is encountering a bug in the system software.
  • You have not set a marker at the beginning or end of a song.
  • You have turned off the Link Timeline and Edit Selection option from the software menu.
  • The Pre Roll feature is Pro Tools is enabled.

How do I stop playback from the start in Pro Tools?

How do I stop playback from the start in Pro Tools?

If you want to stop Pro Tools from playing back your session from the start, try the following troubleshooting steps.

Relaunch Pro Tools and reboot your PC

A temporary glitch in the music software or the computer can cause numerous things to go south. A quick way to fix the issue is to try the good old PC or app restart method. This fix can often do wonders and quickly get your music software back in proper working order.

So go on and hit that restart button on your Windows or Mac computer and see if you can start the session at the point of your cursor.

Change endpoints

Sometimes, setting a marker at the start and end of the song can fix the Pro Tools playback issue. To do this:

  • While on a session, go to Window –> Memory Locations and choose the Memory Locations dialog box.
  • Now click on the beginning marker and click on the end marker while holding the shift key icon.
  • Next, click the Enter key on the numeric keypad to open the Marker dialog box.
  • Finally, check the Selection option and name it Bounce.

Now, choose the Bounce option from the Memory dialog box whenever you want to bounce.

Turn off Pre Roll

Many Pro Tools users want to select where they want to start the track, let’s say at the two-minute and ten-second mark, but the playback initiates at the song’s beginning. However, the users can use the blue arrows to change where the playback starts, but they have to separate the two to choose where they want to play.

If this is the case with you, it seems like you have chosen the Pre Roll option from the top menu. Try turning that off and see if you can get rid of the issue. While at it, we suggest that you may also enable the “Link Timeline and Edit Selection” option.

How do you reset the playback engine in Pro Tools?

How do you reset the playback engine in Pro Tools?

Resetting the Playback engine is one of the quickest ways to fix Pro Tools playing a song or session from the start issue. To do this:

  • First, launch Pro Tools and immediately press the “N” key on your keyboard to bring up the Playback Engine.
  • Next, set up your audio interface and proceed to your Pro Tools session.
  • Now open the setup menu at the top of your screen and select IO.
  • Select everything by pressing Command + A on Mac or CTRL + A on the Output tab on Windows PC.
  • Press “Delete Path” to remove everything and click on the Default button to automatically populate the Outputs to match up with your interface (You can custom name each output as well).
  • Click on the Input tab and do the same thing you did with the Output tab.
  • Set the IO for each track in the Mix window via the IO section above the Fader and Pan knob.
  • Finally, verify that the track does not start from the beginning.

How do I trash preferences in Pro Tools?

How do I trash preferences in Pro Tools?

If you’re still having issues with Pro Tools playback, the most common troubleshooting step is to trash the music software preferences that store preferred settings such as edits, mix or lists of recently opened sessions.

Trashing preferences on Mac

To delete Pro Tools 11, 12, or 2018+ version on Mac, close Pro Tools, and launch Finder. Next, type in /Library/Preferences/Avid and click Go. Finally, delete the Pro Tools folder.

However, for Pro Tools version 10, you need to delete the following files under Preferences on Mac.

  • com.digidesign.ProTools.plist.lockfile
  • com.digidesign.ProTools.plist
  • DigiSetup.OSX
  • DAE Prefs
  • Pro Tools Prefs

Afterwards, restart your Mac, launch Pro Tools, and verify that you can play songs from the start.

Trashing preferences on Windows PC

On a Windows PC, make sure that you can access hidden files. For Pro Tools 11, 12, or 2018+ versions, type 5appdata5 on the Run command to navigate to the Avid folder. Finally, delete the Pro Tools folder.

Pro Tools 10 Windows users can trash preferences by going to Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Digidesign and deleting the DAE folder. Afterwards, delete the Pro Tools folder under the hidden Avid app data folder.


Hopefully, this article helped you fix the “Pro Tools keeps playing from the start” issue on your Windows and Mac computers. If the problem persists, uninstall Pro Tools and get rid of its remnants on your PC. Afterwards, do a clean reinstall and enjoy starting the track at the point of your cursor.