File Cleaning

Info: Bethesda's official DLCs, which are included in the Special Edition, contain deleted references, which can cause problems when modding the game. These "dirty edits" are not causing any problem if the game is left un-modded. However, when mods are loaded, these dirty edits can cause crashes. Why Bethesda didn't think it was necessary to spend the 10 minutes it takes to clean up their sloppy editing before release (twice) is a mystery, but fortunately it's very easy to clean it up for them. A "dirty edit", is when a DLC (or a mod) contains data which removes an object by deleting it. If only that one specific mod or DLC is loaded, this won't cause any problems, but if another mod has a reference to that specific object that was deleted, then the game will most likely crash when encountering the object in-game. SSEEdit can "undelete" such deleted objects, and "disable" them instead. This will leave references from other mods still being valid (no crash), and prevent the object from appearing in-game at the same time. SSEEdit can also fix a lot of other issues, but those are not important for any mods included in this guide. If you already have a lot of mods installed, and you want to add these mods on top, then you probably need SSEEdit to look for mod-conflicts. If you only use the mods from this guide, then this will not be necessary. All mods recommended here have already been thoroughly tested for compatibility. Only the official DLC-files from Bethesda has to be cleaned. If you want to further optimize, check out this cleaning guide: (LINK) *It's made for the old Skyrim, but SSE works the same way.

If you haven't done so already, download and install SSEEdit (LINK)
Unpack and copy the files to any folder, then make a shortcut to "SSEEdit.exe".
 


Cleaning the Update & DLC files


The official Skyrim update file and the DLCs have to be cleaned individually. *Scroll down for reference images (Example: Dragonborn DLC)

Clean the Update

1 - Start SSEEdit.exe
*Upon startup, SSEEdit will show a list of everything in the load-order, including Skyrim.esm (The base game-data).
2 - Check only "Skyrim.esm" and "Update.esm", and click "OK"
*SSEEdit will start loading the selected data, and check all references, which will take some time.
When the message bar shows: "Background Loader: finished", the process is done.
3 - Now select all files, and right-click one of them. Select "Apply Filter for Cleaning" from the menu.
*SSEEdit will start counting all records. This will take some time as well. When done, SSEEdit shows a complete tree of all references.
4 - Mark the "Update.esm", and DON'T MARK ANY OTHER FILES! Then right-click, and select "Undelete and Disable References".
*When done processing, TES5Edit will show a message about how many records that were changed.
5 - Close the program. (This will save the changes to the "Update.esm" file)

Clean the Dragonborn DLC

1 - Start SSEEdit again
2 - Check "Skyrim.esm", "Update.esm" and "Dragonborn.esm", and click "OK"
3 - Select all files, and right-click one of them. Select "Apply Filter for Cleaning" from the menu.
*SSEEdit will start counting all records again.
4 - Mark the "Dragonborn.esm", and DON'T MARK ANY OTHER FILES! Then right-click, and select "Undelete and Disable References".
*When done processing, SSEEdit will show the message about how many records that were changed.
5 - Close the program. (Saving the changes to "Dragonborn.esm")

Clean the HearthFires DLC

1 - Start SSEEdit again
2 - Check "Skyrim.esm", "Update.esm" and "HearthFires.esm", and click "OK"
3 - Select all files, and right-click one of them. Select "Apply Filter for Cleaning" from the menu.
*SSEEdit will start counting all records again.
4 - Mark the "HearthFires.esm", and DON'T MARK ANY OTHER FILES! Then right-click, and select "Undelete and Disable References".
*When done processing, SSEEdit will show the message about how many records that were changed.
5 - Close the program. (Saving the changes to "HearthFires.esm")

Clean the Dawnguard DLC

1 - Start SSEEdit again
2 - Check "Skyrim.esm", "Update.esm" and "Dawnguard.esm", and click "OK"
3 - Select all files, and right-click one of them. Select "Apply Filter for Cleaning" from the menu.
*SSEEdit will start counting all records again.
4 - Mark the "Dawnguard.esm", and DON'T MARK ANY OTHER FILES! Then right-click, and select "Undelete and Disable References".
*When done processing, SSEEdit will show the message about how many records that were changed.
5 - Close the program. (Saving the changes to "Dawnguard.esm")

 


After cleaning


Launch the game to see if everything works
*
If the game crashes don't worry. This happens sometimes at the very first launch after making file-changes. It happens because of inconsistency between the new files and the game-cache. - Just start the game again and everything will work just fine.
 

Proceed to Tweaks
Some changes still need to be done before modding will work properly. Please proceed to the Tweaking section before going to the mod-list.

 

 


Reference Images & Video tutorial
Dragonborn used as example. *The images and the tutorial video are from the old Skyrim, but the process is 100% identical for SSE.



                     Cleaning of Dragonborn                                       Cleaning of HearthFires                                         Cleaning of Dawnguard




 

Video Tutorial

In-depth cleaning guide, if interested: (LINK)