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Game is crashing, freezing or won’t launch on Windows PC – How to fix

If you are experiencing random crashes & freezes during gameplay or are having trouble launching a game on your Windows PC, try the following troubleshooting steps to fix your problems.

1) Drivers

Out of date drivers may cause issues so make sure your drivers (graphics, audio, network, chipset, bios) are fully up to date.

Having updated graphics card drivers prevents you from having technical problems, especially for newly released games.

Use the links below to download the latest drivers for Nvidia, AMD and Intel:

Note: I’d recommend removing your older graphics driver before installing the newer one. DDU (Display Driver Uninstaller) is extremely useful for completely uninstalling the GPU drivers. Here is how to use DDU.

2) Windows update

Windows updates are important for latest PC games. The latest updates make your Windows and games more stable.

To check for the latest updates on Windows 10, follow these steps:

  • Click the Start button (Windows icon)
  • Select Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update
  • Click on the “Check for updates” button.

Note: You may need to restart your PC if you’ve successfully updated your Windows operating system. Be sure to bookmark this page, just in case you need it later.

3) Repair the game files

Corrupted and damaged game files can cause crashes or the game not to launch. It’s good practice to scan and repair your game files to fix your problem.

Repairing game files is a feature available on popular gaming platforms such as Steam, Epic, Origin, Ubisoft Connect, and GOG Galaxy.

Steam: Library > Your game > Right-click > Properties > Local Files > Verify integrity of game files
Epic Games: Library > Your game > Three dots > Verify
Origin: My Game Library > Your game > Right-click > Repair
Ubisoft Connect: Games > Installed > Your game > Right-click > Verify files
GOG Galaxy: Games > Installed > Your game > Customization > Manage installation > Verify / Repair

4) Administrator mode

Some games require administrator privileges to be able to launch. If your game does not start, you should try running game’s exe application as an administrator. It’s pretty simple, just follow these steps:

run as administrator
  • Go to the folder where your game is installed.
  • Right-click on game’s exe application.
  • Select “Run as administrator

5) Login as administrator

You can also create a new user account with administrator permissions in Windows 10. It is possible to fix some issues in your game by logging in with an account with administrator permissions.

  • In Windows 10, go to Start > Settings > Accounts > Family & other users
  • Then select “Add someone else to this PC
  • From the new window that pops up, click the “I don’t have this person’s sign-in information
Create a local user
  • Select “Add a user without a Microsoft account” and then click on the Next button.
  • Enter a user name and then select Next. Be sure to use only English letters.
create a user
  • On the “Family & other users” page, select the new account under “Other users“.
  • Then click “Change account type” button.
Change account type
  • Under “Account type“, use the drop-down menu and select Administrator.
  • Click OK
Account type
  • After that restart the PC, sign in with the new administrator account and see if the game works.

6) Visual C++ Redistributables

Reinstalling the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributables helps to avoid problems with games that cause error messages like “Application Error 0xc000007b”, “msvcrt.dll was not found”, “MSVCP140.DLL is missing”, or “Missing VCRUNTIME140_1.dll”.

In addition, it may be helpful to do this in cases such as the game not launching or crashing without an error message.

Firstly uninstall the Microsoft Visual C++ programs on your PC, then download fresh copies of Visual C++ Redistributable Runtimes, and install them.

  • Go to the menu that lists the programs installed on your system (Windows 10: Start > Settings > Apps > Apps & features).
  • Or, press Windows + R keys, type appwiz.cpl, then press Enter key.
appwiz.cpl
  • From the list, right-click on the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable and uninstall it. Both x64 and x86.
appwiz.cpl
  • Follow the same steps for all of the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributables (2008, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2017 and 2019)

There is an easier way to install latest version of all Microsoft VCRedist Visual Studio C++ runtimes.

Visual C++ Redistributable Runtimes All-in-One

After all the programs are installed, try to run the game.

7) DirectX and .NET Framework

If you want the game to run properly, you need the necessary tools and libraries like DirectX and .NET Framework.

To install DirectX, follow these steps:

  • Download the DirectX from here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=8109
  • Before install it, create a new folder on the Desktop (right-click on a blank space on the desktop > New > Folder).
  • Then run the directx_Jun2010_redist.exe
  • Select Yes and click on the “Browse…” button.
  • Select the New folder you created on the Desktop.
  • Select OK and press the OK button again.
  • Go to the desktop and open that folder and run the DXSETUP.exe
  • Install it.
install DirectX

Also, you need to install .NET Framework. Download it from here. Install it and then restart your PC.

8) Disable all background applications

Third-party software running in the background can prevent your game from launching. So you should disable all background applications like antivirus, hardware monitoring, recording, overclocking, and any nonessential software (Avira, Avast, Comodo, Bitdefender, EVGA Precision X1, AutoHotKey, MSI Afterburner, RTSS Rivatuner, OBS, Fraps).

To disable apps, you can perform a clean boot in Windows 10. Follow these steps:

  • Press Windows + R keys, type msconfig and press Enter key (Or, just type msconfig in the Windows search bar)
msconfig
  • Go to the Services tab.
  • Select “Hide all Microsoft services”
  • Then click on the “Disable all” button.
  • Click OK button.
  • Restart your PC.
clean boot

Note: You can restore it by clicking the “Enable all” button.

9) Overclock and Temperature

Sometimes overclocking causes the games to crash. You should disable the overclock of your CPU and GPU. Then test the game. Doing this can resolve the crash issue with the game.

Also, your game may close or crash during play if your GPU and CPU are overheating. You can check your CPU & GPU temperatures with monitoring tool. You can try CPUID HWMonitor.

Too much dust can cause the overheating. So you should clean your PC from dust.


Let me know if you have any questions, if the issue persists for you, or if the problem is solved. Use the comment box below.

Last Updated on 19 April, 2021 7:31 pm EDT

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