Games That Don’t Work on Windows 10 (12 Proven Fixes)

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Games That Don’t Work on Windows 10

So, you finally get that game you’ve been super amped to play. You install it into your laptop and the darn thing won’t launch. With every new Windows upgrade, there’s always the fear that your old software won’t work. Certainly, older games created before the XP version of Windows won’t be compatible with the latest version of Windows. But before you get a refund or chuck the whole system across the room. You should know that Windows 10 provides a great platform for gaming. For some possible solutions that might get your game to play in Windows 10, keep reading.

Reasons Why Games Don’t Work on Windows 10

A variety of issues could be the culprit behind games that don’t work on Windows 10. Here are some of the most possible reasons:

Unsuitable or outdated device drivers

The wrong graphics card drivers will prevent you from playing certain games on your operating system.

The hardware in your laptop doesn’t meet the game requirements

The game you want to play may not be working on your operating system because the specifications of your laptop don’t meet the standard recommended by the developers. Before buying any game, be sure to check the minimum recommended specs to see if your device is up to their level.

The game doesn’t possess administrator access

Some games need administrator access to run on a PC laptop. If you don’t grant these games admin privileges, they may not work.

Your game isn’t installed in the correct directory

Some games must be installed on the C drive and may fail to run if you choose to install them in a different directory.

The game failed to install correctly

If the game encountered problems during installation, installing the game a second time might help it work properly.

Issues with the game files

If you don’t verify the integrity of your game’s files, it may not run without the required files being optimized.

The operating system requires updating

If the version of Windows 10 version on your laptop is out of date, chances are you’ll have to deal with a range of issues including some games not running properly. Your operating system probably needs the latest software updates and patches for such games to work smoothly.

Reliance on old software versions

Some games require the presence of old libraries that simply are no longer available with Windows 10.

Other processes interfere with your platform

If some programs are interfering with your gaming platform, your game may not work. In this case, you’ll need to stop those background processes to fix the problem.

The game is DOS software

Similar to all Windows versions since XP, Windows 10 doesn’t run on top of DOS. While some DOS programs still work, the vast majority (games especially) will fail to run.

The game depends on 16-bit software

The new 64-bit version of Windows 10 doesn’t support built-in compatibility for 16-bit programs.

How to Fix Games that Don’t Work on Windows 10

Now that we have a better idea why some games don’t work on Windows 10. Let’s look at some of the possible solutions that can help us get around these issues:

Solution 1: Restart Your Platform

This is a rather basic fix, but sometimes it’s all you need to get PC games to work.

Gaming platforms (such as Steam) are designed to run as smoothly as possible. However, occasional errors occur during the booting process that can be resolved with a simple restart.

Solution 2: Restart Your Device

Similar to the previous fix, restart your laptop and relaunch the game again. Simple? Yes, but this has been known to help.

If nothing changes, then move on to the next solution.

Solution 3: Check that Your PC Meets the Requirements of the Game

Downloading a game without checking whether your laptop meets the minimum requirements for playing is a common mistake. Some of the details you should look for include:

  • The type of graphics card the game requires.
  • The amount of free hard disk space the game needs to be fully installed.
  • The amount of RAM and dedicated vRAM (video RAM) the game requires to run smoothly.

So, if you’re experiencing issues with a game on your version of Windows 10, try checking the requirements for playing it. If your laptop fails to at least meet the minimum standard, the only way you can make the game work is by upgrading your setup.

Solution 4: Allow the Game Administrator Access

If you recently got a game and it’s not launching normally on Windows 10, try running it with Administrator Access enabled. In some cases, a game without adequate permission on your operating system won’t be able to work properly or even start.

Follow the steps below to run your game as an administrator:

  1. Right-click on the game’s icon on the desktop or its “.exe” file in the installation drive.
  2. Click on “Run as Administrator” from the menu.
  3. Once the UAC (User Account Control) pops up, click on “Yes”. This confirms that you want to allow the game to make changes to your laptop.

If the game works, this means you just found your fix. To avoid going through the steps above every time you want to play the game, you can give it more permanent administrator access by following the steps below:

  1. Right-click on the game’s icon on the desktop.
  2. Click on “Properties” from the menu.
  3. Under the “Compatibility” tab, check the box that reads “Run this program as an administrator” in the “Settings” section.
  4. Click “Apply”.
  5. Click “OK”.

Solution 5: Verify the Game Files

Corrupt game files can also cause the game not to work properly. You’ll need to verify the integrity to play the game. Steam and other gaming platforms offer built-in tools to help you do exactly that.

If you’re on Steam, follow the next steps:

  1. Restart the laptop.
  2. Open Steam.
  3. Click on “Library”.
  4. From the options list, click on “Properties”.
  5. Move to the “Local Files” tab.
  6. Click on “Verify integrity of game files…”.
  7. Once the process is finished, restart your laptop and launch Steam. Then try opening the game once again to see if the problem has been fixed.

If you’re on Epic Games, follow these steps:

  1. Restart the laptop.
  2. Open Epic Games.
  3. Click “Game Library”.
  4. Then click the three dots beside the problematic game.
  5. Finally, click Verify.

For GOG:

  1. Open the “Owned Games” section.
  2. Right-click on the game that’s giving you trouble.
  3. Click on “Manage Installation”.
  4. Click “Verify/Repair”.

If you’re on Origin:

  1. Open the “Game Library”
  2. Right-click on the game that’s not working.
  3. Click “Repair”.

Solution 6: Update Your Windows 10

If your Windows 10 has new updates that you haven’t installed yet. Chances are this is what’s causing issues with your game (especially if your game is from the Microsoft Store). Follow the steps below to check for and install Windows updates:

  1. Click on the “Start” menu.
  2. Click on the “Settings” icon to open the Settings app. Alternatively, you can use this keyboard combination: “hold the Windows key and press I”.
  3. In the “Settings” window, choose “Update & Security”.
  4. On the left panel, click on “Windows Update”.
  5. On the right panel, click on the “Check for Updates” button. The system will download and install any new updates it finds.
  6. Once the installation is complete, restart your laptop to see if the game works now.

Solution 7: Update Your Display Driver Software

If you have wrong or outdated display drivers, your Windows 10 laptop will probably fail to run most games. This issue triggers a variety of bugs that can prevent your game from launching or cause it to freeze or crash even if it does launch.

Here’s how you can update your graphics card software:

  1. Hold down the Windows button on your keyboard and press “R”. This combination will get the Run dialog box to appear.
  2. Into the text box, type “devmgmt.msc”.
  3. Press Enter on the keyboard to open the “Device Manager”.
  4. Click on the drop-down arrow on “Display Adapters” or double-click it.
  5. Right-click on the graphics device then click on “Update Driver” from the menu.
  6. Turn on the Internet connection.
  7. Prompt the system to automatically search for the latest driver software.
  8. Once the update is complete, restart your laptop.

If your system fails to find the updated drivers for your graphic card, visit the manufacturer’s website where you’ll find the latest software for your hardware.

Solution 8: Open the Game in Compatibility Mode

If the game is older than your system, try launching it in Compatibility Mode. This program alters the configuration of your system to suit the targeted game without affecting other apps or programs on your laptop.

Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Right-click on the game’s “.exe” file.
  2. From the menu, click on “Properties”.
  3. Switch to the “Compatibility” tab.
  4. Click on “Run Compatibility Troubleshooter”.
  5. Follow the instructions.
  6. After you’re done, head back to the “Compatibility” tab and check the box that reads “Run this program in compatibility mode for:”.
  7. From the drop-down, choose a version of Windows that the game works well on.
  8. Click “Apply”.
  9. Then, click “OK”.
  10. Once the process is completed, launch the game again to see if it’ll run.

Solution 9: Close Interfering Background Processes and Apps

First, try closing any other open program or app and see if this makes any difference. If not, follow the next steps:

  1. Right-click on the taskbar.
  2. Click on “Task Manager”.
  3. Close all unnecessary background processes and apps by right clicking each one then clicking “End” (don’t end Windows processes).

Solution 10: Reinstall the Game

If your current game installation is faulty, reinstalling can help straighten things out. This is especially true if the problem continues after you’ve verified the game files on your gaming platform.

Solution 11: Roll Back or Update the Visual C++ Redistributable

If your system doesn’t have the version of the Visual C++ Redistributable that your game requires, the game won’t work. Here’s how you can fix this:

  1. Hold down the Windows button on your keyboard and press R. This combination will get the Run dialog box to appear.
  2. In the text box, type “Control Panel”.
  3. Press “Enter” on the keyboard or click on “OK” in the dialog.
  4. Once the “Control Panel” window opens, click on “View by” in the top-right corner.
  5. Choose “Category” from the menu.
  6. Click on “Programs”.
  7. Choose “Programs and Features”.
  8. Click on “Uninstall a Program”. A list of programs will appear.
  9. Find “Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable”. Look through the versions you gave and consider installing the missing ones from the official Microsoft website.

Solution 12: Relocate the Game to the C Drive

Some games have to be installed on the C drive and may fail to run if you choose to install them in a different directory. In this case, uninstall the game and reinstall it on your C drive instead.