Changing operating systems comes with headaches sometimes. This article is for you if you’re experiencing issues with the Rockstar Games Launcher after migrating to Windows 11.
The program might have stopped working after a while or immediately you installed the new OS. Whatever the case, the steps in this article will show you how to fix the problem.
Why Is the Rockstar Games Launcher Not Working in Windows 11?
Windows 11 is a new operating system and is in the early stages of its official release. So it’s not a big surprise that some programs will struggle to run on it despite Microsoft’s best efforts to ensure a smooth transition.
Driver compatibility is the first main issue. Some of your device drivers, like your GPU driver, might conflict with the operating system. Since games depend on such drivers to work, it could cause the launcher’s startup issue.
Your antivirus program could stop it from running because it’s now seen as a harmful piece of software. This case is called a false positive and can be easily rectified. We’ll show you how.
Next is the lack of admin rights. If the launcher doesn’t have access to critical system resources, it will fail to work correctly.
Other possible causes of the problem include network connection problems, application conflicts, and faulty installation files.
In this article, we’ll show you how to fix the Rockstar Games Launcher not working in 2021 by resolving these underlying problems.
How to Fix the Rockstar Games Launcher Not Working on Windows 11
The launcher will start running correctly once you get rid of the underlying startup problem.
Since looking for the particular cause of the issue isn’t easy, you can start by going through the fixes here one by one.
However, if you have recently upgraded your operating system without clearing out your apps, you should start with updating your drivers. It’s also the right move if you haven’t updated your drivers in a while.
That said, ensure you follow the fixes here as arranged if you don’t know where to start.
Close the Launcher from the Task Manager
You’ll see an error message telling you that the launcher is already open if it’s running in the background.
This could be happening because it’s somehow configured to load every time your computer starts.
If you can’t find it in the taskbar, then you’ll have to shut it down from the Task Manager and reopen it.
Right-click on the taskbar and select Task Manager to summon the program. Go to the Processes tab immediately the Task Manager shows up. Next, click on the More Details option to reveal the tabs if you see the minimal view at first. Now, locate the Rockstar Games Launcher entry under the list of processes and select it. Finally, click on End Task to terminate the process.
You can now restart the launcher.
Preventing this particular error in the future involves disabling the “Load when computer starts” feature on the launcher’s Settings page. So, open the Rockstar Games Launcher and select Settings in the window’s top-right corner.
After that, uncheck the “Load when computer starts” option on the Settings page.
Make Sure Your Drivers Are Up to Date
As we mentioned, one of the main causes of this problem is driver incompatibility. Some of the drivers the launcher requires to run might be in conflict with Windows 11. Chief among them is your GPU driver.
So, update your device drivers to make sure they’re not the cause of your problems. Windows Update is the best place to start since Microsoft keeps releasing hotfixes and performance updates to fix issues like this.
Don’t know how to use Windows Update in Windows 11? It’s easy. Follow these steps:
There are different ways to launch the Windows Update utility. For example, you can open the Start menu, type “Windows Update,” and launch the client. You can also press Win + I and click on Windows Update in the top-right corner of the Settings app.
After entering the Windows Update interface, click on the “Check for Updates” button. After your system downloads the available updates, restart it.
Now, return to the Windows Update page and click on Advanced Options.
Scroll to Additional Options and click on Optional Updates.
Expand the Driver Updates section, check the boxes beside the available driver updates, and click Download & Install. Restart your computer to install the updates after they’ve been downloaded.
Update Your Drivers Automatically
Sometimes, Windows Update fails to capture problematic or incompatible drivers on your system. It only provides drivers published by Microsoft, and checking your system’s drivers one after the other is an impossibly difficult task.
Using an automated updating tool like Auslogics Driver Updater will make things easy. The program scans your device for outdated or incompatible drivers and automatically updates them. It’s possible to allow it to run whenever Windows starts to check for updates and notify you.
To use the program, head to its webpage and download it. Then, open the setup file and click on Yes in the UAC pop-up to allow it to run. After the setup shows up, enter your preferences and select Click to Install and Scan Drivers.
The tool will automatically scan your drivers once it’s installed. A list of problematic drivers will show up on the main screen once the scan is complete. Now, you can update the drivers individually by clicking on the Update button beside each. You can update all of them at once in the program’s full version.
Updating Your Graphics Card Drivers
Your graphics card drivers determine how well you get to play games and affect programs like the Rockstar Games Launcher. So make sure they’re updated to versions that support Windows 11.
For NVIDIA users
If you use an NVIDIA card, open your browser and go to the company’s support page. Enter your operating system version and architecture and your GPU’s series and model.
For Product Type, choose the type of NVIDIA card you’re using. Make sure you don’t confuse GeForce RTX with NVIDIA RTX/Quadro.
Choose your GPU series from the Product Series drop-down. Ensure you select the Notebooks option if you’re downloading for a laptop. Then, select your GPU model under Product.
Choose your operating system and then select the type of driver you want to install.
After entering your download details, click the Search button.
Click on the Download button when you see the details of the driver.
Run the file once your browser completes the download.
Click on the Yes button in the UAC pop-up.
Select an extraction path and click OK.
Choose if you want to download GeForce Experience at once on the first page of the setup and click Agree and Continue.
Choose Express Installation under Installation Options and click on Next.
If you already have GeForce Experience installed, open the program and log into your account. Then, click on Drivers, go to the top-right corner and click on Check for Updates.
If there’s an available driver for your card, download and install it using the Express option.
For AMD users
If your laptop is equipped with an AMD card, you should do the following:
Open AMD’s Driver and Support webpage.
Download the Auto-Detect tool by clicking the Download Now button. Once installed, the program will detect your card’s details and download and install the appropriate driver for it.
However, if you use an integrated AMD chip, scroll down to find your GPU card and download its driver. Then, run the setup file and install the driver once the download completes.
If you have AMD Radeon Settings installed, follow these steps:
- Right-click your desktop’s surface and choose AMD Radeon Settings in the options.
- When the program appears, head to the bottom-left corner and click on the Updates button.
- When the Updates page shows up, click on Check for Updates.
- If you have an available driver update, you’ll see the New Recommended and New Optional options.
- Select the New Recommended option unless you know everything about the Optional update.
- Click on Express Install.
Open the Launcher in Compatibility Mode and Grant It Admin Access
Since Windows 10 is a new operating system, the Rockstar Games Launcher might be having issues running on it.
The good thing is that you can force it to run in a sandboxed environment with Windows 10 or previous version support.
While at it, you can allow the program to run in administrator mode to allow access to advanced system resources.
This is what you have to do:
- Firstly, you must locate the install location of the Rockstar Games Launcher. This is because you’ll be making changes to its EXE file. You could make those changes to the launcher’s desktop shortcut if you have one, but using the main file is recommended.
To locate the file, right-click on the launcher’s desktop shortcut and click on Open File Location.
- If there is no desktop shortcut for the launcher, head to the Start menu and type “Rockstar.” Next, right-click the program and select Open File Location.
- When you see the app’s Start menu shortcut, right-click it and choose Open File Location in the options.
- After the program’s installation folder shows up, right-click on the LauncherPatcher file and choose Properties.
- Go to the Compatibility tab when you see the LauncherPatcher Properties dialog window.
- Now, go to the Compatibility Mode section and check the box for “Open this program in compatibility mode for:”.
- Choose Windows 8 or 7 from the drop-down.
- Head to the Settings section and tick “Run this program as an administrator.”
- Click Apply and OK.
- Open the launcher to check if it now runs correctly.
- Flush Your DNS Cache
Whenever you start the Rockstar Games Launcher, it connects to its servers to sign you in to your Social Club account. This is how it loads the games you bought on the platform. Without a working internet connection, this process will fail, and the launcher won’t work as it should.
Your DNS cache could be the cause of this connection problem. It’s responsible for saving the domain name information of the servers and web addresses your machine regularly uses.
This way, your system won’t always have to look up IP addresses using a DNS server.
The connection problem usually occurs when the DNS cache becomes corrupt or contains outdated IP address info.
Flushing the cache is the best way to resolve the issue. Your system will rebuild the cache with updated information.
Here’s how to do that:
- Open the Start menu and search for Command Prompt.
- Right-click on the Command Prompt entry in the search results and click on Open as Administrator.
- Select Yes in the UAC prompt.
- When an elevated Command Prompt shows up, type “ipconfig /flushdns.”
- After that, try opening the launcher to check for the issue.
- Change Your DNS Servers
- As we mentioned, your computer uses a DNS server to look up IP addresses for the URLs you want to visit or applications you want to connect to. When it automatically connects to a DNS server, it uses the default resources provided by your ISP. Unfortunately, these servers are often unreliable and could cause connection problems from time to time, which could explain why the Rockstar Games Launcher isn’t working correctly.
- To confirm whether this is the case, use a more reliable public DNS server, like Google’s, and check for the issue. The process involves adjusting some IPv4 and IPv6 settings for your network card.
This is what you have to do:
- Open Start and search for the Control Panel.
- Click on the Control Panel’s entry in the search results.
- After the program appears, tap View Network Status and Tasks under Network and Internet.
- Doing that will open the Network and Sharing Center.
- Navigate to the left pane of the Network and Sharing Center and select Change Adapter Settings.
- After your network cards appear, right-click on the one you use, whether it’s your Ethernet or Wi-Fi card, and click on Properties.
- Note that you have to apply this fix to both of them if you use them interchangeably.
- When the Properties window opens, click on Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IP 4) and click on the Properties button.
- In the subsequent dialog window, select “Use the following DNS server address.”
- Type 22.214.171.124 into the Preferred DNS Server box.
- Type 126.96.36.199 into the Alternate DNS Server box.
- If your network uses IPv6, go to the “This connection uses the following items” list, click on Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6), and select Properties.
- Select “Use the following DNS server address” and enter these values:
DNS Server: 2001:4860:4860::8888
Alternate DNS Server: 2001:4860:4860::8844
Click the OK button and start the launcher.
Prevent Your Security Program from Blocking the Rockstar Games Launcher
Some antivirus programs, especially Windows Security, take drastic measures to keep your system safe. Sometimes they go as far as blocking legitimate programs they consider security threats. This could be the reason the Rockstar Games Launcher isn’t opening.
You can resolve the issue by adding the program as an exclusion in Windows Security or the third-party antivirus program you are using. The process is usually simple. All you have to do is head to the Settings interface and look for the Exclusions or Exceptions feature.
If you need a guide, follow these steps to add the launcher as an exclusion in Windows Security:
- Open the search window using the Windows logo key + S keyboard shortcut.
- Type “virus & threat” and click on the Virus & Threat Protection search result.
- After the interface shows up, scroll down and click on Manage Settings under the Virus & Threat Protection Settings section.
- Scroll to the Exclusions section on the page that follows and select “Add or remove exclusions.”
- Under Exclusions, click on “Add an exclusion” and select the Folder option.
- In the dialog window, go to the launcher’s installation folder and double-click its EXE application.
- It will now appear on the Exclusions list.
- Allow the Rockstar Games Launcher Through Your Firewall
Firewall programs are also tasked with the responsibility of blocking applications they consider security threats. For example, if your firewall is blocking the Rockstar Games Launcher, it will not be able to connect to its servers and log you in.
So, to prevent this, you have to allow the program through your firewall. Here’s how to do that if you use Windows Defender Firewall:
- Open the search window using the Windows logo key + S keyboard shortcut.
- Type “Firewall & network” and click on the Firewall & Network Protection search result.
- After the window opens, click on “Allow an app through firewall” towards the bottom.
- You’ll now see the Allowed Apps Control Panel window.
- Next, click on the Change Settings button.
- Navigate to the “Allowed apps and features” list, scroll to Rockstar Games Launcher’s entry and click on the boxes beside it.
- Click OK.
- If you can’t find the launcher on the list, you must add it yourself.
- Now, go to the bottom-right corner of the dialog window and click on Allow Another App.
- In the Add an App window, click the Browse button.
- When the Browse window pops up, find your way to the Rockstar Games Launcher’s installation folder and double-click its EXE file.
- Click on the Add button and check its boxes in the Allowed Apps window.
Check for Application Conflicts
The following troubleshooting method involves looking for application conflicts and resolving them. For example, the Rockstar Games Launcher might be experiencing issues because it is clashing with a background program or service.
You have to find the conflicting application and disable it. Doing that requires you to perform a clean boot, which means you will disable startup applications and check if the launcher opens normally.
If the launcher works well after disabling every startup program and service, you should look for the particular program causing the conflict.
- First, let us show you how to disable the programs and services. We’ll start with the startup applications.
- Use the Windows logo key + I keyboard shortcut to start the Settings app.
- Click on Apps in the left pane of the Settings interface and select Startup at the bottom of the Apps page.
- Now, disable the startup apps by turning off the switch next to each.
- Next are the startup services:
- Press and hold the Windows logo key and tap the S keyboard button immediately.
- Type “system configuration” into the search window and click on System Configuration.
- Go to the Services tab after the System Configuration dialog pops up.
- Check “Hide all Microsoft services” and then click on Disable All.
- Click Apply and OK.
- Now restart your PC and run the Rockstar Games Launcher.
If the launcher now opens as it should, you’ll have to find out which startup service or program is the culprit. To do that, you have to start activating the services and applications you’ve disabled one after the other until the launcher stops working. Ensure you restart your computer and run the launcher after enabling each service or program.
That’s how to troubleshoot the Rockstar Games Launcher not responding in Windows 11. If the launcher still fails to open after applying these methods, its installation files could be corrupt. In this case, uninstall the program and reinstall it.
Head to the comments section below and let us know how you resolved the Rockstar Games Launcher issue.