Microsoft Flight Simulator FAQ

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How to troubleshoot crashes & CTDs at the loading screen


On occasion, you may experience crashes before the main loading screen. Below you will find a guide that will help you get back in the skies in no time.

Before starting

If you are experiencing loading issues such as long loading times or sim stuck on the loading bar/loading screen, visit our dedicated article: Loading issues (stuck on loading, long loading times)



  • Download & Install the Xbox app from this page:
  • Reboot your computer
  • Sign in with the Microsoft account & Gamertag used to purchase the sim
  • Launch Microsoft Flight Simulator from the Xbox app instead of the tray or the Microsoft store.

If the problem persists:

Make sure the Xbox Services are running automatically.

  • In the Windows search bar, type "Services"
  • Select "Services"
  • Scroll down to the bottom. Double-click on each entry for Xbox and make sure none of those services are disabled or set to manual. Set everything to "Automatic".



Before attempting the troubleshooting steps reproduced below, we invite you to investigate the likely cause of the crash. 

Start your PC in Safe Mode with Networking

This step will help identify if the issues lie with the hardware or software: if the sim doesn't start in safe mode, it is likely a problem with the hardware (for instance: corrupted drivers or overclocking) but if the sim runs normally in safe mode, it's likely a problem with a program (antivirus/firewalls, conflicts).

Please refer to this article from the Microsoft help-center for detailed instructions:  

Start your PC in safe mode in Windows 10

Once you have found the likely cause of the problem, proceed with the troubleshooting. 



Disable ALL background software or applications including, Antivirus, Firewalls, and any FPS boosting or monitoring software.

Alternatively, you can find the problematic service or application by performing a clean boot. You'll find detailed instructions here:

How to perform a clean boot in Windows


Whitelist Windows Defender

If you trust a file, file type, folder, or a process that Windows Security has detected as malicious, you can stop Windows Security from alerting you or blocking the program by adding the file to the exclusions list. 

  • Go to Start  > Settings  > Update & Security  > Windows Security > Virus & threat protection.
  • Under Virus & threat protection settings, select Manage settings, and then under Exclusions, select Add or remove exclusions.
    The Exclusions page of Windows Security Virus & Threat Protection.
  • Select Add an exclusion, and then select from files, folders, file types, or process. A folder exclusion will apply to all subfolders within the folder as well.


Check that your antivirus/anti-malware is not causing a conflict with the game 

Sample of Virus & malware checkers that have been known to prevent games and apps from launching:

  • Malwarebytes
  • Trend Micro Maximum Security
  • Comodo Antivirus
  • Sophos
  • Emisoft Anti-Malware
  • Avira
  • Avast & Avast Cleanup

If your antivirus or anti-malware falsely flagged Microsoft Flight Simulator, remove the file from quarantine then whitelist Microsoft Flight Simulator. To do so follow the instructions from your manufacturer. 


Check that a 3rd party software is not causing a conflict with the game.

Sample of 3rd party software that may prevent games and apps from running:

  • Nahimic Audio
  • Logitech G Hub
  • MSI Afterburner / Riva Tuner Statistics Server
  • EVGA Precision
  • OBS
  • Xsplit
  • Discord
  • MacType
  • Warsaw Banking App
  • Wallpaper Engine
  • A-Volute Sound studio
  • Malwarebytes
  • Sonic Audio

 Please make sure you either disable or uninstall to ensure successful gameplay.


Turn off any extra Power monitoring software

Sample of power monitoring software that may cause issues at start-up:

  • MSI DragonCenter
  • RyzenMaster
  • Gamefast from Dells Killer Control Center
  • Any software installed that may be adjusting or monitoring power settings

Then, make sure that your Power settings are correct

  • Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Power Options
  • Change to High Performance
  • Perform a Full Shutdown (not restart).



Update the drivers of your GPU

Outdated or corrupted drivers can cause crashes at start-up. We recommend that when trying this step that you completely remove your old drivers before updating to the latest versions. To remove your old drivers and then update to the latest:

  1. Press the Windows Key
  2. Type Add or Remove Program
  3. Scroll down the list and find your graphics driver
  4. Click the driver once and select uninstall. Confirm this by clicking Uninstall again.
  5. Once complete reboot Windows
  6. Download the latest drivers from here:
  7. Install to the latest driver and then reboot your PC again

Update or reinstall device drivers 

Driver updates for Windows 10, along with many devices, such as network adapters, monitors, peripherals, and video cards, should automatically be downloaded and installed through Windows Update but they can become corrupted or you can miss an update.

but if you'd like to manually update or reinstall a driver follow the instructions in that article: Update drivers in Windows 10.

Make sure your system meets the minimum requirements

Please ensure that your Windows 10 version is 1909 or higher and that your system is fully updated.

  • Make sure Windows is up to date:
    • Select Start , then select Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update > Check for Updates.
    • For more information/troubleshooting, see: Update Windows 10


  • Make sure all the updates in the Microsoft Store are installed, especially Gaming Services and Xbox Companion app.
    • In the top right-hand side corner of the Microsoft Store, click on the Arrow icon or the three-dot menu Downloads and updates. Then click "Get updates" > Update all


Note: You can turn on automatic updates in the Microsoft Store to make sure you won't miss future updates.

  • Select the Start screen, then select Microsoft Store
  • In Microsoft Store at the upper right, select the account menu (the three dots) and then select Settings.
  • Under App updates, set Update apps automatically to On.


Reinstall Microsoft Visual C++ programs

  • Press the Windows Key + R, type "appwiz.cpl" and then press Enter.
  • Locate the Microsoft Visual C++ programs in the list.
  • Select each entry and then click Uninstall.
  • Download a fresh copy of Microsoft Visual C++ Runtime from this page and then install it.


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