Microsoft Flight Simulator FAQ

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All versions - How to maintain and update Microsoft Flight Simulator?

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To minimize issues when updating or running Microsoft Flight Simulator, we recommend going through the checklist below before installing a new patch.

 

DON'T FORGET YOUR CREDENTIALS

Always make sure to sign in to the Microsoft Store app and Microsoft Flight Simulator with the Xbox Live/Microsoft account that was used to purchase Microsoft Flight Simulator and your in-game Marketplace purchases.

If the accounts don't match or if you're using a different account than the one used to purchase Microsoft Flight Simulator and your in-game Marketplace purchases you will lose access to your additional content and Online Services. 

If in doubt, we recommend signing out and signing back in again to refresh the connection.

See also: 

Gamertag & Microsoft Account FAQ

The Marketplace and/or Online services are grayed out

 

INSTALL PENDING WINDOWS 10 UPDATES 

While you may be on an up-to-date version of the OS, there may be essential application updates waiting to install.

  • Click on Start (the Windows icon in the bottom left corner of your screen)
  • Select Settings
  • Go to Update & Security 
  • Stay on Windows Update
  • Click the Check for Updates button.
  • Wait until the verification is finished.

 

INSTALL STORE UPDATES & GAMING SERVICES UPDATES*

* (Even if you're playing on Steam)

Apps and services such as Gaming Services and the Xbox app are constantly updated. To make sure you're running the latest version, install Store updates regularly.

  • Click the Store icon pinned to your menu bar or type “Store” in the “Type here to search bar” next to the Start icon then select “Open
  • In the top right corner of the Microsoft Store app—next to your profile icon—click on the three-dots menu
  • In the drop-down menu, select Downloads and updates.
  • Click Get updates then Update all and wait for the updates to install.

 

SYNCHRONIZE TIME SETTINGS

Incorrect Time & Location settings can prevent you from signing in or authenticating your DLCs.

  • Go to Start, then select Settings > Time & Language.
  • Select Date & Time and toggle the “Set time automatically setting" and “Set time zone automatically” to ON.
  • Click on Synchronize your clock to synchronize your system's clock with an Internet time server.
  • Then click Region, double-check that your country or region is correctly set up (for example if you live in Canada, make sure that the region isn’t automatically set to the USA or vice-versa.

 

CHECK THAT THE ENGLISH (UNITED STATES) LANGUAGE PACK IS INSTALLED

To avoid CTDs due to missing elements, make sure that the English (United States) Language Package is correctly installed on your PC.

To install or reinstall the English (United States) Language Pack, please do the following:

  • Select the Start  button, then select Settings > Time & Language
  • Go to Speech > Manage Voice


If the English (United States) Language Pack is not installed

  • Click on + Add voices
  • In the search bar type "English"
  • Install the English (United States) Language Pack

 

MOVE OR RENAME YOUR COMMUNITY FOLDER

Some packages in your community folder may not have been updated and, as a result, may have an unexpected impact on the title’s performance and behavior. We recommend moving your community package(s) to another folder before updating Microsoft Flight Simulator.

NOTE: If you do not have free space to move the packages, you can also temporarily rename the folder ("Community_old" for example)

  • Navigate to the Community Folder that is located by default at the following location:

Microsoft Store version

C:\Users\YourUsername\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.FlightSimulator_8wekyb3d8bbwe\LocalCache\Packages

Steam version

AppData\Roaming\Microsoft Flight Simulator\Packages

Retail Disc version

C:\Users\YourUsername\AppData\Local\MSFSPackages

NOTE: If you have installed the packages on a different drive than C: you'll need to look inside your custom installation folder instead.

  • Copy-cut (CTRL + X) the Community Folder
  • Paste (CTRL + V) the Community Folder on your desktop for example.

 

UNINSTALL PLUG-INS TO RETURN THE SIM TO ITS VANILLA STATE

Plug-ins and software additions that allow for the customization or add new functions to Microsoft Flight Simulator may not be compatible with the sim anymore. Uninstall freeware and payware plugged into the base sim and/or the peripherals you use to play Microsoft Flight Simulator before installing a new update.

  • Examples of popular plug-ins/software
    • Navigraph (you must use NavData Nav Center to delete the Navigraph database)
    • OnAir
    • Liveries Manager
    • FSEconomy
    • Self Loading Cargo
    • ATC Renamer
    • Splashtop
    • Pilot Path Recorder
    • Weather Force
    • ModManagerX

 

Once the sim is in its "vanilla state" (i.e. without mods and plug-ins) you can proceed with the update.

 

REBOOT THE COMPUTER

Do not skip this step, as it is to ensure all changes are correctly applied before downloading the update.

 

UPDATE MICROSOFT FLIGHT SIMULATOR

Warning: If you have missed a few updates or if you move the installation folder without updating the UserCfg file, you will re-download the whole game. For detailed instructions, head to Can I choose or change the installation path? (Install on the D: drive instead of the C: drive for instance)

  • Launch Microsoft Flight Simulator
  • Click Update

 

***

We recommend launching a flight or two in vanilla mode and deleting the rolling cache  (see: All versions - How to delete the Rolling Cache and the Manual Cache) before reinstalling the community folder and your plug-ins. If the sim is stable in vanilla mode, it is time to test your mods and plug-ins.

  • Find the community folder renamed or moved earlier
  • Rename the folder or Copy-cut (CTRL + X) the Community Folder 
  • Navigate to the Packages folder
  • Replace the (CTRL + V) empty Community Folder with your Community folder
  • Reinstall your plug-ins one by one.

 

If the sim starts crashing or behaving abnormally after reinstalling the mods and plug-ins, you'll need to investigate which third-party element is not compatible anymore with the base sim.

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