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.

 

FLIGHT SIMULATOR

 

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 locations*:

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

*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.

Alternatively, if you do not have free space on your other drives, simply rename the folder into "Test_Community" 

 

UNINSTALL FREEWARE, PAYWARE, AND UNPLUG PERIPHERALS

Uninstall freeware and payware plugged into the base sim as well as the peripherals you use to play Microsoft Flight Simulator

For example:

  • Undo any modification made to your config files by yourself or by a plug-in you use. 
  • Disable or uninstall add-ins such as FSUIPC
  • Remove plug-ins and software additions that allow for the customization or add new functions to Microsoft Flight Simulator. (Examples: OnAir, Liveries Manager, FSEconomy, Self Loading Cargo, ATC Renamer, Splashtop, Pilot Path Recorder, Weather Force, ModManagerX)
  • Uninstall Navigraph and use NavData Center to remove the Navigraph database
  • Unplug non-essential peripherals. Keep a keyboard, a mouse, and a single monitor.
  • Restore Bing Map. 

For detailed instructions follow your add-on creator's FAQ/documentation or visit the manufacturer's support site.

 

DELETE THE CONTENT.XML FILE & .DAT FILES

1. To ensure no modification made by an add-on remains, delete your content.xml file.

  • Locate the Content.xml file. Depending on your platform, this file is located by default here:

Microsoft Store

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

Steam version

C:\Users\YourUsername\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft Flight Simulator

Retail disc version:

C:\Users\YourUsername\AppData\Local\MSFSPackages
  • Delete the Content.xml file

 

2. To delete the .dat files, navigate to the SceneryIndexes folder.

  • Depending on your platform, this folder is located here:

Microsoft Store

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

Steam

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

Retail disc version

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

 

WINDOWS AND MICROSOFT ACCOUNT SETTINGS

 

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 you're using a local (offline) account we recommend switching to a Microsoft account instead.

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Accounts.
  3. Click on Your info.
  4. Click Sign in with a Microsoft account instead option to link the account with a Microsoft account.
  5. Log in with the email address you used to purchase Microsoft Flight Simulator

 

There is no license sharing on Microsoft Flight Simulator. Each user needs to download the app on their own windows profile and log in to their own Microsoft account|gamertag. Failure to do so can result in authentication issues/crashing issues or missing entitlements.

If you have more than one Microsoft account and/or you purchased Microsoft Flight Simulator with a different address than your main Windows 10 account, we recommend adding a Windows 10 user profile for the account used to purchase the game. 

To add or remove Windows 10 user profile on your PC, follow the steps detailed in this article: 

Add or remove accounts on your PC

 

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.

  1. Click on Start (the Windows icon in the bottom left-hand side corner of your screen)
  2. Select Settings
  3. Go to Update & Security
  4. Stay on Windows Update
  5. Click the Check for Updates button.
  6. Wait until the verification is done

 

For more information, visit Get the latest Windows update

 

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. Re-enter your credentials to refresh the connection

  1. Open the Microsoft Store app on your computer. 
  2. In the bottom left corner of the Microsoft Store, click on the library icon
  3. In the top left corner, click Get Updates then Update all and wait for the updates to install.
  4. Once the updates are installed, click on your profile icon in the top right corner of the screen.
  5. Under your email address, click on Sign out.

 

For more information, visit  Get updates for apps and games in Microsoft Store

 

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.

Microsoft Flight Simulator cannot run without the English (United States) Language Package.

  • Go to Language Settings > Speech > Manage Voice
  • Click on Add voices
  • In the search bar type "English"
  • Install the English (United States) Language Pack

 

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

 

If you're experiencing any issues after updating Microsoft Flight Simulator, visit How to restore the sim to its vanilla state

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