Microsoft Flight Simulator FAQ

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How to restore the sim to its vanilla state

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Restoring the sim to its vanilla state is essential when troubleshooting a wide range of issues. Before contacting support, restore the sim to its vanilla state and test if the issue persists or not. Friendly reminder that you mod at your own risk. 

 

1. MOVE OR RENAME THE COMMUNITY FOLDER

  • Some mods may have become obsolete
  • Some mods are resource hogs
  • Some mods are not optimized
  • Some mods may contain malware or virus

 

To eliminate the possibility that the issue is caused by mods, move or rename the community folder.

  • 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\Community

Steam version

AppData\Roaming\Microsoft Flight Simulator\Packages\Community

Retail boxed version

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

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 or a drive of your choice

 

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

 

2. UNINSTALL FREEWARE, PAYWARE, AND PERIPHERALS

  • Running freeware and payware alongside the sim consumes a lot of resources
  • Some plug-ins modify config files without your knowledge/consent 
  • Some freeware or payware content may become unstable or stop working over time
  • The more peripherals are plugged into your system, the more energy they consume and require 
  • Some drivers may have become obsolete or corrupted
  • Some config files may have become obsolete or corrupted

 

To eliminate the possibility that the issue is caused by a plug-in, add-on, add-in or 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.

 

3. DELETE THE CONTENT.XML FILE & .DAT FILES

  • Some add-ons may have overwritten stock data
  • Some add-ons may prevent stock data to appear in-game 

 

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

 

4. UNINSTALL PAID AND FREE CONTENT FROM THE MARKETPLACE

  • Paid content might become obsolete 
  • Paid content might not be optimized

To eliminate the possibility that the issue is caused by a 3rd party content, uninstall marketplace purchases.  

 

IF YOU CAN LAUNCH THE SIM

  • Launch Microsoft Flight Simulator
  • Go to the Content Manager and uninstall any free or paid content that isn't developed by Asobo Studio or Microsoft (example: Garmin G1000, EDLP Paderbornn-Lippstadt, UK2000 Common Library airport etc...)

 

IF YOU CAN'T LAUNCH THE SIM

  • Go to the folder located by default* here:

Microsoft Store/Game Pass version

 C:\Users\your_username\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.FlightSimulator_8wekyb3d8bbwe\LocalCache\Packages\Official\OneStore

Steam version

C:\Users\your_username\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft Flight Simulator\Packages\Official\Steam 

Retail disc version: 

C:\Users\YourUsername\AppData\Local\MSFSPackages\Official
  • Search for 3rd party packages (example: carenado-aircraft-wymf5, aerosoft-paderborn, workingtitle-g1000nxi)
  • Delete the package folders 

 

*If you have installed the packages on a different drive look inside your custom folder (for example D:\MSFS)

 

5. DELETE THE ROLLING CACHE

  • Some cached data may be obsolete or conflicting with more recent data
  • Some cached data may be corrupted

 

To eliminate the possibility that the issue is caused by data corruption or outdated data, delete the rolling cache.

 

IF YOU CAN LAUNCH THE SIM

  • Go to Options > General
  • Go to Data
  • Scroll to the bottom and go to Delete Rolling Cache File. Toggle Delete
  • Confirm your choice by selecting Apply & Save

 

IF YOU CAN'T LAUNCH THE SIM

  • Delete the ROLLINGCACHE.CCC file that is located by default here:

Microsoft Store/Game Pass version

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

Steam version

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

Retail disc version: 

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

 

 

6. TRY AGAIN

Once the sim is restored to its vanilla mode, try again.

We recommend launching a flight or two. You must try to reproduce the conditions in which you experienced the issue before. 

 

OUTCOME #1. THE PROBLEM PERSISTS IN VANILLA STATE

If the issue persists in vanilla mode, visit our knowledge base, search the Bugs & Issues forum and visit the knowledge base to find solution to common issues.

  • If the issue has been reported in the forums already, simply add your vote. This allows the team to track how many unique users are impacted.
  • If the issue hasn't been reported yet create your own topic by following this template. This is important to know how many pilots are experiencing the same issue.
  • Contact the support team. They will gather more information about the issue. We recommend adding attaching screenshots and videos.

 

OUTCOME #2. THE PROBLEM DISAPPEARS IN VANILLA STATE

 If the sim is stable in vanilla mode, reinstall all 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 (CTRL + V) the empty Community Folder with your Community folder
  • Reinstall your plug-ins.
  • Redownload your marketplace content via the content manager.

 

OUTCOME #3. THE PROBLEM REAPPEARS AFTER REINSTALLING THE MODS AND PLUG-INS

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.

Repeat steps 1 to 3 then reinstall your mods and plug-ins one by one.

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