Microsoft Flight Simulator FAQ

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How to restore the sim to its vanilla state to get back in game

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When investigating and fixing technical and compatibility issues, it is crucial to restore the sim to its original default "vanilla" state. Please go through each step of this checklist before contacting our support team.

MOVE THE COMMUNITY FOLDER

To eliminate the possibility that mods cause the issue.

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

UNINSTALL FREEWARE, PAYWARE, AND PERIPHERALS

To rule out the possibility of any plug-in, add-on, add-in, or peripherals is causing the issue.

  • 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

DELETE THE CONTENT.XML FILE & .DAT FILES

To debug conflicts and restore essential files.

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

UNINSTALL PAID AND FREE CONTENT FROM THE MARKETPLACE

To test for compatibility and performance issues.

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

DELETE THE ROLLING CACHE

To address the possibility of data corruption or outdated data causing the issue.

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

 

 

MOVE THE COMMUNITY FOLDER

 

  • Navigate to your Community Folder. Depending on your platform, you'll find this folder at the following default location*: 
    • Microsoft Store|Game Pass version:
      • C:\Users\YourUsername\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.FlightSimulator_8wekyb3d8bbwe\LocalCache\Packages\Community
    • Steam version:
      • AppData\Roaming\Microsoft Flight Simulator\Packages\Community
    • Retail disc version:
      • C:\Users\YourUsername\AppData\Local\MSFSPackages\Community
  • Copy-cut (CTRL + X) the Community Folder
  • Paste (CTRL + V) the Community Folder on your desktop or a drive of your choice

 

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

(If there is no free space on other drives, renaming the folder to "Test_Community" is an alternative.)

 

2. UNINSTALL FREEWARE, PAYWARE, AND PERIPHERALS

  1. Start by undoing any modification made to your config files by yourself or by a plug-in you use. 
  2. Then Disable or uninstall add-ins such as FSUIPC
  3. Next, remove plug-ins and software additions that allow for customization or add new functions to Microsoft Flight Simulator. (Examples: OnAirLiveries ManagerFSEconomySelf Loading CargoATC RenamerSplashtopPilot Path RecorderWeather ForceModManagerX, etc...)
  4. Uninstall Navigraph and use NavData Center to remove the Navigraph database
  5. Unplug non-essential peripherals. Keep a keyboard, a mouse, and a single monitor.
  6. Restore Bing Map and undo any modification made to your host file by your plug-ins
    • Use the windows search bar and search for Notepad. Right-click and select Run as Administrator.
    • In Notepad, go to File > Open and then navigate to Windows (C:), Windows, System32, drivers, etc
      and open the host file.
    • Get rid of lines such as
      127.0.0.1 kh.ssl.ak.tiles.virtualearth.net
      127.0.0.1 khstorelive.azureedge.net
    • Save and exit

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

How to delete the content.xml file.

  • Close Microsoft Flight Simulator
  • Depending on your platform, navigate to: 
    • Microsoft Store 
      • C:\Users\YourUsername\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.FlightSimulator_8wekyb3d8bbwe\LocalCache
    • Steam
      • C:\Users\YourUsername\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft Flight Simulator
    • Retail disc
      • C:\Users\YourUsername\AppData\Local\MSFSPackages
  • Delete the file 'Content.xml'
  • Relaunch Microsoft Flight Simulator

 

How to delete the .dat files. 

  • Close Microsoft Flight Simulator
  • Depending on your platform, navigate to: 
    • Microsoft Store 
      • C:\Users\YourUsername\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.FlightSimulator_8wekyb3d8bbwe\LocalCache\SceneryIndexes
    • Steam
      • C:\Users\YourUsername\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft Flight Simulator\SceneryIndexes
    • Retail disc
      • C:\Users\YourUsername\AppData\Local\MSFSPackages\SceneryIndexes
  • Delete every ".dat files" 

 

4. UNINSTALL PAID AND FREE CONTENT FROM THE MARKETPLACE

 

If you can launch the simulator:

  • Launch Microsoft Flight Simulator
  • Go to Profile > Content Manager 
  • Select the content you want to uninstall 
  • Click Delete

 

If you can't launch the simulator:

  • Go to your 'Official' folder that is installed by default at the following location*:
    • 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 etc...)
  • Delete the package folders 

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

 

5. DELETE THE ROLLING CACHE

If you can launch the simulator:

  • 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 simulator:

  • Depending on your platform, navigate to
    • 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
  • Delete the ROLLINGCACHE.CCC file that is located by default here:

 

6. TRY AGAIN

Once you have performed every step above and 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 solutions 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 your mods and plug-ins one by one to 

  1. Plug your peripherals and launch the sim.
  2. If the sim starts normally with the peripherals, close the sim then reinstall your Community folder.
  3. If the sim starts normally with the peripherals + community folder, reinstall your plug-ins and add-ons. 
  4. If the sim starts normally with the peripherals + community folder + plug-ins|add-ons, redownload your marketplace content via the content manager.

 

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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