How to Fix: CSGO Won't Open

[Solved] 19 Methods on how to fix when CS:GO isn't launching or opening.

Being unable to launch any game for no apparent reason is incredibly frustrating. When CSGO suddenly decides to not launch it can be due to a range of hidden problems that can seem to appear without warning. Luckily, there are different things you can try which have been proven fixes for all kinds of problems with CSGO and other games.

If you're experiencing the CSGO won't open problem then don't panic. We have a lot of fixes and troubleshooting steps for you to go through. Working through this list should help to finally launch CSGO and stop your CSGO won't open problem for the immediate future.

Close Unnecessary Processes

Having too much open in the background can cause problems even if you aren't playing a video game. On lower-end computers or computers with less RAM, having too much open will slow the PC and it wouldn't be able to run anything intensive. In some cases, certain computers can have a lot more trouble running anything intensive and even just one unnecessary program being open might crash the game or computer. Ensure you close everything properly using these steps:

  1. Close anything open else you don't need in the Taskbar at the bottom of the screen (or where it's assigned)
  2. Open Task Manager
  3. Close any other open processes that are not necessary
  4. Once you're sure everything is closed, launch the game again

Check for a Game Update

Steam should update the game automatically for you but if the game won't open, it's worth checking the downloads page. There might be a CSGO update sat there waiting to install but isn't being auto-installed as it should be. All you need to do is click the install button yourself and wait for Steam to download and install the update.

Check Recent Update Comments

There's also the possibility that a recent update is faulty. If you've just downloaded something and the game won't launch anymore then you should immediately check the comment section. Should there be a problem with the update, other players will comment about experiencing it as well. You also need to take a look at the Steam Discussions for CSGO for recent player posts about also not being able to launch the game.

Other potential places to check include:

  • The CSGO Steam Page News section
  • CSGO Reddit
  • Official Social Media pages

If it looks like there is a widespread problem, someone might have also offered a custom fix for whatever problem is stopping the game from launching. Though it will mostly be a waiting game for Valve to release a new update to fix the problem.

Check your System Requirements

If you're new to CSGO and are immediately experiencing this issue then there's a good chance computer doesn't meet the minimum requirements. Check the Steam Store page to confirm what the minimum requirements are for the game and compare this to your PC. Some websites cantell you if your PC is good enough to run specific games.

Restart your PC

If you have a major launching problem with any game including CSGO, restarting the PC is the first thing you need to do. This is a classic troubleshooting step for a reason and there's a good chance that restarting your PC will fix the CSGO won't launch problem you're having. Turning off the computer cleans the current state of the software and can remove issues. So, restarting the computer really could fix your problem.

Verify the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Game Files

Sometimes game files can become corrupted and other times updates might not get installed properly for some reason. This is just something that can happen with video games and other software. Verifying the integrity of the CSGO files is simple to do and can fix a lot of different problems you might experience including if CSGO won't open. Here's how to do this:

  1. Open Steam and go to the Library
  2. Right-click Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
  3. Click Properties and go to the Local Files tab
  4. Press the Verify Integrity of Game Files button
  5. Wait for it to finish then relaunch the game

Check for Windows Updates

Not updating your version of Windows often can cause you problems with all of your games. Some games need specific features included in the latest version of Windows to work correctly. This is especially true if the game had a recent update. So if you're having problems after a recent CSGO update but haven't downloaded the latest version of your operating system yet, you should probably go do that.

Here's how to check for Windows Updates:

  1. Type Windows Updates Settings into the search bar
  2. Click Check for Updates
  3. If there's an update, install it then restart the computer

Mac and Linux users should also stay on top of their operating software updates. Ignoring updates for too long isn't a good thing and cause more problems than not being able to launch CSGO.

Update your graphics driver

Failing to update your drivers regularly is bad for video games and other intensive software. Graphics card drivers are usually the cause of this problem and receive more regular updates than other hardware.

  1. Go to the manufacturer website (such as AMD or Nvidia)
  2. Find the Drivers section and look for your model
  3. Select the most recent Required Driver and download it (Optional ones are not required)
  4. Follow the instructions to install it

If you've installed certain software from the manufacturer such as the AMD Radeon Software or Nvidea GeForce, then they will tell you if there's a new update. Open that software and take a look in there. If you need a new update then one click will download and install the driver for you.

Installing the correct driver should be the CSGO won't open fix you need. This usually means getting the newest graphics driver. In some cases, a new driver might actually be the cause of the problem so you'll want to find the previous driver to re-install instead.

What about other drivers?

It's unlikely you'll need to install other drivers but it's still good practice to check on rare occasions just to ensure your hardware is up to date. Typically, you only need to check for a CPU or motherboard driver but you could look into others if you like.

Run CSGO as an Administrator

Sometimes CSGO might fail to access certain game files or folders if you're trying to play it on a standard user account. There can be all kinds of reasons for this especially if the game used to work and now suddenly, CSGO won' open. It could be caused by a recent Windows update or a recent game update even. Regardless, doing this will help to fix the CSGO won't launch problem and other problems you might experience with other games.

Here's how to run CSGO as an administrator:

  1. Exit Steam completely
  2. Right-click the Steam icon then click Run as Administrator
  3. Click Yes then launch the game

If this works to launch the game then this is what you do to ensure Steam always launches like this:

  1. Right-Click the Steam icon on your desktop
  2. Click Properties
  3. Go to the Compatibility tab
  4. Check the Run this Program as an Administrator
  5. Click Apply and Okay

Stop overclocking your CPU

If CSGO won't open is could be because you've got an unstable overclock at the moment. If you're an overclocking enthusiast, that's pretty cool but it can go wrong sometimes. An unstable overclock will cause game crashes and system crashes too. If you recently overclocked your CPU and suddenly have the CSGO won't open problem, you should undo the changes and test the game again. When overclocking always remember to do this slowly and to test everything as you go.

What about GPU Overclocking?

Overclocking your GPU can also cause problems if it's not done properly. This means if you don't do it slowly and do the full checks, there's a good chance this is the problem. If you've overclocked for GPU and CPU then it's highly likely that the GPU is the source of the problem.

What about RAM or the Motherboard?

If you've overclocked your RAM to a fast speed or recently made a change in the BIOS to unlock the full speed of the RAM, there's a chance this is the problem. Overclocking RAM over the speed it's sold at will shorten its lifespan but unstable overclocking can cause video game problems. Using the XMP settings in BIOS to unlock the full speeds can also cause problems for your computer if the motherboard cannot handle it. If CSGO won't launch and experiencing strange booting problems then it's probably the RAM.

Again, if CSGO won't launch after you've done some motherboard overclocking then it's probably due to that. This is also true if you've made major changes to the BIOS.

Use Steam Launch Options

CSGO launch options are great for improving FPS (Include a link to CSGO Launch Options Guide here?) but can also help if CSGO won't open. Adding Steam Launch Options to CSGO can correct different problems that might be occurring and make the game easier for your computer to run. Here's how to do this:

  1. Open Steam and go to the Library
  2. Right-click on Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and select Properties
  3. Click on Set Launch Options
  4. Copy and paste this line of commands as it's written: -d3d9ex -nojoy -autoconfig
  5. Press OK and Restart Steam to ensure the changes are definitely in place
  6. Launch CSGO

Here's what those three commands do to help with your CSGO won't launch problem:

  • autoconfig– This forces the game to launch with the default configurations. The settings can be edited still but launching with this command active will set everything back to default. You can remove this setting again once the game has safely launched.
  • d3d9ex– There are different ways to type this command so you might see several different variations of this but they all do the same job. This tells the game to run at Direct X9 which means less CPU usage. Which makes it easier for your computer to run the game and helps to improve performance in lower-end computers.
  • nojoy - Removing the joystick support from CSGO will free up your RAM and give the game a general performance boost. If you have the CSGO won't launch problem, this could help since the problem you're experiencing could come from high RAM usage.

Create an Autoexec Config 

Incorrect in-game settings can cause a surprising amount of problems for your game including the CSGO won't launch problem. The wrong settings can give you performance problems but this is unfortunately easy to do. Creating an autoexec config ensures the game always uses the right settings and it's simple to do. There's a free software called Notepad++ which is best for creating this.

Here's how to create and use an Autoexec config:

  1. Go to your Steam library and right click Counter-Strike: Global Offensive then click Properties
  2. Click Browse Local Files
  3. Double click on csgo then go to cfg
  4. Right on empty space and click New then choose to make a new Text Document. Name this autoexec.txt
  5. Open the file (make sure it opens with Notepad) and write or paste the commands you want to use
  6. As the last line of commands, write host_writeconfig as the last line (Notepad++ would do this automatically)
  7. Save As and rename the file as autoexec.cfg

Once the config is ready, you need to go back to the Steam Library and make one more change to ensure the game uses it.

  1. Right click Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and click Properties
  2. Click Set Launch Options
  3. Write +exec autoexec.cfg and then click OK
  4. Launch the game

Delete the Cache

Sometimes the cache can become corrupted which can result in different game problems such as the CSGO won't launch issue. Clearing your Steam download cache is a potential fix for different problems including CSGO not downloading and if CSGO won't launch. This doesn't harm your installed games but you might need to log into Steam again afterwards. There are two different ways you can do this, one of which is much simpler than the other.

Easy Method

  1. Open Steam and go to the top menu
  2. Select Steam then click Settings to open the Settings panel
  3. Go to the Downloads section
  4. Press the Clear Download Cache at the bottom
  5. Click OK to confirm it

Slightly more complicated Method

  1. Open My Computer and then go to the C Drive (or whatever your main drive is)
  2. Find and open the Steam folder (this might be in Program Files but Steam might have it's own folder outside of this instead)
  3. Delete the Appcache folder
  4. Restart Steam
  5. Launch CSGO

Close the wisptis Windows Process

There are a lot of windows processes working in the background and not all of them will ever be relevant to you. Guides can be found online about what processes you can permanently disable to maximise your computers idle performance. One, in particular, has seemed to cause problems for many different players and closing this process can fix the CSGO won't launch issue. The wisptis process is a pen input device tool for the Microsoft Tablet PC Platform so it's not useful to the majority of gamers.

Here's how to do it:

  1. Open Task Manager (Ctrl + Alt + Delete or right click the task bar)
  2. Scroll through the processes list and find wisptis.exe
  3. Right-Click and select End Process
  4. Launch CSGO again

Reinstall CSGO 

Reinstalling software is a classic fix for many different problems and for CSGO, it can fix the launching problem. This is a very simple solution but it can feel quite annoying to do. Regardless, it's something you should definitely try.

  1. Go to the library and find Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
  2. Right-Click on it, go to Manage then click Uninstall
  3. Wait for it to finish uninstalling the game then click to install it again
  4. Launch the game

Did you Move the Steam Folder or CSGO Folder to a different Hard Drive?

Moving files and folders to other locations can cause problems. This is because it interferes with the set loading path and the computer no longer knows where to find the game. If you want to have CSGO on a different hard drive, you'll need to take the long route for the best results. Uninstall the game and then install it again but set the download folder to the other hard drive instead.

Check Your Hardware

Trying everything and getting nowhere isn't a good sign. Test other games as well to see if your computer is having trouble with them too. If you're having problems with other Steam games then there's also a chance the problem could be due to Steam or some kind of missing program. However, a more critical possibility is that it's your hardware. There are different things you can do to potentially improve the situation if it is your PC causing the problem:

  • Clean the inside of the PC (There are many guides online explaining how to do this)
  • Download and run diagnostic software to check the health of your systems
  • Install Cupid HWMonitor and leave it running, watch the temperatures of your CPU, GPU and Motherboard
  • If the CPU is overheating, you might need to replace the thermal paste
  • If all the hardware is running too hot then check your cooling systems and consider replacing or adding new fans
  • Consider any other problems you might have with the computer, it could hint at where the hardware fault is. You will need to replace the faulty hardware

Final Thoughts

The CSGO won't launch problem is a very annoying one and can be caused by a huge number of things. It's hard to predict if you'll ever experience it, how many times you'll experience it and what potential fix will solve the problem. It's a good idea to restart Steam between each potential fix as well just to make sure the solution has definitely taken effect. Sometimes, restarting your PC between different steps is also a very good idea.

If you've followed the different solutions above, you should have fixed the CSGO won't launch problem and now have a working game!