[FIX] ESO ‘An Unexpected Internal Error Has Occurred’

The ‘An unexpected Internal Error has occurred’ issue occurs when some Windows users attempt to launch Elder Scrolls Online. In most cases, affected users are saying that the error started occurring out of nowhere and the game used to function without issues before.

‘Unexpected Internal Error Has Occurred’ with Elder Scrolls Online

As it turns out, there are several different causes that will contribute to the apparition of this error message:

  • New game update was just pushed – If you’re hanging around in the main launcher menu when a new game update is pushed, the game might not prompt you to update. If this happens, you might end up seeing the error whenever you attempt to connect to a mega-server. To fix the issue in this case, you will simply need to restart the game’s launcher.
  • Server issues – As it turns out, it’s possible that you’re seeing this error due to an overwhelming demand on the mega-servers of ESO. In this case, the issue is totally beyond your control. All you can do in this case pinpoint the source of the error and wait for the operation to complete.
  • Megaserver is down – If you’re getting this error while trying to connect to the mega server respective to your region, you might want to consider that the error is only occurring for this specific error. To test out this theory, attempt to connect to a different mega server via the Server menu and see if the problem is resolved.
  • Steam authentication issue – In case you’re encountering the error while trying to launch the game via Steam, it’s possible that you’re dealing with an issue caused by Steam’s problematic authentication wrapper. In this case, you can bypass it by disabling Auto-Login via Steam’s settings and launching the game from the dedicated executable (eso64.exe)
  • Faulty game file – Another potential scenario that will cause this error is one or more corrupted game files that are preventing the games from connecting to the game server. This can either occur with the game installed through Steam if you directly own the game (through physical media) or on an Xbox One console due to locally-saved corrupted game data.

Restarting ESO and the Launcher

As some affected users have reported, you might also encounter the ‘An unexpected Internal Error has occurred’ error when a new game update is pushed while you’re in the main menu. In certain situations, the game will not prompt you to update, and you’ll end up seeing an error regardless of the mega server that you attempt to connect to.

If this scenario is applicable, you should be able to get past this error simply by closing ESO along with the game’s launcher before opening it up again.

Restarting ESO + main game launcher

If you restarted the both the game + ESO’s launcher and you’re still seeing the ‘An unexpected Internal Error has occurred’ issue, move down to the next method below.

Checking the Status of the ESO servers

Before you try any other fixes that other users have deployed to fix the ‘An unexpected Internal Error has occurred’ issue, you should start this troubleshooting journey by ensuring that you’re not actually dealing with a widespread server issue.

The ESO community got accustomed to fairly often scheduled maintenance periods, so you should start by checking for any ESO Service alerts. It’s possible that ZeniMax developers are eider busy with scheduled maintenance or they are dealing with an unexpected server outage period.

Checking for a mega server issue in ESO

If the investigation didn’t reveal any underlying issues with the mega servers, that doesn’t mean that you’re not actually dealing with a server issue. As some affected users have reported, if you’re encountering the problem on a console, you can also expect to see the ‘An unexpected Internal Error has occurred’ issue due to a fault with Xbox Live Status (Xbox One) or PlayStation Network (Playstation 4).

Checking for any platform issues

If your investigation revealed that there aren’t any mega server problems or platform outages that might end up creating this error, move down to the next potential fix to attend to a couple of issues that are occurring locally.

Switching to a different Megaserver

If you receive the ‘An unexpected Internal Error has occurred’ error constantly and you previously made sure that there’s not game update to install and there isn’t any server issue plaguing the game currently, the problem might be restricted to the mega server you’re trying to connect to.

Some users that we’re facing this problem have reported that they were able to play the game just fine simply by connecting to a different mega server.

In order to do this, open the game with its dedicated launcher, and click on Server (left-section of the screen) once you get to the main screen. Next, from the list of available servers, select a different one from the list and click Accept to switch focus.

Changing the MegaServer

If you ended up connecting to a different mega-server and you’re still seeing the ‘An unexpected Internal Error has occurred’, it’s likely that you’re dealing with a game fault that is occurring locally – To resolve it, move down to the next method below.

Bypassing the Steam Authentication Wrapper (if applicable)

As it turns out, if you’re encountering the issue when trying to launch the game from Steam, it’s likely that the ‘An unexpected Internal Error has occurred’ issue is being facilitated by a problem with Steam’s authentication wrapper.

This is consistently reported by affected users whenever Steam authentication breaks. Fortunately, users have found a way around this problem. All you need to do is disable the Auto-Login feature on Steam before using the ESO64 executable to launch the game directly from the game folder.

If you want to try this workaround, follow the instructions outlined in the steps below:

  1. Open your Steam application and log-in with your user account.
  2. Once you are successfully logged in, use the ribbon bar at the top to click on Steam and then click on Settings from the newly appeared context menu.
    Accessing Steam’s Settings Menu
  3. Inside the Settings menu, select Account from the left-hand side menu, then check the box associated with Don’t save account credentials on this computer. Next, click Ok to save the changes.
    Disabling Auto-Login inside Steam’s Settings
  4. Once you successfully managed to disable Auto-Login, navigate to the location of the standalone executable that allows you to launch the game independently (eso64.exe). If you didn’t install the game in a custom location, here’s where you’ll be able to find this executable:
    C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Zenimax Online\The Elder Scrolls Online\game\client
  5. Once you’re inside the correct location, just double-click on eso64.exe to launch Elder Scrolls Online and bypass Steam’s authentication wrapper.

If this workaround is not applicable to your particular scenario, move down to the next potential fix below.

Repairing the game

If none of the potential fixes above have worked for you, it’s very likely that you’re actually dealing with some type of file corruption that is affecting ESO. In this case, the viable fix depends if you own the game through Steam or you are launching it from it’s dedicated launcher.

In case ESO is part of your Steam library, you should be able to fix this problem by verifying the game file integrity. On the other hand, if you installed the game directly, you can force the game to repair itself by renaming the ProgramData folder in your game’s installation folder and then repairing the game via the Game Options screen.

Finally, if you’re encountering the ‘An unexpected Internal Error has occurred’ error on an Xbox One console, you will need to clear your game saved data (this will NOT delete your character information or game progress – these are saved on the cloud automatically)

Depending on the way you installed the game, follow one of the sub-guides below:

A. Verifying the game’s integrity

  1. Open Steam and access the Library menu from the vertical menu at the top of the screen.
  2. Next, scroll down and locate Elder Scrolls Online in your library, right-click on it and choose Properties from the newly appeared context menu.
    Opening Game Properties of ESO in steam
  3. Inside the Properties screen of ESO, click on the Local Files tab, then click on Verify Integrity of the Game files from the list of options.
    Verifying the integrity of game files
  4. Once this operation is started, wait for the process to complete, then attempt to launch the game again and see if the issue is now fixed.

B. Repairing ESO’s Launcher

  1. Open File Explorer and navigate to the location where you installed Elder Scrolls Online. If you didn’t install the game in a custom location, you should be able to find it in:
    C:\Program Files (x86)\Zenimax Online\Launcher\
  2. Once you’re inside the correct location, right-click on the ‘ProgramData’ folder and choose Rename from the context menu. Then, rename the folder to ProgramDataBackup and save the changes.
    Renaming the ProgramData folder

    Note: This operation will end up forcing the game launcher to disregard this folder and create a new healthy one – This will eliminate any underlying issues caused by corrupted files currently being present in the ProgramData folder.

  3. Once you’re renamed the ProgramData folder, open ESO’s launcher and wait until you see the initial screen. Once you see it, click on Game Options to bring up the drop-down menu, then click on Repair to initiate the operation.
    Repairing the game
  4. Wait until the repair process is complete, then restart the game’s launcher and see if the issue is now fixed.

C: Clearing game data on Xbox One

  1. From the Home menu of your Xbox One console, press the Xbox button on your controller to bring up the guide menu, then access the My games and apps sub-menu.
    Accessing the My games & Apps menu
  2. Inside the My games & apps menu, scroll down through the list of installed games and applications and highlight The Elder Scrolls Online. With the proper game selected, press the menu button on your controller to bring up the context menu.
  3. From the newly appeared context menu, select Manage game.
    Manage Elder Scrolls Online
  4. Once you’re inside the Manage menu of ESO, scroll all the way down to Save Data, then select the data associated with your Gamertag and press A on your controller to initiate the deletion.
  5. At the confirmation prompt, choose Delete Everywhere.

    Deleting ESO data from everywhere

    Note: This operation will effectively remove any locally saved data from your console, the cloud account associated with this Gamertag, and any other consoles you’re Gamertag is currently connected with. But this will NOT delete your game progress (Level, items, etc.) and character information (stats, traits, etc.)

  6. Once the operation is complete, reboot your console and see if the problem is fixed at the next startup.
Kevin Arrows
Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.

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[FIX] ESO ‘An Unexpected Internal Error Has Occurred’

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