Minecraft Launcher Won’t Open? Here’s how to fix

It can be really frustrating when you wish to play Minecraft but the launcher refuses to open up. Despite trying to open up the launcher multiple times, it doesn’t open up. No background process starts and you can’t even find it in the Task Manager after launching it. This is really weird and not something you would want to be stuck with.

Minecraft Launcher

As it turns out, when the Minecraft launcher is not opening up, it can be that there’s a background service that is interfering with it and as a result preventing it from initiating as it normally would. However, in some cases, the issue may not be triggered by a background process but rather the configuration of the launcher itself. To understand this and have a better overall grasp of the issue, let us get into the possible causes of the issue in more detail.

  • Minecraft Launcher Profile — As it turns out, the most probable cause of your Minecraft launcher not opening up is the launcher profiles that are stored on your system. In some cases, the profile files can get damaged which can cause the launcher to not startup. In addition to this, it can also be triggered by incorrect contents of the authenticationDatabase section in the profiles. Regardless, this can be resolved by removing the profiles so that they are generated again.
  • Third-Party Services — Another possible cause of the issue can be the third-party software that is running on your system. This often happens where a third-party service or process interferes with it and as a result, it is not able to start properly. In such a case, you will have to figure out what’s actually causing the issue. This can be the antivirus software that you are using or something else.

Now that we have gone through the possible causes that can trigger the issue in question, let us get started with the different solutions that you can implement to get Minecraft back up and running. So, without further ado, let us get started.

Run Minecraft as an Administrator

As it turns out, the first thing that you should do when the Minecraft launcher is not starting up is to run it as an administrator. This essentially tries to start the process with administrative privileges and can prevent order processes in the background from interfering with it. Running an application with elevated privileges can often fix several issues where it fails to startup because of some background nuisance.

To run the Minecraft launcher as an admin, simply right-click on the shortcut that you have created or navigate to where the launcher resides. From the drop-down menu that appears, choose the Run as administrator option. You will be prompted with a User Access Control dialog box, click the Yes option and you are done.

Run as Administrator

Delete Launcher Profiles

The Minecraft launcher, like every other application out there, saves its profiles on your system that are loaded whenever you open up the launcher. If this profile file is corrupted, it can cause the launcher to not start up at all. Therefore, in such a case, you will have to delete the launcher profile from your system.

This is completely safe to do as these files are automatically generated if they are not found the next time you open up the launcher. However, it is important to note that you will lose your launcher settings by doing this so that’s something to keep in mind. With that said, follow the instructions given down below to delete the launcher profile:

  1. First of all, open up the Run dialog box by pressing the Windows key + R combination.
  2. In the Run dialog box, type in %AppData% and then hit Enter.
    Opening AppData Folder
  3. This will open a File Explorer window. There, look for the .minecraft folder and open it up.
  4. Inside the .minecraft folder, delete the launcher_profiles.json file. You can also choose to just move from that directory to somewhere else if you don’t want to delete it.
    Deleting Launcher Profile
  5. Once you have done that, open up the launcher again to see if it works.

Perform a Clean Boot

As it turns out, the launcher may fail to open up in some cases due to the interference of some background service or process. In such a scenario, the real problem is trying to figure out what actually is causing this to happen. Once you have found the culprit, you can deal with it. Now, since there are probably tons of apps on your system, it really is hard to pinpoint the guilty one. Issues like these can often be caused by third-party antivirus software so if you are running a third-party antivirus on your system, it would be a good start to try disabling it.

You can perform a clean boot to make sure that the problem is indeed being triggered by a background service. A clean boot essentially starts your Windows operating system with only the required services running in the background. This effectively removes any third-party background services from the question. Therefore, if your launcher starts normally after performing a clean boot, it is obvious that the issue is being triggered by an app installed on your system. To perform a clean boot, follow the instructions given down below:

  1. First of all, open up the Start Menu and type in msconfig. This will show System Configuration in the results. Open it up.
    System Configuration
  2. On the System Configuration window, switch to the Services tab.
  3. There, click the Hide all Microsoft services tickbox at the bottom-right corner. This will hide all the essential Microsoft services from the list shown.
  4. Then, click on the Disable all button to disable all the third-party background services.
    Disabling Services
  5. Once you have done that, switch to the Startup tab. There, click on the Open Task Manager option.
    System Configuration Startup
  6. This will bring up a Task Manager window. Here, select an app and then click the Disable button. Do this for all the apps shown on the list.
    Startup Apps
  7. Once you have disabled all the apps, close the Task Manager window and then click OK on the System Configuration window.
  8. Now, go ahead and restart your system. Once your system boots up, open up the Minecraft launcher again to see if it works.

Reinstall Minecraft

If none of the above solutions have fixed the issue for you and your Minecraft launcher is still not opening up, there is a good chance that the issue is being caused by corrupted Minecraft installation files on your system. In such a case, you will have to completely remove Minecraft from your system and then install it again. To do this, follow the instructions down below:

  1. First of all, open up a Control Panel window. To do this, simply search for Control Panel in the Start Menu.
  2. Once you have a Control Panel window open, click on the Uninstall a program option under Programs.
    Control Panel
  3. From the list of installed apps shown, locate and double-click on Minecraft Launcher.
  4. Alternatively, you can choose from the list of apps shown and then click the Uninstall option.
    Uninstalling Minecraft
  5. Once that has been completed, open up the Run dialog box by pressing Win key + R.
  6. In the Run dialog box, type in %AppData% and hit Enter.
  7. This will open up a File Explorer window. There, look for the .minecraft folder and delete it.
    Minecraft Folder
  8. Once you have done that, go ahead and download Minecraft again. Install it and then open it up to see if everything is working as intended.

Muhammad Zubyan

Muhammad Zubyan is a certified Google IT Support Professional with over 7 years of extensive experience. He has worked on more than 1500 computers, gaining valuable insights that enable him to detect and troubleshoot any complicated root cause of Windows-related issues and errors. In addition to managing Appuals as a Senior Editor, he is currently developing his own Game Optimization program that caters to both gamers and casual users alike.