Fixes for Getting Uplay to Launch

Uplay fails to launch on Windows operating system primarily because of missing DLL files, bad internet connection, and conflicting services being run in the background. The scenario of Uplay not launching reappears after every Windows update and stays there until an update is released by the software.


Uplay is a digital distribution platform like Steam and hosts numerous multiplayer games like Assassins Creed and other famous records. Surprisingly, Uplay officials didn’t have anything to comment on and the support staff was not cooperative as well in the threads. In this solution, we will go through all the reasons why this occurs and what the workarounds are to fix the problem.

What causes Uplay to not Launch?

The causes of Uplay not launching are mostly related to issues with third-party applications, corrupt cache, Antivirus softwares etc. Here are some of the main causes which may be causing issues and force Uplay not to launch:

  • Missing DLL File: DLL files are small libraries which are used in the running of the game. If you have missing DLL files in your computer which are essential to Uplay, it will not launch.
  • Third-party services: Every application has a service associated with it which runs in the background. Some of these services conflict with Uplay and prevent it from launching.
  • Antivirus software: Antivirus software is known to block some applications from accessing the internet or even launching because of false positives. Disabling the Antivirus software might help here.
  • Corrupt cache: Uplay has a local cache stored in your computer. Your configurations and other settings are stored here and fetched whenever the computer launches. If the cache is corrupt, Uplay will not launch.
  • Uplay launching game: When click Play on Uplay, it launches the executable of the game automatically. We came across several instances where this wasn’t working so instead of launching the game through Uplay, you can launch it through the application instead.
  • Compatibility settings: Some Windows updates tend to break already installed applications. Here, running them in compatibility mode will fix the problem by launching them in the settings of Prior OS versions.
  • Outdated Graphics drivers: Uplay utilizes graphics drivers as well to launch and run. If the graphics drivers are outdated or corrupt, the requirements of Uplay will not be satisfied and it will not launch.
  • Incomplete Uplay Installation Files: Last but not least, if the installation files of Uplay are corrupt or outdated, the application will not launch whatsoever.

Before we start with the solutions, make sure that you are logged in as an administrator and have credentials of Uplay at hand.

Solution 1: Installing Universal C Runtime

The very first troubleshooting step which we will carry out will be installing the missing DLL/libraries which are required by Uplay for successful launching. Uplay usually installs all the dependencies on your computer automatically when you install it. However, there are instances where some are missed because they are already present or some error occurs during the installation. One of the most common external files which is required is Universal C Runtime which we will be installed as outlined in the steps below.

  1. Navigate to Microsoft’s official website and choose any of the two methods to install the update.
    Installing Universal C Runtime
  2. After you have installed the update, restart your computer completely and then launch Uplay.
  3. Check if Uplay launches successfully. Make sure you install Universal C Runtime from the main administrator user.

Solution 2: Clearing Uplay Cache

As mentioned earlier, Uplay maintains a local cache in your computer where all your preferences and temporary configurations are stored. Whenever Uplay launches, these configurations are fetched from the cache and then loaded in the application. But there are numerous instances where the cache itself becomes corrupt and since it is corrupt, the launch sequence fails as well. In this solution, we will delete Uplay cache and see if this does the trick.

  1. Press Windows + E to launch the File Explorer. Now, navigate to the following location:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Ubisoft\Ubisoft Game Launcher\cache
  1. Once inside, delete all the contents of the cache folder. You can always cut-paste the contents to another location if you want to replace them afterwards.
    Deleting Uplay Cache
  2. Restart your computer completely and launch Uplay again. Check if the issue is resolved and you are able to launch it without any issues.

Solution 3: Launching through Shortcut (For launching games)

Another workarounds if a game isn’t launching through Uplay is launching it directly through the shortcut. There are a lot of instances where because of some dependencies not installed, Uplay doesn’t launch the game when you click the Play button.

In this solution, you can easily launch the game using the game shortcut. If there was some dependency not installed, it will be conveyed to you and the download process will begin. If this method was successful, you can try launching the game directly from Uplay next time and see if this does the trick.

Solution 4: Running in Compatibility mode

Uplay is developed keeping in mind the current operating system even though there is backward support for other operating systems. In the cases of Uplay not launching, we saw instances where launching it in compatibility mode worked perfectly and the launcher worked. This helped us conclude that because of some bad updates to Windows OS, Uplay was unable to launch at all. When you select an older version of Windows, its settings are kept in mind while launching.

The compatibility settings of Windows 8/7 work because Windows 10 itself supports backwards compatibility of previous OS versions. Here, in this solution, we will set an older version of Windows as compatibility and then launch Uplay. You can always revert the changes in the future.

  1. Navigate to the installation directory of Uplay on your computer.
  2. Locate Right-click on Uplay application and select “Properties”.
  3. Once in properties, select the Compatibility Check the option Run this program in compatibility mode for: and select another operating system. Preferably go with Windows 8 or 7.
Deleting Uplay Cache
  1. Press Apply to save changes and exit. Now restart your computer completely and check if the problem got solved and you are able to launch Uplay without any issues.

Solution 5: Disabling Antivirus/Firewall Software

Antivirus/Firewall software constantly analyze your internet traffic and the application status in the background when you are doing your tasks. After analyzing all the information, they either let the applications run or block them according to some set of rules.

However, Uplay is known to get blocked by Antivirus software such as BitDefender etc. This is known as a false positive.

Disabling Antivirus Sofware

So in this solution, we will temporarily disable the Antivirus software on your computer and then launch Uplay again.

Solution 6: Starting Computer in Clean-Boot state

If none of the above methods work and you are still unable to launch Uplay, there might be chances that because of some problematic services or applications, it is not able to launch. This was seen very frequently in the past through feedback by various users. In this solution, we will disable all services (except system services) and then launch Uplay. Then we can try enabling the services one by one to see which one is problematic.

  1. Press Windows + R to launch the Run application. Type “msconfig” in the dialogue box and press Enter.
  2. Navigate to the Services tab present at the top of the screen. Check the line which says “Hide all Microsoft services”. Once you click this, all Microsoft related services will be disabled leaving behind all the third-party services.
  3. Now click the “Disable all” button present at the near bottom at the left side of the window. All the third-party services will now be disabled.
  4. Click Apply to save changes and exit.
Disabling all running services
  1. Now navigate to the Startup tab and click the option of “Open Task Manager”. You will be redirected to the task manager where all the applications/services which run when your computer starts will be listed.
  2. Select each service one by one and click “Disable” at the bottom right side of the window.
Disabling services on startup
  1. Now restart your computer and check if the computer goes to sleep mode successfully. If it does, it means there was an external program which was causing the problem. Search through your installed programs and determine which application is causing Uplay not to launch.

Solution 7: Updating Graphics Drivers

One of the most obvious and common cause of Uplay not launching is because the graphics drivers on your computer are not installed to the latest version or they are corrupt. Graphics drivers are the main driving components of any gaming engine like Uplay and if they are not working properly, Uplay will either not launch at all or launch with a very sluggish behaviour.

In this solution, we will install DDU and then through safe mode, remove the current drivers. Then we will install the latest ones available and see if this does the trick for us.

  1. After installing Display Driver Uninstaller (DDU), launch your computer in safe mode.
  2. After launching the DDU, select the first option “Clean and restart”. When you do this, the current drivers will be removed and your computer will be restarted.
Clean and restart – DDU
  1. Now after the uninstallation, boot your computer normally without safe mode. Type devmgmt.msc after pressing Windows + R to launch the device manager. Now, right-click on any empty space available and select Scan for hardware changes. The default drivers will now be installed.
  2. Most of the times, the default drivers will not do much good so you can either install the drivers using the Windows update or you can install them manually by navigating to the graphics manufacturer’s website.
    Locate the graphics drivers, right-click on them and click on Update Driver.
Updating Drivers
  1. After you have installed the drivers, restart your computer and check if the problem is solved.

Solution 8: Reinstalling Uplay

If none of the above methods work and you are still unable to launch Uplay, we will attempt at reinstalling the entire gaming engine from scratch. If there were any corrupt or missing installation files, they will be fixed. Do note that through this method, all the installation files of your games will be removed as well. You can always back them up beforehand.

  1. Press Windows + R, type “appwiz.cpl” in the dialogue box and press Enter.
  2. Once in the application manager, search for Uplay, right-click on it and select Uninstall.
Uninstalling Uplay

Note: You can also uninstall the game using Blizzard’s application.

  1. Restart your computer. Now, navigate to Uplay’s official website and download the game from there.

Kevin Arrows

Kevin Arrows is a highly experienced and knowledgeable technology specialist with over a decade of industry experience. He holds a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification and has a deep passion for staying up-to-date on the latest tech developments. Kevin has written extensively on a wide range of tech-related topics, showcasing his expertise and knowledge in areas such as software development, cybersecurity, and cloud computing. His contributions to the tech field have been widely recognized and respected by his peers, and he is highly regarded for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and concise manner.