How To Fix COD Modern Warfare 2 Won’t Launch or Crashing At Startup

After a long wait, Call of Duty is Back again with Modern Warfare 2. This time the excitement is tenfolds since the releases this year were few and far between, and some of them were not that great. COD MW2 promises to be a breath of fresh air in this barren land of mediocre games which do not sustain for even a week.

The wait is over and now we can all enjoy Modern Warfare 2 with its gripping storyline-based campaign and the High Octane multiplayer that we all love and adore. Making a few Graphics Settings changes will ensure that you are well-optimized from your end and can run the game to the best of your knowledge.

But, what if the game Won’t even launch for you or Keeps Crashing at Startup? Well, that can be a frustrating experience, and the only thing that comes to mind after that is a REFUND (LOL)! But seriously, this is a major issue, and I have some workarounds and fixes that can help you in solving this in the first place. Try them out and if some of them do work, let me know in the comments below.

​C​a​l​l​ ​o​f​ ​D​u​t​y​ Modern Warfare 2 Crashing and launch fixes

Fix COD Modern Warfare 2/Warzone 2 Won’t Launch or Crashing At Startup

Both of these issues are interrelated and can be overcome through some changes and safety measures. You can also fix them with some rollbacks and other workarounds as well. I will not be listing any unwanted jargon like verify this, run as admin, turn off antivirus, and all that mumbo jumbo. I will only list those steps that have worked for myself or other players.

Rollback/Update Your NVIDIA Driver Update

The first and foremost thing to do here is to roll back the driver update if you have the latest one. I believe the latest one that is causing the majority of crashes and launch issues is Driver 526.47. If you have this one then roll back to any previous stable version. This is contrary to actually updating the drivers, which I WILL NOT recommend here. In order to rollback NVIDIA Drivers do the following:

Windows XP steps to roll back your driver:

  1. Click Start
  2. Click Control Panel
  3. Click Performance and Maintenance and then System (in Category view) or System (in Classic view)
  4. Select the Hardware Tab
  5. Click Device Manager
  6. Double-click on Display Adapters
  7. Double-click on your NVIDIA GPU
  8. Select the Driver Tab
  9. Click on Roll Back Driver

Windows Vista or Windows 7 steps to roll back your driver:

  1. Click Start
  2. Click Control Panel
  3. Windows Vista: Click System and Maintenance and then System or simply System (in Classic view). Windows 7: Click System and Security and then System.
  4. In the left pane, click Device Manager
  5. Double-click on Display Adapters
  6. Double-click on your NVIDIA GPU
  7. Select the Driver Tab
  8. Click on Roll Back Driver

Uninstall the Current Driver

When you installed your current driver, if you first uninstalled the previous driver you won’t be able to roll back. In this case, follow the same steps that you previously used to uninstall your driver. Once complete, you can then download and re-install the recommended driver.

Alternatively, Now you can update the drivers to the latest ones after Warzone 2.0 release since the devs have said that it will rebalance the game. I highly recommend you do it if you are still using an old driver.

Validating Game Files

Right-click on COD MW2 from the Steam Library and Verify the integrity of the game files. If you are missing out on any file, the game will download it for you and apply them before you start it. This download also contains some essential files that are required to actually run or launch the game. Do this by all means and let me know. As far as I have read, one steam user says:

33 Files failed to validate and will be reacquired.

Disabling Animated Calling Cards and Emblems

Just like the previous Call of Duty where there was a bug with the animated calling cards, some players are finding it useful just to use a plain, non-animated calling card and emblem. This is fixing the crashing for some players. One of my friends tried it out and it fixed crasing for him entirely. Do give this one a try as well.

Lobby Crashing and Connecting Bug Fix

If you are getting stuck in the lobby with “Connecting” status without getting started with the game, do the following to fix this issue:

  • Go To Multiplayer Menu
  • Start Matchmaking for Invasion
  • Cancel it and come back to the Quick Play menu with the lobby
  • This will fix your stuck-at-connecting issue in the lobby

The above method works like a charm every time. I am hoping the developers are able to address this issue very soon. Till then, doing this is the quickest way to fix this stuck-at-connecting bug.

Install C++ Visual Redistributable and Update Windows

C++ Visual is a key part of a game to run since every program, big or small, requires a set of codes and protocols. If this is not up to date or missing from your PC, your game can crash or it won’t want to launch. The same thing goes for Windows Updates. Windows pushes specific patches for the latest games to run smoothly.

If you miss out on any such file, the game may just die on you and you will never see the lights of it. Here is the link for the C++ download: LINK

Scan and Repair Files

 For PC users, you will either play the game from the Battlenet launcher or the Steam launcher. Both of these launchers have the provision of Scanning and Repairing Game files. Here they are:

For Battlenet users:

  • Press the Cog-Wheel Icon Besides play
  • Press Scan and Repair from the list of menus
  • Wait for it to complete and you are done!
ALSO READ:  Best COD: MW3 Settings In The Game for Performance

For Steam Users:

  • Right-Click on COD MW2 from Library
  • Go to Properties
  • Select Local Files
  • Then pick “Verify Integrity of Game files”
  • Wait for it to complete and any missing or corrupt files will be downloaded and repaired!

Properties - Call of Duty®_ Modern Warfare® II

Add Exception for COD MW2 in Anti-Virus and Disable Firewall

Both of these can hinder your online and overall experience. AntiVirus like Avast, McAfee, and others flag Exe files as malicious and can block or delete them. Either disable them entirely or add the COD MW2 exe to their list of exceptions. The same goes for Firewall settings as well. Getting blocked by a Windows firewall is nothing new, and has happened to me in the past.

Disabling it is risky but does the job quite well. Otherwise, you need to find the list of applications to bypass in the firewall and Bypass COD MW2.

Doing The correct graphics settings

This is something new to the list of fixes but this sure does work. For a friend of mine, when he switched to 1440p instead of the native 1080p, the game crashed right away. This takes me to my next point, which is doing the correct graphics settings so that you don’t end up in a puddle of Freezes, stutters, and launch issues. I have a guide for The Best Graphics settings for MW2 on PC. Do check this out and make the required changes, keeping some key fundamentals in mind.

NVIDIA and AMD Control Panel Changes

In contrast to others giving a list of settings to change in the NVIDIA Control Panel, my advice here would be to do the following:

  • Right- Click on the desktop and go to NVIDIA Control Panel
  • From the left side select “Adjust Image Settings With Preview”
  • From the list of options, select “Let The 3D Application Decide”

NVIDIA Control Panel for COD MW2

This setting alone has helped me a lot in getting my graphics to look as best as I could. before this setting, it was looking all over the place, and I was also facing Freezing and Stutter issues with the settings. Do try this out and let me know if it worked for you to fix most stutters and bad graphics.

Turning Off Peripheral Software in the Background

This option may seem distant, but some software like iCUE, and other Logitech, HyperX, or other brand software can cause issues with the game. Some software even causes a temporary ban for you if you use them without knowing. I highly suggest you use the default software and turn off any macros or extra software like Razer’s additional Cortex software. These can be troublesome for you in the long run.

One other thing this software is known to do is cause MW2 to crash or work weirdly. I personally use the control software only and avoid any macros or light synching while playing Modern Warfare 2. This keeps me safe from any bans or crashes in the game.

Windows Media Feature Pack

This is a specific fix for all the players out there. If your Media Feature pack is missing from the Windows files, make sure to download that. This will fix the crashing or not launching issue for most parts. To do this, do the following:

Windows SettingApps & FeaturesClick optional featuresclick Add FeatureFind the Media Feature Pack and install it. Restart your PC and you should be done!

Do Not Overclock Your GPU

As one of my friends found out, overclocking or even, underclocking your GPU can cause MW2 to crash or not even launch. If you are using MSI afterburner, either remove it from your PC or do not use any such setting from there that causes the GPU settings and clock speeds to change. This will surely enhance the performance but what is the use if you cannot even make it to the ingame title screen?!

Updating AMD BIOS or Waiting for MW2 Patch

There have been issues from time to time with AMD BIOS updates that have messed up certain games for players. This happened to me in a previous version of COD where AMD just won’t let me launch the game and I kept on crashing from Startup. This had to do with the mismatched BIOS with CODs files.

I could not update the BIOS since there was no update, and eventually, the developers pushed an update that fixes the issue for me. If you are having the same issue, try to update the BIOS at your OWN RISK. You can also write to the developers and wait for a patch that hopefully fixes this specific crash issue related to the AMD BIOS. That is because this seldom never happens on an Intel setup as far as I have checked!

That is the complete list of tips and fixes I had or collected from various sources that I will list below:

Some Fixes were tried and tested by me so I have referenced that as well. Overall, I think the game is great and running well for most parts. Some players are indeed struggling with it and I hope using these tips will fix their Crashing or Startup issues with MW2. Check out our Modern Warfare 2 page for more such guides and fixes!

Thanks for dropping by!

6 thoughts on “How To Fix COD Modern Warfare 2 Won’t Launch or Crashing At Startup”

    1. I had the same issue, and it was around 18MB of download for me. I would suggest that you try it again and see what happens. Just do it once.

    1. Rolling back drivers is only for NVIDIA users since I myself tried it out and it worked for me. I have no idea on how to do that for Windows or any other OS versions.

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