Recently, Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 has released a new update to fix various crashes in-game and on the world map. However, there are still many players who can’t enjoy the game, since they get stuck on the checking for updates screen when launching. If you happen to be one of them, don’t worry. Here we’ll tell you some workarounds you can try.

Try these fixes

You might not need to try them all. Simply work your way down the list until you find the one that does the trick.

  1. Run the game as administrator
  2. Scan and repair your game files
  3. Install all Windows updates
  4. Update your network driver
  5. Move the community folder
  6. Check your security software
  7. Use a VPN
  8. Do a clean install

Fix 1: Run the game as administrator

Some programs need administrator rights to function properly. To ensure Microsoft Flight Simulator works properly, you can run the game as an administrator. Here’s how:

  1. Close the game and restart your computer.
  2. In the search box on the taskbar, type Microsoft Flight Simulator.
  3. Select Run as administrator.

Check if you can get past the checking for updates screen.

If the issue remains, try the next fix.

Fix 2: Scan and repair your game files

If your game files are missing or corrupted, you’re likely to encounter many issues when playing Microsoft Flight Simulator. To see if that’s the case, you can scan and repair your game files via Steam or Windows. Here’s how:

Steam

  1. Go to your Steam Library.
  2. Right-click Microsoft Flight Simulator and select Properties….
  3. Navigate to the LOCAL FILES tab.
  4. Click VERIFY INTEGRITY OF GAME FILES….
  5. Steam will scan the installation and download missing files or remove outdated or corrupted files. This process may take several minutes.
  6. Relaunch Microsoft Flight Simulator and test if you can get past the checking for updates screen.

Windows

  1. In the search box on the taskbar, type Microsoft Flight Simulator.
  2. Click App Settings.
  3. On the page that opens, select Repair.
  4. Windows will begin to scan and repair your game files.
  5. After the process is completed, relaunch the game and test if you can get past the checking for updates screen.

If this method doesn’t work for you, go ahead with the next fix.

Fix 3: Install all Windows updates

Microsoft constantly releases Windows updates to fix the latest bugs and add new features. To improve the performance of your device, you should ensure that your operating system is fully updated. Here’s how:

  1. On your keyboard, press the Window logo key and I at the same time to open Windows Settings.
  2. Click Update & Security.
  3. Under Windows Update, click Check for updates. Windows will automatically download and install the available updates.

Once you’ve installed all the updates, restart your computer and Microsoft Flight Simulator to test if the game loads normally.

If you still get stuck on the checking for updates screen, check out the next fix.

Fix 4: Update your network driver

If you’re having trouble loading Microsoft Flight Simulator, you may encounter a connectivity issue. The connection error could be caused by a faulty or outdated network driver. To fix the issue, you need to make sure you’re using the latest network driver.

One way to do that is to visit the motherboard manufacturer’s website and search for your model, then download and install the network driver manually. But if you don’t have the time, patience or computer skills to update the driver manually, you can do it automatically with Driver Easy.

Driver Easy will automatically recognize your system and find the correct drivers for your network adapter, and your Windows version, and it will download and install them correctly:

  1. Download and install Driver Easy.
  2. Run Driver Easy and click the Scan Now button. Driver Easy will then scan your computer and detect any problem drivers.
  3. Click Update All to automatically download and install the correct version of all the drivers that are missing or out of date on your system. (This requires the Pro version – you’ll be prompted to upgrade when you click Update All. If you don’t want to pay for the Pro version, you can still download and install all the drivers you need with the free version; you just have to download them one at a time, and manually install them, the normal Windows way.)

Once you’ve updated your network driver, restart your PC and Microsoft Flight Simulator to see if you can get past the checking for updates screen.

If updating your network driver doesn’t do the trick, continue to the next fix.

Fix 5: Move the community folder

The Microsoft Flight Simulator scans the Official and Community folders every time you click Play or Launch. The bigger the Official and Community folders are, the longer the loading times are likely to be. Depending on your system this process can take up to several minutes. To reduce loading screens, you can delete the packages folders of the mods and official aircraft you’re not planning to use regularly or move your community package to another folder. To do so:

  1. On your keyboard, press the Windows logo key and E at the same time to open File Explorer. In the search bar, type the following address to locate the Community Folder.

    Microsoft Store version: C:\Users\YourUsername\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.FlightSimulator_8wekyb3d8bbwe\LocalCache\Packages

    Steam version:
    AppData\Roaming\Microsoft Flight Simulator\Packages

    Retail disc version:
    C:\Users\YourUsername\AppData\Local\MSFSPackages)

    NOTE: If you have installed the packages on a different drive than C: you’ll need to look inside your custom installation folder instead.
  2. Right-click the Community Folder and select Cut.
  3. Paste the Community Folder on your desktop or a drive of your choice.

Restart Microsoft Flight Simulator to see if you can get past the checking for updates screen.

If the problem persists, move on to the next fix.

Fix 6: Check your security software

The antivirus and malware checkers can close down or block the normal operation of certain applications, even if they are legitimate and safe. To ensure Microsoft Flight Simulator works properly, you can add the game to the exclusions list. Here’s how:

Windows Defender

  1. On your keyboard, press the Window logo key and I at the same time to open Windows Settings.
  2. Click Update & Security.
  3. In the left panel, select Windows Security, then click Virus & threat protection.
  4. Under Virus & threat protection settings, select Manage settings.
  5. Under Exclusions, select Add or remove exclusions.
  6. Click Add an exclusion, and then select Microsoft Flight Simulator.

Other antivirus programs

The way to add Microsoft Flight Simulator as an exception to your antivirus software will vary depending on the software you’re using. You can refer to your security software’s support website.

Sample of Virus & malware checkers that have been known to prevent Microsoft Flight Simulator from launching:

  • Malwarebytes
  • Trend Micro Maximum Security
  • Comodo Antivirus
  • Sophos
  • Emisoft Anti-Malware
  • Avira
  • Avast & Avast Cleanup
  • Bullguard

Check if the game loads normally after you add it as an exception to your security software.

If you still can’t get past the checking for updates screen, take a look at the next fix.

Fix 7: Use a VPN

If your connection is poor, you may experience the issue of Microsoft Flight Simulator being stuck on the checking for updates screen. To gain a better Internet connection, you can give VPN a try.

But note that we don’t like free VPNs as they are usually a catch. A paid VPN subscription guarantees smooth gameplay even during rush hours.

Here are some gaming VPNs we recommend:

If this method doesn’t solve your problem, check out the last fix.

Fix 8: Do a clean install

If none of the fixes above solve your problem, try uninstalling and reinstalling the game completely. Before doing a clean install, search the Bugs & Issue forum in case other players shared additional troubleshooting steps. 

Microsoft Store version

  1. In the search box on the taskbar, type Microsoft Flight Simulator.
  2. Select Uninstall.
  3. Click Uninstall again to remove the game.
  4. Once uninstalled, check to make sure all files are deleted. The default installation location is:
    C:\Users\YourUsername\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.FlightSimulator_8wekyb3d8bbwe
    Note: If you have installed the packages in a custom folder, search for that folder instead.
  5. Move any leftover files or folders to the Recycle Bin.
  6. Reinstall the game from Microsoft Store.

Steam version

  1. Go to your Steam Library.
  2. Right-click Microsoft Flight Simulator and select Properties….
  3. Select the LOCAL FILES tab.
  4. Click UNINSTALL GAME….
  5. Click Uninstall again to remove the game.
  6. Once uninstalled, check to make sure that all the packages are deleted. The default package installation location is: C:\Users\YourUsername\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft Flight Simulator\Packages
    Note: If you have installed the packages in a custom folder, search for that folder instead.
  7. Move any leftover files or folders to the Recycle Bin.
  8. Reinstall the game from Steam.

Check if you can get past the checking for updates screen.


That’s all. Hopefully, this post helped. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to leave us a comment below.

Be the first to like this article