Playing Red Dead Redemption 2 is so fun that you probably don’t want to miss. But the game won’t launch! If it also happened to you, don’t worry. You’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll guide you to fix the issue.

Try these fixes:

You might not need to try them all; simply work your way down the list until you find the one that works.

  1. Check for Windows Updates
  2. Update your Rockstar Games Launcher
  3. Add the game folder to the list of scan exclusions
  4. Run RDR2.exe as an administrator
  5. Change in-game graphics API to DirectX 12
  6. Update your video card drivers
  7. Delete settings folder
  8. Clear your launcher profile details

Fix 1: Check for Windows Updates

If you can’t launch your game, you can check updates for your system. To do so, you can:

1) Press Windows logo key and click on the Settings icon.

check for windows updates

2) Under the Windows Update section, click Check for updates.

check for windows updates

Fix 2: Update your Rockstar Games Launcher

There is a possibility that your launcher is not updated to the latest version and that might cause the Red Dead Redemption 2 not launching issue. So you’re recommended to update your launcher.

1) Close any Rockstar games and the launcher. Right-click on the Rockstar Games Launcher icon if it’s still in the Windows Taskbar.

To make sure you’ve completely exited from the launcher, you can go to Task Manager to check if it’s still running in the background.

2) Restart your launcher and allow any updates to apply.

If you’ve had your launcher updated and still can’t launch the game, try the next fix.


Fix 3: Add the game folder to the list of scan exclusions

Your Windows Defender might block your game from launching. So if that’s the case for you, try adding it to the list of scan exclusions.

1) In the Search box, type windows security and click Windows Security from the results.

exclude RDR2 from Windows Defender Antivirus scans

2) Click on the tab Virus & threat protection and scroll down to the Virus & threat protection settings section, click Manage settings.

exclude RDR2 from Windows Defender Antivirus scans

3) Scroll down and under the Exclusions section, click Add or remove exclusions.

exclude RDR2 from Windows Defender Antivirus scans

4) Click Add an exclusion and select File.

exclude RDR2 from Windows Defender Antivirus scans

5) Navigate to Windows (C:) and click on the folder Program Files.

exclude RDR2 from Windows Defender Antivirus scans

6) Scroll down and click on the folder Rockstar Games.

exclude RDR2 from Windows Defender Antivirus scans

7) Click on the folder Red Dead Redemption 2.

exclude RDR2 from Windows Defender Antivirus scans

8) Scroll down and select RDR2.exe. When you’re asked Do you want to allow this app to make changes to your device?, click Yes.

9) Now run your game.


Fix 4: Run RDR2.exe as an administrator

Running a program as an administrator might fix many common issues including the game not launching. So you can run RDR2.exe as an administrator.

1) Open your Rockstar Games Launcher and select Settings.

2) Under My installed games, select Red Dead Redemption 2.

3) Select Open under View Installation Folder.

4) Right-click on RDR2.

5) Select Properties.

6) Select the tab Compatibility and check the boxes Run this program as an administrator and Disable fullScreen optimization. Then click Apply > OK.

If this didn’t work, don’t worry. There are other working fixes for you. Just scroll down and check them out.


Fix 5: Change in-game graphics API to DirectX 12

1) Go to the SETTINGS menu in the game.

run DirectX 12 red dead redemption 2 won't launch

2) Click on GRAPHICS.

run DirectX 12 red dead redemption 2 won't launch

3) Scroll down to the Advanced Settings section and make sure the Advanced Settings option is set to Unlocked.

run DirectX 12 red dead redemption 2 won't launch

4) In the Graphics API section, change it to DirectX 12 by clicking on the arrow button.

run DirectX 12 red dead redemption 2 won't launch

5) Press Enter to apply the changes.

run DirectX 12 red dead redemption 2 won't launch

6) Restart your launcher and run your game to check if it fixes the issue.


Fix 6: Update your video card drivers

One of the most common causes of your game not launching is an outdated or a faulty video card driver. So you need to update them.

There are two ways you can update your video card drivers:

Option 1 – Manually – You’ll need some computer skills and patience to update your drivers this way because you need to find exactly the right driver online, download it and install it step by step.

OR

Option 2 – Automatically (Recommended) – This is the quickest and easiest option. It’s all done with just a couple of mouse clicks – easy even if you’re a computer newbie.  

Option 1 – Download and install the drivers manually

NVIDIA and AMD keep updating drivers. To get them, you need to go to the official websites, find the drivers corresponding with your specific flavor of Windows version (for example, Windows 32 bit) and download the drivers manually.

Once you’ve downloaded the correct drivers for your system, double-click on the downloaded file and follow the on-screen instructions to install the drivers.

Option 2 – Automatically update your drivers

If you don’t have the time, patience, or computer skills to update the drivers manually, you can do it automatically with Driver Easy.

Driver Easy will automatically recognize your system and find the correct drivers for it. You don’t need to know exactly what system your computer is running or risk downloading and installing the wrong driver.

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.

update drivers automatically

3) Click the Update button next to the flagged driver to automatically download the correct version of that driver, then you can manually install it (you can do this with the FREE version).

Or 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 which comes with full support and a 30-day money-back guarantee. You’ll be prompted to upgrade when you click Update All.)

update drivers automatically

After updating your drivers, restart your computer and launch your game to check if the issue is fixed. If not, try the next fix.


Fix 7: Delete settings folder

Deleting the Settings folder has been working for many players. So you can give it a try.

Here’s how to do this:

1) Press Windows logo key and R together on your keyboard. Head to Documents and then click on the folder Rockstar Games.

delete settings folder Red Dead Redemption 2

2) Click on the folder Red Dead Redemption 2.

delete settings folder Red Dead Redemption 2

3) Delete the folder Settings.

After deleting the settings folder, you’re supposed to be able to run your game. If that didn’t work, move on to the next fix.


Fix 8: Clear your launcher profile details

1) Open your Rockstar Games Launcher and select SETTINGS.

2) Select Account information and in the Delete local profile section, click DELETE.

clear your local Rockstar Games Launcher profile details

3) Click CONFIRM.

clear your local Rockstar Games Launcher profile details
This will remove your profile details and you’re required to sign in to the launcher again. But it’ll not delete your saved games.

4) Sign in to the launcher and launch the Red Dead Redemption 2.


So these are the fixes for Red Dead Redemption 2 not launching. If none of them work for you, then you should try updating your PC’S BIOS.

And if you have any questions or ideas, do not hesitate to leave us a comment.

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