How to Fix: Fallout 4 Won’t Start

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How to Fix: Fallout 4 Won’t Start

Fallout 4 took the world by storm with its intense gameplay and its powerful role-playing action.
With all its excellent features and storyline, there are bound to be certain problems with the game. Which includes the “fallout 4 won’t start” error.

The error usually occurs, when the user tries to launch fallout 4 on PC (through Steam), the game does not start. Nothing happens whatsoever. You either stay on the screen you were before, or you get a black screen. None of these situations are ideal in any way. But not to worry, we have a few solutions for you below that are bound to work for the error you are facing.

Why does the “Fallout 4 Won’t Start” Error Occur?

This error is so common among fallout 4 players, that most of them have somehow come across it one way or another.

Steam Fatal Error Fallout 4 won't start.

Based on our user survey, the error can be caused by the following reasons:

  • Outdated, Missing, or Corrupted Game files: These can happen to anyone due to a failed game update, windows update, or maybe even some sort of storage issue.
  • Outdate or Incompatible Drivers: Another very common issue that is the cause of most heavy game errors. You may simply have outdated drivers or drivers that do not meet up the game’s requirements.
  • Conflicting Antivirus Service: Steam has been known for being incompatible with various antivirus software, especially Avast. So, looking at the history here, there is a high chance your game is not running because your antivirus software is flagging it.
  • Mod Issues: If you are running any mods, some of them are likely incompatible with each other. Visual mods are mostly the main culprits of this.
  • Suboptimal Graphics Settings: Most graphics-dependent games like fallout 4 may show the same error due to unideal graphics settings. Configuring your graphic settings may be the best approach.
  • Launcher Overlay: although not a very common reason, your launcher’s (Steam, in this case) in-game overlay options may be causing the start-up issues in your game.

Fix: Fallout 4 Won’t Start Error

There are a number of ways we can fix the error depending on what is causing the issue as stated above. Let’s discuss all of them in detail.

#1: Game Files Integrity Verification

Although a very common fix, verifying the integrity of game files is very useful. It fixes any broken, corrupt files and ensures the game’s optimal running.

Follow the steps below to verify the integrity of your game files:

  • Open steam and click on “Library”.
Open steam and click on “Library”.
  • In your list of games, locate Fallout 4, right-click on it and click on “Properties”.
Properties from the right click menu
  • Navigate to the “Local Files” Tab on the left, and click on “Verify Integrity of Game files”.
Local Files in Steam and Verify Integrity

Wait for the verification process to complete. This may take some time. After that, restart steam, and try running the game again.

#2: Try Running the Game in Compatibility Mode

Running the game in compatibility mode will allow Fallout 4 to run on your version of windows similar to how it would in an older version, it is going to allow your game to change its current operating system to a previous one.

To turn on the compatibility mode, follow the steps:

  • Right-click on your game’s shortcut or .exe file in the directory and click on “Properties”.
  • While in the properties interface, click on “Compatibility”. Check “Run this program on Compatibility mode for:” and click on the drop-down menu. Choose any version of windows you want, preferably “Windows 8”.
Game in Compatibility Mode
  • Save settings.

#3: Update your Windows and Drivers

Another very common fix for most PC-based errors is updating your windows and Drivers, updating your graphics drivers is particularly important.

You can either do that automatically by updating windows altogether, or you can do that manually by going to your respective driver’s official manufacturer’s website and downloading the latest drivers from there.

Just follow the on-screen prompt and you will eventually have your drivers updated.

On the other hand, if your drivers are up to date, you can try to revert to the previous versions of them. There is a chance that your game is not compatible with the latest drivers that are being rolled out.
Try running the game again to see if it works.

#4: Run the game as Administrator

Based on our survey, many of the players have been able to fix the error by running their game as administrators. Just right-click on the game’s shortcut and click on “Run as Administrator” in the drop-down menu.

Run As Administrator Game

#5: Launch the game in Borderless Windowed Mode

A lot of steam games have an issue running in full screen, you might have to run your game in borderless windowed mode for it to launch without any issues. To do that:

  • Open steam and click on the “Library”.
  • Navigate to “Fallout 4”, right-click and click on properties.
  • In the “General”, go to “Launch Options” and type “-windowed -noborder” in the dialogue box.
Launch the game in Borderless Windowed Mode
  • Save settings and restart steam.

#6: Try disabling your third-party Antivirus Software

Your antivirus may be flagging fallout 4, which in turn is possibly preventing it from running on your computer.

Try disabling your antivirus temporarily to check whether this is true or not. If disabling it does allow your game to run, you can try adding your game to the antivirus’s exception list.

In case even this does not work you might have to delete your antivirus and look for another alternative third-party security service that won’t flag your game.

#7: Disable in-game Modifications

A Lot of games face issues due to mod incompatibility. If you are using a lot of mods in your game there is a high chance one (or maybe even more) is conflicting with the game, or maybe even with another mod. You can fix this in two ways.

You can either disable all of the mods and play your game without them. Or you could disable them one by one to see which one is causing the issue.

Once you have that down, just delete the problematic mod and run your game normally. (visual mods usually end up conflicting with each other).

#8: Rename your Fallout 4 .exe File

A lot of the players seemed to have fixed the issue by renaming the executable file. Locate the .exe file from the directory and simply rename the file to something else.

Restart your computer and run the game to see if this has done the trick.

#9: Try Running the Game in Offline Mode

Although not exactly ideal, you can play Fallout 4 in offline mode and go online afterward for your other steam games.

To go offline in steam, click on “Steam” in the top left corner of your steam window box and click on “Go Offline” in the drop-down menu.

Go Offline mode in Steam

Launch your game from the library to see if the issue has been fixed.


If none of the above solutions work, the last resort could be to uninstall the game completely. Save your game files if you want and remove the game completely. Then reinstall it from scratch through steam.

You should go through all of these solutions one by one to see if your “Fallout won’t start” error is fixed.

Most of the users that have faced this issue have managed to fix it by going through these fixes one by one. Do not forget to restart your computer after trying every solution to ensure complete execution.

Leave us a comment and tell us which solution worked for you!

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Luqman Khan

Luqman is the founder of and an obsessed gamer! Overseeing the site's coverage of gaming hardware and software. He is also the founder of a Computer Gaming Lounge. He has been into gaming and PC Building since 2009. He is also obsessed with DOTA 2 and Rainbow Six Siege.