8 Ways to Fix Counter-Strike 2 Not Launching on a Windows PC

This troubleshooting guide includes eight methods for fixing Counter-Strike 2 not starting on Windows 11/10 PCs. Is CS2 failing to launch on your PC? If that is the case, you can fix Counter-Strike 2 not launching by applying the potential resolutions below.

8 Ways to Fix Counter-Strike 2 Not Launching on a Windows PC

Valve released the hotly awaited Counter-Strike 2, the sequel of the classic CSGO, in September 2023. However, many players have already reported Counter-Strike 2 startup issues on Steam’s forum, Reddit, and elsewhere. Some have said CS2 just doesn’t load when they select to play it while others see error messages like “Counter-Strike 2 (missing executable).” Players can’t enjoy Valve’s latest multiplayer shooter when it doesn’t start on their PCs. These are some of the ways you can fix Counter-Strike 2 not launching on Windows 11/10 PCs.

Read also: Counter-Strike 2 Review: Good Blend of Old and New

Verify Counter-Strike 2’s Files

I always recommend verifying the files for any game that doesn’t start. Doing so will likely repair corrupted or missing game files that could be causing Counter-Strike 2 to crash at startup. You can repair Counter-Strike 2’s files by clicking the Verify option in Steam like this.

  1. Start the Steam software.
  2. Click Library within Steam’s tab bar.
  3. Right-click Counter-Strike 2 in the sidebar that shows your games to select Properties.
  4. Select the Local Files tab inside the secondary window that appears.
    The Verify integrity of game files option in Steam.

    The Verify integrity of game files option in Steam.

  5. Press the Verify integrity button to initiate the Counter-Strike 2 verification scan.

Clear the Download Cache in Steam

Clearing Steam’s download cache is a player-confirmed resolution for fixing the “Counter-Strike 2 (missing executable)” startup issue. So, make sure you apply this potential resolution if you’ve seen that error message at least. This is how you can clear Steam’s download cache.

  1. Bring up Steam and click the Steam menu.
  2. Select Settings to open the options window for Steam.
  3. Click Downloads on the left of Settings.
  4. Press the Clear Download Cache button to apply the fix.
    The Clear Download Cache button

    The Clear Download Cache button

Run Counter-Strike 2 in Compatibility Mode

  1. Select Library inside the Steam gaming client software for Counter-Strike 2.
  2. Right-click Counter-Strike 2 in the Library tab’s side panel and select Manage > Browse local files.
  3. Open the game > bin > win64 folders inside the Counter-Strike directory to reach the cs2.exe file.
    The cs2.exe file

    The cs2.exe file

  4. Right-click on the cs2.exe file and select Properties.
  5. Click on Counter-Strike 2’s Compatibility tab.
  6. Select Run this program in compatibility mode and Windows 8 on the drop-down menu.
  7. Next, click on Run this program as an administrator to set CS2 to run with elevated privileges.
  8. Click the Apply button to save your new Counter-Strike 2 compatibility settings.
  9. Close the properties window for CS2 by selecting OK.

Set an HD Resolution Launch Option for Counter-Strike 2

Setting a high-definition resolution (1920 x 1080) launch option is another resolution that’s worked for some players who’ve needed to fix Counter-Strike 2 not launching. You can set an HD resolution launch option for Counter-Strike 2 within Steam as follows.

  1. Go to the Library tab in Steam.
  2. Click Counter-Strike 2 with the right mouse button and select its Properties context menu option.
  3. Next, click inside the Launch Options box on the General tab.
  4. Enter -w 1920 -h 1080 inside the Launch Options box.
    The Launch Options box

    The Launch Options box

CS2 players also confirm setting a -allow_third_party_software launch option can fix Counter-Strike 2 not launching. That launch option will disable Trusted mode, allowing third-party app interaction with the game. So, try inputting -allow_third_party_software if the resolution launch option doesn’t work for you.

Disable NVIDIA Ansel

NVIDIA Ansel is a photo mode you can utilize with GeForce Experience. If you have GeForce Experience installed, it’s recommended to disable NVIDIA Ansel for the sake of fixing Counter-Strike 2 not starting. This is how you can disable Ansel with PowerShell.

  1. Press the Windows logo + S keyboard hotkey to access the file search utility.
  2. Type in PowerShell and select Run as administrator for the matching search result found.
    The Windows PowerShell search result

    The Windows PowerShell search result

  3. Copy (Ctrl + C) and paste (Ctrl + V) these commands into the PowerShell window and hit Enter to execute:

dir “$env:systemroot\system32\driverstore\filerepository\*NvCameraEnable.exe” -rec |% {& “$_” off}
dir “$env:programfiles\nvidia corporation\*NvCameraEnable.exe” -rec |% {& “$_” off}

Set a Dedicated (High Performance) GPU for Counter-Strike 2

If your PC has two graphics cards, make sure your high-performance NVIDIA or AMD GPU is set for Counter-Strike 2. You can select a dedicated graphics card for Counter-Strike 2 like this.

  1. Activate the Type here to search box and enter graphics settings there.
  2. Select the Graphics settings search result.
  3. Press the Browse button.
  4. Select the cs2.exe file for launching Counter-Strike 2 and click Add.
  5. Click Options for the CS2 game added.
  6. Select the High performance option.
    The High performance option

    The High performance option

  7. Press the Save button to apply your selected GPU setting.

Clear Counter-Strike 2’s 730 Folder

Deleting the 730 folder has also fixed Counter-Strike 2 not starting for some players. Note that clearing that folder will also reset CS2 game settings and saved progress. However, at least you’ll be able to play the game if it works. These are steps for clearing the 730 folder.

  1. Click on the File Explorer taskbar shortcut to access the folder navigator utility.
  2. Open the 730 folder at this path: C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\userdata\< Steam ID number folder>\730.
    The 730 folder

    The 730 folder

  3. Select everything in the 730 folder by pressing Ctrl + A.
  4. Click Explorer’s Delete button (or press the Del keyboard key).

Reinstall Counter-Strike 2

The Uninstall game option in Steam

The Uninstall game option in Steam

Reinstalling Counter-Strike 2 will refresh all the game’s files and usually resolves installation issues. You can reinstall CS2 via Steam by right-clicking Counter-Strike 2 in your Steam library and selecting Manage > Uninstall (twice). Click the Install option for Counter-Strike 2 in Steam to reinstall the game after uninstalling it. Try selecting to install the game at a different folder location or even drive if possible.

Other Possible Ways to Fix Counter-Strike 2 Not Launching

Try applying all the above potential resolutions for fixing Counter-Strike 2 not launching first. If they’re not enough, these are other resolutions for kick-starting CS2 worth trying:

  • Allow Counter-Strike 2 through Microsoft Defender Firewall (or third-party software alternatives).
  • Disable (or uninstall) third-party security software installed.
  • Install all available Windows updates (click Check for updates in Settings to do so).
  • Update the driver for your graphics card by downloading the latest one from the AMD or NVIDIA sites.
  • Disable GPU or CPU overclocking if you’ve applied any.

Although not guaranteed to fix Counter-Strike 2 not launching for everyone, lots of players have fixed CS2 not starting with the troubleshooting methods covered above. So, one of those potential fixes may kick-start CS2 on your Windows PC. Then you can get in all the Counter-Strike 2 blasting action.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>