Over the last couple of years, we’ve been spending more and more time at home. And we’ve become more and more dependent on chat apps to scratch our social itch.
Even once secular single-player only gamers like myself have turned to apps like Discord to not only socialize with existing friends but to also reach out and meet new people with shared interests.
It can be incredibly disheartening when you log in for a night of gaming/socializing just to find that your Discord app has decided not to open.
These days even the biggest technophobe knows to switch their PC off and on again and to reinstall troublesome programs.
But what next?
Do not fear! If Discord won’t open, we’ve scoured the internet for the best fixes.
We’ve started with the quickest/ easiest fixes first. You should try these first before moving on to the more intimidating and time-consuming fixes.
Why Won’t Discord Open?
Sometimes it feels like our computers are genuinely designed to test our patience.
Without doing a full teardown of your hardware and software it’s impossible to guess with 100% accuracy why Discord won’t open in your specific use case.
However, we can use educated guesses to try and narrow down the culprits and get you chatting to your friends again.
Is Discord down?
The Discord servers could be. Discord is a web-based service so if their servers go down, your Discord experience goes down the toilet. This is rare but even the big boys like Discord and Facebook go down sometimes.
Corrupted/ Missing Program files
It may be that some of your Discord files have become corrupted or even gone missing, especially after an update. This sounds scary but it’s a normal part of using a PC and an easy fix.
Windows being a douche
Windows may be the most popular operating system on the planet, but it’s not faultless. If you find that all of a sudden that a Discord won’t open there’s a good chance the fault lies on the Windows side of things and not Discord.
Discord doesn’t like your internet connection settings
Discord has had lots of problems with bots and spammers. If you use Proxy servers or a VPN, Discord might be blocking your connection. Or your time and date settings could be causing synchronization issues.
What To Do If Discord Won’t Open?
Whatever the problem, do not fear! The below fixes will get you back online in no time.
1. Flip The Task Manager Kill Switch
There’s a good chance that if Discord is stuck on starting even though you’ve tried closing it, it still has processes running in the background.
If this happens then there’s a common bug where Windows sees these background processes running and thinks all is well.
No matter how many times you click Discord, Discord won’t open, because Windows thinks Discord is already running.
Thankfully this problem is the quickest and easiest to fix.
We’re going to force quit Discord and then restart it
- Press Ctrl-Shift-ESC
- On older Windows versions this will bring up Task manager straight away. On Windows 10 you’ll have to select Task manager from the pop-up window. Same on Windows 11.
- Choose the Processes tab
- Scroll down and look for Discord.exe under Apps
- Right-click it and select End Task
- While you’re here check under Background processes and look for anything related to Discord. If it has Discord in the name, End it.
Sometimes your PC is having a REALLY bad day and struggles to even open the task manager. Thankfully, there is another way to force quit Discord.
- Open the Windows Run box by pressing the Windows key and R.
- In the popup box type cmd and press enter
- This will open the black command prompt window that looks like something out of the Matrix.
- Type (exactly) “taskkill/F/IM discord.exe” without quotations marks and press ENTER
This should force close Discord without needing Task Manager. Whichever method you use, open Discord like normal and try logging in.
2. Switch Your PC On And Off Again (Seriously)
It may be a meme as old as time but it’s an accurate one for a reason.
Before you spend the next hour searching guides and messing around with system settings and files just give your computer a quick reboot if discord doesn’t open after our first method.
The longer your PC runs, the more errors it tends to create. So turn it off and switch it back on and a lot of these errors fix themselves.
If force closing Discord through the task manager didn’t work just reboot.
3. Maybe Discord Is Down
Still Discord not opening?
Ok so before we start our fiddlier fixes we have a couple more quick and easy methods up our sleeves.
First, there’s a chance that your PC is fine, and it’s Discord, the company that’s experiencing difficulties. Check this page.
It will tell you if any of Discord’s systems are currently experiencing any problems which could stop users from logging in.
If this page reports everything is ok then try logging into the web app with your Discord login here.
Some users have reported that logging into the Discord web app seems to bring their Discord desktop app back to life.
For some reason using your Discord login on the web app seems to allow your desktop app to access the servers again.
If your Discord sign in through the web app or the Discord status page reports Discord is down you’re just going to have to chill and be patient. You’ll need to wait until Discord fixes whatever server issues they’re having.
5. Uninstall/ Reinstall And Update Discord
So, Discord’s servers aren’t down, and still, discord won’t open? It’s time to play hardball.
When discord won’t open on desktop it could be that your Discord app is way out of date and that’s causing problems.
So, we’re going to have to uninstall Discord and then download the newest version. We presume you know how to uninstall programs, but just in case.
- Select Control Panel from the Windows start menu
- Select Programs
- Select Programs and Features
- From this list find Discord and click uninstall.
- Visit the Discord download page
- Download and reinstall Discord as normal.
This whole process should take less than five minutes and should hopefully fix the discord won’t open issue. More often than not just reinstalling a troublesome program should do the trick.
6. Run System File Checker
If you’re STILL having problems with the Discord app not opening, then it’s time to start looking more in-depth at your system.
It could be that some of your Window’s system files have become corrupted and this is causing issues running executables like Discord.
This fix isn’t unique to the Discord won’t open problem and can be used whenever your system is having problems loading programs.
If you find programs like Discord taking forever to start then this is also a nice way to speed them up. More corrupt files = slower computer.
We’re going to run the SFC (system file checker). This will automatically look for and attempt to repair or replace any corrupted files.
- Press Windows key + R again to open up the Run windows
- Once again type cmd
- However, this time press CTRL + Shift + Enter. This time the command prompt window will open but with administrator permissions enabled
- We’re back at the Matrix-style black box. Type sfc /scannow
You should get this box. Let the process run its course. The SFC check can either take a few minutes to do its job or a long time.
It depends on what kind of state your system is in since this is checking EVERYTHING, not just your Discord install.
Make sure not to close the command prompt window and make sure your PC stays powered on until the process is complete. Once the SFC is complete try booting up Discord and see what happens.
7. Delete Local and App data
If an SFC didn’t do the trick and Discord won’t start, then corrupted system files may not be the issue.
Windows stores cache files in your AppData folder. If these files are growing too big or have become corrupted this can lead to Discord opening slowly or Discord doesn’t open at all.
We’re going to delete all of your Local and App data Discord cache files.
- Once again press Windows + R
- This time type %appdata% in the run window
- The appdata folder will automatically open in the file manager
- Scroll down and find the Discord folder
- Right Click and click delete
- Press Windows + R
- Type %localappdate% this time and hit enter
- Same again, find the Discord folder and delete it
- Run Discord
Boot up, enter your Discord sign in and see if it will run. If this hasn’t worked we can try one more thing –
- Uninstall Discord completely again.
- Then run through the app data and local app data steps above again.
This will completely wipe any trace of Discord from your PC. There should be no old corrupted finals lurking around causing problems.
Now just reinstall Discord and it should be fine as it’s a 100% free install.
8. System Time and Date
Ok, we’re getting into the more niche fixes now. As an online service, your Discord app automatically connects to the Discord servers every time you boot up Discord.
Some users have found that Discord won’t synchronize with the servers if their time and date are wrong.
Often, your time and date are set to change automatically in synchronization with Microsoft’s servers.
If you’ve ever disabled this functionality (for example to cheat with certain in-game timed events) then you’re going to need to switch it back on.
- Right-click on the “Time and Date” in the bottom right of your screen
- From the new pop-up menu select Adjust date/time
- The time and date settings window from the control panel should now open.
- Slide the Set time automatically slider to on
9. Disable Proxies
It may be that you have a Proxy enabled on your internet connection. Most of the time Proxies are great. They add a layer of security and anonymity to your online actions.
However, occasionally they can also cause problems when trying to connect to online services like Discord.
If Discords servers don’t play nicely with your Proxy server you won’t be able to connect.
- Open up Control Panel
- Choose Network and Internet
- From the left-hand menu select Proxy
- Slide “Automatically Detect Settings” and “Use a Proxy” to off
- Make sure to disable any VPN you usually have running.
VPNs and proxy servers are one of the most common causes of connection errors when using Discord.
The problem arises from the fact that VPNs make it very hard for Discord to ban malicious bots, spammers, and trolls, so Discord has banned the use of many VPNs.
You can try searching for a VPN that plays nice with Discord, but new (especially free) VPNs are banned all the time. There’s a useful thread on the Discord support page here.
There are so many variables that can cause Discord not to open. Your first step should always be to check the task manager and see if you can force quit Discord.
If not, it’s time to reboot. Trying these quick methods first can save you a lot of time and headaches later on.
Whatever the problem turned out to be we hope you found our Discord won’t open guide helpful.
Why is Discord not opening on Windows 11?
There can be many reasons why Discord won’t open on Windows 11.
Since December 2021 Discord has been officially supported on Windows.
This means that it SHOULD be working just as well as on Windows 11.
However, 11 is still a work in progress and there are bugs.
If Discord is crashing you should try
– Uninstalling and Reinstalling it
– Using Task Manager to force quit
– Delete the cached app data for Discord
– Run System File Checker
If you’re not sure how to do these things check our above guide, the steps are no different from Windows 10 to 11.
Why is Discord not connecting?
If the Discord app is loading but not connecting to Discord servers then it’s probably a connection issue. So =
– Make sure you’re connected to the internet and your connection is live.
– Visit Discord Status to make sure that the Discord servers aren’t down. If they are, you’ll have to wait for them to complete repairs/ maintenance.
– Make sure that if you use a VPN it is disabled. Discord doesn’t play nice with a lot of VPNs, especially free ones.
– Disable proxy servers in your internet settings.
– Make sure your system time and date are set to update automatically (this can cause synchronization issues with Discord)
If you’re not sure how to do these, check our handy in-depth above guide.
How do you restart the Discord app on PC?
If Discord has crashed and become unresponsive on your system you have three options –
– Press ctrl+alt+delete. On an older system, this will bring up the task manager straight away. On newer Windows 10 and 11 you will then have to select the task manager. Go to the processes tab, find the task manager, and click end task.
– If the task manager is also unresponsive you can press the Windows key + R. In the new window type cmd and press enter. In this new black command prompt window type (exactly) “taskkill/F/IM discord.exe” without quotations marks and press ENTER
– If these two fail, reboot your PC and Discord should boot on startup.
How should I install Discord on Windows 11?
Now that Discord has been launched on the Windows store you have two options.
Thankfully downloading and installing apps is no more complicated on Windows 11 than it was on 10.
– Open your internet browser and enter this link. Now just click download Discord.
– Click the downloaded file and follow the install instructions.
If you’re worried about potential viruses don’t sideload Discord. Instead, open up the Windows Store from your Windows 11 desktop and download Discord directly from there!