Dolphin Emulator Not Working on Windows: 5 Ways to Fix

Outdated app or corrupt game files often cause this error

by Vlad Turiceanu
Vlad Turiceanu
Vlad Turiceanu
Passionate about technology, Windows, and everything that has a power button, he spent most of his time developing new skills and learning more about the tech world. Coming... read more
Reviewed by Alex Serban
Alex Serban
Alex Serban
Windows Server & Networking Expert
After moving away from the corporate work-style, Alex has found rewards in a lifestyle of constant analysis, team coordination and pestering his colleagues. Holding an MCSA Windows Server... read more
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  • Ensure your PC meets the minimum system requirements needed to run Dolphin Emulator.
  • Unplugging GameCube pad adapters usually resolves the error.
  • You can connect to a VPN to see if the error is resolved.
dolphin emulator not working

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Dolphin Emulator is one of the most popular game emulators on Windows. Sometimes, the emulator stops working on which can trigger the Dolphin emulator not working in Windows.

If Dolphin Emulator isn’t working on your Windows PC, we’ll provide you with the steps needed to resolve the error.

In this article

Why is Dolphin not working?

There are a couple of reasons why Dolphin Emulator is not working on Windows 10. They include:

  • GameCube Ppad adapters – In most cases, a damaged GameCube pad adapter can cause Dolphin emulator to crash. Also, it can also trigger the Dolphin controller detected but not working error.
  • Outdated application – If you’re running an outdated version of Dolphin Emulator, you might get a crash message when you try to run the application.
  • Network connection – If you have an unstable internet connection, the Dolphin emulator might fail to run. Also, it could also trigger the Dolphin traversal server error.
  • Antivirus restrictions – Some security software in an attempt to be overprotective can block applications like Dolphin Emulator from operating.
  • Corrupt Game Data – Sometimes, applications write corrupt data to the application’s folder which can trigger a wide range of errors including Dolphin not responding in Windows 10.

What can I do if Dolphin Emulator is not working?

Before we move to more advanced solutions, here are a couple of quick fixes you can attempt:

  • Restart Dolphin Emulator.
  • Check your system spec to see if it meets the minimum system requirements to run the game.
  • Unplug any GameCube pad adapters.

If the above steps couldn’t resolve dolphin emulator crashing on Windows 11, here are a few advanced fixes you should try:

1. Clear cache data

  1. Press Windows key + E to open File Explorer.
  2. Then, navigate to the path: C:\Users\[YourUserName]\Documents\Dolphin
  3. Locate the Cache folder, right-click it, and select Delete.
  4. Wait for the entire folder to delete and close File Explorer.
  5. Press F5 to refresh your PC and relaunch Dolphin Emulator.

When you’re deleting the Dolphin Emulator cache, ensure you delete only the cache folder to prevent you from deleting important files.

2. Close unnecessary background apps

  1. Right-click the Start button and select Task Manager.
  2. Right-click on any heavy resource application from the list of applications and click End task.
  3. Repeat the process until you’ve closed all the unnecessary background apps.
  4. Finally, relaunch Dolphin Emulator to see if dolphin emulator freezing is resolved.

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Too many open background apps can reduce the RAM available to Dolphin Emulator, closing background apps is one sure way to prevent the app from crashing. In addition,if the Task Manager fails to work, then try the fixes in this guide to troubleshoot it.

3. Disable Antivirus software

  1. Press Windows key, type Windows Security, and launch it.
  2. Select Virus and Threat Protection and choose Manage settings.
  3. Then, toggle off Real-Time Protection. You can also disable more options in this tab.

Antivirus Software unknowingly get in the way of running applications, you can temporarily disable them to see if Dolphin Emulator is still crashing.

4. Update Windows

  1. Press the Windows key + I to open Settings.
  2. Click on Windows Update and select Check for Updates button.

If there is an available update, it will be downloaded and installed automatically. Should the Windows Update not work or fails to load, check out this guide for fixes.

5. Reinstall Dolphin Emulator

  1. Press Windows + I to open Settings.
  2. Select Apps and click on Installed apps.
  3. then, locate Dolphin Emulator, click the three dots and select Uninstall. Then, select Uninstall to confirm the selection.
  4. Visit the Dolphin Emulator download page and download the latest file.
  5. Open your File Explorer, right-click on the downloaded file and click Extract all.
  6. Open the newly extracted folder, locate dolphin.exe file, right-click it and select Run as administrator.
  7. Follow the installation Wizard to complete the reinstallation of the Dolphin Emulator.

Reinstalling Dolphin Emulator should only be done if you’ve exhausted all means of resolving the error.

You can also use this method to download and update Dolphin Emulator to its latest version.

Tip icon
If somehow Dolphin Emulator error still persists, you can try a reliable alternative like LDPlayer because it has the best compatibility and strong stability with higher FPS and faster processing.

Fixing the Dolphin Emulator freezing on Windows doesn’t require much technical know-how, with the steps outlined above, you should be able to restore the app to its functional state.

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If the advices above haven't solved your issue, your PC may experience deeper Windows problems. We recommend downloading this PC Repair tool (rated Great on to easily address them. After installation, simply click the Start Scan button and then press on Repair All.

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