FIX: Hearthstone stuck on loading or freezing in Windows 10

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Deputy Editor
2 Comments
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  • Hearthstone is one of the most popular card trading games on Windows 10
  • Unfortunately, users reported having loading and freezing problems with the game.
  • Explore our Gaming section for the latest news, tips, and guides. 
  • Our Windows 10 Hub is the biggest collection of specialized articles on the subject.
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Hearthstone is currently one of the most popular trading card games on PC, but users report that they are having some issues with Hearthstone and Windows 10.

Here we’re going to cover some of the most common issues and try to resolve them.

Users have reported that they are having issues with game lagging and black screen issues, so let’s see if we can fix them.

How can I fix Hearthstone problems in Windows 10?

Here are some common Hearthstone issues that users reported:

  • Hearthstone not working on PC – The most likely cause is your drivers. Update your display drivers to the latest version and check if that solves the problem.
  • Hearthstone connection, lag issues, latency issues PC – Can be caused by your DNS, but you can fix it by switching to Google’s DNS. You can also try restarting your router.
  • Hearthstone not loading – This is usually caused by your antivirus, so be sure to add Hearthstone to the list of exceptions.
  • Hearthstone fps, freezing issues – The issue might be the process priority or affinity. You can fix this right from Task Manager.
  • Hearthstone startup issues, launch problems – If this happens, make sure that you’re using a dedicated GPU. In fact, you might have to disable the built-in GPU from BIOS in order to fix this issue.

1. Keep your display drivers up to date

Many users have reported stuttering issues on Windows 10, and it has been reported that updating your display drivers to the latest version fixes these issues.

It has been confirmed by Nvidia users that the latest drivers are fixing the stuttering problems, but if you’re an AMD user it won’t hurt to update your drivers as well.

We recommend DriverFix to automatically download all outdated drivers on your PC. The process is automatic and a lot safer than looking for drivers yourself.

Start by downloading and installing this great tool. After the installation, the software will start automatically and look for driver issues or updates for your system.

The result will come after a few seconds in the form of a list with recommended drivers to update.

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2. Check your antivirus

If you’re having Hearthstone issues on your PC, it’s possible that your antivirus is the cause. Sometimes a third-party antivirus can interfere with your system, and that will cause this and many other errors to occur.

To fix the problem, make sure that Hearthstone is added to the list of exceptions in your antivirus and firewall.

If the problem is still there, it’s advised that you disable certain antivirus features and check if that helps. In some cases, you might even have to disable your antivirus altogether.

If disabling the antivirus doesn’t help, your next step would be to uninstall your antivirus. Several users reported that removing their antivirus solved the issue, so be sure to try that.

A couple of users reported that McAfee caused this problem. Once the antivirus is removed, check if the problem is still there.bitdefendr compatible with windows 10

If removing the antivirus solves the problem, you should consider switching to a different antivirus solution.

We strongly recommend Bitdefender Antivirus Plus, firstly because it has a Gaming Mode feature.

That ensures that your antivirus doesn’t interfere with your gaming sessions in any way, and moreover, it will block pop-ups and adjust graphics settings so you have the best gaming experience.

Of course, Bitdefender Antivirus Plus comes with a lot of other features like a VPN that can protect your privacy online at all times.

It also features a Social Network Protector, an Anti-tracker, and even a Password Manager, all designed for your complete online safety.

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3. Add Hearthstone to Windows Defender Exclusions list

  1. Press the Windows Key + I to open the Settings app.
  2. Go to the Update & Security section.
  3. Select Windows Defender from the menu on the left and choose Open Windows Defender Security Center from the right pane.
    Hearthstone freezing issues
  4. Go to the Virus & threat protection.
  5. Navigate to Virus & threat protection settings.
  6. Select Add or remove exclusions.
  7. Click Add an exclusion, select Folder, and choose Hearthstone’s directory.

4. Delete the Hearthstone folder from AppData

  1. Press Windows Key + R, type %localappdata% and press Enter.
    Hearthstone not loading
  2. Go to the Blizzard\Hearthstone directory.
  3. Delete the Hearthstone folder, or just move it to your Desktop or any other location.
  4. Start the game now and see if the stuttering issues persist.

5. Disable Switchable graphics from BIOS

  1. When your computer boots keep pressing Delete, F2, or F12 to enter BIOS.
  2. Locate the Switchable graphics and turn it off.
  3. Make sure that you save the changes.

Note: This solution only works if you have both integrated and dedicated graphics card.


6. Restart your router

  1. Go to your router/modem and press the Power button on it to turn it off.
  2. Once the device is off, wait for about 30 seconds.
  3. Now press the Power button again to turn it on.
  4. Wait for about 30 seconds or more for the router/modem to boot completely.

Hearthstone is not loading? Fix the problem with this comprehensive guide


7. Use Google DNS

  1. Click the network icon on your Taskbar and select your network.
    Hearthstone fps issues
  2. Select Change adapter options.
  3. Right-click your network connection and choose Properties.
    Hearthstone not working on PC
  4. Select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and click the Properties button.
    Hearthstone not working on PC
  5. Select Use the following DNS server addresses. Be sure to enter 8.8.8.8 as the Preferred and 8.8.4.4 as the Alternate DNS server. Click OK to save the changes.
    Hearthstone connection issues PC

Note: Keep in mind that switch to Google’s DNS can cause some latency issues, but that won’t be a problem for a game such as Hearthstone.


8. Change Hearthstone’s priority and affinity

  1. Start Hearthstone.
  2. Press Alt + Tab to minimize the game.
  3. Open Task Manager, go to the Details tab, and locate Hearthstone on the list.
  4. Right-click Hearthstone and choose Set priority.
  5. Set any other value higher than normal (some users are even suggesting to use Realtime value, but that might cause issues on your PC).
    Hearthstone fps issues
  6. Right-click the Hearthstone process again and choose Set affinity.
    Hearthstone startup issues
  7. Make sure that only the CPU 0 is checked and disable all the rest. Click OK.
    Hearthstone not working on PC

Note: Keep in mind that this is just a workaround, so you’ll have to repeat it every time you want to start Hearthstone.

Hearthstone is a great, and widely-popular game, so possible issues could spoil the experience of users.

However, we hope this article helped you to solve all the problems you had with Hearthstone, and that you’re able to play the game without any interruptions now. If you have any comments or questions, leave us a line in the comments section, below.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in March 2020 and has been since revamped and updated in October 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

  • I started having stuttering in Hearthstone, and also couldn’t play the Cinematic from Options. After I followed Solution 3 from this guide (renaming/removing the folder: %localappdata%BlizzardHearthstone) … both problems were resolved.

    THANK YOU!