Full Fix: League of Legends won’t launch on Windows 10, 8.1, 7

By: Madeleine Dean
7 minute read

Launching League of Legends on Windows 10 can sometimes be more difficult than fighting hordes of vicious enemies. Many players report they often can’t launch the game due to various error messages or simply because nothing happens when they hit the play button.

If you’re experiencing League of Legends start issues, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’re going to list a few workarounds that will help fix these issues and launch the game.

First, let’s see how one gamer describes this issue:

I updated to the new client yesterday and everything was great. I logged out and today the launcher starts but after I hit “Launch” the launcher disappears but no client. Task Manager shows 2 instances of “League Client (32 bit)” running under ‘Background processes’ but I can’t bring it up anywhere. Trying to launch the launcher again gives me the ‘game already running’ pup-up so that’s no help.

How to fix League of Legends launch issues

League of Legends is a great game, but many users reported that they can’t start it at all on their PC. Speaking of League of Legends issues, here are some problems that users reported:

  • League of Legends won’t launch after clicking launch – This is a relatively common problem that happens with League of Legends. This issue is usually caused by applications such as Steam or Razer Synapse, so be sure to close those applications before starting the game.
  • League of Legends won’t open, work, start Windows 10, 8, 7 – According to users, this issue occurs on all versions of Windows, and Windows 8 and 7 aren’t exceptions. However, almost all of our solutions are compatible with older versions of Windows, so you can use them even if you don’t have Windows 10.
  • League of Legends doesn’t start – Several users reported that League of Legends won’t start at all. This might be caused by your shortcut, and to fix the problem, it’s advised to start the game right from the installation directory.
  • League of Legends won’t start rads error, exe won’t start, black screen, because of firewall – There are various issues that can occur and prevent League of Legends from starting, however, you should be able to fix most of them by using one of our solutions.

Solution 1 – Start the game directly from the installation directory

If League of Legends won’t start on your PC, the problem might be your shortcut. According to users, sometimes your shortcut might not be working properly, and to fix that issue, it’s advised to start the game directly from the installation directory.

To do that, just go to the installation directory, by default it should be C:\Riot Games\League of Legends and double-click LeagueClient.exe. If this solves the problem, you need to always use this method to start the game.

Alternatively, you can create a shortcut of LeagueClient.exe on your Desktop and use it to start the game.


Solution 2 – Change user.cfg and delete LeagueClient.exe

According to users, if League of Legends won’t start on your PC, the problem might be your user.cfg file. However, you can fix the problem simply by following these steps:

  1. Go to your League of Legends default install folder > go to \RADS\system.
  2. Locate the user.cfg file and open with Notepad.
  3. Change leagueClientOptIn = yes to leagueClientOptIn = no.
  4. Save and launch League of Legends again.
  5. Once it opens, go back to your LoL folder > delete the LeagueClient.exe file.
  6. Save and go to your League install directory and run lol.launcher.exe.
  7. If LoL still won’t launch, try using the launcher called “lol.launcher.admin.exe” instead.

Solution 3 – Reinstall the game

If none of these solutions can fix the problem, you might have to remove the game and install it again. There are several ways to do that, but the best one is to use uninstaller software. In case you’re not familiar, uninstaller software is a special application that can completely remove any program from your PC.

In addition to removing the selected program, uninstaller software will remove all files and registry entries associated with that program. As a result, it will be as if the application was never installed on your PC.

There are many great uninstaller applications, but one of the best is IOBit Uninstaller, so we encourage you to try it out. Once you remove the game using this tool, reinstall it and your problem should be resolved.


Solution 4 – Reinstall your graphics card drivers

League of Legends doesn't start

According to users, sometimes League of Legends won’t start due to issues with your graphics card. Your graphics card is crucial for gaming sessions, and if there’s a problem with your graphics card drivers, you might not be able to start League of Legends at all.

To fix this problem, it’s advised to remove your graphics card drivers and use the default drivers instead. There are several ways to do that, but if you want to completely uninstall your drivers, we suggest you use Display Driver Uninstaller to remove them.

Once your drivers are removed, restart your PC and Windows 10 should install the default drivers instead. Once you install the default drivers, check if the problem still persists. In addition to using the default driver, some users are recommending to install an older version of the graphics driver, so you can try that as well.

Download TweakBit’s Driver Updater Tool (approved by Microsoft and Norton) to do it automatically and prevent the risk of downloading and installing the wrong driver versions.

Disclaimer: some functions of this tool are not free.


Solution 5 – Disable all running League of Legends processes

If League of Legends won’t launch on your PC, the issue might be background processes. According to users, sometimes certain League of Legends processes might be running in the background, and that can cause this issue to appear.

However, you can fix the problem simply by disabling all League-related processes from Task Manager. To do that, just follow these simple steps:

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to start Task Manager.
  2. Now locate both LoLLauncher.exe and LoLClient.exe processes and end them. To do that, simply right-click the process you want to end and choose End Task from the menu.
    League of Legends won’t start rads error

After disabling the required processes, try to start the game again and check if the problem reappears.


Solution 6 – Close problematic applications

League of Legends won’t launch after clicking launch

According to users, sometimes other applications can interfere with League of Legends and cause issues such as this one to occur. One application that can interfere with your game is Steam, so if you’re using Steam, be sure to close it before starting League.

Once you close Steam, try to start the game again and check if the issue is still there. Another application that can cause this problem is Razer Synapse, so if you have it installed, be sure to close it before starting the game.


Solution 7 – Force the game to update itself

If you can’t start the game, the issue might be a corrupted installation. This can be a big problem, and in order to fix it, it’s advised to delete certain files from the game’s installation directory. This is relatively simple, and you can do it by following these steps:

  1. Go to the LoL’s installation directory and then navigate to RADS > Projects.
  2. Delete both air clients and the lol launcher folder.
  3. Now go to the downloads directory and delete its content.
  4. Go to the solutions directory and delete the client folder.
  5. After doing that, restart your PC.

After your PC restarts, locate the game’s shortcut and run it as administrator. This will force the game to update and your issue should be resolved.


Solution 8 – Repair the installation

If League of Legends won’t start on your PC, the issue might be your installation. Sometimes your installation can get corrupted and that can cause issues such as this one to appear. To fix the problem, it’s advised to repair your installation by following these steps:

  1. Start League of Legends as an administrator. You can do that simply by right-clicking the shortcut and choosing Run as administrator from the menu.
    League of Legends won't open
  2. Once the launcher opens, in the upper right corner click the Cog wheel icon and choose Repair.

The repair process will now start. Keep in mind that the repair can take a while, so you’ll have to be patient.

Not being able to start League of Legends can be a big problem, but we hope that you managed to solve this issue using our solutions.


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in February 2017 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.


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