Call of Duty

Fix Black Ops Cold War Crash at Startup, Not Launching, and Stuttering

Fix Black Ops Cold War Crash at Startup, Not Launching, and Stuttering

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War has seen a lot of COD fans transition from Modern Warfare. And although the developers of both games are different, early players accessing the beta of the game are reporting similar problems they encountered with Modern Warfare like the sudden crash with the game or crash at startup. For a large number of players, it’s frustrating as they cannot even launch the game. While others see the logo and the game crashes.

Troubleshooting launch problems with games can be a handful due to the sheer number of reasons a game can crash. However, we have taken user reports and the past history of COD titles to come up with the most likely cause and solution that can potentially resolve the Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War crash at startup, not launching, and stuttering.

You must also revisit the post as we will keep updating as the game releases fully and if there are similar bugs. We will also update the post with workaround with specific bugs with the game that cause crash. Here are the reasons why a game can crash.

What Causes the Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War Crash at Startup?

After installing the game for the first time, if you are facing Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War crash at startup or not launching problem, below are the possible reasons.

  1. The first suspect is one or more third-party software installed on your computer such as MSI Afterburner, Razer Synapse, ShadowPlay, AutoHotkey, Discord, etc. More often than not a software is forcefully injecting itself between the execution of Black Ops Cold War game files, which is causing the crash. Therefore, it’s suggested that you perform a clean boot of the system after suspending unnecessary services and then, launch the game. Under normal circumstance, this solution should work for the majority.
  2. If that fails, another common cause is the Windows Firewall or Defender. The security software of Windows may be blocking some game files. The same applies to third-party antivirus software as well such as Kaspersky, Avast, Malwarebytes, AVG, etc. Hence, you must whitelist the game in the respective antivirus software.    
  3. Overlay feature of certain programs like Steam, Discord, GeForce Experience, etc. are known to act up and crash games, especially the Steam overlay. If you  are facing the Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War crash at startup and not launching, you must disable the feature on the programs you are using.
  4. Windows by default does not provide admin privilege to any program, but with games it’s important that you run it with admin privilege, if not it can be the cause of crash and all sorts of problems with the game. Therefore, provide administrator rights to the game.
  5. You must also ensure that the graphics card driver is updated and the system software are all updated. All new games are developed to run on the latest versions of software. Outdated software can lead to crash or the game failing to launch.
  6. Often times when we install a game, it can get corrupted, especially when the download size is large as with recent COD titles. Both Steam and Battle.Net provides the option to scan and repair files. It’s the next best thing to reinstalling the game, but you don’t have to download the entire game. The scan and repair feature will find the corrupt files and replace them. Usually, taking no more than a few minutes.
  7. The Microsoft Redistributable Libraries and the latest DirectX are also important factors that can cause a game to crash. For most users, this may not be the cause, but if the issue is persistent, you may want to install the latest DirectX and Microsoft Redistributable Libraries. For this go to the official website of Microsoft, download and install.
  8. If there is a problem with the hard drive the particular drive where you have installed the game, it can cause the Black Ops Cold War crash at startup, not launching, and stuttering. To troubleshoot such a problem, Windows provides a range of options, the best is SFC command. We also recommend that you install the game on an SSD for best performance. Try changing the install location of the game to another driver, installing the game on a SSD, and running the SFC command.
  9. Performance problems is another major cause for crash at startup and stuttering. We have an entire section dedicated to resolving performance issues with Black Ops Cold War.       

How to Fix Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War Crash at Startup

Here are all the solutions you can try to resolve the Black Ops Cold War crash at startup. But, before you proceed ensure you have read the causes as it also contains some solutions not listed here.

Terminate Unnecessary Applications and Perform Clean Boot

With so many games, third-party software that forcefully inject themselves between operations cause crash in the game. Hence, the first thing we must do to resolve the Black Ops Cold War crashing on startup or failed to launch error is suspend all unnecessary programs and then launch the game. Here are the steps you can follow.

  1. Press Windows Key + R and type msconfig, hit Enter
  2. Go to the Services tab
  3. Check Hide all Microsoft services
  4. Now, click Disable all
  5. Go to the Startup tab and click on Open Task Manager
  6. Disable one task at a time and restart the system.

Try launching the game, check if the error still occurs.

Link Blizzard and Activation Accounts

Another reason you could be experiencing the crash on load is when the Activation and Blizzard account is not linked. Follow the linked guide to link your activation account with Steam, Blizzard, Xbox, and PlayStation. If you are getting the error message “Error: Disconnected from Server,” then, the cause is most likely not linking the accounts.

Turn Off the Antivirus or Windows Firewall

The most likely cause of theBlack Ops Cold Warcrash at startup is your antivirus software. Therefore, disable the software and try to play the game. If that works, you need to whitelist the game as you cannot have the antivirus disabled for long. Here are the steps to whitelist the game in the respective antivirus software.    

Windows Virus & Threat Protection

Windows Key + I > Update & Security > Windows Security > Virus & Threat Protection > Virus & threat protection settings > Manage settings > Exclusions > Add or remove exclusions > Add an exclusion.

Kaspersky Internet Security

Home > Settings > Additional > Threats and Exclusions > Exclusions > Specify Trusted Applications > Add.


Home >> Settings > Components > Web Shield > Exceptions > Set the exception.

Avast Antivirus

Home > Settings > General > Exclusions > Set the exclusion.

Disable Xbox Game Bar, Discord and GeForce Experience Overlay

As a first step, disable the above features and software. If the problem still occurs ensure that the GeForce Experience is also disabled. Here are the steps.

Disable Discord Overlay

  1. Launch the Discord app and click on the gear icon at the bottom.
  2. Under App Settings, select Overlay
  3. Toggle on the Enable in-game overlay
  4. Click on the Games tab
  5. Select Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War
  6. Toggle off the overlay.

Disable Xbox Game Bar

  1. Press Windows Key + I and select Gaming
  2. From the Game bar, toggle-off Record game clips, screenshots, and broadcast using Game bar

Disable GeForce Experience Overlay

  1. Launch GeForce Experience and go to Settings
  2. From the General tab, disable the In-Game Overlay
  3. Restart the system and play the game.

Run the Game with Admin Privilege

As mentioned earlier, running the game with admin rights is important. You should do it for every new game that you install. In fact, the launcher you use to launch the game should also have the same permission or crash will occur with games. Hence, to resolve the Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War crash at startup or not launching problem, go to the desktop shortcut of the game or the executable .exe file and right-click. Select Properties and go to the Compatibility tab. Check or tick the option Run this program as an administrator. Follow the same process for the launcher as well.

Update Everything on the System

The first software you should update is the graphics card driver. Manufacturers regularly release updates for their graphics card often with day-one support for AAA titles. Therefore, ensure that you have updated the driver software.

Windows recently launched the 2004 update, make sure that your Windows is updated to the latest version. It a gamer’s modus operandi to keep all driver software updated on the system including the must avoided audio drivers. Under some cases, updating audio drivers is known to resolve issues.

Repair Game Files

Corrupt game files will definitely lead to crash at startup. The crash can be in-game or at startup. Regardless of the launcher you are using, it has a feature to scan for corrupt files and replace them with new. Here are the steps for Battle.Net.

Scan and Repair with Battle.Net Launcher

  1. Open the client using the desktop shortcut.
  2. Open the game COD MW by clicking on the icon.
  3. Click Options > Scan and Repair > Start Scan.

Fix Black Ops Cold War Crash at Startup and Stuttering Due to Performance Issues

Here are some ways you can enhance the performance of the game to resolve the Black Ops Cold War Crash at Startup and Stuttering.

Change Value for Video Memory Usage – A solution suggested on Reddit and a lot of users have confirmed it fixes stuttering and FPS drop in the game. To perform the fix, navigate to the Documents folder and find Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War > player-beta > right-click Config.ini file and edit with Notepad. Scroll down to the bottom and locate video_memory. By default, the value will be set to video_memory = “0.8”, change it to video_memory = “0.65”. Save the file and launch the game.   

Tune Down the Game Settings – One of the first steps you should take when the game stutters or crashes is to limit the FPS. Allowing it to be flexible can make the game stable. Keep the FPS at 60 and try to play the game. Another aspect of graphics tuning is the Texture, reduce the texture settings and you will see most performance problems with the game improve.

Fullscreen, Windowed, and V-Sync – Running the game on fullscreen consumes more resources, which can cause the game to crash. As such, try playing the game on Windowed Mode. But, if you are already playing on the Windowed mode, try setting it to Fullscreen Borderless and Vsync set at 60Hz.

As with most graphics settings, the above also depends on your particular system, so increase or decrease the settings to find the perfect balance.

Disable Crossplay – Sometimes the Crossplay can cause all sorts of errors with the game, especially when in beta. Hence, try and disable the Crossplay to check if that resolves the crash with Black Ops Cold War.

Delete Cache Files – Corrupt cache files of the launcher can also be causing the crash or stuttering. Here are the steps you can follow.

  1. Close all the games running in
  2. Open the Run dialogue by pressing Windows Key + R.
  3. Type %programdata% and hit enter.
  4. Open the folder named Blizzard Entertainment andgo to > Cache.
  5. Press Control + A, right-click and select Delete
  6. Ensure every item in the folder is deleted.

That’s all we have in this guide to fix Black Ops Cold War crash at startup, not launching and stuttering. We will update the post when we know more, so make sure to check again in a few days.     

Harsh Clif
He is caught in a loop between writing about games and playing them. It's a vicious cycle. Although he's biased towards PC, you can occasionally find him on the PS5. He does not own an Xbox Consoles but plans on getting one soon.


  1. my game crashes when i start to check files

  2. Please add information on linking your Activision and Blizzard accounts on the Activision website. This game crashed on load for me and I tried LITERALLY EVERYTHING. The thing that fixed it was linking my Blizzard account to my Activision account. The error I got was “Error: Disconnected from Server”,

    1. Thanks, TurtleStomper, we appreciate your feedback.

  3. This article was extremely helpful, been having this problem off and on since buying BOCW. Easy fix, thanks!

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