Fix Modern Warfare 2 Won’t Launch

COD MW2 won’t launch – The time has finally come, boys! One of the most anticipated first-person shooters of 2022, Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2, is finally here. It still feels like yesterday, when MW came out, and I was making people rage-quit with my OP 725. Time surely flies fast.

Though, Modern Warfare 2 more or less borrows the same mechanics from its predecessor, the game certainly looks next-gen. The graphics are looking crisp on this one, and also the shooting feels way better, now. Modern Warfare 2 offers plenty of new improvements and changes to the series’ gameplay. In the campaign and co-op modes, you’ll find advanced AI systems, water physics, and swimming mechanics. The vehicle system was also completely redesigned for the game. Diving to prone, mantle, and ledge hang, along with the removal of slide canceling, are some of the new movement tactics in the game.

Anyway, most of you should know by now, how bad the COD releases have been in the past. It is almost like a ‘ritual’ thing for COD games. The same is the case with COD MW2.

A lot of players have been complaining lately, that they are being unable to launch the game via Steam or And this problem has nothing to do with their PC hardware. That is why we decided to put all the fixes recommended by the community of Call of Duty on Reddit in one place so that players don’t have to check multiple sources for them.

Fix Modern Warfare 2 Won’t Launch

Before you move further into this guide, I would advise you to check the PC requirements of Modern Warfare 2. They will give you a good idea about how demanding the game is. You can check them out here.

Also, for Nvidia users, Infinity Ward has recommended Game Ready Driver version 516.59, and for AMD users, the recommended driver is Adrenaline 22.9.1. You can find the links below:

If you are trying to play this game on your laptop, then let me tell you, Intel Integrated GPUs are not supported in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II. Also, make sure that Windows is fully updated on your PC. I am using Windows 10, and the last update that I got was this one:

The latest Windows 10 update

Now, let me tell you, then I have tested the game on 4 GPUs, and there was only one where I faced this launch issue. I will tell you exactly what I did to fix the issue.

I have the game on Steam, so the first thing I did is verify the files on Steam. Actually, that is what the game recommends whenever you face a crash in COD MW 2. If you don’t know the exact steps:

  1. Open your Steam Library.
  2. Locate Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2.
  3. Right-click on it and select Properties.
  4. Now, just select Local Files from the left and click on ‘Verify integrity of game files…’.
    How to verify files of Modern Warfare 2
  5. The verification process will take some time, so just wait for a while. After it is done, just restart Steam, and try starting the game again.

If you bought COD MW 2 on, then all you need to do is select Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 on the launcher, click on the ‘Settings’ button beside ‘Play’, and hit ‘Scan and Repair’.

This method has worked for many, but unfortunately not for me. So, I did exactly what I did when I was facing a similar issue with Vanguard, next. As you know, Call of Duty now has a new anti-cheat called Ricochet. Anti-cheats often get flagged by anti-virus software, and this, in return, prevents the games from launching. The developers are working to resolve this.

What you can do in the meantime is, either disable your Real-Time Scanning/Protection on your Anti-virus, temporarily, you can add the entire folder of Modern Warfare 2 to the ‘Exceptions’ list of your Anti-virus. I personally use Windows Defender, so here is what I did:

  1. I opened my Windows 10 Settings menu and click on ‘Update & Security.’
  2. Then I selected Windows Security, from the left.
  3. Clicked on Virus & Treat Protection, scrolled down, and selected ‘Manage settings’, located under ‘Virus & Threat Protection settings.’
  4. I scrolled down again, to find the ‘Exclusion’ sections, and click on ‘Add or remove exclusions.’
  5. Now, I selected ‘Add an exclusion’, picked ‘Folder’, went to SteamLibrary > steamapps > common, and selected the entire ‘Call of Duty HQ’ folder.
    How to allow COD MW2 through Firewall
  6. Then, I opened my ‘Firewall & network protection’ settings, and selected ‘Allow an app through firewall.’
  7. Located ‘Call of Duty Modern Warfare II’ from the list and made sure that both ‘Private’ and ‘Public’ are ticked.
    How to allow COD MW2 through Firewall

After this, I restarted my PC, and COD MW 2 launched without any issues, in a single try. Since then, I have spent almost 6 hours in the game, and haven’t faced any startup or launch errors.

  • If you are a Comodo user: Select Settings > Advanced Protection > Miscellaneous > Detect Shell Code Injections [Exclusion] and add the entire COD MW2 game folder to the exclusion list.
  • If you are a BullGuard user: Select Settings > Main and uncheck Self protection.

The game still won’t launch for me, what to do?

Let me make this clear, whatever I wrote above this, are the steps that I actually used, that ended up working for me. If it didn’t work for you, then you have to try community fixes, which I have not tried personally.

Try these if COD MW 2 still won’t launch for you:

1. Use the exe file of COD MW2 to run it directly as admin

Avoid launching the game from Steam or once and try to run the executable file or .exe file of Modern Warfare 2 as admin, directly from the installation directory. Here is how to do it:

  1. Locate your Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 installation folder (Right-click on COD MW 2 from Steam Library > Manage > Browse Local Files)
  2. Right-click on COD.exe
  3. Go to the Compatibility tab
  4. Check “Run this program as an administrator
    How to launch Modern Warfare 2 as administrator

2. Manually update Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributables and restart your machine

I would recommend that you update your Visual C++ redistributable, as there’s a chance it hasn’t been installed correctly. If you are getting errors like “vcruntime140_1.dll missing” or “MSVCP140.dll was not found”, this will fix that.

3. 18 Files Corrupted or Missing Error

So, the game won’t launch for a lot of users, because they are getting a strange error that says ’18 Files Corrupted’. In that case, I would like you to visit this link.

There are a lot of users here, and you have managed to fix this issue. I don’t want to include all that here and increase the length of the article.

4. Some programs might be having conflict with the game

Modern Warfare 2 might be conflicting with a program running in the background. In that case:

  1. Launch “System Configuration” from the search bar.
  2. Go to “Services” tab.
  3. Check “Hide all Microsoft services”.
  4. Click “Disable all” button. Leave PC manufacturer-related programs checked.
  5. Hit “Apply” button & restart the PC.

These are all the fixes we have at the moment for people for whom Modern Warfare 2 won’t launch. We will be adding more soon.

One thing to keep in mind, none of these methods are advanced and are pretty basic. There is no guarantee that these steps will fix your problem 100%. If the issue you are facing is a serious one, then the best option would be to contact Activision support. I would suggest that you take a look at the official Modern Warfare 2 Reddit, or the Steam discussions page of COD MW 2. You will find a lot of players discussing these exact same issues.

If you think this guide has helped, then let us know in the comment section below. And for more Modern Warfare 2 guides, keep an eye on Frondtech. We will be covering every single technical issue and bug of the game. Good luck!

That’s all, folks!

Last Updated on February 15, 2023