World Of Warcraft Shadowlands – Crashing at Startup – Game won’t Launch – How to fix

WOW Shadowlands crashing and won’t launch – It looks like World of Warcraft is crashing for a lot of people after the Shadowlands update. And for some the game won’t even launch. Here is a guide that might help.

How to fix crashes and launch issues in WoW Shadowlands?

Are you aware of the new system requirements of WOW?

I realized that since WoW is a really old game, a lot of players play the game on low-powered gaming laptops and PCs. You will be surprised to know how demanding WoW has become now. Here are the requirements:

Minimum Requirements Recommended Specifications
Operating System Windows® 7 64-bit Windows® 10 64-bit
Processor Intel® Core™ i5-3450
AMD FX™ 8300
Intel® Core™ i7-6700K
AMD Ryzen™ 7 2700X
Video NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 760 2 GB or AMD Radeon™ RX 560 2 GB or Intel® UHD Graphics 630 (45W TDP) *Requires manufacturer’s driver support. NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1080 8 GB or AMD Radeon™ RX Vega 64 8 GB or better
Memory 4 GB RAM (8GB for integrated graphics such as Intel HD Graphics series) 8 GB RAM
Storage Solid State Drive (SSD)
100GB available space
Hard Disk Drive (HDD)
100GB available space (depending on the performance of the drive, player experience may be impacted on HDD)
Solid State Drive (SSD)
100GB available space
Broadband internet connection
Input Keyboard and mouse required. Other input devices are not supported. Multi-button mouse with scroll wheel

As you can see, the recommended graphics cards for the game are GTX 1080 8GB and RX Vega 64. This should give you an idea.

Set the right Preferred Graphics Processor (For Nvidia Laptop users)

I figured that WoW Shadowlands has a lot of laptops users playing the game. If your laptop features a Nvidia graphics card inside then you need to make sure your laptop is using that instead of the low powered integrated one.

  1. Just open Nvidia Control Panel
  2. Click on Manage 3D settings located on the left side
  3. Select the Program Settings tab
  4. Under “Select a program to customize” select World of Warcraft
  5. If it is not there then click on Add and then select it
  6. Now set “Select the preferred graphics processor for this program” to “High-performance NVIDIA processor

Update your drivers and operating system to resolve any compatibility issues

This should be an obvious step by now. The newer the drivers are, the better will be their compatibility.

Try to repair the game once

Use the Scan and Repair feature of Launcher to fix the missing or corrupted files of WoW Shadowlands. Just open the launcher > Select World of Warcraft > Click on Option on top > Click on Scan and Repair.
Blizzard scan and repair

Set your components to factory default speeds to resolve crashes due to overclocking

If by any chance you are witnessing random crashes in World of Warcraft Shadowlands, then chances are it is being caused by an overclocking application or utility running in the background. A lot of games have been suffering from crashes lately due to applications like MSI Afterburner or Zotac firestorm. So it is best to stay on the safe side and run your graphics card on default speeds.

Try lowering the in-game settings

If you somehow managed to get to the main menu of the game, then try lowering the graphics settings to stop the crashing. Lowering your in-game graphics settings can solve many performance and graphics issues. To do so, open the game’s main menu and set your graphics quality to Low using the dropdown or slider. If you still experience slow gameplay, turn off all in-game sound and music from the options menu.

If you see a performance improvement with these settings, try raising or re-enabling them one at a time to determine the problem. Once you find the setting or combination of settings that reduced performance, leave them disabled.

Set your power management settings to High Performance

  1. Press Windows+R
  2. Type powercfg.cpl into the Run prompt, then press Enter
  3. Expand the Show additional plans collapsible and select High performance
  4. If no High performance plan is available, click the Create a Power Plan button on the left
  5. Select High performance, name your plan, and click Next
  6. Set both of the drop downs in this menu to Never, then click Create

Are you sure that the Anti-virus on your System is not blocking the game?

In some cases, the executable of WoW may be getting silently quarantined by some antivirus software, preventing the game from launching. The developers are working to resolve this; in the meantime, you may need to disable Real-Time Scanning function or Real-Time Protection function of your Anti-virus to play. If you do not want to completely disable the software, then you will have to add the .exe (World of Warcraft Launcher.exe) of World of Warcraft and on the Exceptions list of your AV Software.

Close useless applications running in the background

Third-party programs running in the background can interfere with our games. Close all other applications to resolve software conflicts and free up resources. Now that you have closed the unnecessary programs. Follow the steps below:
  1. Press Ctrl+Shift+Esc to open the Task Manager.
  2. Click More Details.
  3. Select the Startup tab.
  4. Right-click on each item and select Disable.
  5. Restart the computer.

If this resolves the issue, enable the startup application one at a time to determine which one is causing the problem. You will need to restart between each application you enable.

Run the executable directly as admin

Avoid the once and try to run the executable file or .exe file of World of Warcraft Shadowlands (World of Warcraft Launcher.exe) as admin, directly from the installation directory. Here is how to do it:

  1. Go to the Installation folder of World of Warcraft
  2. Right Click on World of Warcraft Launcher.exe
  3. Go to Compatibility tab
  4. Check “Run this program as an administrator

These are all the steps or methods that you can follow in order to fix the crashes in World of Warcraft Shadowlands. 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 problem you are facing is a serious one then the best option would be contacting the support. I would suggest that you take a look at the official WOW Reddit. You will find a lot of players discussing about these exact same issues.

That’s all folks!

Last Updated on November 25, 2020

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