How To Fix Stardew Valley Won’t Launch Issue [Complete Guide]

Stardew Valley is a popular game and has a loyal and huge consumer base that loves the gameplay and other aspects of the game. However, recently, we have gotten some reports about the Stardew Valley won’t launch issue that is encountered by a lot of users while trying to get into the game.

stardew valley won't launch issue
STARDEW Valley Won’t Launch

After receiving reports of this issue, we decided to start fixing it and according to our tests, we compiled the following guide so that you could completely get rid of the Stardew Valley won’t launch error on your Windows or Mac computer. Make sure to follow the guide carefully and accurately for the best results.

What Prevents Stardew Valley From Launching?

After compiling some methods to overcome this issue, we decided that it was vital that you knew why the problem occurs in the first place. Following are some of the most common reasons due to which this issue might occur on your computer.

  • Un-plugged Headphones: If the headset or speakers that you are using on your computer have been unplugged, Stardew won’t launch. This is because the game often requires an audio device to be plugged in in order to function correctly. Simply plugging in a headphone or a headset might fix this issue.
  • Missing Software: Sometimes, a missing installation of Direct X or VC Redist might affect your computer in such a way that it is unable to properly launch the game. Therefore, it is recommended to install the software from the game’s own folder because that is usually optimized to be able to run the game.
  • Admin permissions: In order to read and write on some admin directories, the game might require you to provide administrative privileges and if these are missing, Stardew won’t launch properly. Therefore, simply giving admin permissions to Steam or Stardew Valley might fix this issue.
  • Launcher Issues: Sometimes, the launcher’s target address might be imporperly written or the launcher itself might have been damaged due to which the game cannot be launched. You can try to repair it and check if doing so fixes the situation.
  • Missing/ Damaged Files: Stardew Valley won’t launch if your game is missing important files or if they have been damaged. Try to run a repair on your game and check to see if any files come up as missing or damaged.

Now that you have been made familiar as to why Stardew Valley won’t launch on your computer, we can finally move on towards implementing fixes to combat this situation.

Before You Start:

The first thing you should try to do is to launch the game directly from the folder if you haven’t done that already (i.e. running the executable directly) instead of using steam or the steam-created shortcuts (that launch steam first).

Fix Stardew Valley won’t Launch on PC:

Solution 1: Check Connectivity of Headphones

A few users have revealed that the issue happens when they haven’t connected their speakers or headset to their computers. Some games require an audio device to be plugged in order to launch and function properly. Stardew Valley turns out to be one of them, therefore, ensure you have connected your speakers or headphones correctly and afterward check whether it settles the issue.

Solution 2: Run game directly from game folder and Install Redist Software

  1. Proceed to the game installation folder and right-click on the “.exe” file.
  2. Click on the “Run as Administrator” option and check to see if Stardew Valley launches.
    Run Game as an Administrator
    Run Game as an Administrator
  3. If the game still isn’t launched then find the “_Redist” folder located above and open it.
  4. Run all the files inside that folder and install these setups one by one proceed to the .exe file again, run it, and hopefully the Stardew valley won’t launch issue would be resolved.
    Run the files
    Run the files

Solution 3: Delete the Startup_Preferences file

Like each other game out there, Stardew Valley utilizes a particular file to store all the startup inclinations of the client. If you run the game in Windowed mode and then you exit, most probably Stardew won’t launch issue will arise, therefore, follow the steps stated below to delete the startup_preferences file to get around this issue:

  1. Press “Windows + R” keys simultaneously on your keyboard to open the Run box and execute the “%appdata” command there.
    Typing in %appdata%
    Typing in %appdata% Command
  2. Now, find the “Stardew Valley” folder there and double-click to open it up.
  3. Locate the “startup_preferences” file there, after finding delete that file, and launch the game again.

Solution 4: Repair the XNA Installer

It is conceivable that the XNA Installer on your PC probably won’t be appropriately installed or its files might’ve been undermined over the long run. Consequently, in this method, we will fix its installation from the generally present installer that is already available on your system:

  1. Right-click on the game’s shortcut located on your system and select the “Open File Location” option.
  2. Proceed into the game file directly, then into the folder titled “_CommonRedist”–> “XNA” –> “4.0” and lastly run the “xnafx40_redist” installer.
  3. When the installer is launched, click on the “Repair” option and afterward choose “Next”.

Note: If the “_CommonRedist” folder isn’t present, open the “_Redist” folder inside the game folder and install all the executables present inside it again, and hopefully the Stardew valley won’t launch issue would’ve been resolved.

Solution 5: Delete Stardew Game Files and Saves

  1. Backup your saved files by copying the “Saves” directory elsewhere on your computer.
  2. Open Steam and click on the “Library” option.
  3. Now, choose already installed games and Right-click on “Stardew Valley”.
  4. Click on the “Delete Local Content” option and navigate to the following directory:
    C:\Program Files(x86)\Steam\SteamApps\common\Stardew
  5. Make sure the folder “Stardew Valley” doesn’t exist. If the folder exists, please remove it and perform the final steps in Steam.
  6. Choose “Library” and search for Stardew Valley there. Now, install the game and restore your saved games by moving the “Saves” directory back to the following location:
  7. This should work for you but if it doesn’t then you may have skipped a step so, follow the above steps carefully to get rid of this issue.

Solution 6: Set Launch options

On the off chance that you run the game without SMAPI modding software, at that point you have to ensure that you haven’t at present set the Launch Options command. If that command is already set and that software isn’t being used, then it might also be a potential culprit behind this issue, hence, in order to remove it from the game launcher follow the steps indexed below:

  1. Launch Steam client on your computer and proceed to the game “Library” from the toolbar.
    Click on library
    Choose Library
  2. Right-click on the game and select “Properties”.
  3. In the properties tab, proceed to the “General” tab and afterward click on “Set Launch Options” button and make that there aren’t any launch options set in this window.
    Set Launch Options
    Set Launch Options
  4. If any launch options have been set for the game, remove them and check to see if doing so fixes the issue on your computer.

Solution 7: Run Steam with Administrator Privileges

It might be possible that Steam requires Administrator privileges on your computer but they aren’t granted to it due to which the game is unable to launch, hence, in order to rectify this issue in no time grant Steam the Administrator privileges by Right-clicking on the Steam Icon and clicking on the “Run as Administrator” option.

Run as administrator
Run as administrator

Solution 8: Replace DLL Files

It is conceivable to fix this issue by physically supplanting some DLL files on your PC after downloading it from the web. If you are unsure how to proceed with these files, it is highly recommended you skip this step and proceed to make a bug report. If you break your computer because you don’t know what you are doing, that is your fault.

  1. Launch your browser and download the “.DLL” files from here.
  2. We’re providing the name of the files below that need to be downloaded from that website.
    msvcp100.dll 64 bit
    msvcp100.dll 32 bit
    msvcr100.dll 64 bit
    msvcr100.dll 32 bit
  3. Now, copy the “64-bit” files and proceed to the following location:
  4. Delete all the files that are already present inside this folder and paste the 32-bit files there.
  5. Now, copy the “32-bit” files and proceed to the following location:
  6. Similarly, replace any files that are already present inside that folder and paste these files there. That may not look right, but System32 is the 64-bit folder and SysWOW64 is the 32-bit folder.

Solution 9: Verify Integrity Of Game Cache

  1. Open Steam and click on the “Library” option.
    Choose library to fix stardew valley won't launch
    Click Library
  2. Now, choose already installed games and Right-click on “Stardew Valley”.
  3. Choose Properties and click on the “Local files” tab.
  4. Now, click on the “Verify Integrity Of Game Cache” option.
    Verify Integrity of the Game Files
    Verify Integrity of the Game Cache

Solution 10: Install DirectX 9.0c

Microsoft DirectX® 9.0c End-User Runtime will update your current version of DirectX. It is the core Windows® technology that drives high-speed multimedia and games on the PC. After analyzing the details and the system requirements you can download it from here.

Solution 11: Install Microsoft XNA Framework Redistributable 4.0

Microsoft XNA is a software that is utilized by numerous games including Stardew Valley. It might be possible that you’re short of this important framework on your system so verify whether it is installed on your system or not. If it isn’t installed you can install it from here and if this software is already installed then it is better to uninstall it from the Control Panel and reinstall it again in order to rectify Stardew Valley won’t launch issue on your PC.

Solution 12: Rename the GameOverlayRenderer64.dll file

Some files inside main installation folder might get corrupted due to which this issue can be triggered on your PC. Hence, rename some main steam files so that on reboot those files can be regenerated and this issue can be resolved:

  1. Right-click on main Steam’s icon located on the desktop and choose “Open File Location” from the window.
    Open file location to resolve stardew valley won't launch issue
    Open file location
  2. Inside this directory, right-click on the “GameOverlayRenderer64.dll” and select the “Rename” option from the menu.
    Rename file to fix stardew valley won't launch issue
    Rename the file
  3. Rename this file to “GameOverlayRenderer64.bak” and save your changes.
  4. After renaming this file, run the Steam.exe to launch Steam and if Steam asks, give it permission to regenerate the file and check to see if the issue persists after doing so.

Solution 13: Disable background applications

  1. Press “Ctrl + Shift + Esc” keys simultaneously, on the keyboard to open the “Task Manager”.
  2. Under the “Process” tab, right-click on any unwanted background process, and click on the “End Task” button.
    Disable background applications
    Disable background applications

Solution 14: Monitor System Services

Although we’ve closed all of the background applications that would’ve been the real culprit we also need to make sure that there aren’t any system services that might’ve been preventing the game to launch properly:

  1. Open the “Run” box on your PC and search for “msconfig” command.
    Typing in "Msconfig" command to resolve stardew valley won't launch issue
    Typing in “Msconfig”
  2. A system configuration window will open in front of you. From there click on the “Services” option and then uncheck the “Hide all Microsoft Services” option.
    Hide all Microsoft services
    Hide all Microsoft services
  3. Now, click on the “Disable All” button located at the right corner of the window to disable all the system services and prevent them from launching at the startup.
  4. Similarly, click on the “Startup” option adjacent to the Services option and close all the Startup Services from there.
  5. After disabling the applications, save your changes and Exit.
  6. Reboot your computer and verify whether the game launches on your computer and if it does, that means that a service or application was preventing the proper launch of the game. Hence, you can start enabling these services and applications one by one and check which one makes the issue come back.
  7. Now, as you’ve diagnosed the faulty service or applications, you can either try to reinstall it or keep it disabled permanently.

Solution 15: Re-Install Microsoft Re-distributable Packages

  1. Press “Windows key + I” simultaneously on the keyboard to open the run box and search for “appwiz.cpl”.
    Typing "appwiz.cpl"
    Typing “appwiz.cpl” Command
  2. Now right-click on every “Microsoft Visual C++ 2015” package installed on your computer and select “Uninstall” to uninstall it completely from your PC.
  3. Open your browser and download the Microsoft Visual C++ 2015 redistributable patch from the official website of Microsoft.
  4. Now double-click on the downloaded executable file and follow the onscreen instructions to install Microsoft Visual C++ 2015 redistributable patch on your computer.
  5. When the installation process is completed, check whether Stardew valley won’t launch issue persists.

Fix Stardew Valley won’t Launch on Mac:

Solution 1: Correct The Ownership Of A Folder

  1. Run the Terminal application on your Mac (if you’re not sure how, click the magnifying glass in the top right, type Terminal, and select the first result).
  2. In the window that appears, paste in the following line (CHANGE “USER” to your username) and press Enter:
    sudo chown -v “$USER” ~/.config
  3. This should correct the ownership of a folder that Stardew Valley needs to write under. You’ll probably be prompted for your password by the above command, and then it’ll output something like (/Users/yournamehere/.config). Try running Stardew Valley again, and hopefully, it’ll work this time.


Some gamers reported that they were using an older version of the “d3d9.dll” file and that specific file was causing the trouble, hence, if someone is using an old d3d9.dll like most of them where you’ll need to use the updated version of d3d9.dll and you can download that file from here.

Hopefully, the Stardew valley won’t launch issue should be resolved by now but if you need further assistance, contact here.

Alan Adams

Alan is a hardcore tech enthusiast that lives and breathes tech. When he is not indulged in playing the latest video games, he helps users with technical problems that they might run into. Alan is a Computer Science Graduate with a Masters in Data Science.
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