It's not as deadly as it sounds
For most users, repairing or reinstalling the Discord app will fix the problem, but if another third-party app or service is causing an issue, then you’ll need to dig deeper and make sure that Discord can load and run correctly.
If that’s the case, you’ll need to troubleshoot Discord using the steps below. Don’t forget that if the Discord app on your PC or Mac isn’t working, you can still use the Discord website or Discord mobile app to access your servers instead.
Remove and Regenerate the Discord AppData Folder
If you’re using the Discord desktop app, then the app will store files on your PC to allow it to run correctly. This includes configuration settings, usage logs, cached thumbnails, and other data that it uses to quickly load when you reopen the app.
If this data is corrupted, then Discord may stop working. To help regenerate your Discord configuration (and remove any temporary files), you can delete Discord’s AppData folder.
- To do this, open Windows File Explorer. Using the navigation bar at the top, type %appdata% and press the Enter key. This will take you to the AppData folder for your Windows user account.
- In the AppData folder, locate the Discord folder. Right-click the folder, then select the Delete option. You’ll need to make sure that Discord isn’t running (including checking for the discord.exe process in Windows Task Manager) before you do this.
- This will place the Discord AppData folder in your recycle bin. On your desktop, right-click the Recycle Bin icon and select the Empty Recycle Bin option to ensure the files are fully removed from your PC.
Once the Discord AppData folder has been removed, Discord will automatically regenerate a new set of configuration files, forcing you to sign in with your Discord user account again. This should resolve the issue for many users but, if it doesn’t, you’ll need to try one of the additional steps below.
Remove and Reinstall the Discord Desktop App
- To remove Discord, you’ll need to head to the Windows Settings menu. Right-click the Start menu and select Settings to do this.
- In the Windows Settings menu, select Apps > Apps & features. Scroll down until you find Discord listed or use the search bar to find it. Once you find Discord, select it in the list, then select the Uninstall > Uninstall buttons.
- Allow the Discord removal process to complete. Once it has, head to the Discord website and download the latest version of the desktop app for your platform.
- Once downloaded, run the Discord installer and follow any additional on-screen instructions (if required) to complete the installation.
A new Discord installation will replace any existing files, but it may not remove any lingering temporary files, such as a corrupt AppData folder. If you’re still having trouble after reinstalling Discord, make sure that the AppData folder has been removed before trying the reinstallation process again.
Run Discord as an Administrator
If Discord fails to run, it could point to a problem with user privileges. While Discord should run on standard Windows user accounts, it won’t harm your PC to try to run Discord with administrator privileges enabled.
- To do this, open Windows File Explorer and use the navigation bar to open the C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Discord folder, replacing username with your user profile folder.
- In the Discord folder, you may see various numbered folders (for instance, app-0.0.3.308). These folder numbers refer to available versions of the Discord desktop app. Open the folder with the highest number (or the latest Date Modified date).
- In the folder you selected, right-click Discord.exe and select the Properties option.
- In the Compatibility tab of the Properties window, select the Run this program as an administrator option, then select the OK button to save.
- Once you’ve enabled Discord’s administrative privileges, double-click Discord.exe in Windows File Explorer to run it. You may need to accept the User Access Control pop-up to allow Discord to run by pressing the Yes option. You may also need to provide the username and password for a Windows administrator account if you’re currently using a standard user profile.
If another app or service is preventing Discord from running properly, then running it with administrative privileges should help to fix the problem. The exception to this, however, is if you have an antivirus installed that might stop Discord from running in a sensitive user folder (such as your AppData folder).
Check Your Antivirus Isn’t Blocking Discord
Unlike typical applications, the Discord desktop app runs from within the AppData folder itself. Each version of Discord is treated as temporary, with an update file (update.exe) running first to ensure that the latest version of Discord is installed automatically.
As a protected system folder, however, the AppData folder may have additional restrictions placed on it when a third-party antivirus is installed on your PC. While rare, antivirus protection can sometimes block a new installation of Discord from running correctly.
Because the settings for third-party antivirus software can vary, you’ll need to double-check your antivirus settings directly to ensure this isn’t the case. If your antivirus software is blocking Discord, then be sure to add it to the “allowed” list to ensure that Discord can run without interference.
Using Discord on Windows 10
That is, of course, as long as you’ve connected to Discord successfully. If you’re still having trouble with your Discord server, you may prefer to use a Discord alternative like Teamspeak or Slack instead, depending on your use case.