COD Modern Warfare 3 (MW3)- FIX Won’t Launch and Crashing

COD MW3 Won’t Launch and Crashing– Call of Duty is easily one of the most popular franchises in gaming history with Modern Warfare 3 being their latest installment. The game pretty much does everything right except the fact that most users are complaining about random crashes and freezes as they launch the game.

For some, the game would not launch and get stuck on an infinitely long black screen. If you are one of them, there is no need to worry as we have some potential fixes for this problem.

How to FIX Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 (COD MW3)Won’t Launch and Crashing

It might be a little difficult to pinpoint the exact cause. We would have to perform several checks and try out more than one fix to see if it solves the issue.

Firstly, we need to understand that COD games nowadays are heavy on your hardware unless you have beast PCs with RTX 4090s. Let’s quickly check the system requirements for this game to understand what we are dealing with.

System Requirements for Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3:


    • OS: Windows® 10 64 Bit (latest update)
    • Processor: Intel® Core™ i3-6100 / Core™ i5-2500K or AMD Ryzen™ 3 1200
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 960 or AMD Radeon™ RX 470 – DirectX 12.0 compatible system
    • DirectX: Version 12
    • Storage: 125 GB available space


    • OS: Windows® 10 64 Bit (latest update) or Windows® 11 64 Bit (latest update)
    • Processor: Intel® Core™ i5-6600K / Core™ i7-4770 or AMD Ryzen™ 5 1400
    • Memory: 12 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1060 or AMD Radeon™ RX 580 – DirectX 12.0 compatible system or Intel® Arc™ A770
    • DirectX: Version 12
    • Storage: 125 GB available space

These are the system requirements for MW3 according to Steam. So if you are anywhere below the minimum requirements for this game, chances are you won’t be having the best experience.

Also, make sure you have at least 32 GB of RAM since MW3 actually utilizes more than 12 GB when you play online on servers packed with users.  Your PC also needs to run important background processes along with Windows itself, so you might as well get an upgrade if you are still using 16GB of RAM.  

An SSD is recommended over an HDD as well. MW2 crashed quite a lot for users with HDDs and MW3 is no different.

GPU Drivers and OS updates:

AAA games like MW3 normally get a dedicated driver update. Make sure you have the latest GPU drivers installed as it fixed the problem for a lot of users. Check the links given below:

If the game crashes with an error code like  “vcruntime140_1.dll missing” or “MSVCP140.dll was not found” , it means the latest version of Visual Studio is not installed

Download from here->  Microsoft Visual C++ 2015-2022 Redistributable (x64) 

After the download is complete follow these steps:

  • Go to the downloaded folder and right-click on the file vc_redist.x86.exe.
  • Click on “Run as administrator” and proceed with the installation.

Always keep your OS updated. A Windows update with bugs could easily interfere with gaming, preventing them from launching or making them crash as you play:

  • Go to the desktop search bar and type Windows Update
  • Select the option Check for Updates.
  • Click on Check for Updates. It will take a while.
  • If you get a pending update go ahead and install it.

Antivirus Software vs Games:

Your Antivirus software could easily be blocking the exe file for Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3. They normally consider it as a Malware Threat and prevent the PC from launching the application. The exact same problem occurred with several users when MW2 was launched. The only way of fixing it was by creating an exception for the exe file of the game within your Antivirus software or by simply turning off Real-Time Scanning while you play the game.

Users with Windows Defender can follow these steps:

  • Type Virus and Threat on the desktop search bar
  • Now click on Virus & Threat Protection. 
  • Under Virus & Threat Protection Settings click on Manage Settings
  • Either turn off Real-Time Protection
  • Or go down to Exclusions and click on Add or Remove Exclusions. 
  • Now Click on Add an Exclusion. 
  • Look for the MW3 exe file and add it.
  • Restart your PC.

Windows Firewall could also block COD MW3 from launching. You need to create a Firewall exception too:

  • Type Firewall in the Desktop Search bar.
  • Choose the option Windows Defender Firewall with Advanced Security.
  • Head to Inbound Rules
  • Now select New Rule
  • Select Program click Next and
  • Now add the exe file for MW3 from the Steam game folder.
  • Select Allow the Connection and click on Next
  • Check all three Private, Domain, and Public.
  • Name it MW3 and click on Finish
  • Repeat the same steps for Outbound Rules. 
  • Restart your PC.

Run MW3 As an Admin:

If the game does not start from Steam or launcher:

  • Go to the installed directory.


Drive:\Steam\steamapps\common\Call of Duty Modern Warfare III

Drive:\ Game Directory (wherever you installed the game)

  • Select the exe file for MW3 and right-click on it
  • Select Run as Administrator
  • Click on Yes

Do Not Overclock:

Overclocking your GPU or CPU could increase performance but it comes at a cost. It puts a lot of pressure on the hardware, especially on the power supply. I would not recommend overclocking for games like Modern Warfare 3.

It could easily lead to crashes due to an insufficient power supply. As a result, the system could also overheat which is something of a nightmare to every gamer.  Just run the game normally with the default CPU and GPU speeds.

Verify and Repair Game Files:

Corrupted or missing files could be another season for the game to not launch or crash as you play. Luckily both Steam and give us the option to scan the in-game files.


  • Head to your Steam Library
  • Go to Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3
  • Right on it and select Properties
  • Select Installed files from the left
  • Now click on Verify Integrity of game files

  • Go to your library
  • Select Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3
  • Click on the Settings Icon
  • Now select Scan and Repair. 

The process will take a while depending on the size of the game. Missing files or corrupted will be re-downloaded.

There you go, these fixes will surely help you resolve any “not launching” or “crash-related” problems with Call of Duty MW3. However, if it still continues, go ahead and re-install the game. A fresh download often does the trick.

In case the problem is with the game itself, you will probably have to wait for a patch fix.

That is all on “COD Modern Warfare 3 (MW3)- FIX Won’t Launch and Crashing

I hope the guide was helpful. Please let us know in the comments section below. Also, follow FPS Index for more guides on Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 (COD MW3).


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