Microsoft Flight Simulator problems: How to fix the common issues that are plaguing players

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Microsoft Flight Simulator launched earlier in August to critical acclaim. Reviews heralded the game for its impressive dedication to mapping the entire world, using Bing Maps as a guide.

However, as with any popular game, especially one of Flight Simulator's size (both in-game and on your hard drive), there are bound to be bugs that frustrate players who just want to fly over their houses or visit Area 51.

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If you're experiencing problems with Microsoft Flight Simulator, we've got you covered. Here are some fixes for the most common issues we've seen since launch.

How to fix Microsoft Flight Simulator slow download

Microsoft Flight Simulator has a huge file size. While you may be fooled into thinking otherwise when downloading the 500MB file from Steam or the Microsoft Store, in reality the game requires 127GB of free space.

Obviously, for a download this size, you'll be waiting a while before you can play. However, if the download is being slower than you'd expect when installing a new game, there are some workarounds you can try.

Microsoft suggests doing the following if the download is too slow:

  • In the Windows search bar, type Command and look for the ‘Command Prompt’ item
  • In the menu select 'Run as administrator'
  • Enter: netsh int tcp set global autotuninglevel=normal and click enter
  • Reboot your computer

If this doesn't work, we'd also suggest the following:

  • Use an ethernet cable rather than Wi-Fi for a direct connection and a faster download.
  • Restart the Microsoft Flight Simulator app (Note: This will not make you need to restart the download again, it will resume from where it ended).
  • Close down any other applications that may be taking up a significant amount of bandwidth or memory.
  • Temporarily disable any security software.

READ MORE: Best controller for Flight Simulator 2020

How to fix being stuck on the loading screen

Even on the most powerful of PCs, Microsoft Flight Simulator is plagued with incredibly long loading times. If the game just doesn't load up, however, here's what you can try:

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  • Exit and fully close Flight Simulator (Alt + F4) and restart the game.
  • Run Flight Simulator as an administrator. This can be chosen by right-clicking on the game's application, and selecting 'More'.
  • Check to see if Windows is up to date. You can do this through Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update > Check for Updates.

If these fixes still don't solve your issue, you might need to take more drastic action and move Flight Simulator from your HDD to an SSD, for example.

READ MORE: Flight Simulator Xbox One: When will Microsoft Flight Simulator come to Xbox One?

How to fix being stuck on the 'Check for Updates' screen

Much like Flight Simulator's loading screens, the game can often take a while to check for updates. If you're stuck on this screen, we'd recommend trying the following:

  • Exit and fully close Flight Simulator (Alt + F4) and restart the game.
  • Run Flight Simulator as an administrator. This can be chosen by right-clicking on the game's application, and selecting 'More'.
  • Whitelist Flight Simulator from Windows Defender- Windows Defender may be stopping certain elements of Flight Sim from running. You can stop this by  going to Start  > Settings  > Update & Security  > Windows Security > Virus & Threat Protection. Once in, select Manage Settings > Exclusions > Add or Remove Exclusions. You will then be prompted to select a file, where you should choose the Flight Simulator folder.

READ MORE: Microsoft Flight Simulator not working: Is Steam down?

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Missing airports or aircraft from Deluxe or Deluxe Premium versions

The Deluxe and Deluxe Premium versions of Flight Simulatorinclude additional handcrafted content not found in the base game, such as London's Heathrow Airport and the Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner. If you bought one of these editions and are yet to receive your bonus content, check the following:

  • Make sure you are logged into the Microsoft account that you bought the game with. You can check which account you're signed into through the icon in the top right corner.
  • Check your time and location settings- To receive your bonus content, these settings should match the region in which the account you purchased the game with is located in.
  • Check your game is up to date - you can do this in the Microsoft Store

If you've come here after buying the Deluxe or Deluxe Premium version after playing Flight Simulator on Game Pass, make sure you are NOT launching the Game Pass version of the game, as this does not include the additional content.

How to fix being stuck on 'Press Key to Continue'

If you can't continue playing Flight Simulator because of being stuck on this screen, you can try the following:

  • Download the Xbox app for PC and launch Flight Simulator from this application instead
  • Run Flight Simulator as an administrator. This can be chosen by right-clicking on the game's application, and selecting 'More'.
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  • Unplug any non-essential USB peripherals you are using to play Flight Simulator with, such as controllers or flight sticks. Restart the game and, once past this screen, plug them back in.

READ MORE: Best laptop for Flight Simulator 2020