August 1 2020

Discord Stops Working In-Game

There aren’t a lot of things as annoying as when Discord stops working suddenly for no discernible reason. This is worse when you’re in the throes of a game or live stream.

Discord crashing isn’t the only issue users may face. Other issues include the mic or sound not working or the app freezing while it’s displaying an overlay.

In this guide, we’ll discuss how you can fix these errors and more.

What to Do When Discord Stops Working

Before you learn how to remedy an error, you need to understand what causes it. It’s hard to pinpoint what may be causing Discord to crash or freeze on your PC but at least one of the fixes in this guide should match and solve your problem.

Discord issues can occur from a simple lack of microphone permissions, a lack of administrator rights, or because you’re using outdated drivers. In this guide, we will cover the solutions to all of these problems.

If you’ve tried every fix in this guide and the issue persists, then maybe it’s time to upgrade your hardware and get yourself one of the latest pre-built gaming PCs.

Fix #1: Log Out and Reboot

For some users, it may seem like a no-brainer but to others, it can be an overlooked solution. You probably have already tried rebooting your PC before reading this guide. But was it a full system restart and did you log out from Discord before performing it?

How to Log-Out from Discord

  1. Click on User Settings. It should be cog at the bottom of the left panel, next to the headphones icon.
  2. Click on Log Out. Once again, it should be on the left panel, just underneath Change Log.

How to Perform a Full System Restart in Windows 10

  1. Open the Run dialog (Win + R).
  2. Type CMD into the run dialog.
  3. Press Ctrl + Shift + Enter on your keyboard to run the command as an administrator. This step is very important.
  4. Click on the Yes button on the User Account Control dialog.
  5. Type shutdown /r /f /t 0 into the console window and then hit enter.

Shutdown Command

After your computer boots up again, log into Windows and log back into Discord to check if this solution fixed your problem. In theory (and practice), this solution should help with most Discord errors and issues. It is always the first solution you should run to.

Fix #2: Run Discord with Administrator Privileges

If Discord is having a hard time connecting to services or processes because it lacks enough privileges to do so, then running Discord as an administrator could remedy any issues that have to do with the microphone or Discord crashing.

Temporarily Run Discord with Administrator Rights

  1. Right-click on the Discord shortcut on your desktop. Alternatively, you can search for the app in your programs and apps list under the start menu right-click it.
  2. Select Run as administrator from the context menu.

This should temporarily run Discord with administrator privileges. The above steps are for any users who prefer Discord to not have full administrator permissions every time they run it for security reasons.

Permanently Run Discord with Administrator Rights

  1. Right-click on the Discord app shortcut on your desktop.
  2. Select Properties from the context menu.
  3. Click on the Compatibility tab.
  4. Under the settings section, tick the checkbox marked Run this program as an administrator.
  5. Click on Apply.
  6. Click on OK.

Run Discord with Administrator Rights

After completing the above steps, Discord will now run with administrator rights each time you launch it from the desktop shortcut.

Fix #3: Give Microphone Permissions to Apps

Even after giving Discord administrator rights, it still may not have enough permissions to access the microphone. If this is the case, you have to actively allow apps to use your microphone.

Allow Windows 10 apps to use your microphone

  1. Log out of Discord and close it completely.
  2. Open the start menu and then select Settings. It should be marked by a cog icon on the small left start menu panel.
  3. Click on Privacy.Click on Privacy
  4. Select the Microphone option from the left panel.
  5. Under Microphone access for this device, click on the Change button.
  6. Make sure that the switch under Microphone access for this device is on.
    Turn on Microphone access for this device
  7. If the Allow apps to access your microphone toggle is set to the off position, switch it on.
  8. Under the Choose which Microsoft Store apps can access your microphone section, scroll through the list of apps till you find Discord. Turn it on if the switch is toggled off.
  9. Turn the Allow desktop apps to access your microphone switch on (if it is off).
    Allow desktop apps to access your microphone
  10. Close Settings and run Discord.

The above steps should fix any microphone issues that you may be experiencing with Discord. If you’re having issues with hearing people on Discord, we can help with that as well.

Fix #4: Deactivate Discord Overlay

Not only can overlay cause Discord to stop working mid-game but it can also stymy your game’s performance. Your graphics card or CPU must work to render the Discord’s overlay.

Which means there are fewer system resources allocated to your game. We can remedy this by switching Discord Overlay off.

Disabling Discord Overlay

  1. Run and log into Discord.
  2. Click on the settings cog near the bottom of the left panel.
  3. Click on the Overlay option. It’s located beneath the Voice & Video option.
  4. Toggle the switch labeled Enable in-game overlay to off.
  5. Close settings.

Fix #5: Update Sound Device Drivers

If you’ve just installed the latest version of Discord or even updated Windows, your sound drivers may now be obsolete. Both input and output sound issues can be fixed by updating your drivers.

Updating Sound Device Drivers

  1. Open the Run dialog (Win + R).
  2. Type devmgmt.msc into the open field and hit enter.
    devmgmt.msc on Run dialog
  3. Scroll through the list until you find the Sound, video and game controllers tree and expand it.
  4. Click on Action from the top menu bar.
  5. Select Scan for hardware changes.
    Scan for Hardware Changes
  6. After it’s done with scanning for hardware changes, right-click on the first entry.
  7. Click on the Update Driver option.
  8. Select the first option (Search automatically for updated driver software).
    Search automatically for updated driver software

The wizard will then search for updated software for your device. If it finds new drivers, install them. If not, close the wizard and perform steps 7 and 8 for every other device under the Sound, video and game controllers tree.

Once that’s done, try running Discord to see if you face the same issues.

Fix #6: Terminate Unnecessary Processes

Earlier we discussed how much of a resource hog overlaying Discord can be. Running too many unnecessary applications and programs in the background can not only cause issues with Discord but it can also cause some input lag.

The first thing you need to do is exit your game and close Discord. Click on every application that’s on your taskbar and make sure that you close each window. Check your system tray for any unwanted apps. Make sure that your antivirus is running in a game mode (if available).

For advanced users, you can open the task manager and look for any programs, processes, and services that you feel are unnecessary. Terminate and stop what you can. But be very cautious. Ending the wrong process can cause Windows to crash.

Fix #7: Enable/Disable Hardware Acceleration

Hardware acceleration can prevent Discord from working correctly, especially in weaker systems. If you don’t have the right equipment then you shouldn’t be running applications with hardware acceleration on.

On the other hand, if your system has enough power to support it, then hardware acceleration can help apps run smoother.

Turn Hard Acceleration On/Off

  1. Run Discord.
  2. Click on the Settings cog on the bottom of the left side-panel.
  3. Click on the Appearance settings. The option located below Text and Images and above Stream Mode.
  4. Under the Advanced section, you’ll find Hardware Acceleration. If it’s on, toggle it off and vice versa.
    Toggle Hardware Acceleration
  5. Click on Okay.
  6. Restart Discord.

Fix #8: Delete Discord Cache Files

Being stuck in the past can prevent you from functioning effectively in the present. It’s much the same for programs. If Discord’s caches files can become abundant enough to cause issues such as lagging or freezing. So if your Discord stop working mid-game, then this could be your culprit.

Manually Clearing Discord’s Cache Files

  1. Make sure that Discord is closed.
  2. Open the Run dialog (Win + R).
  3. Type %APPDATA%/Discord/Cache into the open dialog field and then hit enter.
  4. Select all files (Ctrl + A) and then press the Delete key on your keyboard.
  5. Run Discord once again to see if the issue has been resolved.

Fix #9: Readjust Discord’s Voice Settings

If Discord can access your microphone but still has the incorrect voice settings, it can cause major problems with the Discord application. The best way to fix this is to reset Discord’s voice settings.

Resetting Discord’s Voice Settings

  1. Launch Discord.
  2. Click on the Setting cog, near the bottom of the left side-panel.
  3. From the options on the left side panel, click on Voice & Video.
  4. Near the bottom of the screen, you will find a button labeled Reset Voice Settings. Click on it. Reset Voice Setting
  5. Next, you will see a warning message, click on Okay.

Restart Discord and test to see if you’re still facing the same in-game issues.

Fix #10: Alter Your Power Settings

Once again, maybe the problem is not with the software itself. But instead, your hardware settings may be preventing Discord from running correctly. If you’re using Discord from a gaming laptop, your computer’s power settings may interfere with it, which will in turn cause it to lag or crash.

Your laptop may be on a power-saving mode. Before you proceed with the steps below, you need to ensure that your laptop is plugged in or at least fully charged.

We then need to ensure that it is indeed not on a power-saving mode. To save power, Windows will dim your computer’s brightness, slow down the CPU, and minimize animations. These are some of the signs that your PC may be on a power-saving mode.

Even f your computer is plugged in, it could still be erroneously set to a power-saving mode. The following steps will help you check and remedy this.

Change Your Power Settings

  1. Open the Run dialog (Win + R).
  2. Type control into the open text field and hit enter.
  3. Make sure that you are viewing all the control panel items as small or large icons.
  4. Click on Power Options.
  5. Click and expand on Show additional plans.Show Additional Plans
  6. Then select High Performance (if the option is available to you). If not, select Balanced. 

Once you’re done with the above steps, you can close the control panel and test Discord. If this solution did not work for you, we have one more.

Fix #11: Update Discord

Running an obsolete version of Discord could be at the heart of all your problems with it. Usually, the Discord application will look for updates and install them automatically, unless you’ve explicitly disabled this feature. However, Discord may not be able to reach its update server because of your firewall or anti-virus.

Updating Discord

  1. Open the Run dialog (Win + R).
  2. Type %localappdata% into the open text field and press Enter. localappdata on Run dialog
  3. Find the Discord folder and open it.
  4. In the Discord folder, find an application named Update.exe. You might not see the ‘exe’ extension, depending on your folder and file settings.

Make sure that you set an exception on your anti-virus or firewall. If you can’t update Discord through the update executable, then you’ll have to manually download Discord and update it that way.

Final Thoughts

If none of these fixes worked for you, then maybe it’s a sign that Discord isn’t for you. There are a lot of great alternatives out there. For instance, if you’re using it to stream or capture in-game footage, you can always record your games with OBS.

However, if you’re deadest on using Discord to join games and connect with your friends, your next best bet is to wait for the next update or try a different operating system altogether. Preferably a Linux distro made for gaming.

Nevertheless, in the above guide, we explored a few solutions you can implement if Discord suddenly stops working while you’re in-game. So which solution worked for you? Please don’t hesitate to tell us in the comments below.


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