Troubleshooting Unable to initialize OpenGL error on Windows 10

January 10, 2019 |

greater than 5 minutes

You must be devastated when trying to run your favorite game and receiving one of the following error messages:

  • Unable to initialize OpenGL window
  • Failed to initialize OpenGL
  • Could not initialize OpenGL

This should not bother you much because those are manifestations of a common error and this article is meant to help you with this problem. You can encounter one of the above messages when trying to run any game. Here, you will learn how to fix Unable to initialize OpenGL when gaming. Make sure you go through all the solutions until you find the one that works for you.

What is OpenGL?

Before we begin with the solutions, it is good for you to know more about the error you are encountering. Open Graphics Library, commonly called OpenGL for short, is a cross-platform application programming interface (API) that is used to render 2D and 3D vector graphics. The API is used to create a connection with the graphics processing unit. This process aids in the achievement of hardware-accelerated rendering.

Lots of heavy games use the API for graphics processes and also in gameplay. Of late, we have received a lot of reports from players that are unable to run a game due to an OpenGL error. This error is mostly because of outdated, missing, or corrupted drivers and also due to the game’s resolution settings. Here are some of the solutions you should try out:

Table of Contents

  1. Make sure that your graphics drivers are up to date
  2. Change the TKGRAPHICSSETTINGS.MXML file
  3. Install the latest client for PS4
  4. Change the user or sign out and log in again into Steam

Solution 1. Make sure that your graphics drivers are up to date

The graphics drivers have a very important role to play when it comes to gaming or video editing. Without the drivers, your graphics device will not be able to send signals to the operating system. This is because drivers act as an intermediary between the hardware and the operating system. One of the main reasons why you may encounter the OpenGL error is due to corrupt, missing, or outdated drivers. So, your first course of action is to make sure that all your drivers are up to date. Here, we are going to show you three of the most popular ways to update drivers:

Method 1. Download and install Auslogics Driver Updater

This is one of the easiest and fastest methods you will ever encounter when trying to update your drivers. Even an amateur can use this tool without any problems. You will be able to update all your drivers in just a single click.

Interestingly enough, you will not need to know any additional information about the device whose driver you want to update. This tool will update drivers you did not even know existed. All you need to do is sit back and let it work its magic.

Method 2. Download the driver from the manufacturer’s website

This is also a common method that experienced users employ to get their drivers. It is also reliable because you are getting the driver directly from the manufacturer’s website. You will find the drivers in the support section of the site. Using this method, you will have to know more info about the device whose driver you want to update, such as its name and version. Also, the driver has to match the version and architecture of your operating system. This is what you have to sort out manually. If you get it wrong, you will download and install a wrong driver that will not work on your system. Some popular manufacturer’s, such as Nvidia, Intel, and AMD, have tried to fix this problem by creating clients which direct the user to the proper driver to download.

Method 3. Update the driver, using the Device Manager

The Device Manager is a very handy tool in the Windows operating system. From there, you can manage all the devices that are connected to your computer. You can view all the information about any device and also update its drivers. Here is how to update your graphics driver, using the Device Manager:

  • Right-click on the Start or Home button and select Device Manager.
  • Once the Device Manager window opens, double-click on Display adapters to expand it. There, you will see the graphics device that is installed on your computer.
  • Right-click on it and select Update driver. This will open a new window where you have to choose the first option that prompts you to download and install the drivers from the internet.
  • Now, Windows will find the best and latest driver for your graphics device and install it.

Solution 2. Change the TKGRAPHICSSETTINGS.MXML file

Every game has a unique file that stores its settings. These settings are loaded from the file when the game is launched. Some of the settings include the shadow details, resolution, texture, etc. We are going to show you how to tweak this file to help solve the OpenGL error:

  • First, right-click on your desktop and select Display settings.
  • Now, here you should note the resolution your computer is using. It is advisable to write it down because we will use it later.
  • Go to the taskbar and click on the folder icon to open Windows Explorer, then navigate to C: > Steam > steamapps > common > NoMansSky > Binaries > SETTINGS. Note that the C: refers to the drive on which the game is installed, so it could be different for you.
  • Right-click on the TKGRAPHICSSETTINGS.MXML file and select Edit with Notepad.
  • Once the file is opened, search for ‘ResolutionWidth’ and ‘ResolutionHeight’. These figures are supposed to correlate with your resolution settings. If they don’t, then you have to edit them. For example, if your resolution is 1920 x 1200, the ResolutionWidth = 1920 and ResolutionHeight = 1200.
  • Once you have edited the file to those specifications, save and exit it.
  • Restart your computer and launch the game again to check if the error has been solved.

Solution 3. Install the latest client for PS4

For players who use PS Now on PC, the OpenGL error could be due to the fact that the client is expired or outdated. You should understand that developers release new versions of the software from time to time to fix bugs and introduce new features to the platform. To fix your problem, you need to download and install the latest version of the PS Now client for PC. You do not need to uninstall the old one because the installation will just update it. Once the installation is done, restart your computer and try to run your game again.

Solution 4. Change the user or sign out and log in again into Steam

Many users have reported that simply re-logging into Steam will fix the issue. The reason behind this solution is not well understood, but it could be that the currently logged-in user has some issues with their display configuration. To fix this problem, you need to relog into your Steam account. To do this, use the following steps:

  • Run Steam, using the Steam.exe file.
  • Click on the Steam menu at the top left corner of the window, then select Change user.
  • In the next dialog box, you need to input your user credentials, then click the LOGIN button.
  • Once this is done, try to run your game again and check if the error has been solved.

Pro tip: If you are having problems with viruses, we recommend that you download and install Auslogics Anti-Malware. This tool will clean your system of malware. You will be able to surf the internet without the fear of being infected. Also, you will be able to schedule regular scans of your system to keep it always clean.

We hope that this article has shown you how to resolve the Could not initialize OpenGL issue. Share it with others who encounter similar problems.

We appreciate your ideas and comments, and we are ready to answer all of your questions regarding this topic.

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