Games for Windows - LIVE

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Games for Windows - LIVE
Games for Windows - LIVE cover
Release dates
Windows May 29, 2007
Games for Windows - LIVE at Wikipedia
Epic Games Store
FireFlower Games
Games for Windows - LIVE
Green Man Gaming
Humble Store
Mac App Store
Microsoft Store
Oculus Store
Rockstar Games Social Club

Key points

Requires installation of the latest version to function on Windows 8 and later.
The Marketplace was closed on August 25, 2013 for new purchases; existing purchases can still be downloaded,[1] although the service is prone to outages.[2][3][4]
DRM varies; see List of Games for Windows - LIVE games.
Use the same Microsoft account and gamertag across other Xbox services.
Only available in Xbox Live Countries and Regions; players outside these areas must use a local profile.
Most games are region-locked on Steam, Latin America users cannot view or purchase these games.


  1. Remove any existing versions of the GFWL Marketplace and LIVE Redistributable.
  2. Download and install the Games for Windows - LIVE software.

Issues unresolved[edit]

If you still have any issues with GFWL, use XLiveLess

Issues fixed[edit]

Crashes, errors, impossible to log-in[edit]

Reinstall updated client[citation needed]
  1. Uninstall Microsoft Games for Windows – LIVE Redistributable.
  2. Uninstall Microsoft Games for Windows Marketplace.
  3. Reinstall latest version.

Backing up saves[edit]

Back up XLive folder[citation needed]
  1. Back up the game's normal save folder.
  2. Back up the XLive folder: %LOCALAPPDATA%\Microsoft\XLive
  3. Restore everything to the same locations.

Moving saves between gamertags[edit]

If you rename your gamertag or switch to a different one your existing saves won't be shown in-game.[5]
Move saves to new gamertag
  1. Log into the game with your new gamertag and save the game to make the new folder, then exit the game.
  2. Go to the game's save folder, e.g. for Fallout 3 this is %USERPROFILE%\Documents\My Games\Fallout3\Saves\.
  3. Move everything from the old gamertag's folder to the new one, replacing all existing files.
  4. If it worked your saves will now show up in-game under the new gamertag.
Some games specifically block saves being moved between profiles so this may not work for all games.

Backing up installers[edit]

Installation files are normally deleted after installation is complete; you can back them up to avoid having to download them again.
Games reinstalled from backups will not show up as installed in the Marketplace client but will otherwise work normally.
You may also want to keep a copy of your game keys, accessible from the Marketplace client by going to the item and then choosing View Game Keys.
Backing up installers for games purchased through the Marketplace[citation needed]
  1. Download the game through the Marketplace client but do not install it yet.
  2. Go to the downloads folder, found in the following location by default:
    • Vista and later: %LOCALAPPDATA%\Microsoft\GFWLive\Downloads
    • Windows XP: %USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\GFWLive\Downloads
  3. Copy the installation files somewhere else then install the game normally if you wish.
  4. To reinstall the game from your backup extract the CAB file(s) and run the MSI inside.
Backing up patch update installers[citation needed]
  1. Allow the game to download the update in-game when prompted.
  2. Cancel the UAC prompt or installer window when it appears.
  3. Go to the updates folder, found in the following location by default:
    • Vista and later: %LOCALAPPDATA%\Microsoft\XLive\Updates
    • Windows XP: %USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\XLive\Updates
  4. Copy the installation files somewhere else then allow the game to retry the update installation if you wish.
  5. To reinstall the update from your backup extract the CAB file(s) and run the EXE (or MSI if there is no EXE).

problems[edit]

In-game interface does not open[edit]

Reinstall client[citation needed]
Make sure you logged in the desktop client at least once[citation needed]
  1. Open start menu/screen
  2. Search for Games for Windows
  3. Open the client and log in there
Install the Sign-in Assistant[citation needed]
These steps do not apply to Windows 8 and later.
  1. Install the Sign-in Assistant:
  2. Launch the game again and the interface should now open normally.


Fails to install if Windows Update service is disabled[citation needed]
Ensure Sign-in Assistant service is running[citation needed]
If the Sign-in Assistant is installed but not working the service might not be running.
These steps do not apply to Windows 8 and later.
  1. Go to Services:
    • Vista and 7: open the Start screen/Start menu, type services.msc and press Enter.
    • Windows XP: press Win+R, type services.msc and press Enter.
  2. Open the Windows Live ID Sign-in Assistant entry on the list.
  3. Ensure Startup type is set to Automatic.
  4. If the service is Stopped, click Start and wait until the Service status says Started.
  5. Close the Services windows and try again.

Code: 8015403A error[edit]

Try to log in website[citation needed]

Code: 80048821 error[edit]

If two-factor authentication is enabled, create a new app password[6]
Try "Sign in with a different gamertag" in the Windows Live ID dropdown menu[citation needed]

Password contains special characters[edit]

Passwords need to be under 16 ASCII characters[7][8]
Change incompatible password[citation needed]
  1. Go to
  2. Set a new password that is 16 characters or less and has only ASCII characters.
  3. Try signing in with your new password.

Cannot connect in-game[edit]

Your Microsoft account might be able to log into other Microsoft services but not GfWL.

Attempt workarounds[citation needed]
  • "Sign in as a different user", then re-enter the same account credentials.
    1. Open an administrator-level command prompt.
    2. Enter netsh.exe interface ipv4 show interfaces and note the number it returns.
    3. Identify your Local Area Connection, then type in netsh interface ipv4 set subinterface 10 mtu=1492 store=persistent
      Replace "10" with the value for your Local Area Connection from the first command's results. This may need to be run every time you want to play the game.
This problem arises because GFWL tries to alter your network connection's MTU before using it.

'Can't connect to LIVE. A DNS lookup failed to locate the LIVE servers.' error message[edit]

These instructions are written with Windows 10 in mind but are probably largely the same for Win 7/8/8.1
Flush all DNS entries in cache & change default DNS servers to OpenDNS servers[9]

Flush the DNS entries from your DNS cache

  1. Press Windows key + X. Select 'Command Prompt (Admin)'.
  2. Type the following:- ipconfig /flushdns
  3. Press Enter.
  4. Type:- exit then press Enter to close the command prompt window.

Change your DNS servers to OpenDNS servers

  1. Open the Control Panel (press Start key and type control panel to find it).
  2. Under the 'Network and Internet' header click 'View network status and tasks'.
  3. Select the current network used for your internet connection (eg 'Ethernet' or 'Wifi 1'), right-click and select 'Properties' from the context menu.
  4. Select 'Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)' from the 'This connection uses the following items' box. Click 'Properties' button.
  5. Click the checkbox labelled 'Use the following DNS server addresses:'
  6. In the 'Preferred DNS server:' box type or copy-paste in
  7. In the 'Alternative DNS server:' box type or copy-paste in
  8. Click 'OK' and then click 'Close' for internet connection's Properties window.
  9. Sign out of your Windows log-in or restart your PC for changes to take affect.

Creating a local profile[edit]

Local profiles don't need internet access.
Multiplayer, achievements, DLC downloading and in-game patching are unavailable (many games can be patched manually; refer to the individual game pages for details).
Local profiles can't be used for games that are multiplayer-only or always-online (e.g. Age of Empires Online).
Create local profile[citation needed]
  1. While in any game sign out of your existing profile (if you are signed in), then choose Create New Profile.
  2. Choose Create New Profile again.
  3. At the Create Gamer Profile screen, scroll down and click the "create a local profile" blue link.
  4. Name your profile and click Submit.
  5. Customize the profile now if you want to, then click Done to save your profile.

"Games for Windows – LIVE has encountered a corrupted file" error during ZDPP check[edit]

Run Zdp.exe[10]
  1. Go to the game's installation folder.
  2. Go into the Zdp folder.
  3. Run Zdp.exe.

Games not saving under Windows 8/8.1/10[edit]

Uninstall & reinstall client with Windows 7 compatibility and as Admin[11]
  1. Uninstall Microsoft Games for Windows – LIVE Redistributable.
  2. Uninstall Microsoft Games for Windows Marketplace.
  3. Reboot Windows.
  4. Download the latest version of the Games for Windows Marketplace Client installer.
  5. Right-click the above installer, go to Properties and click the Compatibility tab. Tick the "Run this program in compatibility mode for:" box and select “Windows 7”. Also tick the "Run this program as an administrator" box. Click Apply and then OK.
  6. Now run the installer.
  7. Once installed run your GFWL game and retrieve your Gamertag profile if necessary.