Unable to initialize OpenGL Windows Error – Steam

When you are going to launch some games on Steam, like No Man’s Sky ,Call of Duty or other one, and you have encountered the classic “unable to initialize openGL window” problem. Do not worry! If you are running into this Error, then this guide should be able to help you.

A message will appear on your screen that reads:

Unable to initialize OpenGL Windows
Unable to initialize OpenGL. Ensure you have the latest display driver for your graphics card.

OpenGL (Open Graphics Library) is the computer industry’s standard application program interface for defining 2-D and 3-D graphic images. OpenGL specifies a set of “commands” or immediately executed functions. Each command directs a drawing action or causes special effects.

OpenGL comes with a large number of built-in capabilities requestable through the API. These include hidden surface removal, alpha blending (transparency), antialiasing , texture mapping, pixel operations, viewing and modeling transformations, and atmospheric effects (fog, smoke, and haze).

Fix Unable to initialize OpenGL Windows Error

Fix Error. Solution #1: Update Drivers

The first thing that you should do is to update the drivers especially the graphics card. The graphics card issue can generally cause the problem of unable to initialize OpenGL. If the video driver in your computer is missing or out of date, it can result in this problem and stop running the application or game.

  1. On your keyboard, press the Windows logo key and R at the same time to invoke a Run command.
  2. Type devmgmt.msc in the run box and press Enter to open Device Manager.
  3. Locate and expand Display adapters category in the list, then right-click on your Display Driver controller (for example Intel HD Graphics) and select Update Drivers.
  4. Now select “Search automatically for updated driver software” and let the process finish.
  5. f it finds one, you will be able to update the driver without any problem. If it wasn’t able to update your device, right click on your on your Display Driver controller (for example Intel HD Graphics) and then again select Update Driver Software.
  6. This time select “Browse my computer for driver software“ and Next, select “Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer.
  7. Try to update drivers from the listed versions.
  8. Once the update is complete, reset the adapter by disabling it and then enabling it from the Device Manager screen.

Fix Error. Solution #2: Modify the settings in the game

Modify the settings in the game works for many users. If you encounter the error Failed to initialize OpenGL, you can try this solution to fix it.

  1. Right click the name of the game in steam, and go to Properties.
  2. If you are playing the game via Steam, right click on “Name Game” in your library, and select Properties.
  3. Disable Steam Overlay under the General section.
  4. Go to ‘C:\Program Files(x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\NAME-GAME\Binaries\SETTINGS
  5. Open TKGRAPHICSSETTINGS.MXML archive in a text editor (such as Notepad).
  6. Find and change this option: <Property name=”FullScreen” value=”true” /> change to  <Property name=”FullScreen” value=”false” />
  7. On the same settings panel, lower your resolution to what your screen resolution is.
  8. For example, if your screen resolution is 1280×768, you can change ResolutionWidth to 1280, and change ResolutionHeight to 768.
  9. Find this option and change the value with your screen resolution. 
  10. <Property name=”ResolutionWidth” value=”1920” /> 
  11. <Property name=”ResolutionHeight” value=”1080” />
  12. Save the settings and restart the game to see if it works.

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