How to perform a fresh install of GameMaker Studio 2

Sometimes errors can be caused by corrupted files or other errors during the installation process. If there is potentially an underlying issue with your installation, our support team may ask you to do a fresh install of GameMaker Studio 2 to resolve the issue.

Instructions are given below for both Windows and Mac IDE users, but note that some sections to do with troubleshooting uninstall problems don't apply on macOS.

Be aware also this guide shows the path names for the non-Steam GMS2 release throughout, but the same steps apply to Steam also - you generally just have to add the relevant "-Desktop", "-Web", "-Mobile" or "-UWP" bit to the folder names shown.


Backup Before You Begin!

Please note that you will lose your GMS2 preferences as part of a fresh install. It is worth saving this file to a safe place before you begin, so you can see if it's safe to re-apply once the reinstall is complete.

Open the folder (Windows) %AppData%\GameMakerStudio2\[your GMS2 username]\ or (macOS) ~/.config/GameMakerStudio2/[your GMS2 username]\ and locate the .json file(s) in here. Move them all to a safe place while you reinstall.

Here, on Windows, I have local_settings (my main preferences file), cloud_settings (how I have configured GMS2 to work with online YoYo services like the Marketplace), and two files relating to my source control integration with Github. You might not have all of these - likely, only "local" and probably "cloud".

Note that all other files/folders will be left alone just now so they can be deleted later.


Android Developers

If you are an Android developer, please ensure your Android keystore file is in a safe place before continuing with this guide - you MUST NOT lose this file if you have published games on Google Play or Amazon (and other Android stores), as you would be unable to update these products!

To find the location of your keystore file, go to Preferences -> Platform Settings -> Android and scroll down (if required) to the Keystore Filename field. This file should be backed up along with your alias and password information.


Marketplace Publishers

If you are a GameMaker Marketplace publisher, please ensure your Marketplacee Certificate file is in a safe place before continuing with this guide - you MUST NOT lose this file if you have published assets on the Marketplace, as you would be unable to update these products!

To find the location of your certificate file, go to Preferences -> Marketplace and see the Certificate File field. This file should be backed up along with your password.


Check For Anything Else Important

Other information and preferences are generally replaceable, but feel free to back up any information or take note of any values that you want to ensure can be re-entered after your fresh install.

If you have certificates or passwords for stores or other third-party services not listed above, please make sure you back these up also!


Removing Your Files


Run the uninstaller first:

  • If you are using the standalone client you will need to open Settings > Apps (or, if you're oldskool, Control Panel > "Programs and Features") and uninstall GMS2 as you would any other application.
  • If you are using GameMaker Studio 2 through Steam you will need to navigate to your Steam Library and right click on GameMaker Studio 2 to select 'Uninstall...'

After the uninstaller has finished, delete the following two folders:

  • %ProgramData%\GameMakerStudio2
  • %AppData%\GameMakerStudio2

If you are unsure how to find these, as they may be hidden on your PC, copy the line above and paste it into an Explorer address bar or the Run command and hit enter.

Open Regedit through Start -> Run and typing in "regedit". Navigate the tree to find and delete the following keys (searching for GameMakerStudio2 is easiest):

  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\GameMakerStudio2
  • HKEY_USERS\ <BIG NUMBER> \Software\GameMakerStudio2



Drag the GameMakerStudio2 .app file to the trash, then ensure that the following 2 folders are deleted:

  • /Users/Shared/GameMakerStudio2/
  • ~/.config/GameMakerStudio2/

Note that .config is hidden by default. You need to open Finder and then press Shift + Cmd + . to toggle showing hidden files and folders.


Install GameMaker Studio 2 Again

Now you are free to re-install GameMaker from your Download Page or the version number heading in the IDE Release NotesWe would always recommend that you install the latest release available, not sticking with an old one, as you will be missing out on bug fixes and critical updates, and often makes our support teams unable to help you.

Ensure your PC or Mac is connected to the internet, not firewalled, and that you pause any antivirus clients you may have running.

Then begin the GMS2 installer.

If you're using a PC, as you are going through the installer, if at any time your PC asks you to restart after installing a Windows component you must do this immediately, as all of the components rely on the one before it being installed. However, once your PC has rebooted, you will need to uninstall GMS2 via control panel and re-run the installer again, as the install obviously hasn't completed.

If you're using a Mac, GMS2 will download and install Mono if this is missing from your system - if you see any prompts to allow this, or asking to update your existing install, etc., accept these.

You need to complete the whole installer without errors or restart prompts in order to successfully install GMS2.

Steam users on both Windows and macOS can install GameMaker Studio 2 via their library as normal.

While your install is in progress, please check our Required SDKs FAQ to check that your SDKs and other external tools are set up correctly for your relevant target platforms and the specific version of GMS2 you're installing, otherwise you might have issues building projects when GMS2 does install correctly.


Confirm Your Issue Is Resolved

You should now use GMS2 for a bit and make sure the issue which caused you to uninstall is definitely gone.

If it is not, please do send us a new ticket with fresh information and you ui.log file so we can advise further.


Test Re-Applying Your Saved Preferences

Once your installation is complete and you have confirmed your issue is gone and all is now working well, close down GMS2 and navigate back to (Windows) %AppData%\GameMakerStudio2\[your GMS2 username]\ or (macOS) ~/.config/GameMakerStudio2/[your GMS2 username]\ and put the .json files you saved earlier back into here, overwriting the new versions GMS2 will have made.

Start GMS2 again now and confirm that it still starts and works correctly. If the issue which made you uninstall GMS2 has now returned, then you know it's a value in Preferences which is causing the problem. You can either delete your json files to restore to defaults again next time you start GMS2, or you can investigate which particular setting is causing the issue (we can't help you with this, unfortunately, as your issue may well not reproduce on another machine).


Unable to Install Again Because GMS2 is Still Installed

For our PC users, should you receive any errors about GMS2 already being installed, and so the installer refuses to start, then you did not complete the steps above correctly OR there was a Windows error during the uninstall process OR you have some external software which is monitoring installs/uninstalls.

Using Control Panel > Programs and Features (the Settings app in Windows 10 still can't do this), you can forcibly remove the entry for GMS2 if it is still listed here. Right-click on GMS2 and choose Uninstall. If you have already run the uninstaller, Windows will usually detect this and say GMS2 has already been uninstalled, so do you want to remove the record of it. Say yes. You should now be able to install GMS2 again.

If you still can't install GMS2, and a simple reboot doesn't fix, then please note our Helpdesk are unable to advise what the cause might have been or what steps you should take now (although we would of course recommend using a registry cleaner application of your choice to scan for broken install records), as we do not have your PC in front of us to investigate.

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