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 the troubleshooting sections at the very bottom of this article cover issues which don't exist on macOS installs.
Steam users: 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. We would suggest you actually download and install the non-Steam version and follow this guide fully, as once the standalone version is working this should fix your Steam copy at the same time. (You can then uninstall one of them if you wish.)
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.
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.
If you are a GameMaker Marketplace publisher, please ensure your Marketplace 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:
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_USERS\ <BIG NUMBER> \Software\GameMakerStudio2
Drag the GameMakerStudio2 .app file to the trash, then ensure that the following 2 folders are deleted:
Note that .config is hidden by default. You need to open Finder and then press Shift + Cmd + . to toggle showing hidden files and folders.
Check Your File Permissions Before You Install
The reason GMS2 may have been giving you your issues was because either your Windows/Mac user account is not suitable for writing files to the locations GMS2 needs, or you have protection software (anti-virus/anti-malware) which is actively blocking the newly-installed GMS2 from working.
We will cover the antivirus/anti-malware part after GMS2 is installed (however, if your AV software prompts you at any time during the GMS2 install process you must of course allow their action to be performed).
Please follow all the steps relevant to your operating system in our guide User Permissions and Internet Access Required by GMS2 and ensure that you can create files and folders in each of the locations GMS2 needs access to.
Ensure you also allow it to modify wherever you want to save your projects!
If you cannot do this, then ask whomever is the admin account on your machine to follow the guide and then fix your account also - if you cannot create the files yourself, then GMS2 won't be able to.
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 Notes. Always install the latest release available - don't stick with an old one, as you will be missing out on bug fixes and using old versions often makes our support teams unable to help you if you continue to have issues. Your issue may already be fixed in the new version.
Ensure your PC or Mac is connected to the internet, not firewalled, and that you ideally 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 Mono install, etc., accept these.
You need to complete the whole installer without any errors or any restart prompts in order to have successfully installed GMS2.
Steam users (on both Windows and macOS) can install GameMaker Studio 2 via their library as normal, but if you do have issues starting GMS2 or compiling projects, try installing the standalone version and see if this fixes your Steam copy at the same time - you may have been missing the required system components.
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.
Configure Any Protection Software
The next step is to ensure that there is nothing on your machine which is blocking GMS2 from writing its files. If during this reinstall process so far you saw any prompts from your protection software for allowing GMS2 to access your machine, then you should now step through our guide User Permissions and Internet Access Required by GMS2 one more time, but now using this information to configure your protection software fully to "whitelist" GMS2 and allow it to modify your files.
Ensure you also allow it to modify wherever you want to save your projects!
If your software is fairly strict in how you allow permissions, then you may need to add the same rules again, but specific for the tools GMS2 uses when building projects. These would be Igor.exe and GMAssetCompiler.exe, which can both be found in:
- %ProgramData%\GameMakerStudio2\Cache\runtimes\[YOUR RUNTIME VERSION]\bin\ on Windows
- /Users/Shared/GameMakerStudio2/Cache/runtimes/[YOUR RUNTIME VERSION]/bin/ on macOS
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 your 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, 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).
All Should Now Be Working
This should now result in a fully-working GMS2 install and all your file/folder permissions set so you can build your projects for all the different platforms later on.
Always remember if someone else needed to administer your machine, as each GMS2 update may require them to help you perform the new install, and similarly if you found your protection software needed configuring during this guide be aware it might require you to re-apply that configuration each time you update to a new GMS2 version.
We will now give specific steps to resolve some common install/uninstall issues we see reported to us. If your GMS2 is working, you don't need to read any further.
Unable to Install Again Because Windows Says GMS2 Is Still Installed
Should you receive any errors about GMS2 already being installed, and so the installer refuses to start, then followed the article above but you did not complete the steps correctly OR there was a Windows error during the uninstall process OR you have some external software which is monitoring installs/uninstalls and blocking our tools from working properly.
If you know you have software or group policies which manage software installations on your PC, then please review these with whomever usually administers your PC. We will not be able to provide help with your external setup.
If you do not have an installation manager, then 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, but we would recommend that you reboot first, just in case.
If you still can't install GMS2, then please note our Helpdesk are unable to advise what the cause might have been or what steps you should take now, as we do not have your PC in front of us to investigate (although we would of course recommend using a registry cleaner application of your choice to scan for broken install records).
"GameMaker Studio 2 Did Not Complete Its installation Correctly"
If you see this dialog when starting GMS2, then it is likely one of 3 things happened:
- Something went wrong when installing the Visual C++ Redistributable component during the GMS2 installer. This is most likely due to an antivirus client blocking the install of the system files.
- You manually un-ticked the box for that component during the GMS2 installer, but actually your system needs it because your Windows installation is missing this functionality.
- You were asked to reboot your PC at some point during the GMS2 installer, but you did not do this, and instead carried on with the installation process and tried running GMS2 anyway.
The fix for 1 or 2 and usually 3 is to simply download and install the Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2012 Update 4 from here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=30679 - make sure this says all was installed successfully and then reboot your PC if asked. Then try running GMS2 again.
If you do not have internet access to download the file above just now, or in the case of that update file not fixing the issue because you had done action 3 in the list above, please fully uninstall GMS2 and check your file permissions before reinstalling GMS2 by starting at the top of this article and working down, ensuring that all the checkboxes for the installation components are now ticked in the GMS2 installer.
This should then allow the installation to succeed and will give you a working GMS2 install. (If you are not able to administer the PC and so can't follow these steps, you will need to ask whomever can to investigate on your behalf.)
If you still repeatedly can't install GMS2, then please note our Helpdesk are unable to advise what the cause might have been or what steps you should take now, as we do not have your PC in front of us to investigate. We would suggest reviewing any antivirus/anti-malware products you have installed to see if they logged an alert during the install and so are blocking you from proceeding.