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 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. These are:
- Unable to Install Again Because Windows Says GameMaker Is Still Installed
- "GameMaker Did Not Complete Its installation Correctly"
Steam users: Be aware also this guide shows the path names for the non-Steam GameMaker 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 GameMaker preferences as part of a fresh install, so it is worth saving this information to a safe place before you begin, so you can see if it's safe to re-apply once the reinstall is complete.
Open your user settings folder, which can be found at one of the below locations:
- Windows: %AppData%\GameMakerStudio2\[your GameMaker username]\
- Mac: ~/.config/GameMakerStudio2/[your GameMaker username]/ OR some newer macOS versions use /Users/[your Mac username]/Library/Application Support/GameMakerStudio2/[your GameMaker username]/ instead.
Once you have opened the correct location, locate the .json file(s) in here and move them all to a safe place while you reinstall.
For the screenshot above (on Windows), you can see I have files for local_settings (my main preferences file), cloud_settings (how I have configured GameMaker to work with online GameMaker 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 GameMaker as you would any other application.
- If you are using GameMaker through Steam you will need to navigate to your Steam Library and right-click on GameMaker to select 'Uninstall...'
After the uninstaller has finished, delete the following two folders:
If you are unsure how to find those folders (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.
Next, in order to clear out the saved settings for the installer's language (which you chose when installing GameMaker for the first time), open Windows' registry editing tool Regedit by clicking Start -> Run and typing in "regedit".
Navigate the tree to find and delete the following keys (doing a search for "GameMakerStudio2" is easiest):
- HKEY_USERS\ <BIG NUMBER> \Software\GameMakerStudio2
Drag the GameMakerStudio2 .app file to the trash, then ensure that the following folders are deleted:
- /Users/[your Mac username]/Library/Application Support/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.
Note also that you're likely to only have either the second folder or the third one (you will typically only find the third folder if you're using a new installation on macOS Big Sur or above).
Check Your File Permissions Before You Install
The reason GameMaker may have been giving you your issues was because either your Windows/Mac user account is not suitable for writing files to the locations GameMaker needs, or you have protection software (anti-virus/anti-malware) which is actively blocking the newly-installed GameMaker from working.
We will cover the antivirus/anti-malware part after GameMaker is installed (however, if your AV software prompts you at any time during the GameMaker 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 GameMaker and ensure that you can create files and folders in each of the locations GameMaker 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 GameMaker won't be able to.
Install GameMaker Again
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 GameMaker 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 GameMaker via Control Panel and re-run the installer again, as the install obviously hasn't completed.
- If you're using a Mac, GameMaker 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 GameMaker.
Steam users (on both Windows and macOS) can install GameMaker via their library as normal, but if you do have issues starting GameMaker 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 GameMaker you're installing, otherwise you might have issues building projects when GameMaker does install correctly.
Configure Any Protection Software
The next step is to ensure that there is nothing on your machine which is blocking GameMaker from writing its files. If during this reinstall process so far you saw any prompts from your protection software for allowing GameMaker to access your machine, then you should now step through our guide User Permissions and Internet Access Required by GameMaker one more time, but now using this information to configure your protection software fully to "whitelist" GameMaker 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 GameMaker uses when building projects. These would be Igor.exe and GMAssetCompiler.exe, which can both be found in:
- Windows: %ProgramData%\GameMakerStudio2\Cache\runtimes\[YOUR RUNTIME VERSION]\bin\
- Mac: /Users/Shared/GameMakerStudio2/Cache/runtimes/[YOUR RUNTIME VERSION]/bin/
Confirm Your Issue Is Resolved
You should now use GameMaker 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 GameMaker and navigate back to your users settings folder and put the .json files you saved earlier back into here, overwriting the new versions GameMaker will have made since you backed up your files.
Start GameMaker again now and confirm that it still starts and works correctly. If the issue which made you uninstall GameMaker 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 GameMaker 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 GameMaker 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 GameMaker 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 GameMaker version.
We will now give specific steps to resolve some common install/uninstall issues we see reported to us. If your GameMaker is working, you don't need to read any further.
Unable to Install Again Because Windows Says GameMaker Is Still Installed
Should you receive any errors about GameMaker already being installed, and so the installer refuses to start, then first of all ensure you have followed the whole of this article above - but, if issues persist, then either 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 GameMaker if it is still listed here. Right-click on GameMaker and choose Uninstall. If you have already run the uninstaller, Windows will usually detect this and say GameMaker has already been uninstalled, so do you want to remove the record of it. Say yes. You should now be able to install GameMaker again, but we would recommend that you reboot first, just in case.
If you still can't install GameMaker, 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 Did Not Complete Its installation Correctly"
If you see this dialog when starting GameMaker, then it is likely one of 3 things happened:
- Something went wrong when installing the Visual C++ Redistributable component during the GameMaker 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 GameMaker 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 GameMaker installer, but you did not do this, and instead carried on with the installation process and tried running GameMaker 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 GameMaker 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 GameMaker and check your file permissions before reinstalling GameMaker 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 GameMaker installer.
This should then allow the installation to succeed and will give you a working GameMaker 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 can't install GameMaker, 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 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).