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Troubleshoot Games for Windows Live connection problems

Important This article contains information that shows you how to lower security settings or turn off security features on a computer. You can make these changes to work around a specific problem. Before you do, however, we recommend that you evaluate the risks associated with implementing this workaround in your particular environment. If you do implement this workaround, take any appropriate additional steps to help protect your computer.

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Check the Xbox Live service status

If you see any alerts here, wait until the service is up and running and try again:

Social and Gaming: up and running
2016-09-28T13:41:19.8188309+00:00

Note If you can’t connect to the Xbox Live service status website, contact your Internet service provider (ISP) for help.

Verify you’re in a locale that supports Games for Windows Live

To connect to Games for Windows Live, you must be in a supported Games for Windows Live locale. Games for Windows Live is not available in all countries. For more information, see Xbox Live Countries and Regions.

Install the latest Games for Windows Live software

To sign in to Games for Windows Live, you must have the latest update to the programme installed. To resolve this issue, download and install the latest Games for Windows Live setup files.

Note Microsoft scanned this file for viruses. Microsoft used the most current virus-detection software available on the posted date of the file. The file is stored on security-enhanced servers that help prevent any unauthorised changes to the file.

Enable UPnP

You must enable UPnP to connect to Xbox Live. Most available routers and firewalls support UPnP IGD (Internet Gateway Device) protocols. However, by default, the router will not enable these settings. See your router’s manual or the Help files for help, or contact your network administrator.

Commercial firewalls, such as those at universities, libraries and corporations, do not typically support UPnP IGD specifications. Gamers who try to play from college or from a halls of residence may be unable to connect to Xbox Live. If this is the case, contact the IT Administration office to see whether they can enable Xbox Live for the network.

Clear the Internet cache

Make sure that you’re viewing the latest version by clearing the Internet cache. Here's how to do this on a computer running Windows 7:

  1. Close any open Internet browser windows.
  2. Select Start, and then select Control Panel. If the Control Panel window is empty, select View all Control Panel Options in the navigation section of the window to display all the icons.
  3. Select Network and Internet, and then select Internet Options.
  4. In the Browsing history section on the General tab, click Delete.
  5. Select the Temporary Internet files and Cookies checkboxes, and then select Delete.

Open the ports for Games for Windows Live

Warning This workaround may make a computer or a network more vulnerable to attack by malicious users or by malicious software such as viruses. We don't recommend this workaround but are providing this information so you can implement it at your own discretion. Use this workaround at your own risk.

The following ports must be open for inbound and outbound connections to work for Games for Windows Live:

  • TCP port 3074
  • UDP port 88
  • UDP port 3074

For information about how to configure port settings on a firewall, router or gateway, see the documentation that was included with the device, or contact the network administrator or local technical support for help.

For more information about how to set up a firewall to work with Games for Windows Live for Windows-based computers, see Set up a Windows Media Center Extender.

If you’re still experiencing connection problems to Windows Live, you must configure your router or gateway device to enable UPnP or port forwarding. You should enable UPnP if your router supports this feature. It handles Network Translations so that port forwarding is not required.

For more information about how to verify compatible home networking devices, see Choosing or configuring a new networking device.

Notes

  • This article provides a heading to a list of Xbox Live-supported routers that have UPnP feature functionality. Unfortunately, not all routers support UPnP. If your router doesn’t support UPnP, you’ll have to open these ports and map them to the IP address of the computer that’s running Games for Windows Live.
  • If you have questions on how to enable UPnP or port forwarding on your router or gateway device, contact the hardware manufacturer for help.
  • If your network is set up to use IPv6, see the recommendations for an IPv6 feature set for home routers that are compatible with the Microsoft Windows family of operating systems.

To view the recommendations, visit Network and Access Technologies: TCP/IP v4 and v6.

Allow Games for Windows Live through a firewall

Warning This workaround may make a computer or a network more vulnerable to attack by malicious users or by malicious software such as viruses. We do not recommend this workaround but are providing this information so you can implement it at your own discretion. Use this workaround at your own risk.

Note Don't open a port for a programme you don't recognise.

You may have to configure an exception in your firewall, proxy or Internet security software to allow the Games for Windows Live software (GFWLClient.exe) to work. By default, this file is in the following location:

C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games for Windows Live\Client

If you use Windows Firewall, the latest installation of the Games for Windows Live update will give you the option to add the software to your exceptions list. Otherwise, see the documentation that was included with your firewall, or contact the network administrator or local technical support for help.

For more information, see Xbox 360 network ports and router configurations for Xbox Live.

Install the latest service pack for Windows

Games for Windows Live requires you to install the latest service pack for Windows on your computer. To obtain the latest service pack, visit the Service Pack and Update Centre.

Troubleshoot your Internet connection

Your computer may be experiencing Internet connection issues. To help resolve these issues, go to Fix network connection issues.

If you're using Windows Vista or Windows 7, see Troubleshoot Internet connection problems.

Additionally, the Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS) may be disabled, or you may not have permissions under your user profile to use the service. Follow these steps to resolve the problem:

  1. Sign in to your computer as an administrator.
  2. Open the Microsoft Management Console Services snap-in.

    For Windows 8 and Windows RT:

    1. Point to the lower-right corner of the screen, and then select Search.
    2. Type services.msc, and then select Services in the search results.

    For Windows 7 and Windows Vista:

    1. Select Start.
    2. In the Search programs and files box, type services and then select the Services icon when it appears.
  3. When the Services window opens, right-click Background Intelligent Transfer Service under Services (Local).
  4. Select Properties.
  5. On the General tab, set Startup type to Automatic.
  6. If the service isn't running, select Start to start the service.
  7. Select OK to close the Properties dialogue box.

If the error still occurs, determine whether BITS is configured correctly. Here's how:

  1. Open the Microsoft Management Console Services snap-in.

    For Windows 8 and Windows RT:

    1. Point to the lower-right corner of the screen, and then select Search.
    2. Type services.msc, and then select Services in the search results.

    For Windows 7 and Windows Vista:

    1. Select Start.
    2. In the Search programs and files box, type services and then select the Services icon when it appears.
  2. When the Services window opens, right-click Background Intelligent Transfer Service under Services (Local).
  3. Select the Log on tab.
  4. Under Log on as, select the Local System account tickbox.
  5. In the Hardware profiles list, examine all listed profiles to make sure that they're set to “Enabled”. If any profile is set to “Disabled”, select the profile and then select Enable.

Contact your Internet service provider

If the previous steps didn’t resolve the problem, contact your Internet service provider for more help.

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