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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 make these changes, we recommend that you evaluate the risks associated with implementing this workaround in your particular environment. If you implement this workaround, take any appropriate additional steps to help protect the computer.

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Check the status of the Xbox Live service

Check for service alerts on the Xbox Live Status page, or for a service alert in the upper-left corner of this page. If there's currently a service alert for Xbox Live, it could be preventing you from accessing Live services or signing in.

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

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

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 program 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 unauthorized changes to the file.

An error occurred during sign-in

For information about a specific error message that occurred during sign-in, see Games for Windows Live connection error.

Verify that your router is compatible with Games for Windows Live

To connect to the Games for Windows Live service as easily as possible, we recommend that you use a router on the Windows Compatible Hardware list. To check, visit the Compatibility Center.

Note If your router isn’t on the list, it may be incompatible with Games for Windows Live.

Enable UPnP

You must enable UPnP for you to connect to 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 owner'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 school or from a dorm room may be unable to connect to Live. If this is the case, contact the IT Administration office to see whether they can enable Live for the network.

Clear the Internet cache

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

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

Notes

  • This article provides a heading to a list of 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 program you don't recognize.

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 Network ports used by 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 Center.

Troubleshoot your Internet connection

Your computer may be experiencing Internet connection issues. To help resolve these issues, go to Wired and wireless network problems. In addition, you can try the steps in Why can't I connect to the Internet?

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. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search. Or, if you’re using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, and then click Search.
    2. Type services.msc, and then tap or click Services in the search results.

    For Windows 7 or Windows Vista:

    1. Click Start.
    2. In the Search programs and files box, type services, and then click 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, click Start to start the service.
  7. Click OK to close the Properties dialog 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. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search. Or, if you're using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, and then click Search.
    2. Type services.msc, and then tap or click Services in the search results.

    For Windows 7 or Windows Vista:

    1. Click Start.
    2. In the Search programs and files box, type services, and then click the Services icon when it appears.
  2. When the Services window opens, right-click Background Intelligent Transfer Service under Services (Local).
  3. Click the Log on tab.
  4. Under Log on as, select the Local System account checkbox.
  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 click 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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