How to Fix It When a Discord Update Fails

Troubleshooting an update failure on Discord

Discord receives a steady stream of updates with bug fixes and new features, so it tries to update every time you open it. When a Discord update fails, it's usually because of an internet issue, but it can also be due to corrupted files. Since Discord won't open when it fails to update, we've pulled together a troubleshooting procedure that will get you back online and chatting as soon as possible.

When a Discord update fails, you'll usually see something like this:

A screenshot of a failed discord update.

In some cases, you'll see some text above the failed update message. These are short nonsense phrases like "Locating Wumpus" and they don't actually mean anything.

Causes of Discord Update Failures

The most common cause of Discord update failures is connectivity problems with the internet. If you attempt to start Discord without a working internet connection, you'll see the update failed message. Similarly, you'll see this message if your internet cuts out while you're using Discord.

In that same fashion, anything that disrupts the ability of the Discord app to connect to the Discord servers will also cause this error. Antivirus programs, firewalls, and other related things can all cause this error.

When you experience the Discord update failed loop, and your internet connection is fine, that particular issue is usually caused by corrupt local Discord files. Removing the files, and sometimes performing a few related tasks, will usually allow the program to update as normal.

How to Fix it When a Discord Update Fails

To get Discord back up and running, follow these steps:

Most of these instructions are relevant regardless of the device you use for Discord. Instructions relating to the Discord update loop are specific to Windows.

  1. Check to make sure you're connected to the internet. If the device you use with Discord can't load websites like Discord.com, then fix your internet connection and try to open Discord again.

  2. Check to see if Discord is down. If the Discord service is offline, you won't be able to connect to it. This will usually result in your Discord app displaying the update failed message.

  3. Try a different device. Check to see if Discord works on your phone or another computer. If it does, then you know that there is a specific problem with the device where you are receiving the update failed message.

  4. Run Discord as administrator. In some cases, granting Discord the extra permissions that come along with running an app as administrator will allow it to punch through any problems, download updates, and open normally.

  5. Temporarily disable your antivirus. With your antivirus off, check to see if Discord updates and starts normally. If it does, there's a conflict with your antivirus, and you'll need to switch to a different one or adjust your antivirus settings to leave Discord alone.

    Make sure to turn your antivirus back on, or install a different antivirus, after this step. If your antivirus is interfering with Discord, you'll need to get help from the developer of your antivirus or switch to a new one.

  6. Temporarily disable your firewall. With your firewall temporarily off, check to see if Discord works. If it does, you'll need to add an exception to your firewall to let Discord through, or switch firewalls.

    If you prefer to leave your firewall up, then add an exception for Discord instead of temporarily disabling it. If Discord still doesn't update with the exception in place, then you know the problem isn't your firewall.

  7. Rename the Discord update file. If the file is corrupt, this will force Discord to download a new copy and fix the problem on its own.

    1. Press the Windows key + R.
    2. Type %localappdata% and press Enter.
    3. Open the Discord folder.
    4. Rename Update.exe to UpdateX.exe.
    5. Try opening Discord, and see if it updates.
  8. Reinstall Discord. This requires you to kill any lingering Discord processes, delete local Discord files, and reinstall from scratch.

    1. Press CTRL + ALT + DEL, and select Task Manager.
    2. Locate Discord in the list of processes, select it, and click End Task.
    3. If there are multiple instances of Discord, select each one and click End Task.
    4. Click the Start button > Settings > Apps.
    5. Locate Discord, select it, and click Uninstall.
    6. After the uninstallation process, press Windows key + R.
    7. Type %appdata% and hit Enter.
    8. Locate the Discord folder and delete it.
    9. Press Windows key + R again, but type %localappdata% this time before you hit Enter.
    10. Locate the Discord folder and delete it.
    11. Download and install Discord.

    In some extreme cases, you may need to search for Discord entries in your registry using regedit and remove them. However, we don't recommend deleting things from your registry unless you know exactly what you're doing. Consider contacting Discord support if the app still won't update after a clean installation.