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Discord Not Working: 2022 Troubleshooting Guide

Discord is arguably the most popular online voice chat app at the moment. That being said, it’s far from perfect, with users having problems with their mic, audio, overlay and a variety of other things. Here are some common reasons for Discord not working, and how to solve them.

Andrej Hadji-Vasilev
By Andrej Hadji-Vasilev (Writer)
— Last Updated: 2022-08-19T06:39:40+00:00 Facts checked by Eugenie Tiu

If you’ve used Discord at any point, you’ve probably noticed that the platform isn’t perfect. Discord not working is a common occurrence for many users, and there are a variety of issues that might plague your experience. If you depend on the platform for any reason — whether that’s casual gaming or getting schoolwork done — this might be a serious issue. 

Key Takeaways:

  • Discord is the go-to voice chat app for millions of users, but some users have been dealing with issues on the platform. 
  • Some of the most common problems include Discord not working at all, the Discord overlay not working, not being able to connect to voice and video channels, or your microphone or audio not working. 
  • Most of the common Discord issues are easy to deal with, even for users who aren’t tech savvy. 

Issues with Discord can happen for a variety of reasons. Maybe Discord is having a server issue, or maybe your operating system is causing problems with the app due to corrupt or damaged files. It may even be that a Discord update messed something up within the app itself. Stick with us as we show you how to fix Discord when it has its most common issues.

  • If Discord doesn’t open, there may be an app or game in the background that is blocking it, or you might have corrupt system files that won’t allow the app to open.

  • You will need an invite to join a specific Discord server. If you don’t have an invite, you can try joining a public server first by using the “explore public servers” feature.

  • If your Discord overlay is enabled but not working, you may need to run the app with administrator privileges. Alternatively, you can try temporarily disabling your third-party antivirus app if you use one, or disabling hardware acceleration in Discord.

Is Discord Not Working? How to Fix Discord Big Issues

With so many things that could impact your Discord experience, there isn’t a universal solution to all of them. Before we even discuss the common issues, it’s imperative to ensure you get the basics right. For example, make sure you installed the app correctly, see our guide on how to install Discord.

In this article, we decided to cover some of the most common issues with the platform, the major reasons behind them, and show you general fixes for how to solve them and get Discord to work properly. 

Discord Outage: Is Discord Down?

Discord’s servers tend to be fairly reliable, but every once in a while you’ll notice that your app keeps loading, you aren’t getting new messages (and you can’t send them either) and you’re unable to do anything at all. 

When this happens, chances are the Discord service is down. The app will stay in “loading” mode, with the Discord icon spinning but nothing else happening. 

If you’re experiencing this, the best way to check whether it’s an issue on your end or a Discord issue is to check “Discord Status.” This page shows if there are any error reports or an open error the team is trying to resolve. You can also check Downdetector for any reports on known issues.

If nothing seems amiss on those pages, you could also ask some of your friends or schoolmates whether the same thing is happening to them. 

Discord Won’t Open

The most common issue Discord users face is the app not opening at all. Common causes for this include corrupted files on your system, another app causing issues with Discord or the app itself being stuck. Fortunately, all of these issues are rather simple to fix.

Fix Damaged or Infected Files

Corrupt files, missing files or even infected files on your system can cause a slew of issues with apps such as Discord. To make matters more interesting, oftentimes they aren’t even Discord files — they’re files within your system that cause issues when you try to open Discord. Here’s how to fix them. 

  1. Open Command Prompt

    Click the “start” button, and type “cmd” in the search bar. Right-click on the command prompt result, and click “run as administrator.” 

    disc open 1
  2. Run “sfc /scannow”

    When the command prompt loads, type in “sfc /scannow” and press “enter.” This may take a few minutes to run, so give it time. Once it’s done, you should be able to run Discord.

    disc open 2

Close Discord Completely

In some cases, you may think you’ve closed the Discord app, but in fact it’s stuck open and you can’t open it again. To solve this, you need to close the app completely. 

  1. Open Task Manager

    Right-click on your taskbar, and click “task manager.”

    disc open 3
  2. End the Discord Task

    In the processes tab, find Discord in the list of apps. Right-click it, and click “end task.” Try to open Discord again; it should be working now.

    disc open 4

Restart Your Computer

The last resort is to restart your computer. If there is a background app or game that’s causing issues with Discord, restarting your computer will close it, and you’ll be able to open the app again. 

Right-click the “start” button, and from the “shut down or sign out” menu, choose “restart.” Wait for your device to restart and try running Discord again.

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Discord Overlay Not Working

Discord’s overlay feature is a great way of keeping track of who’s in the voice channels you’re talking in while you’re gaming. It takes up minimal space on your screen and you can customize its size and placement. However, it sometimes fails to load when you open your game, which can be frustrating. 

The two most common reasons for this are if overlay isn’t enabled for the game you’re playing, or hardware acceleration is causing issues with the overlay feature. 

  1. Enable In-Game Overlay

    Click “user settings,” which is the gear icon next to your username. From the left-hand pane, click on “game overlay” and make sure “enable in-game overlay” is toggled on.

    disc overlay 1
  2. Make Sure Overlay is Enabled for Your Game

    Then, click on “activity status” and make sure that the overlay icon isn’t red and crossed out — this means the overlay is disabled for your game. Instead, it should be gray.

    disc overlay 2
  3. Disable Hardware Acceleration

    If the first two steps don’t fix the issue, click “advanced” from the left-hand pane in the settings, and toggle off “hardware acceleration.” Click “okay” on the button that pops up and restart Discord.

    disc overlay 3

Discord Mic Not Working

Using a mic with Discord is a must if you want to get into a voice chat, but users often complain that their mic is not working. They can hear everyone else when they join a voice chat, but nobody can hear them. There isn’t a known reason for this happening, but fortunately, there is an easy solution. 

Before we get into the actual steps, you’ll first want to verify that it is a Discord issue, rather than an issue with your microphone or operating system. To do this, try using your microphone in another app, such as a voice recording software, to see if it works. If it does, the problem is with Discord.

  1. Check That You’re Using the Right Device

    Click the “user settings” gear icon, and from the left-hand pane, click on “voice & video.” Click the “input device” dropdown menu and make sure that the device you select is the microphone you’re trying to use.

    Then check if you have accidentally set “push to talk” as your input mode — this might be why nobody can hear you.

    disc mic 1
  2. Reset Voice Settings

    If step one doesn’t fix the issue, scroll down to the bottom of the right-hand pane and click “reset voice settings.” Click “okay” on the button that pops up.

    disc mic 2
  3. Run Discord With Administrator Privileges

    If steps one and two don’t fix the issue, you should try running Discord as an administrator. Close Discord, right-click the app shortcut, and choose “run as administrator.” 

    disc mic 3

Discord Audio Not Working

Aside from the mic as an input device, your audio as an output device is the other piece of the puzzle when you want to join a Discord voice chat. Just like the mic, however, audio not working is another common pain point for many Discord users. Everyone can hear you, but you can’t hear them. 

You should first make sure it’s not a problem with your audio device. You can do this by trying to play something through the speakers or headset you’re using with Discord, and verifying that the device works. 

  1. Check That You’re Using the Right Device

    Click the “user settings” gear icon and click on “voice & video” from the left-hand pane. Click the “output device” dropdown menu and choose the device you’re using, whether that’s your headset or speakers.

    disc audio 1
  2. Reset Voice Settings

    If step one doesn’t help, use steps two and three from the section above to first reset your voice settings, and then try to open Discord as administrator.

    disc mic 3

Discord Password Reset

Whether you believe someone else is using your account or you simply forgot your password, Discord offers two easy ways of resetting it from a desktop device. 

The first one assumes you have access to the Discord app and you’re logged in, while the second one is on Discord’s website and doesn’t require the app, nor to be logged in. 

Change Your Discord Password on the Desktop App

If you have the Discord desktop app and are logged in, here is how to reset your password. 

  1. Open My Account Settings

    Click the “user settings” icon, and from the left-hand pane, click “my account” right at the top.

    disc password 0
  2. Change Password

    Scroll down to the “password and authentication” section and click “change password.”

    disc password 1
  3. Set a New Password

    Input your current password, and then input your new password. Click “done” and Discord will save your new password.

    disc password 2

Change Your Discord Password on the Website

If you don’t have access to the desktop app, the process is slightly different. 

  1. Go to the Discord Website

    Navigate to the Discord website. In the top-right corner is a “login” button — click that.

    disc password 3
  2. Click Forgot Your Password

    On the login screen, you’ll see an email or phone number input field, a password input field and a “forgot your password” clickable link. Note that you’ll need to input your email or phone number before you can click “forgot your password.”

    disc password 4
  3. Input the Confirmation Code

    You’ll receive a confirmation code, either to your email address, or your phone number. Input the code on the next screen and you’ll be taken to a screen where you can set a new password.

    disc password 5

Discord Spam: Accidental Rate Limiting

We touched upon spammers in our Is Discord Safe? article, but Discord isn’t sleeping on this issue — it’s actively trying to deal with spam on the platform. One of the tools for this is called “rate limiting,” which prevents you from doing a single action too many times without enough time between attempts. 

For example, if you send a single message too many times in quick succession, you may get this error message from Discord: “You are being rate limited.” 

If this happens, you’ll be logged out of your account and you won’t be able to log in again for anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour. Your best course of action is to wait it out, but if you’re impatient, here are two alternatives. 

  1. Connect to a mobile hotspot 
    Discord applies rate limits as IP bans, and connecting via a different IP address can help bypass the rate limit ban. 
  2. Use a Discord VPN
    A VPN will give you a new IP address, but it will also encrypt your connection, adding some much-needed security. We have an article on the best Discord VPNs — anyone on that list will do, and we included a how-to in the article. However, if you’re looking for a quick answer, ExpressVPN is our top VPN suggestion

Final Thoughts: Fix Discord Issues

For many users, Discord is the go-to platform, but it’s not without its issues. If Discord won’t open or your mic or audio isn’t working, there are a variety of Discord- and Windows-related issues (or any other operating system, for that matter) that may adversely affect your experience. 

The issues we listed above are some of the most common ones we’ve come across, and we hope you know how to solve them if they happen to you. 

Have you had any serious issues with Discord, or has it all been smooth sailing so far? If you have had issues, how did you deal with them? Let us know in the comments, and as always, thank you for reading.