How to fix Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 Error “Failed to Start Game (Missing Executable)” in Steam

Steam error “Failed to Start Game (Missing Executable)” is typically an error that can sometimes occur when you are attempting to launch Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 via Steam. This error is not specific to Microsoft Flight Simulator and can also happen with any game. Steam Error Missing executable error comes along with a variety of other messages starting from error occurred while ‘missing executable’, installing, etc. and updating. Despite the variation of messages appearing on your screen, the error is similar and common fixes can solve the error.


Whenever you install a game on Steam, Steam creates an executable file within the Steam installation folder for that particular game. When there is a problem/issue with this executable file, the error shows up. The missing executable error could possibly be due to a number of issues from lack of system privileges, antivirus, corrupted game files, or corrupted Steam cache.

To address the problems mentioned above which is why you are encountering this Steam error, follow through the three possible fix that are commonly known to resolve this error.

Fix 1: Make sure Steam runs with full privilege and administrative permissions

Insufficient permission to the Steam client can hinder it from working properly. Hence, make sure that you must provide it administrative permissions and the error could possibly get fixed. You could try to run Steam with administrative permissions for temporarily or configure Steam to have the permission permanently. Since it’s important and you must always run Steam with administrative permissions we are going to provide the steps to configure permanent permission. Follow the steps:

  1. Go to your Desktop. Locate your Steam shortcut file.
  2. Right-click on the shortcut of Steam and select Properties
  3. Go to the Compatibility tab/options.
  4. Check Run this program as an administrator (this will make sure that Steam runs with full privilege always)
  5. Click on Apply and OK once done.

Now, we’ll provide the Steam installation folder full permission. Follow the steps below:

  1. Locate Steam installation folder (typically installed to path C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam)
  2. Right-click on the Steam Directory and select Properties
  3. Then, Go to the Security tab and click on Edit
  4. Check the Allow for Full control
  5. Click Apply and OK to apply the settings.

Once done, try relaunching the game and see if the Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 Error “Failed to Start Game (Missing Executable)” is already fixed. Otherwise, if the problem still persists follow the other fix below.

Fix 2Perform Repair of the Steam Library

One of the most probable root cause of the Steam Error Failed to Start Game (Missing Executable) is corrupted game files and executables. Since the game file’s corrupted, Steam is unable to launch the game and thus results the error. Luckily, Steam has a very useful function that can check & detect corrupted game files and replace it with a fresh copy. This Steam’s feature is called Verify Integrity of Game. We will also attempt to repair the Steam library in case that the Steam library’s is the culprit. The Steam Library directory is where all the steam games are installed and downloaded on your Desktop/PC. Here are the necessary steps for both actions.

First, to verify the integrity of game files on Steam:

  1. Go ahead and Launch the Steam client
  2. In the LIBRARY, right-click on Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 game and select Properties
  4. Wait for the verification process to finish. If there are any corrupt files, Steam will automatically download & replace them.

Now, we’ll repair the Steam Library directory. Follow these steps:

  1. Launch Steam. Go to Steam > Settings > Downloads
  2. Click on the Steam Library Folders
  3. Right-click the SteamLibrary folder and select the Repair Library Folder option.
  4. You will be asked for permission by Windows and Steam, grant them both.

After performing the above steps, go ahead and see if Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 Error “Failed to Start Game (Missing Executable)” error still occurs.


Fix 3: Add Exclusion to Windows Virus and Threat Protection or Third-party Antivirus

A lot of antivirus software such as the built in Windows Defender Antivirus or third-party antivirus often times detect Steam as a false-positive threat on your system. Sometimes, these antivirus mistake Steam files and processes suspicious and malicious thus prevents Steam to work properly. These often times lead to the Steam Error “Failed to Start Game (Missing Executable)” on your system. You can fix this issue by disabling entirely your system’s security software, however, that can be pose risks and threats to your system as your system becomes undefended to attacks. Hence, you must exclude Steam files and folder from the settings of your antivirus. By excluding Steam, it allows Steam to bypass the layers of the antivirus which often causes this issue. To do so, follow the steps below:

Windows Virus & Threat Protection

  1. Open up the start menu and click the Settings Icon and select Update & Security
  2. Click on Windows Security, select Virus & Threat Protection
  3. Under Virus & threat protection settings, click on Manage settings
  4. Locate Exclusions by scrolling down, click on Add or remove exclusions
  5. Click on Add an exclusion and select Folder
  6. Locate the Steam installation folder at C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam and set the exclusion.

Go ahead and launch the game and see if the Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 Error “Failed to Start Game (Missing Executable)” is already fixed. Hopefully, after doing all those fixes one would sort it out for you. If you have a different solution or feedback feel free to leave it in the comment section below!


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