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BlueStacks problems and how to fix them

Get back to Android gaming on your PC with these fixes.

Published onMay 28, 2023

BlueStacks is one of the best Android emulators you can get and is a great way to play Android games and use other apps on a computer. BlueStacks has improved with every iteration, and the latest version, BlueStacks 5, is the fastest yet and has a slew of features to enhance your gaming experience. However, like any software, users can run into issues occasionally while using BlueStacks. Here’s a look at some common BlueStacks problems and how to fix them!

Problem #1: “Incompatible Windows Settings” error on BlueStacks 5

Bluestacks 5 installation
Joe Hindy / Android Authority

You will see the “incompatible Windows settings” error message pop-up when using the Nougat (32-bit) or Android 11 (Beta) versions of BlueStacks 5. You might also see an error message that says, “Nougat 32-bit/Android 11 (Beta) is not supported by your Operating System” when trying to create a fresh Instance. This occurs on any Windows system with Hyper-V, which is Microsoft’s hardware visualization product, enabled.

Potential solutions:

  • The first option is to use a different version of BlueStacks. Go to the BlueStacks download page and scroll down to “Download a specific version.” Select either Pie 64-bit or Nougat 64-bit—these versions of BlueStacks 5 support Hyper-V.
  • If you want to run a newer version of Android (Android 11 Beta), you will need to disable Hyper-V on your system. Open the Control Panel, click on Programs, and select Turn Windows features on or off. On the list, uncheck Hyper-V, Windows Hypervisor Platform, Windows Sandbox, Virtual Machine Platform, and Windows Subsystem for Linux. You will have to restart your computer. Run BlueStacks to see if the error message goes away.
  • On some computers, you may also have to disable Memory Integrity. Go to Settings > Privacy and security (left-hand menu) > Windows security and click Open Windows security. Then go to Device security, click Core isolation details, and toggle off Memory integrity. Remember that this feature helps prevent attacks from malicious code, so disable this feature at your own risk. If you don’t want to take the chance, it’s best to opt for a BlueStacks version that supports Hyper-V.
  • A faster way to disable Hyper-V on your system is by using the Command Prompt. Type cmd in the search bar and select Run as administrator in the right-hand menu. Then type bcdedit /set hypervisorlaunchtype off.
  • BlueStacks also makes the process easy by providing a .exe file that you can download and run to disable Hyper-V. Follow the link to find and download the custom file.

Problem #2: Error 2318 when uninstalling BlueStacks

uninstall bluestacks windows
Andy Walker / Android Authority

Some users get an error message (error 2318) when attempting to uninstall BlueStacks. This error usually shows up because of corrupted registry keys.

Potential solutions:

  • BlueStacks has a dedicated Uninstaller program you’ll find in the installation folder. It might be better to use this program to uninstall the service rather than do so through the settings menu to uninstall apps on Windows.
  • The Windows Installer service might be an issue, but you can restart it. Type cmd in the Search bar to open Command Prompt and select Run as administrator in the right-hand menu. In Command Prompt, type net stop msiserver to stop Windows Installer, and then type net start msiserver to restart the service. Now try uninstalling BlueStacks like any other Windows app and see if the error goes away.
  • If the problem is because of corrupted registry keys, you can remove them. Open the Registry Editor (type reg in the Search bar). You might want to create a backup of your registry to avoid any problems. Select Files > Export in the toolbar. Name the backup file and select All in the Export Range box. After creating a backup, use Ctrl + F to open a search window and type bluestacks. Delete each BlueStacks registry key that comes up.

Problem #3: “Device isn’t compatible with this device” error when downloading apps on BlueStacks

Bluestacks 5 screenshot 1
Joe Hindy / Android Authority

Some users might see a “Device isn’t compatible with this device” message when trying to download apps from the Google Play Store in BlueStacks.

Potential solutions:

  • The best way to fix this problem is to switch the device profile. In BlueStacks, open the Settings menu (gear icon in the right-hand menu), go to Device, and under Predefined profile, choose another device on the list. You might have to try multiple options until you find a device profile where the incompatibility error doesn’t show.
  • You can also try clearing the Google app data to fix the issue. Open System apps on the home page and click Settings (remember, these are Android settings, not BlueStacks settings). Click Apps and scroll down and open Google Play Store. Click Storage and select Clear app data. Confirm your selection. You should now be able to install the problematic app.

Problem #4: Hardware decoding is not available on BlueStacks

Diablo Immortal on Bluestacks
Joe Hindy / Android Authority

When using hardware decoding, the PC’s GPU is used to render compressed textures and generally provides a much better gaming experience than software decoding (where the CPU is used) or when ASTC (Adaptive Scalable Texture Compression) is disabled. However, some users say that the hardware decoding option is greyed out and unavailable or doesn’t use the dedicated GPU even when selected.

Potential solutions:

  • This might be a hardware compatibility issue. Users with AMD GPUs report problems when trying to use hardware decoding, while users with NVIDIA GPUs don’t run into this problem as much. Contact BlueStacks support to confirm whether your dedicated GPU will allow hardware decoding.
  • Hardware decoding not being available could also be because of settings issues.
    • Ensure that you have everything set up for BlueStacks to use your dedicated GPU. Go to BlueStacks settings (gear icon in the right-hand menu) > Graphics > GPU in use and toggle on Prefer dedicated GPU. After you restart BlueStacks, you should see your dedicated GPU listed in this section instead of the integrated GPU.
    • You can also change the settings through Windows. Search for Graphics settings in the search bar or go to Settings > System > Display > Graphics and click Browse under Graphics performance preference. In the location search, find the folder where BlueStacks is installed, select HD-player.exe, and click Add. Once added, choose BlueStacks on the list and click Options. Select High performance (which should have your dedicated GPU listed) and save the setting.
    • Hardware decoding isn’t available with DirectX. Go to BlueStacks settings > Graphics > GPU renderer and select OpenGL. On the Graphics settings page, choose Hardware decoding from the ASTC textures dropdown. If your GPU isn’t compatible, you will see a “Hardware decoding is not available” error in this section.

Problem #5: “Installation failed” error or BlueStacks not opening

System specs
Joe Hindy / Android Authority

You may see a few error codes (1101, 2001, or 2004) when trying to install or launch a game on BlueStacks or open the app itself. Some users also face an issue when trying to install BlueStacks.

Potential solutions:

  • If you have problems installing or running BlueStacks, ensure that your PC meets the app’s minimum requirements. This includes Windows 7 or higher, an Intel or AMD processor, 4GB of RAM, 5GB of free storage, Administrator access on the PC, and updated graphics drivers. Of course, the minimum requirements may not offer the best experience. BlueStack recommends a PC with Windows 10 or higher, 8GB of RAM, an Intel or AMD multi-core processor with a single-thread benchmark score greater than 1000, a Broadband Internet connection, and SSD storage.
  • Ensure that Virtualization is enabled on your PC. A simple way to check is by using the Task Manager. Type Task Manager in the search bar, or press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to launch it. Go to the Performance tab, and you should see Virtualisation: Enabled in the information section at the bottom. If it is disabled, you will have to enable virtualization to use BlueStacks. The process depends on your PC manufacturer, so you can check out Microsoft’s guide on how to enable virtualization.
  • If you can’t launch BlueStacks, you can try dedicating more CPU cores and RAM to the app. Open the BlueStacks Multi-instance Manager and click the gear icon next to the instance. In the Performance tab, select High (4 cores) under CPU allocation and High (4GB) under Memory allocation. BlueStacks recommends these settings for graphic-intensive games. If you can launch BlueStacks but have difficulty opening a game, you can change the allocation from within the app. Open BlueStacks settings > Performance and choose these settings. You can also select Custom and allocate more cores and RAM, but ensure that you don’t allocate all the CPU cores and RAM to BlueStacks. Also, select High performance from the Performance mode dropdown. Click Save changes and restart the app.
  • Your anti-virus program may also interfere and cause installation errors or problems with BlueStacks not opening. Check out BlueStacks’ guide on configuring your anti-virus program to ensure you have the correct settings.

Problem #6: BlueStacks feels slow

BlueStacks can be resource-heavy, depending on what apps you’re running, and there are occasions when it might feel slow or laggy.

Potential solutions:

  • You can improve BlueStacks’ performance by allocating more CPU cores and RAM to the app. Go to BlueStacks settings > Performance and choose High (4 cores) under CPU allocation and High (4GB) under Memory allocation. You can also select Custom to choose more cores and RAM but don’t allocate all CPU cores and RAM to BlueStacks. Ensure that High performance is set in the Performance mode dropdown.
  • Ensure that Virtualization is enabled to get the best experience. Check out Microsoft’s guide on enabling virtualization to do so.
  • Anti-virus programs might also cause performance problems. Check out BlueStacks’ guide on configuring your anti-virus program to find the proper settings.
  • You can also improve performance by freeing up RAM. Open Task Manager (Ctrl + Shift + Esc) and close any unwanted or idle apps running in the background and hogging resources. Apps like Google Chrome are a significant problem in this regard. Select the app you want to close and click End task.

Problem #7: Google Play Store login issues

Angry Birds 2 on Bluestacks
Joe Hindy / Android Authority

Users run into a few issues when trying to log in to the Play Store on BlueStacks. While some login issues have specific fixes, the best way to fix this problem is to clear the app cache. Open the System apps folder in BlueStacks, go to Settings > Apps > Google Play Store > Storage, and click Clear cache.

  • Stuck on the loading screen when trying to log in or “Couldn’t sign in” error: Your anti-virus program might interfere with BlueStacks running correctly. Configure the program using the correct settings (links to the anti-virus setup guide are in problems 6 and 7).
  • Black/white window on the login screen: This happens when the graphics settings on BlueStacks don’t match the system specifications. Go to BlueStacks settings (gear icon in the right-hand menu) > Graphics and change settings like Performance mode, Graphics engine mode, and Interface renderer to other options. Restart BlueStacks and see if the problem goes away.
  • “Authentication required/Verify it’s you” error: If you see this error, clear the Play Store app cache and remove your Google account before logging in again. To remove your account, go to System apps > Settings > Accounts, click on your Google account and tap Remove account. On older versions of BlueStacks, click the three vertical dots icon at the top right corner and select Remove account. Return to the previous page, click Add account, and enter your login credentials again.
  • How to log in with a non-Gmail account: You can log in to BlueStacks with a non-Gmail account, but you will have to create a Google account linked to that email address. Go to Google’s website and click Sign-in at the top right corner. Click Create account (for myself). Enter your details and select Use current email address instead. Enter your non-Gmail address and go through the verification process. Once you’ve created the account, you can log in to BlueStacks with this email address.
  • “This device isn’t Play Protected” error: This error usually occurs if you’re using a custom device profile. Go to BlueStacks settings > Phone, switch to Choose a predefined profile, and select one of the phones on the list.

Problem #8: “Cannot install APK” error

Bluestacks 5 multi instace manager
Joe Hindy / Android Authority

The “Cannot install APK” error pops up if the game or app you’re trying to install isn’t compatible with the Android version of BlueStacks you’re running. It will likely occur if you run much older versions like Android Pie 32-bit.

Potential solutions:

  • The only option to use an app or play a game that isn’t supported is by launching a fresh instance with a newer version of Android. Open the Multi-instance Manager (three-layer icon in the right-hand menu, two above the gear icon), click Instance, and select Fresh instance. Choose a newer Android version from the dropdown, like Android 11 (Beta) or Android Nougat (64-bit). If you don’t have these installed, you will have to download some additional files and select settings like CPU allocation, memory allocation, resolution, performance mode, and others for this fresh instance. Click Download to create the new instance, then click Start next to it on the Multi-instance Manager page. You should now be able to install the APK without problems.

Known BlueStacks issues

BlueStacks has a weekly running list of bugs and issues that it fixes that you can check to see if your problem has been solved.

Mac users may come across a “System extension blocked” error. BlueStacks isn’t supported on older Macs (older than 2014), Macs with M1 processors, and Macs running macOS 12 Monterey and macOS 13 Ventura.

You can report an issue by clicking the question mark icon at the top of the BlueStacks app window and selecting Report a problem. Select the problem type, fill out the other details, and click Submit a report. You can also download the BlueStacks 5 Log Collection Tool to provide an error log if you have issues with BlueStacks not installing or opening.