Google Earth not Working in Windows 8.1: How to Fix it

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The infamous Windows 8.1 updates seems to be causing issues for Google Earth users
google earth windows 8.1

This seems to be a wider issue than I first suspected – Google Earth is not working for Windows 8.1 users across the world, as I’ve seen reports from United States, France, Germany, Russia and many other countries. Google Earth did have some issues in Windows 8, as well, but it did work for the majority of users. Maybe an official Windows Store app for Google Earth could save us from all these issues.

I remember that when I installed Google Earth on my Windows 8.1 preview laptop, it worked just fine. But there are some users that have been having issues with Google Earth since the Preview version of Windows 8.1 and they haven’t disappeared when they switched to final version. Google Earth hangs or crashes at its startup in Windows 8.1 and the Windows troubleshooter says that it is actually incompatible with Windows 8.1.

How to make Google Earth work in Windows 8.1

Some users also get reddish maps and view when using Google Earth. The specific release of Google Earth that doesn’t work in Windows 8.1 is number 7,  so a few users have managed to bypass this issue by getting back to Google Earth 6.2 release. An open thread on the Google Product Forums suggests another workaround:

Go to Tools – Options – 3D View and, on the upper right menu, tick “OpenGL” instead of “DirectX”. It’s been the solution for me – I think it will be for you too.

The culprit for Google Earth hanging and crashing in Windows 8.1 seems to be the stereoscopic 3D that was turned on by the Windows 8.1 update. Updating your graphics card should be able to let you tick that option, according to some users:

When I first came across this problem, I did have a stereoscopic 3D option in the Nvidia control panel.  Since then I have had a new PC with an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti which didn’t have the option.  However, I’ve just upgraded the drivers from the Nvidia site and the stereoscopic 3D option is now there, so it might be worth trying that.

I upgraded my nVidia driver to the most current using GeForce Experience software. The stereoscopic 3D option now shows in the nVidia control panel however it was unchecked by default after installation of the upgrade. Now in order for Google Earth to display properly I had the re-enable the DirectX in the options menu of Google Earth. All is fine again.

Windows RT users it seems that still struggle with this, so if you are one of them, let us know of your detailed issue in the comments box and we’ll search together for a workaround.