How to fix Modern Warfare 3 'App Not Released' bug on Steam

How to fix Modern Warfare 3 'App Not Released' bug on Steam
Images via Activision

Written by 

Tarran Stockton


8th Feb 2024 10:52

New updates have a habit of breaking games, and now Modern Warfare 3 is suffering thanks to the 'App Not Released' bug on Steam.

As expected before release, MW3 is one of the most popular shooters out right now, so plenty of fans will have experienced the bug if they've booted it up during the past few days.

You may need some help learning how exactly to fix it and get back to playing the game, so follow our troubleshooting methods below.

How to fix Modern Warfare 3 'App Not Released' bug on Steam

There are a few different ways you can attempt to fix the 'App Not Released' bug for MW3. All the ones below are verified to work, so you should be back to playing in no time.

Restart your PC

The simplest and easiest fix that is pretty much universal for most bugs is to just restart your computer. I recommend trying this as your first port of call. 

Just boot up Steam again right after and the game should work for you now. If not, time to try one of the other methods. 

Clear your download cache

showing how to clear download cache on Steam
Click to enlarge
Image via Valve

Your download cache could also be the cause of the problem, but this is simple to fix.

  • Select the 'Steam' button at the top left of the client
  • Press 'Settings'
  • Click 'Downloads'
  • In the new window, locate 'Clear Cache'
  • Press the button and let it process
  • Now try to boot MW3 up again

Remove your free trial

If none of the above fixes have worked for you, the problem may be down to a lingering free trial of the game that's still connected to your account. You'll just need to delete this by following these steps:

  • Right-click Steam and click 'Run as administrator'
  • Right-click MW3 in your library and select 'Properties'
  • In the new window, navigate to the 'DLC' tab
  • Unselect 'Free Trial'
  • Close down Steam and reopen it the same way as above
  • Open properties once more
  • Select 'Local Files'
  • Click 'Verify integrity of game files…
  • Once the process is finished, you should be able to boot up the game

The methods highlighted have worked for us, but if you're still running into issues after trying them, you'll need to contact Steam or Activision support.

As the bug was introduced with an update, you may also need to wait for an official fix from the developers.

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Check out our Modern Warfare 3 homepage for more guides. Once you get back in the game, make sure you know the best guns and meta loadouts, the best sniper rifle loadouts, and the best Warzone 2 weapons.

Tarran is a Senior Guides Writer at GGRecon. He previously wrote reviews for his college newspaper before studying Media and Communication at university. His favourite genres include role-playing games, strategy games, and boomer shooters - along with anything indie. You can also find him in the pit at local hardcore shows.

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