MSFS: Useful Things to Know

Learn a few useful things to know starting up and shutting down Microsoft Flight Simulator and how to join public beta releases.

Is MSFS Missing From Your Microsoft Library?

When I wanted to reinstall MSFS I deleted the program from my computer but then could not find it in the Microsoft Store. The Microsoft support person made it re-appear by starting the XBox app, and I now see the XBox app as the primary control for MSFS even though I do not own an XBox, so its not a very good name for PC owners. Once the XBox app is running, the Microsoft Store will become aware that you own a licence for MSFS. You can also install MSFS from the XBox app itself.

MSFS Default Installation Location

The new location for MSFS is now at: “C:\XboxGames”, which is much easier to find.

I suggest you create a new data folder at “C:\MSFS” to store your MSFS and community folder file so you can access them more easily. The ‘folder previously called ‘packages’ has been removed and ‘community’ and ‘official’ are now at the same level as ‘cache’. I redirected my library files ‘OrbxLibrary’ and ‘RexSimLibrary’ into the ” to keep things tidy.

I suggest you create folder ‘C:\MSFS’ to store all your data files

How to Start MSFS at a Higher Priority

Assuming you have already found that running at a higher thread priority works for you you can start the program from a batch file like this:

cmd /C /ABOVENORMAL start “” shell:AppsFolder\Microsoft.FlightSimulator_8wekyb3d8bbwe!App

The available thread priority levels are

  • /REALTIME – one you should probably never use or your system may lock up
  • /HIGH
  • /NORMAL – the default value
  • /LOW

You can combine this with the quick start parameter as well. Personally, I do not like altering the thread priority since it can adversely affect the balance of a myriad unknown processes that may affect the overall efficiency in other ways.

How to Start MSFS Quickly

You can make a batch file that has the following single line in it for the Microsoft Store version of the program. Essentially you are adding a ‘-fastlaunch‘ option to the MSFS command line that it will read on startup. The intro videos will be skipped and the loading sequence will start immediately.

Cmd /C start shell:AppsFolder\Microsoft.FlightSimulator_8wekyb3d8bbwe!App -FastLaunch

Or you can add the -fastlaunch parameter to a shortcut to MSFS to achieve the same result and raise the thread priority at the same time.

How to Exit MSFS Quickly

During testing you can exit MSFS instantly by pressing ALT+F4. Be aware that the sim may start with a “start normally?” question when you next start the program. That will be disappointing if you walk away from the computer thinking it is loading the sim.

How to Join a Public Beta Preview

  1. Open the Xbox Insider Hub app
  2. Under Previews click on Microsoft Flight Simulator Beta
  3. Click on Join
  4. Click Continue
  5. Restart your PC
  6. Open the Microsoft Store app
  7. Select your library at bottom-left
  8. Click on Get Updates
  9. When the update has completed, run the sim
  10. Install any other updates available in the sim

Monitor Your PC’s Start & Runtime Load

Startup Delayer

This is a really useful tool that allows you to supervise your start-up programs, and disable any you don’t want to interfere with your startup duration.

The Startup Delayer is so called because it will control the order and time that programs will start up when windows launches. He should have called it Speedy Start or similar instead because that’s the actual improvement a user sees.

You can order the startup sequence to give yourself a much more responsive computer when it starts. The launch times for you programs list can be accessed in chart form from the Tools menu.

Secondly, you can see the programs which are being launched at startup and you can choose to disable and delete those that don’t suit your needs or were added without your consent. The Normal Startup category is for the key programs in your computer. The Startup Item list are for user selected programs you want to be launched but which are not vital to the computer’s own health or systems. The disabled section can be used to disable programs that you don’t want to be in the other two lists.

Task Manager Startup Tab

The Task Manager Startup tab
is a good place to look for unwanted programs

You can also use the Startup tab in Windows Task Manager to see if there are any processes there that you haven’t been aware of as well. I cant show you what it normally looks like because I’ve already removed all the programs I don’t like!