Ubisoft Connect – Unable to start the game (Problem Solved)

This blog post provides a solution for the Ubisoft Connect problem “Unable to start the game”. Also the error message includes “This product cannot be activated right now, please try again later”.

A screenshot of the Ubisoft Connect error "Unable to start the game".

Warning: I’m not to be held responsible for any problems, data loss or costs that arising from following instructions on this blog post. I’m only blogging about what I did to get the game to run on my Windows 10 PC.


I wanted to play the Anno 1800 trial, but ran into the error a few times, but thankfully the solution was straightforward. Whilst I was using Ubisoft this time, I’ve had a similar issue with a large download via Steam in the past as well. So whilst I experienced this problem specifically with Anno 1800 via Epic Games/Ubisoft, the solution or similar might work for other games via Ubisoft Connect as well.

It’s a possibility that a solution that might work for you could be one or more of the steps below. A simply reboot might be all you need, whilst additional steps might be required as mentioned. So whilst I didn’t have an issue with file corruption, others might, so I’ve left that part in the steps below. 

I hope you find this blog post helpful.


  1. Reboot the computer.
  2. Open the Ubisoft Connect software, right click on the game that has an issue and select ‘Verify files’.A screenshot showing the 'Verify files' option in the Ubisoft Connect application.
  3. If the game files were successfully verified you should be able to select Close. *A screenshot from the Ubisoft Connect application.
  4. There might be an update for your game, else close the Ubisoft Connect application, including making sure it’s not running in the system tray. **
  5. Now run the game via another method (not via Connect), such as directly opening the game via a shortcut on the desktop or via the Epic Games Launcher (if originally installed via Epic). ***

* If the files are not successfully verified, then this solution hasn’t worked. You might want to uninstall and try and reinstall the game.

** The system tray is usually found in the bottom right on the screen. The Ubisoft Connect icon might be hidden and discoverable via clicking on an upwards pointing arrow type symbol.

*** Okay this might sound confusing! I originally installed a trial for Anno 1800 via Epic and linked my account to Ubisoft. Then I believe a game update occurred via Ubisoft Connect.

You might want to consider

Not specifically about this problem, but Ubisoft mention on their website about renaming the ‘cache’ folder in the Ubisoft Game Launcher folder. So if the steps in the section above didn’t provide a solution for you, you might want to rename the folder just after step one above and before step two.

  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Visit the folder location \Program Files(x86)\Ubisoft\Ubisoft Game Launcher\.
  3. Rename cache to cacheRENAMED.
  4. Then proceed to step two as mentioned in the solution section above.

An edited screenshot showing the cache folder

Final thoughts

I’m not surprised I ran into this issue and perhaps it was related to downloading a large amount of game data. I think I had downloaded over 40GB to run the Anno 1800 trial! I’m glad I didn’t have to consider repeating the large download! I’m now able to run the Anno 1800 trial.

I’m glad that Ubisoft have the trial and I’m looking forward to trying the game before I make a purchase decision.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments