Preventing Oculus From Automatically Launching: A Comprehensive Guide

Preventing Oculus From Automatically Launching: A Comprehensive Guide

The Oculus software is essential for powering your virtual reality headset and games. However, some users may find the Oculus app automatically opening unintentionally or launching alongside other games and apps. This can be disruptive and use up device resources unnecessarily.

This comprehensive guide will explain what causes Oculus to launch on its own and provide fixes to prevent automatic startup. By adjusting Windows settings, Oculus configurations, and game launch settings, you can gain full control over when the Oculus software runs. Let’s begin!

The Oculus desktop app acts as the central hub for managing your VR headset, browsing the Oculus Store, launching games, and handling critical background processes. As such, it needs to run while using your Oculus Rift or Oculus Quest.

However, if the Oculus software opens up involuntarily when booting your PC or while launching other games, it can negatively impact performance, interrupt gameplay, and generally be a nuisance. Thankfully, with the right settings tweaks, you can prevent Oculus from starting up automatically when not needed.

Understanding the Oculus Launcher

To understand what causes Oculus to launch by itself, you first need to know what the Oculus Launcher is:

  • The Launcher is background Windows service that starts when you install Oculus.
  • It runs on startup and remains active to power critical Oculus processes.
  • The Launcher allows the Oculus desktop app to open quickly when needed.
  • It may launch the desktop app automatically if detecting the headset being used.
  • The Launcher can be optionally disabled to prevent auto-starting Oculus.

Controlling the Oculus Launcher is key to stopping unnecessary launches of the desktop app.

Reasons for Oculus Launching Automatically

There are a few common triggers that can cause Oculus to launch itself unexpectedly:

  • The Oculus Launcher service running at Windows startup and in the background.
  • Your VR headset being put on or connected to your PC. The Launcher auto-starts Oculus to power the headset.
  • SteamVR integration set to automatically open Oculus when needed for Steam games.
  • Games incorrectly set to require or load the Oculus software like Ark: Survival Evolved.
  • Corrupted settings/files that improperly tell Oculus or Windows to start the app.
  • Outdated Oculus software with bugs that cause incorrect auto-launching.

Adjusting configurations related to these triggers will help curb unintended Oculus startup.

How to Stop Oculus from Opening on Startup

If Oculus routinely opens as soon as you start Windows, there are two settings to adjust – one in Windows and one in the Oculus app:

Disabling Oculus from Windows Startup

  1. Open the Start Menu and type “Task Manager” to open it.
  2. Go to the Startup tab in Task Manager.
  3. Find “Oculus” in the list of startup apps. Right-click it and select “Disable” to stop it launching at Windows startup.

This will immediately stop Oculus from loading at boot, though it can still open later when needed.

Adjusting Oculus Settings

  1. Launch the Oculus desktop app if not already open.
  2. Open Settings by clicking the gear icon.
  3. Go to General > Launch Startup and toggle “Start Oculus at Windows startup” off.
  4. Click Apply to save the setting change.

With both Windows and Oculus set to not auto-launch the app, Oculus will remain closed when starting your PC until manually launched.

Preventing Oculus from Launching with Specific Games

Some VR-compatible games like Roblox or Ark: Survival Evolved incorrectly trigger the auto-launch of Oculus when you start them up. To prevent this:

  1. Close the game if running.
  2. Navigate to the game executable file location.
  3. Right-click the .exe file and go to Properties.
  4. Select Compatibility tab and uncheck “Run this program in compatibility mode”.
  5. This removes incorrect compatibility settings that launch Oculus. Click Apply.
  6. Now start the game again and Oculus should not open involuntarily.

These simple compatibility tweaks will stop games from interfering with your Oculus startup preferences.

Troubleshooting: Oculus Opening When Launching Roblox or Ark

Two games in particular that commonly exhibit issues with automatically running Oculus are Roblox and Ark: Survival Evolved. Here are tips for these specific cases:

For Roblox:

  • Update your Oculus and Roblox games to the latest versions.
  • Disable the “Launch in VR” option in Roblox settings. Launch it normally.
  • Uninstall and reinstall Roblox to clear any corrupted files causing conflicts.

For Ark: Survival Evolved:

  • Right-click Ark in your Steam library, go to Properties > Local Files tab > Browse.
  • Open the Binaries folder, right-click ShooterGame.exe and select Properties.
  • Go to Compatibility and uncheck “Run this program in compatibility mode”.
  • This removes erroneous compatibility settings that initiate Oculus on launch.

With these game-specific tweaks, you can enjoy Roblox, Ark, and other titles without Oculus interrupting and impacting performance.


Having your Oculus software open up spontaneously while starting Windows or launching games can be an annoyance. Thankfully, with the solutions outlined in this guide, you can take full control over when Oculus runs in the background or opens on your desktop.

By disabling Oculus from auto-launching at Windows startup, preventing triggers from your VR headset, adjusting compatibility modes for games, and keeping your Oculus software up-to-date, involuntary launching can be avoided.

The ability to manually launch Oculus only when needed will allow starting games and VR experiences without disruption. Your system resources will thank you! Just be sure to close Oculus fully when it’s not actively in use.

With these simple but effective settings tweaks, unintended Oculus startup will become a thing of the past. Game on!

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