21 Steps to Fix Oculus Air Link Issues (Crashes / Disconnects)

Are you trying to enjoy some wireless PC VR gaming on your Quest / Quest 2 headset but simply can not get Air Link working properly?

Whether the software is unable to find your PC, the connection simply won’t launch or it does launch but then disconnects after a while and throws you back to the regular Oculus Home environment.

Since various problems with Air Link seem to be quite widespread, I did some research and testing on my own to compile a list of possible solutions to the different issues. That being said, here are steps you can take if you are having issues with Oculus Air Link (disconnects, crashing, black screen, etc) :

  1. Check for PC compatibility
  2. Turn everything off and back on again
  3. Follow Air Link setup best practices
  4. Change network profile to private
  5. Update software & drivers
  6. Disable firewall / antivirus (temporarily)
  7. Disable VPN
  8. Check Oculus Debug Tool settings
  9. Restart your router
  10. Close / Uninstall Conflicting Software
  11. Force using dedicated GPU (laptops)
  12. Opt into Public Test Channel
  13. Reset experimental settings
  14. Do a clean Oculus software install
  15. Avoid using Windows 11
  16. Remove multiple IPv4 addresses
  17. Test with Virtual Desktop / Oculus Link
  18. Buy a dedicated router for Air Link
  19. Check Oculus forum / Reddit threads
  20. Factory reset
  21. Contact Oculus support

Let does next dive into each of the different solutions in a bit more detail!

Note! You are sure to also find useful information from my previous articles about Oculus Air Link proper setup and troubleshooting performance issues.

1) Check for PC Compatibility

While researching the topic, I saw so many people trying to get Air Link working with a PC that fails to meet the requirements. This is often very unlikely or straightforward impossible to achieve (minimum requirements are there for a reason).

Go and check the requirements for Oculus Link and make sure your PC stacks up. One of the most common problems for people seems to be that their graphics card just doesn’t have enough computing power for Air Link and VR in general.

Also keep in mind that if your PC specs are on the lower end, you might have a difficult time getting optimal performance, especially for the more demanding games. If you are interested, I have actually gathered real-life user performance feedback for Half-Life: Alyx in one of my previous articles.

2) Turn Everything Off and Back On Again

If you have verified that your PC has enough computing power to run VR games, the next step is very simple: just turn everything off and then back on again.

  1. Disable Air Link in Oculus PC app
  2. Restart your PC
  3. Disable Air link In your Headset
  4. Restart your headset
  5. Launch Oculus software
  6. Enable Air Link
  7. Enable and launch Air Link from headset

With software, quite often starting from a “blank sheet” helps with a variety of different problems. Follow the steps to see if you now have more luck in getting Air Link working.

3) Follow Air Link Setup Best Practices

If you want your Air Link setup to work without issues, there are some “golden rules” that you should follow. The most important steps you can take to ensure a problem-free Air Link experience are:

  • Use ethernet cable to connect your PC and router
  • Create and use a dedicated 5Ghz Wi-Fi network for you headset
    • 2.4GHz network or a “mixed” 2.4/5Ghz network is no good for Air Link
  • Be close to the router (ideally in the same room with straight visibility)

If you get these things right, you have already done at least half of the equation of getting Air Link working without issues. You can find a more detailed description of the steps from my previous articles here and here.

4) Change Network Profile to Private

One certain network configuration aspect that has caused a variety of different problems with Oculus Air Link is the chosen network profile (public or private).

People who have configured their ethernet connection as “Public” have had problems starting from bad performance to their PC not detected by the headset.

You can check and change your current network profile following these steps:

  1. Open Windows Settings (type “Settings in search bar)
  2. Select “Properties” for Etherner connection
  3. Make sure “Private” option is selected and “Save”

If your local network was previously set to “Public”, then test your Air Link connection again after changing to “Private” and you might be up for a pleasant surprise.

5) Update Software & Drivers

The general golden rule for Air Link and software, in general, is to make sure that all your software and drivers are up-to-date. This ensures that you have the latest compatibility and bug fixes applied to your system.

That being said, make sure you have:

  1. Latest Oculus Software installed on your PC
  2. Headset updated and running on matching software release
  3. Windows updates applied
  4. Latest graphics card drivers installed

There is a caveat here, though.

Sometimes the latest set of software/driver releases may actually cause issues instead of solving them. For example, Nvidia 30XX graphics card owners have had to downgrade their drivers to get Air Link working.

If in doubt, I recommend you to keep an eye on the Oculus forum and related Reddit threads. If something is out of the ordinary, people here are sure to notify others and discuss the matter in more detail.

Note! I am currently running on the latest Nvidia drivers (496.49) with a GeForce RTX 3060 and I have had no problems with Air Link.

Best VR Funny Moments & Fails of 20... x
Best VR Funny Moments & Fails of 2021

6) Disable Firewall / Antivirus (Temporarily)

I am going to start with the fact that disabling your firewall and/or antivirus is almost never a good idea. That being said, for debugging your Air Link connectivity issues, I am going to ask you to do exactly that (temporarily)

Third-party Antivirus software (for example McAfee, Avast and others) have been known to often cause issues. For this reason, disable your Firewall as well Antivirus software and check whether you are now able to establish an Air Link connection.

If you were now successful in your attempt, determine which software was causing the connection problem and re-enable both of them. Use google and try to find a permanent solution (adding exceptions, etc) for your problem where both Antivirus and Firewall remain enabled on your PC!

When adding exceptions, the following applications should be added to the whitelist:

  • C:\Program Files\Oculus\Support\oculus-client\OculusClient.exe
  • C:\Program Files\Oculus\Support\oculus-runtime\OVRRedir.exe
  • C:\Program Files\Oculus\Support\oculus-runtime\OVRServer_x64.exe
  • C:\Program Files\Oculus\Support\oculus-runtime\OVRServiceLauncher.exe

Note! Oculus states in their support documentation that port 5669 (TCP) must be open. Make sure your firewall is not blocking it!

If disabling firewall and antivirus had no effect on your Air Link connection then leave them enabled and proceed to the next steps.

7) Disable VPN

If you don’t have any VPN service installed, then move on to the next step.

If you do, then you must know that some VPN software providers are known to cause issues when trying to use Oculus Air Link (e.g NordVPN). For debugging reasons, go ahead and disable your VPN and try establishing an Oculus Air Link connection again.

If the connection now succeeds, you can either keep the VPN disabled when using Oculus Air Link or try to work around the problem by adjusting your VPN settings.

8) Check Oculus Debug Tool Settings

Oculus Debug Tools allows us to configure various advanced settings to tweak and improve Oculus Air Link performance. Sometimes, however, when not done right, the setting changes can actually cause Air Link to crash or not to work at all.

Please check that your Oculus Debug Tool (C:\Program Files\Oculus\Support\oculus-diagnostics\OculusDebugTool.exe) has the following settings:

  • Enode Dynamic Bitrate – Default
  • Encode Bitrate (Mbps) – 0

If they differ for you, then change them back to the given defaults. Restart your Oculus Software and try launching Air Link again.

Note! If you want to learn more about Oculus Debug Tool settings and how to configure them properly, I have written a detailed article explaining just that.

9) Restart / Reset Your Router

I have personally found that restarting my router sometimes helps to improve the overall experience and reduce unexpected lagging. Some people have reported that restarting the router has also helped them with Air Link disconnection issues.

Since it is so easy to test out and it can not do any harm, then go ahead and restart your router and see if it has any positive effect on your current problem. Plugging the power cord for a couple of seconds is the easiest way to do this.

If you feel comfortable with routers and tech in general, resetting your router might be another step you can take to potentially solve your issue. Do keep in mind that you will have to reconfigure both your 2.4GHz and 5Ghz networks for your home devices and VR headset to use.

I have previously written about the topic of configuring routers for wireless VR gaming in more detail here and here (the latter is a configuration tutorial for setting up a secondary dedicated router specifically for Air Link)

10) Close / Uninstall Conflicting Software

Problems with conflicting software is an issue I personally faced. I had just bought my Lenovo Legion 5 Pro laptop (see why I bought it) and during the setup process, it recommended enabling the “Network Boost” feature in the Lenovo Vantage software.

When I got to actually using Air Link, each and every game crashed and started stuttering (~1 fps) after about 5 seconds of gameplay. After debugging the problem, it turns out I had to disable the “Network Boost” feature in Lenovo Vantage and Oculus Air Link started working properly again.

Here is a list of conflicting software that has been reported to cause issues with Oculus Air Link:

  • Lenovo Vantage (Network Booster)
  • Lenovo Nerve Sense
  • MSI Afterburner
  • Razer Cortex
  • Windows Xbox Game Bar
  • Geforce Experience (Nvidia overlay and Shadowplay)
  • McAfee, Avast / AVG / ESET Norton antivirus
  • WebRoot, MalwareBytes
  • PunkBuster, Riots Vanguard
  • NordVPN, Bitdefender VPN, PIA, Proton VPN, Surfshark
  • Asus GameFirst V
  • SteamVR OpenVR Input Emulator addon, ALVR

If you have any of the software running when facing problems with Air Link, then try closing or uninstalling and testing again.

The list above is incomplete of course and for that reason recommend that you test out the “bare minimum” approach – open your Windows Task Manager and kill all running processes that you absolutely don’t need right now. After that, test if it makes any difference for Air Link

11) Force Using Dedicated GPU (Laptop)

If you are a laptop user, your Oculus Air Link issues might be caused by the fact that the system is using the integrated graphics card (GPU) for Oculus processes (instead of the more powerful dedicated GPU).

The Oculus files/processes that we are interested in are following:

  • C:\Program Files\Oculus\Support\oculus-runtime\OVRRedir.exe
  • C:\Program Files\Oculus\Support\oculus-runtime\OVRServer_x64.exe
  • C:\Program Files\Oculus\Support\oculus-runtime\OVRServiceLauncher.exe
  • C:\Program Files\Oculus\Support\oculus-client\OculusClient.exe

To force Windows to use your PC’s dedicated GPU for these Oculus processes:

  1. Press Windows Key and search for “Graphics Settings”
  2. Click “Browse” and add all of the above files.
  3. For each file added, click on “Options”
  4. Select “High performance” mode from the settings
  5. Save and restart your laptop

After restarting, try launching the Oculus Air Link connection again and see if the problems are gone.

12) Opt In to Public Test Channel

In some cases, your current Oculus Air Link issues might be solved by updating your Oculus software and headset to a newer release (with potential improvements and bug fixes).

Oculus Public Test Channel allows you to get early access to software releases that are officially not rolled out yet. You can opt into the public test channel by enabling the feature in Oculus Software (Settings → Beta).

There is also an option to enable the Public Test channel in the Oculus mobile app (Device → Advanced Settings).

Keep in mind that this is not some “magic wand” to help solve all of your issues. However, if you are lucky, it might just be that a bug that is causing your Oculus Air Link not to function properly has been addressed in a newer software release. So go ahead and test this step out.

13) Reset Experimental Settings

Another thing you can do that can potentially help you solve your ongoing Air Link connectivity/crashing issues is resetting the experimental settings from your headset (Settings → Experimental Features)

One specific setting that has caused a variety of issues for Quest 2 users is the 120Hz refresh rate option. Experimental functionality is exactly what the name indicates – experimental. For this reason, reset the settings to default, re-enable “Air Link” and test your setup again.

14) Do a Oculus Software Clean Reinstall

Sometimes Oculus software can run into unexpected states and a set of configuration files where regular uninstall/reinstall doesn’t have the desired effect.

For this reason, it is a good idea to manually clean any leftover files and do a clean Oculus software reinstall:

  1. Remove Oculus software using Windows “Add or remove programs”
  2. Delete Oculus folders from:
    • C:\Program Files
    • C:\Users\[YOUR_USER]\AppData\
    • C:\Users\[YOUR_USER]\AppData\Local
    • C:\Users\[YOUR_USER]\AppData\LocalLow
    • C:\Users\[YOUR_USER]\AppData\Roaming
    • C:\OculusSetup-DownloadCache
  3. Restart Your PC
  4. Download Oculus Setup and retry the installation

After Oculus software installation completes, enable Air Link again and see if you have more luck establishing the connection.

15) Avoid Windows 11

At the time of writing this article (November 2021), Windows 11 is not officially supported by Oculus and is causing Oculus Link / Air Link users both connectivity and performance issues. If you updated to Windows 11 and are now facing problems, try rolling back to Windows 10.

If you are sure you want to continue using Windows 11, I recommend you search for the Oculus forum and Reddit threads for potential solutions. One specific workaround for performance issues is shown in the video below:

16) Remove Multiple IPv4 Addresses

This step is for users who have configured multiple static IP addresses for their network adapter. If you are currently wondering what in the world I am talking about, then this is probably not you.

Anyway, you check if your Ipv4 addresses are allocated automatically following these steps:

  1. Open “View Network Connections” (search bar)
  2. Right click on “Ethernet” connection and select “Properties”
  3. Select “Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP / IPv4) and click “Properties”

If you see the option “Obtain IP address automatically” enabled, then there is nothing you need to do and this step does not apply to you. If however, you have set a static IP, then go to “Advanced” and check if there are multiple IPv4 addresses configured (and leave only one).

17) Try Testing With Oculus Link / Virtual Desktop

One sure thing to try out is using regular wired Oculus Link and/or Virtual Desktop instead of Air Link.

For example, you can test Oculus Link with the charging cable that came with your Quest / Quest 2 headset. Make sure to disable “Air Link” prior to establishing the regular Oculus Link connection.

If you are successfully able to establish an Oculus Link connection (and achieve optimal performance), you’ll know that your PC is good enough and the problem is either in your router, network, or Air Link specific configuration.

You could also test wireless PCVR with Virtual Desktop, which is much more polished compared to Air Link at this point. Granted, you will have to spend some dollars to get Virtual Desktop in the first place.

Trying different software implementations will give you additional insight into the Air Link problems you are having. Or you may decide to stick with Virtual Desktop and not spend any more time on problem debugging.

18) Buy a Dedicated Router for Air Link

Sometimes you can fiddle around and test different changes in hopes to get Air Link working properly when in reality there was nothing you could actually do (with the hardware you currently have).

If you are currently using the router provided by your internet service provider (ISP) to get Air Link working, chances are that here lies the root cause of your issues. If you have followed the best practices for Oculus Air Link and verified that you can get a decent performance out of wired Oculus Link, then it is probably time to get a new router.

Luckily, getting a router for Air Link does not have to be expensive! I personally got mine for 40$ and it has proven to offer excellent performance. Go ahead and read my dedicated router full setup guide and also watch my step-by-step video tutorial below.

The router is half the price of the official Oculus Link cable and only a bit more expensive compared to most third-party Link USB cables. But here you get the full freedom and convenience of wireless PCVR – it’s a no-brainer when you think about it.

Putting in the effort to get Air Link working properly gets a SOLID green light from me, but the final decision is up to you of course.

19) Check Oculus forum / Reddit threads

Another step you can take that might save you hours of troubleshooting is to check the Oculus forum and Reddit threads for any ongoing problems and/or announcements.

I remember recently when Facebook (Meta) had its massive outage, including VR-related services, I had huge spikes in the traffic my website was receiving. People were searching for answers to their problems.

Unfortunately, my articles probably did not help much, but they could have gotten their answer really quickly by looking at Oculus forums or Reddit threads. The same applies to problems with new software releases that regular websites are slower to pick up.

20) Do a Factory Reset

Although I personally do not like the solution, as a last resort option, you could try factory resetting your Quest / Quest 2 headset.

There are two main ways to complete the factory reset on your headset described in the Oculus manual.

Do keep in mind that you will have to reinstall all your games on the headset and you will also lose game data, videos, pictures, etc!

21) Contact Oculus Support

The final recommendation I can give is to ask for help from the Oculus Support team.

When creating the support ticket, make sure to:

  • Include your PC specifications
  • Describe your overall setup
  • Include Oculus logs from last 24h
  • Give a list of all the things you have done to resolve the issue yourself.

Being very detailed and specific from the beginning will save you from the “standard replies” from the Support team and get to the actual problem (and hopefully solution) more quickly.

Dedicated Router For Wireless VR

Wireless PCVR gaming does not have to be expensive! TP-Link AC1200 router (recommended by Guy Godin, developer of Virtual Desktop) has proven to offer excellent performance at a reasonable price! See my step-by-step video tutorial on how to set the router up.

Martin Rakver

I am a software engineer and tech enthusiast. During my free time, I like to immerse myself in the world of virtual and augmented reality, which I believe will be more and more prominent in the years to come.

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