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How to fix GeForce Experience’s ‘unable to retrieve settings’ error

Here are some possible fixes

Reviewed By: Kevin Pocock

Last Updated on February 4, 2024
How to fix GeForce Experience's 'unable to retrieve settings' error
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GeForce Experience is a powerful tool for NVIDIA graphics card users. It offers features like driver updates, game optimization, and easy access to in-game recording and broadcasting. However, you may occasionally encounter the frustrating ‘Unable to Retrieve Settings’ error. This can prevent you from accessing the full range of GeForce Experience features. In this guide, we’ll explore different ways to fix GeForce Experience’s ‘unable to retrieve settings’ error message.

1

Use the “Run as administrator” option when launching GeForce Experience

Sometimes, the problem isn’t as big as it might seem, which could be the case if you encounter the ‘unable to retrieve settings’ error. In this case, it could be because GeForce Experience doesn’t have administrator rights.

To solve the problem, you just need to open the Windows search tool. Once opened, look for GeForce Experience and right-click on it. This will open some settings block where you must select the “Run as administrator” option.

2

Reinstall Nvidia Drivers

Problems with Nvidia drivers can impact the GeForce Experience and break it down. This could be a potential cause of why you see the ‘unable to retrieve settings’ error when launching any game.

In this case, you would want to uninstall and reinstall Nvidia drivers to solve the issue. There are many ways to uninstall GPU drivers.

For instance, you can use Display Driver Uninstaller. Once uninstalled, you can download and reinstall Nvidia drivers.

Step

1

Go to Nvidia Driver Downloads

Step

2

Find a suitable driver

Enter details about your system and GPU to find a suitable driver for your PC.

Step

3

Download the driver

Download the driver suggested by Nvidia.

Step

4

Reinstall drivers

Double-click on the driver installer and follow the instructions to reinstall Nvidia drivers.

3

Remove scan locations

Another method you can try is removing existing scans and rescanning the games in GeForce Experience. Here are the steps to remove scan locations.

Step

1

Open GeForce Experience settings

Launch GeForce Experience. Click on the gear icon on the upper right to access the settings.

Step

2

Navigate to Games & Apps

In the settings menu, find and click on the “Games & Apps” tab located on the left-hand side.

This section lists all the directories GeForce Experience scans for games.

Step

3

Remove unnecessary scan locations

You’ll see a list of folders under “Scan Location.” These are the directories GeForce Experience searches for installed games.

If there are any outdated or irrelevant locations, select them one by one and click the “Remove” button to delete these entries from the list.

This step ensures GeForce Experience isn’t scanning unnecessary or non-existent folders, which can sometimes cause issues.

Step

4

Rescan your games

After cleaning up the scan locations, click on the “Scan Now” button. This instructs GeForce Experience to start a fresh scan for installed games using the updated list of directories.

This action often resolves the ‘unable to retrieve settings’ error by correctly identifying and cataloging your games.

4

Get rid of the CefCache folder

The CefCache folder, as the name says, stores cache data about your games and system. If the CefCache folder accidentally stores corrupted files, it can lead to the ‘unable to retrieve settings’ error.

If so, deleting this folder can resolve the problem and get your GeForce Experience up and running again. Here’s how to delete CefCache folder:

Step

1

Open file explorer

Press W + E to open File Explorer on your Windows PC.

Step

2

Navigate to the Nvidia folder

Enter this location path into the address bar:
C:\Users\<user folder>\AppData\Local\NVIDIA Corporation\NVIDIA GeForce Experience

Step

3

Delete the CefCache folder

Right-click and then delete the CefCache folder.

Step

4

Relaunch GeForce Experience

Next, relaunch and log in to your GeForce Experience account.

5

Go back to the default Nvidia 3D settings

Next, you can return to the default GPU settings to fix the ‘unable to retrieve settings’ error. Fine-tuning graphics settings can help optimize your games and improve your experiences. However, they can sometimes result in frustrating errors.

To overcome this problem, you should follow these steps:

Step

1

Open 3D settings on Nvidia Control Panel

Open the Nvidia Control Panel. Select “Manage 3D settings” from the left-hand side panel.

Step

2

Restore

Click on the “Restore” button in settings. Confirm the restoration by selecting “Yes.”

6

Reinstall GeForce Experience

Next, you can reinstall GeForce Experience to solve the ‘unable to retrieve settings’ error. For this, you will first have to uninstall it. Follow these steps to uninstall GeForce Experience.

Step

1

Open the Run dialog

Press Win + R on your keyboard to open the Run dialog box.

Step

2

Access Programs and Features

Type appwiz.cpl into the Run dialog box and hit the Enter key. This command opens the Programs and Features section of the Control Panel, where you can manage installed software.

Step

3

Uninstall GeForce Experience

Scroll through the list of installed applications until you find GeForce Experience. Right-click on it and select the “Uninstall” option. Follow the prompts to remove the application from your system.

Step

4

Restart your PC

After uninstalling GeForce Experience, restart your PC to ensure any residual files are cleared and changes are properly applied.

Step

5

Download and reinstall GeForce Experience

Once your PC has restarted, visit the official GeForce Experience download page at NVIDIA’s website and download the latest version of GeForce Experience.

After the download is complete, double-click the downloaded file to start the installation process. Follow the on-screen instructions to install GeForce Experience on your system.

7

Delete the Steam user data

Another resolution you can try to fix the ‘unable to retrieve settings’ error is to delete the Steam user data. If there’s a data conflict between Steam and your system, it can lead to this issue. Follow these steps to delete the Steam user data:

Step

1

Open File Explorer

Open the File Explorer.

Step

2

Open the correct folder

Use this path to open the user data folder.
C:\Program Files\Steam\userdata

Step

3

Delete subfolders

Find and delete any subfolder appearing here.

How to fix GeForce Experience’s ‘unable to retrieve settings’ error: Conclusion

The ‘Unable to Retrieve Settings’ error in GeForce Experience can be frustrating, but following these troubleshooting steps increases your chances of resolving the issue. Remember that individual systems may have unique configurations, so exploring these steps is essential. With patience and persistence, you can overcome this error and enjoy the full functionality of GeForce Experience once again.

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