No one likes bugs in their games, especially bugs that hang around for years in multi-billion dollar franchises. In this guide, we’ll go over how to fix the settings reset bug in CoD: MW3 that’s plagued more than one entry to the series.
How to Fix the Settings Reset Bug in Modern Warfare 3
The settings reset bug is exactly what it sounds like. You change your graphics settings in-game, and then everything goes back to the default after logging off and returning. Worse, it’s been a problem since at least MW2. There also doesn’t seem to be any consistent fix, though there are a few things you can try. Here are all the fixes I could find to the setting reset bug in MW3.
MW3 Settings Reset Bug Fix 1: Add Antivirus Exception
Allow all MW3 .exe files through your antivirus and Controlled Folder Access. The most consistent fix I could find for the settings reset bug was to add all of the primary Call of Duty .exe files as exceptions in your antivirus. How you do that depends on which program you use, but the files you want are:
The default location for these files is:
- C:\Program Files (x86)SteamLibrary\steamapps\common\Call of Duty HQ for Steam and
- C:\Program Files (x86)Blizzard Games\Call of Duty for Battle.net
You can get to the Controlled Folder Access menu by pressing Start, going to Settings, Update & Security, Windows Security, Virus & threat protection, then clicking Manage Settings, then Manage Controlled folder access.
You might also need to add an exception for your save files. Follow the same steps above and add the folder at this location:
- C:\Users\[your username]\Documents\Call of Duty\players\codhq\[a long string of numbers].
After you do all of these steps, restart your PC to help ensure the fixes take.
MW3 Settings Reset Bug Fix 2: Update Permissions for the Settings File
In another hack job of a fix to the settings reset bug, you can turn off the “Read Only” setting for the MW3 game settings file. Getting there isn’t too hard. You’ll find it in a similar spot to your save files:
- C:\Users\[your username]\Documents\Call of Duty\players.
The file you want is options.4.cod23.cst. When you find the file, right-click on it, select Properties, and ensure that the Read Only check box at the bottom of the menu is blank. If there’s a checkmark next to Read Only, click the check box to uncheck the setting, then hit Apply.
MW3 Settings Reset Bug Fix 3: Update/Revert your Graphics Drivers
I know this particular “fix” is more basic than the last two, but if you’re running outdated graphics drivers, updating them may address the settings reset issue. By that same token, if you’re running the current set of drivers, go to your GPU manufacturer’s website and download a recent, but not current, set of drivers and see if that helps.
I always, always recommend doing a completely clean install of graphics drivers using Display Driver Uninstaller (or DDU), as it ensures there are no leftover files to muck up a new driver installation. You’ll also want to restart your computer in Safe Mode, which you can do by:
- Opening the Reset This PC menu.
- Selecting Restart now under Advanced Startup.
- After your PC restarts and a new menu opens, follow this menu path: Troubleshoot, Advanced options, Startup Settings, Restart.
- Press 4 or F4 when the new menu comes on your screen.
- Launch DDU and select Clean and Restart. The other options are for advanced users and could adversely affect your PC.
When reinstalling drivers, always do so with Wi-Fi disabled and your ethernet unplugged. Windows will try to automatically install drivers, but isn’t the best and picking the right ones.
MW3 Settings Reset Bug Fix 4: Wait for a Game Update
The least helpful — and least likely — fix I can offer is to hope that Sledgehammer and their partners at Activision do something about the issue. Since the settings reset bug has been around for at least a year without being addressed, it’s unlikely anything will change, but you can always hope. A crappy solution, I know, but as the issue might stem from an oddity in the Modern Warfare 3 game files, anything is possible.
These are the best fixes for the MW3 settings reset bug. A bit on the cumbersome side, but they’re all at least something you can try. Hopefully one works, and you can get back to gaming. For more on Modern Warfare 3, check out our guides on how to prestige, how to use chunks of flesh, and more in our MW3 guides hub.