Software Frequently Asked Questions
Please try downloading the software again. When prompted, select ‘Save’ instead of ‘Run’ and choose the download location (it is recommended you save the file to your Desktop to easily locate the file). Once downloaded, you should be prompted on what to do with the file; select ‘Run’. If you are not prompted, then simply go to the location where you downloaded the file and double-click the install file to proceed. If this does not work, please e-mail Support and let us know the operating system you are using (i.e. XP, Vista, MacOSX, etc.) and if you are using a download manager or security software (i.e. CA Security Suites, Kaspersky, GData, etc.). Please also include the text of any error messages you received when trying to install the software.
There are a few possible causes for these errors. First you should clear your ‘Temporary Internet Files’ and delete all copies of the install file you have downloaded. Then temporarily disable any security software (anti-virus or firewall) and try downloading the software again. It is safe to temporarily disable the security software while you download our software. Once you have successfully downloaded and installed our software you will need to re-enable any software you have disabled. If you have any troubles clearing the temporary files, deleting the install file or disabling your security software, please contact Support for further assistance. Please be sure to include as many details as possible so our staff can properly assist you.
If you are unable to download from the direct link on our site, it is possible there is a connection issue in between you and our servers. Unfortunately our software is not available on disk and must be obtained by downloading it from the web. We do have some alternative methods for obtaining the software. Please contact Support and provide as many details as possible and we will provide alternative solutions which should resolve the issue. The details we need are the browser you are using (i.e. Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, Safari, etc.) and if you are using a download manager or security software (i.e. CA Security Suites, Kaspersky, GData, etc.). Please also include the text of any error messages you received when trying to download the software.
Our software is available for Macintosh. It requires Mac OS 10.5 or later to run. For full instructions on installing it on your Mac, visit the Mac download page.
No. You will need to either upgrade your Mac OS (if possible) or you will have to use a third party emulator or virtual machine to run Windows-based software on your Mac computer. A few of the emulators available are ‘VMware Fusion’, ‘Parallels’ and ‘Crossover’. If you have an Intel-based Mac you can set it up to run dual operating systems and install Windows. For further information please contact Support for assistance. Please be sure to include your current Mac OS version.
We do not have a native Linux version and we have no plans to develop one at this time. However, starting with the late 2005 release of WINE v0.9.1 our software can be run on Linux operating systems. All that is required to play is the WINE 0.9.1 or later distribution available here. If you require any further information please contact Support.
We offer a mobile version of the game client for a range of phones and handheld devices. See the Mobile page to find out more.
You should not lose any of your settings if you re-install to the same directory. If you wish to ensure you do not lose this information, you may copy the files 'user.ini' and 'notes.txt' to a safe location (the Desktop is a good temporary location to copy these files) before re-installing. To locate these files simply open the software and click on the 'Help' icon in the vertical menu on the right side of the lobby, then select 'Open My Settings Folder'.
Unable to connect:
First, you should restart your computer and power off/on any network equipment you have connected (i.e. modem, router, access points or hubs). If this fails, check your system date/time (located on the Taskbar) to ensure the current date and year is set properly. Next, make sure if you have a firewall or similar software (i.e. proxy or websense filter/parental control) installed it is configured correctly to allow the software to access the Internet.
If the above fails, please contact Support. It would be helpful when contacting us if you provide as many details as possible regarding the problem, and to send us the program log files from your computer (PokerStars.log.0, PokerStarsUpdate.log.0, and PokerStarsCommunicate.log.0 if present). To send us the log files, you will need to manually locate them and attach them to an e-mail. Depending on your Operating System the logs will be located in different directories.
For Windows XP (C:\Program Files\PokerStars\):
- Double click 'My Computer' on your Desktop or Start Menu.
- Double click 'C:\' drive to view the files on your hard drive.
- Double click 'Program Files' folder.
- Double click the 'PokerStars' folder.
- Locate 'PokerStars.log.0', 'PokerStarsUpdate.log.0' and 'PokerStarsCommunicate.log.0 if present.
- Attach these files to an e-mail and send them to Support.
For Windows Vista (C:\Users\USERPROFILE\AppData\Local\PokerStars\):
- Click the Start Menu.
- Type the following or copy/paste into the Search and press enter: %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\PokerStars
- Locate 'PokerStars.log.0', 'PokerStarsUpdate.log.0' and 'PokerStarsCommunicate.log.0' if present.
- Attach these files to an e-mail and send them to Support
For Mac OSX (Home\Library\Logs\PokerStars\):
- Open the Finder.
- Open the Home directory/folder.
- Open the Library directory/folder.
- Open the Logs directory/folder.
- Open the PokerStars directory/folder.
- Locate 'PokerStars.log.0' and 'PokerStarsUpdate.log.0'
- Attach these files to an e-mail and send them to Support
If you have any troubles locating the log files requested, please let us know and we will be happy to provide further assistance.
The following instructions are generic but should work with most e-mail programs, like Microsoft Outlook, Windows Live Mail, Gmail (or Google-mail), Hotmail and Yahoo. If these instructions fail please contact your e-mail provider for further assistance attaching the files.
- Open your e-mail program and launch a 'new message' window to compose your message.
- Click the attachment link (the paper clip or similar icon). You may also have a menu option 'Insert' on the menu toolbar.
- Browse your hard drive to locate the program files using the file paths noted above.
- Click the file you want to attach to highlight the name and then click on the 'Insert' or 'OK' button. Repeat this process for all files requested and then address the e-mail to Support, and send.
This error indicates either the date is set incorrectly on your system, or the security certificate issued with our software has expired or has become corrupt. First make sure your system date is set to the current date and year. If your date is correct, please download and re-install a new copy of the software. If that fails, contact Support and provide the log files mentioned above.
Our software uses one of three port numbers by default which are TCP ports 26002, 22 and 443. Additionally the update uses HTTP port 80. The software will select the port for you automatically. It is possible one or all of these ports may be blocked by your firewall or network equipment (i.e. modem, router, access points, etc.). Please make sure any software or equipment you have installed has these ports opened bi-directionally. For further assistance related to the ports, firewall, or device configuration please contact Support.
The following information is very basic.
- Open the firewall control panel.
- Click on the 'Programs' or 'Applications' tab (this may vary depending on the software you are using).
- There may be up to four items related to the software in the program list: PokerStars (.exe) or PokerStars GUI, PokerStarsUpdate.exe, PokerStarsCommunicate.exe, Tracer.exe.
- For each of these ensure they are set to 'Permit' or 'Allow', if they are blocked.
- If the files above are not in the list, you will need to manually add them to the list.
If these instructions fail, please contact Support and provide the brand and version of the firewall you are using for specific instructions or contact the firewall vendor for support on their software.
Disconnections while playing:
First, while we do have rare outages that affect all players, most disconnections from our servers are specific to your connection and only affect your session. Generally the other players at your table will continue playing despite your difficulties. Most common disconnects are closer to your local network (modems, cabling, wired and wireless routers, etc.) or Internet Service Provider (ISP), and some are caused by failing peer routers which are out of our (and your) control.
It is important to understand how the internet works. The internet is a peer-to-peer network. The data sent between your computer and our servers will pass through several peer routers (8 to 24 or more). These routers do not belong to us or your ISP. Your connection is only as good as the worst of these routers. If any of these routers are having trouble or fails to properly forward the data, you may experience disconnects or game lags. Players in a common geographic location may suffer the same issues, as they may take a similar path, although it is also possible by using different ISPs that the routes may be different.
Online gaming is different from surfing the web or checking e-mail, and far more demanding of a connection. With most internet activity you load a web page and then your connection is idle, you do not stay connected to the web server. The same is true of e-mail. However with real-time applications, the connection is constant and must remain stable.
You will often be able to check e-mail or browse other sites even if your connection to our software experiences brief outages. This is because the path between you and each server is different. The path to your e-mail server, for example, may be very short since it is typically provided by your ISP. The path to other sites (like Yahoo, CNN, Google, Microsoft, etc.) will be very different based on geography. You may have a stable path to Yahoo but an unstable path to us, if your path to us passes through an unreliable peer router.
The average disconnection from us is very brief (only a few seconds), and usually before you even notice you were disconnected, you have already reconnected. This is why many players believe the issue is caused by us, because they were able to surf the web or visit other sites while disconnected from the software. However you may be experiencing these same brief disconnects during web browsing and never even realize they happened, because it is normal for web pages to sometimes take a few seconds to load.
In short, the internet is inherently less reliable than any other utility (such as a phone company, electric company, etc.). Outages happen somewhere on the internet each and every minute, as routers are shut down, restart, or fail. Data is routed around such outages as best it can be, but sometimes this takes time and may be the cause of your disconnections.
Part of the inherent risk of playing on the internet is the possibility that internet connections may fail for any number of reasons. From a practical business standpoint, it is impossible for us to be responsible for the Internet connections of our players. However we will do everything possible to assist you in locating the cause of common disconnections and hopefully provide information to help stabilize your connection.
With that said the most common causes of brief disconnects are sometimes within your control and sometimes are not.
Common causes that are within your control include:
- Dial-up modem 'handshaking' (known as retraining)
- Unstable routers (Dlink DI-624 and similar models, Linksys BEF series among others)
- Use of unstable wireless connections
- Poor or damaged cables
- Computers running with insufficient memory
- Spyware or other third party programs such as high bandwidth torrents or other downloads
Common causes that may be outside of your control include:
- Permanently poor internet route to our servers
- Temporarily unstable route to the software (usually self-correcting)
- ISP equipment failure
Using our Network Status Report you should be able to narrow down the cause of your connection issues. In the software, click 'Help' and then select 'Show Network Status'. Once this dialog opens, click on the 'Advanced' button. There will be several different sites listed here that have been included by us to test your connection. Those other sites do not belong to us nor are they associated with our server connection. Those sites are used to test your connection in general, most are universities. Lost packets to most or all of the sites are indicative of problems near your ISP or your own computer (your connection is poor to everywhere). Lost packets to just one or two sites indicate problems with routing closer to those sites.
Highlighting a site and clicking 'Trace' will display the 'hops/peers' between you and the site selected and how fast the data is traveling at that time. 100 milliseconds or lower is great, over 500 ms is poor, and over one second is very bad. Run the trace to 'PokerStars' and look for lost packets. The closer the lost packets are to the top of the list, the closer the connection problem is to your own computer or ISP.
If your connection to sites other than just ours is bad then there is likely a problem with your local connection. You can contact your ISP to see if they can assist you with your connection.
If your connection is only poor for our software or has been a long-term reoccurring connection issue it is possible it is revealing a connection stability issue that will not manifest itself on most other internet sites and applications. We are more than willing to assist you in trying to isolate and resolve this issue and will require some information from you.
Among the things we will need to know are:
- Operating System (i.e. Windows XP, Vista, Mac OSX, etc.)
- Computer Processor (i.e. Pentium 4, 2.4 GHz, etc.)
- System RAM (i.e. 512 MB, 1 GB, 2 GB, etc.)
- Connection Type (i.e. Dial-Up, Cable, DSL, Satellite, etc.)
- ISP (Internet Service Provider)(company name that provides your internet service)
- Router/Modem (i.e Dlink DI-624, Linksys WRTG54GS, etc.)
It would also be helpful if you provided us with the Network Status Report from our desktop software. Open the software, click on ‘Help’ > ‘Show Network Status’. When this dialog opens click on the ‘Report’ button. This report is saved to your settings folder, which you will need to locate and send to us for review along with the information requested above. You can quickly locate this report by going to the lobby and click on ‘Help’ > ‘Open My Settings Folder’. The file name will be ‘NetworkStatusReport.log’ and you will need to attach that file to your email. It is best to run this report when you lose connectivity to the site.
Once we have received the above information we will have one of our connectivity specialists take a more in-depth review and provide a response.
Do you have a question we have not covered? Our customer service team is standing by, 24 hours a day. Contact Support.
We are committed to responsible gaming, and are dedicated to an enjoyable and positive gaming experience.
Our support team has assembled a list of questions that players often ask them, along with all the answers.
Poker Games FAQ
Frequently asked questions and answers about playing poker at PokerStars.
How to Play Poker
You'll find the rules of poker, beginner tips and in-depth strategy in the PokerStars How to Play section.