Windows Mixed Reality is not working

Windows 10 has native integration for Mixed Reality, and if you are having troubles setting it up, and using it, there could be many reasons.  Before I start, there are two things you should know.

First, Mixed Reality has a minimum PC requirement which your PC should have. Secondly, Mixed Reality has to be enabled – as if it is not enabled in Windows 10 Settings for you, you will not be able to use ths feature. It involves changing registry keys, but if you are an administrator, and have enough knowledge of it, it’s pretty simple.

Windows Mixed Reality is not working

That sorted off, let’s look at some of the common Windows Mixed Reality Errors and troubleshoot them.

Windows Mixed Reality is not working

If Windows Mixed Reality is not working, not downloading, or there is no sound or display then this troubleshooting post will help you fix Mixed Reality problems & issues.

Something went wrong errors

If you are seeing Error codes when setting up Mixed Reality, here some common error codes, and ways to fix it.

Mixed Reality Error 2181038087-4

This error means that the MR headset cameras did not start, and hence they are not able to track. So go ahead, and unplug your headset, and plug it back in. This should sort the problem.

Mixed Reality Error code 2181038087-12

WMR needs drivers from Microsoft. If you see the above-mentioned error code, this means that your headset is not using the right drivers.  You will have to use the classic “Device Manager” to get this sorted.

    1. Hit WIN + X on your keyboard followed by keyboard shortcut M
    2. This will open the  Device Manager.
    3. Expand the category of Universal Serial Bus controllers.
    4. Right-click to uninstall the driver for each item that includes the text “eXtensible Host Controller” and does not have “Microsoft” in the name.
    5. Check “Delete the driver software for this device” to ensure the old drivers are removed.
    6. You are done when you verify that each item that includes the text “eXtensible Host Controller” has “Microsoft” at the end.
    7. Now you should not see this error when you plug in the HMD.

In case this doesn’t work, unplug the HMD for 30 or more seconds, and plug it back in.

Mixed Reality Error code 2181038087-11

This is related to the minimum PC configuration for Windows Mixed Reality. You should check with the tool we listed above, and upgrade your PC hardware.

Windows Mixed Reality failed software download

This problem usually shows up when you connect your Mixed Reality headset with your Windows 10 PC.  It happens because there is some update pending, and some more software needs to be downloaded by Windows to fix this issue. So follow the steps below:

  • Go to Settings > Update & Security.
  • Check if there is some update pending. Install it.
  • In case you don’t see any update pending, hit Check for Updates button. It is possible you might find some update that needs to be installed.
  • Next, you need to restart your Windows 10 PC.

Post this, Mixed Reality Portal should be able to finish the setup and download whatever is left. In case you still are having trouble, cross check on the following things:

  • Make sure to check your PC is connected to the internet.
  • If your Wi-Fi network connection is set to meter. Go to Settings > Network & Internet > Status > Change connection properties > Set as metered connection > Off. You can also set Windows 10 to download over a metered connection.
  • The last resort, You might have to reset your PC.

Connect your headset

If you are sure that you have connected your headset with your PC correctly, then its problem with the PORT. Here are two things you need to check:

  1. Your headset’s cable should be plugged into a USB 3.0 port. Try another USB 3.0 port if possible.
  2. Your headset’s HDMI cable should be plugged into your PC’s discrete graphics card.

Motion controllers missing in SteamVR apps/games

This is a classic case of driver installation. If you are not able to see your Motion Controllers in SteamVR apps and games, then the Motion Controller model driver may not be installed properly.

This driver is typically automatically downloaded and installed via Windows Update, but if you’re on a PC that has enterprise policies or if Windows Update is otherwise restricted, you may need to install this Mixed Reality drivers & software manually.

I’ve lost my bounds

When you had initially setup your Mixed Reality headset, you had set up a boundary. In case you get an error on your screen which says the “I’ve lost my bounds”,  then you will have to re-run the setup for all experience and follow the on-screen steps.

Unable to Update the controller

In case your headset or your controller don’t work as expected, the best way to get this problem solved is by restoring the device to factory conditions. To recover your device:

  1. Ensure you have new batteries in the controller, and its turned off.
  2. Now, press and hold pairing button.
  3. While holding it, power on the controller by pressing and holding the Windows button for 5 seconds.
  4. Release buttons and wait for the controller to power on. This takes up to 15 seconds and there are no indicators when device recovery is happening.

In case the device turned on instantly, you will have to repeat the process.  Post this, you will have to connect via Bluetooth again, and then update it to the latest firmware.

How to change Virtual Distance using Calibration tool

If you are feeling everything is too far in the Mixed Reality World, it is possible to change the virtual distance using the calibration tool.

Open Settings > Mixed Reality > Headset display. Here you can change the distance using the calibration tool. The default value is set to 65 mm. You can adjust according to your choice to see what fits you better.  You might have to do few multiple trials to get it right so make sure to increase or decrease in small increments.

That said, there are a lot of other errors that could show up, and this is where we recommend you to check out the page on

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Ashish is a veteran Windows, and Xbox user who excels in writing tips, tricks, and features on it to improve your day to day experience with your devices.