Oculus Rift VR headsets everywhere get bricked for a silly reason


If you logged into your computer on March 7 to get into some virtual reality (VR) shenanigans with your Oculus Rift, you were probably met with some major disappointment.

Rather than being able to jump into VR, Oculus Rift owners around the world were  greeted with a dialog preventing them even using their headsets.

As it turns out, Oculus VR – and, by proxy, its owner Facebook – seems to have forgotten to renew a crucial app permission certificate within its Oculus Runtime Service for Windows 10 PCs. Oculus VR forum users the world over have cited the problem seen below in a thread that’s six pages long at the time of writing.

Update: Oculus VR has provided the following statement in the same forum thread linked above: 

“We are aware of and actively investigating an issue impacting ability to access Rift software. Our teams apologize for any inconvenience this may be causing you and appreciate your patience while we work on a resolution. We’ll share more updates here as we have them. Thanks.”

If you’re lost as to why this occurred, almost all apps on modern computers are supported by several unique services that run in the background, generally referred to as ‘runtimes’. These services allow the given app the permissions it needs to pass the regular checks by the operating system (OS), checks often made for OS security and stability reasons.

Of course, these certificates only last for so long, requiring app makers to keep their products up to snuff if they want to run on Microsoft or Apple’s OS. If your app’s background service isn’t updated with a current certificate, then Windows or macOS simply won’t run the associated app until it is updated by its maker.

As one Oculus VR forum user puts it, “Someone has neglected his responsibility… now we have to wait and mess around with Windows clock…a simple message form Oculus on this yesterday would have been so nice.”

Don’t try OS time travel at home, kids

What this user is referring to when they mention the ‘Windows clock’ is the ability to manually set the clock back on the Windows 10 OS to a day before the certificate expired. Several users have claimed that this temporary fix works.

However, you’re far better off just waiting for Oculus VR to fix the problem.

You see, dialing back the clock on your OS can lead to some nasty problems, particularly in Windows 10 regarding its Windows Update Service. This tool relies on the OS clock heavily to determine which updates to push through to your computer – messing with the date could lead to driver and software issues aplenty.

Until Oculus VR gets a fix through, just go play some good old, two-dimensional PC games.

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