Having horrible first time experience with Zwift.. and it's just the install I'm trying to do

Long time Sufferfest user enticed by the hype to try Zwift. Here’s my experience so far after 90 minutes.

Clicked on 7 day trial, created account, downloaded Windows app to laptop. Installed, finished then launched… which started an update that took 20 minutes and then sat saying “applying update” … gave up … closed the app. Downloaded launcher again, installed again. No update this time but start of app immediately got message that graphics drivers are too old. How hard would it be to check the graphics drivers during the initial install BEFORE the long update??

Pulled out another laptop, repeated process… download, install, update, applying update … nothing happening. download again, install again, stuck on “preparing update” for 10 minutes then it finally finished and the app looks like it is working.

May be the greatest thing since sliced bread but getting the bag open has been excruciating.

The Zwift installer program for Windows is just a small bootstrap file (2.5 MB) that downloads the current version of the Zwift program (probably around 1.5 to 2 GB) then installs it. That’s why it takes so long on the very first run.

First off, thanks for the super fast response. Secondly did first Zwift ride this morning and aside from the long load time looking at “Zwift (not responding)” message, it was great. Loved the sprint and KOM challenges that really pushed me.

Suggestion would be that when a prospective new user is about to download the app put a warning on the screen describing what you just told me to set expectations of a long install process but how it will all be worth the wait. Same thing once the app is installed, as part of the initial slideshow tour talk about how complex the app is and that it will take a while to launch each time.

Other suggestion is that during profile set up - name, height, weight etc … is a good time to also ask what apps to connect to … Strava, Garmin Connect etc. I had to figure this out after first ride.


Not sure if this is sarcasm, but we are mostly all just users like you, not employed by Zwift. However, Zwift staff do monitor these forums and if they do reply they will have “Zwift Staff” or something like that next to their name.

Glad you liked the first ride and I agree they should ask about connecting to apps during the initial account setup. Next try a group ride or race, download the discord app on your phone too so you can live voice chat while riding. Most groups and races have a discord channel in the description on the Zwift Companioin App (ZCA) for your phone.

Ride on!!

Lovely. Surely they watch these forums with the goal of maintaining their market position/advantage through product improvement and user satisfaction. If not, that’s an open invitation for someone to do better.

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Well, like others have pointed out, I don’t speak for Zwift and I’m just a regular user like you. Zwift does lack in new user introduction partly because it’s evolving so fast and the experience differs for everyone. (If you actually read the official docs you’ll find half of them are outdated.) The initial install is slow for you because the Zwift world is now so big and all the graphics for the worlds and bikes and jerseys have to be downloaded, but future updates will be small and fast. For me, I never notice the install time on my Windows PC because I have a very fast computer, but I normally use Zwift on my iPad, which always takes quite a while to download whenever there’s an update because it has to download the entire 1.5 GB Zwift app which every update.

Soon you’ll probably notice your 7-day and 30-day riding record is more than the all-time record. It’s a known bug and the workaround is to be a user for longer than 30 days. Yeah, there are long standing issues and feature requests that Zwift have yet to address. So it’s best to follow the forums, read third-party fan sites like Zwiftinsider to get more tips, and pray more bugs get fixed.

Ride on.