Fix: Failed to Start Game App already running

Users experience a problem where Steam prompts that the game is already running while it’s not. This error can be due to a number of reasons. Your Steam client might not be updated or your beta participation might be conflict in the process. We listed down a number of solutions that seemed to work for all the users out there. Before checking them out, we advise that you try the basic method for solving this problem. If it doesn’t work, refer to the solutions below.

Solution 1: Restarting your PC

It’s likely that you didn’t restart your client after Steam got updated or if you installed a fresh game. Whenever an installation or download takes place, a lot of configurations occur and it is necessary to restart your PC for them to take place.

Simple reboot your PC and try running the game again. If the problem still persists, we can follow the solutions below.

Solution 2: Logout and then login

We can try logging your Steam account out and then log back in. This is a simple solution and if your client is in a bugged state, it will restart it.

Note: If you don’t have access to your account credentials or don’t have access to your mobile (if you have enabled Steam Mobile Authenticator), it is not advised to follow this method. You will be required to log into your account by entering your username and password. You will be also asked to verify your account if you have authentication enabled.

  1. Launch your Steam client using Steam.exe
  2. Log out of Steam by clicking on the option of “Change User” present if you click your account title on the top right corner of the Steam client.

  1. After clicking the option, you will be given a login screen where you have to enter your credentials. After inputting your credentials, check the box which says Remember my password. Click the button Login.

  1. Run the game you were trying to play and check if the error got fixed.

Solution 3: Verifying integrity of game files and repairing library

Most of the games available in Steam are very huge files consisting of several GB’s. It is possible that during the download/update, some of the data may have been corrupted. Steam has a feature within the client itself where you can verify the integrity of game files quite easily.

This feature compares your downloaded game with that of the latest version present in the Steam servers. Once it is done cross-checking, it removes any unwanted files or updates them if needed. There are manifests present in each computer where a game is installed. Instead of checking the files one by one (which take hours), Steam compares the manifest present on your PC with the one in the servers. This way the process takes place much more quickly and efficiently.

We can also try repairing Steam Library files. Steam Library is the place where all your games are present and you can only access them through it. It is possible that your Steam library isn’t in the correct configuration. There may also be a case where you have installed Steam on one drive and your games are on another one. In that case you have to repair both the libraries before launching your game again.

Do note that this process takes some times as a lot of computation is going on. Don’t cancel the process in between to avoid any further errors. Furthermore, Steam may ask you to enter your credentials once it is done with the process. Don’t follow this solution if you don’t have your account information at hand.

You can check our detailed guide on how to verify integrity of games and repair your Steam library

Solution 4: Disabling Beta participation

Steam, like many other giants in the gaming industry, also constantly improve their client. This improvement includes new added features and bug fixes etc. Valve has an option in Steam where you can get your hands on the latest developments by participating in the Beta program.

In the Beta program, you get all the features first hand before the official release, but, you may experience a lot of bugs and even crashes. As we all know, a beta version isn’t the official version and the developers are constantly tweaking and making changes by gathering data through your usage.

Whenever you experience a problem, it gets reported to Steam who in turn release an update to the beta version to fix it. Normally the updates come within two to three days but it can also be longer. We can try disabling your beta participation and checking if the problem gets fixed.

Note: If you are using a feature which is only available in the beta version, it may be deactivated as we will be shifting to the stable version. Don’t follow this method if you don’t want to lose access to those functions.

You can read our article which explains how to disable beta version.

Solution 5: Granting Administrator access to Steam

There can be another case where you may be experiencing the error because Steam doesn’t have enough administrator access to make amendments.

Steam requires full access in order to provide you with the optimal gaming experience. This means changing system configuration files and having a lot of resources and memory at its disposal. By default, Steam doesn’t have full administrator access.

We can grant Steam full administrative privileges and check if the problem gets solved. First, we should make the changes to the Steam.exe file and later grant the whole Steam directory access as there are various configuration files present in the main directory.

Read our guide on how to grant Steam administrative access.

Solution 6: Checking for Steam Client updates

You may be having pending Steam client updates due to which the game would fail to load properly. Every game has a protocol that it won’t load or run until the Steam client is fully updated. We can try checking for updates. If there are updates available, install them and restart your Steam client before running the game again.

  1. Open your Steam client.
  2. Click on the Steam button present at the top left side of the screen and click on “Check for Steam Client Updates”.

Solution 7: Checking if your game runs in offline mode

This problem can also be fixed by running it in the offline mode. Sometimes Steam’s network configurations are not configured properly and it requires to run the game at least once in the offline mode to get them back on track.

  1. Open your Steam client and click the button of the Steam present at the top left corner of the screen.
  2. Click the button which says “Go Offline”. Now your client will restart and enter an offline state.

  1. Open the Library and try running the game you were playing. If it opens correctly, you can go online again and hopefully, it will work fine there too.

Solution 8: Ending GameOverlayUI.exe process

Like we described in our first article, you have to stop all Steam processes in order to make it work. There are some processes which are not visible to the naked eye until you search for them thoroughly.

Open your task manager and search for the process “GameOverlayUI.exe”. End it along with ending all the other Steam process. You can restart Steam now and hopefully, the game won’t give any further errors.

Final Solution: Refreshing Steam files

Now there is nothing left except to reinstall Steam and see if that does the trick. When we refresh your Steam files, we will preserve your downloaded games so you won’t have to download them again. Furthermore, your user data will also be preserved. What refreshing Steam files actually do is delete all the configuration files of the Steam client and then forces it to install them again. So if there were any bad files/corrupt files, they will get replaced accordingly. Do note that after this method, you would need to log in again using your credentials. Don’t follow this solution if you don’t have that information at hand. The process may take a while so avoid canceling once you start the installing process.

You can read our article on how to refresh your Steam files. Also, update all your Microsoft redistributables using the official Microsoft website (C++ and .NET framework).

Note: You can read our guide if you are having a connection error where your entire Steam client refuses to connect to the internet.

Kevin Arrows
Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.

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Fix: Failed to Start Game App already running

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