Fix: Steam Keeps Crashing

Steam is well known to crash from time to time either on startup each time you launch it or it crashes randomly. This is a very common problem that is addressed by Steam on their official forums as well. The fixes listed there, however, do not seem to work.

Steam

Before moving on with the solutions, make sure that there are no external devices attached to your system. Restart your system and launch Steam to check if the problem is solved. Turn off any proxy or VPN, if you are using. Moreover, try to use windowed mode for Steam games and check if that helps. If you are using a beta version of Steam, opt-out of it.

We have listed down all the possible ways to fix this problem. Refer to the solutions from the top and work your way down. As you go down, the technical difficulty of the solutions increase.

Solution 1: Delete ClientRegistry.blob

ClientRegistry.blob is the file used by Steam that holds your registration data of the installed games. If we delete it, the file will be restored on the next login. You preserve all of your default settings on each game installed (your name, skins, etc). This fixes about 30% of the problems as this file can get corrupt easily.

Do note that after this solution when you launch Steam again, it will prompt you for your username and password. Don’t follow this solution if you don’t have your credentials at hand. Furthermore, your saved progress and in-game items will not be lost. They are stored on cloud storage by Steam so it is safe to assume that deleting ClientRegistry.blob won’t bring any problems to you or Steam. Follow the steps listed below.

  1. Completely exit Steam and end all tasks as mentioned in the solution above.
  2. Browse to your Steam directory. The default one is
C:\Program Files\Steam.
  1. Locate ‘ClientRegistry.blob’.
    Locate ClientRegistry.blob’
  2. Rename the file to ‘ClientRegistryOld.blob’ (or you can delete the file completely).
  3. Restart Steam and allow the file to be recreated.

Hopefully, your Client will run as expected. If it still doesn’t work, follow the steps listed below.

  1. Browse back to your Steam directory.
  2. Locate ‘Steamerrorreporter.exe’.
    Locate Steamerrorreporter.exe
  3. Run the application and re-launch Steam.

Solution 2: Boot System in Safe mode with Networking and Then Launch Steam 

Safe mode is a diagnostic startup mode present in the Windows OS. It is used to gain limited access to Windows while troubleshooting as most of the unwanted processes/software gets disabled. Safe mode is developed to help pinpoint the problem or fix it in most cases.

If your Steam starts up normally using this method, it means that there is a conflict with a third party application/software with your Steam. You can try removing/disabling these applications to ensure that the conflict gets resolved.

Starting anything in safe mode doesn’t pose any kind of thread and it is used worldwide to fix various problems. You don’t have to worry about anything.

  1. You can get your computer to safe mode. If you are running Windows 7, you can press the button F8 when the computer starts up. Then you can choose the option named “Enable Safe Mode with Networking”. Click the option and Windows will start in the desired way.
  2. Open Steam and try connecting it to the internet and logging in. If this is successful, it means that your antivirus or firewall/third party program may be the issue. You can browse the solutions below where we have explained how to remove/configure these applications step by step.

If you still face a problem and Steam refuses to start and keeps crashing, it means that there is some other problem. Keep following the solutions listed below.

Solution 3: Launch Steam With Administrator Access

Steam is a platform that requires “read and write” permissions on disks and its folders. Sometimes it also needs to change the system files so it can run in the most optimized way possible. If Steam doesn’t have administrator access, it can get stuck and keep crashing indefinitely. By default, Steam doesn’t have administrative rights when it is installed. You can grant it the privileges by following the steps mentioned below.

  1. Browse to the directory where Steam is installed. The default location of it is
    C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam
    

    If you have Steam installed somewhere else, you can browse to that location and follow the steps listed below.

  2. Once in the directory, browse for the file named “Steam.exe”. This is the main Steam launcher. You should right-click on it and select Properties from the list of options. Select the Compatibility tab from the top of the screen. At the bottom of the small window, you will see a checkbox that says “Run This Program as Administrator”. Make sure it is checked. Save changes and exit.
    Enable Run This Program as Administrator for Steam.exe
  3. Now browse for the file named “GameOverlayUI.exe”. You should right-click on it and select Properties from the list of options. Select the Compatibility tab from the top of the screen. At the bottom of the small window, you will see a checkbox that says “Run this Program as Administrator”. Make sure it is checked. Save changes and exit.
    Enable Run This Program as an Administrator for GameOverlayUI.exe
  4. Now restart your computer to ensure that all the changes have taken place and launch Steam. Hopefully, it won’t crash and will run as expected.

Solution 4: Disable Your Antivirus and Firewall

It is a well-known fact that Steam conflicts a lot with many Antivirus software. Steam has a lot of processes going on at once at the same time. This consumes a lot of memory and CPU usage. Because of this, many antivirus software adds Steam as a potential threat and doesn’t let it run as expected.

We have put together a guide on how to put steam as an exception in antivirus. Follow the steps here.

For disabling the Windows Firewall, follow the steps listed below.

  1. Press Windows + R button to bring up the Run application. In the dialogue box type “control”. This will open your computer’s control panel in front of you.
  2. On the top right there will be a dialogue box to search. Write the Firewall and click on the first option that comes as a result.
    Open Windows Firewall
  3. Now on the left side, click the option which says “Turn Windows Firewall on or off”. Through this, you can turn your firewall off easily.
    Open Turn Windows Firewall on or off Setting
  4. Select the option of “Turn off Windows Firewall” on both the tabs, Public and Private Networks. Save changes and exit. Restart Steam and launch it using the option Run as administrator.
    Turn off Windows Firewall
  5. If Steam launches and doesn’t crash, it means there was a problem with the antivirus/firewall conflicting with your client. If not, keep following the solutions listed below.

Solution 5: Delete the AppCache Folder of Steam

AppCache is a cache allocated for files. It doesn’t contain any of the Steam system files and will not affect your client in any way. We can try deleting it and checking if this solves the problem. There are very fewer chances that it will work but it’s worth a shot before proceeding to more technical solutions present.

  1. Browse to the directory where Steam is installed. The default location of it is
    C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam

    If you have Steam installed somewhere else, you can browse to that location and follow the steps listed below.

  2. Now search for a folder named “AppCache”. Delete it (or you can cut and paste it in a different location so the client thinks it is deleted).
    Delete AppCache Folder in Steam Installation Director
  3. Restart your computer and launch Steam using the option “Run as administrator” when you right-click it.

If this doesn’t fix the problem and game still crashes, follow the solutions listed below.

Solution 6: Update Your System Drivers

Your computer uses drivers to launch any application. Steam also updates itself with any new drivers which come to the market. If Steam is updated to run with the latest drivers while your computer still has the old ones installed, this can prove to be a conflict.

Always make sure that your drivers are up-to-date. These include audio, video, graphics drivers, etc. Also, update other drivers such as DirectX.

  1. Press the ⊞ Win(windows) + R key to bring up the Run window (make sure to run it as administrator).
  2. In the dialogue box type “DxDiag”. This will open up the DirectX diagnostic tool. It will list all the available hardware that is installed on your PC along with the versions of the software.
    Launch DirectX Diagnostic Tool
  3. Use your official hardware name to search for the latest drivers available and download them through the internet. You can also update drivers using the Windows update. Follow the steps listed below.
  4. Click Start and type in the dialogue box “Settings”. Click the application that returns in the search results. Click on the “Update and security” button.
    Open Update & Security in Settings
  5. Here you will find “Check for updates” in the “Windows Update” tab. Now windows will check for any available updates and perform them after downloading.
    Check For Windows Update
  6. There is also another way present through which you can manually click the devices and check if the latest drivers are installed. Press Windows + R button to bring up the Run application. In the dialogue box, type “devmgmt.msc”. This will launch your computer’s device manager.
  7. Once in the device manager, right-click on the device and select the option which says “update driver”.
    Update Graphics Driver
  8. Once you click it, another window will pop up asking if you want Windows to automatically search the internet for the available drivers or if you want to browse them yourself. Select the first option.
    Search Automatically For Updated Driver Software
  9. If the drivers are the latest, Windows will pop a dialogue box stating that the best drivers available are already installed. If not, it will start downloading them and install them momentarily.
The best drivers for your device are already installed

If the problem started to occur after updating the graphics driver, then rolling back the driver may solve the problem.

Solution 7: Reset the Network Adapter

Network adapter is the main component in your computer which communicates with the computer and with the operating system. Network adapters work automatically with your other drivers but there are instances where they get in an error state or have a corrupt configuration set. In that case, resetting your network protocol may solve the problem.

  1. Exit Steam and close all running processes of Steam through Task Manager.
  2. Press Windows key and type “Command Prompt“. Then in the resulting list, right-click on Command Prompt and select Run as Administrator.
    Running Command Prompt as an administrator
  3. Now type the following command in the command prompt:
    netsh winsock reset
  4. Restart your system. After the system is started, launch Steam and check if the problem is solved.

Solution 8: Outing out of beta

It’s possible that you have opted into the beta program of Steam, this can cause stability issues for some users if the beta version has any problems. This results in your Steam crashing, follow these steps to opt-out of the beta program of Steam.

  1. If you can open Steam simply head over to steam settings then go to the “Account” section.
  2. Now simply click the “Change” option then select “None” to disable the beta program.

    Opting out of Beta Steam
  3. If you can’t able to open Steam at all you can try the method shown below.

Final Solution: Uninstall Steam And Reinstall Later

Before we uninstall Steam, you should copy the folder named “SteamApps”. This contains all the data regarding your games. If you don’t copy this folder, the uninstallation process will remove all of your game files. Now we will proceed with the uninstallation process. There are two ways to uninstall Steam. The first one is to uninstall using Control Panel and the second one is to uninstall it manually.

Resort to the first method as it is more easy and comprehensive. If the first method fails, resort to the second one.

Uninstall Through Control Panel

  1. Press Windows + R button and in the dialogue box type “taskmgr”. This will bring up the task manager.
  2. End all Steam-related processes starting from Steam Client Bootstrapper.
  3. Browse to your Steam directory as we did in the earlier steps.
  4. Move the folder “SteamApps” to your desktop or any other accessible location and delete it from the Steam directory.
  5. Now we will uninstall Steam using the control panel. Press Windows + R to bring up the Run window. Type “control panel” in the dialogue box and hit Ok.
  6. Once you have opened the control panel, select “Uninstall a program” seen under the tab of Programs.
    Uninstall a Program
  7. Select Steam from the list of options and uninstall.
  8. Press Finish to complete the uninstall process.

Uninstall Manually

When we deal with the registry, we have to be extra careful not to tamper other registries. Doing so can result in major technical problems on your PC. Always follow the steps very carefully and only do what is mentioned.

  1. Navigate to your Steam directory. You can copy the folder “Steamapps” if you wish to save the game files for future use.
  2. Delete all the Steam files in your directory.
  3. Press Windows + R button and in the dialogue box type “Regedit”. This will bring up the registry editor.
  4. For 32 bit computers, navigate to
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Valve\
  5. Right-click on Valve and select the option delete.
  6. For 64 bit computers, navigate to
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Valve\
  7. Right-click on Valve and select the option delete.
    Delete Valve Registry Entry
  8. Navigate to:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Valve\Steam
  9. Right-click on Steam and press delete.
    Delete Steam Entry in Registry
  10. Close your registry editor.

Install Steam

Since we have uninstalled Steam again, we can start the installation process. You can get the Steam installation files from here. Click on “Install Steam Now”. Your computer will download the required files and upon opening, ask for the install location you wish to choose.

Chose the download location and let Steam download and install itself. After installation, run Steam and hopefully, it won’t be giving any problems.

Note: Even after following all these solutions, Steam keeps crashing, it means that there is a problem with your hard drive. Check your hard drive for any bad sectors using any software available.

Other Workarounds

If none of the solutions above helped you at all it’s possible that you have a bad USB driver on your computer. Now you can’t fix it directly, you will have to update your USB hub drivers and check for any conflicts, It’s preferred to use the USB Drivers provided by the manufacturer of your Device. However, for now, before starting steam please unplug all of your USB devices except for your Mouse then right-click on the Steam icon and run it as an administrator. This should work for you. If it does work for you but as soon as plugging your devices back crashes steam for you. You can try to start Steam as Big Picture mode.

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.

Expert Tip

Fix: Steam Keeps Crashing

If the issue is with your Computer or a Laptop you should try using Restoro which can scan the repositories and replace corrupt and missing files. This works in most cases, where the issue is originated due to a system corruption. You can download Restoro by clicking the Download button below.

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