Fix: Steam Missing File Privileges

Users may experience an error when trying to update/install their Steam games. An error message pops up stating that there are missing file privileges while also giving the path to that file. This error can happen due to a number of reasons depending on the player’s hardware and software configuration. In most cases, it is a minor error and goes away after you perform the solutions listed below.

Repair Corrupt System Files

Download and run Restoro to scan for corrupt files from here, if files are found to be corrupt and missing repair them and then check if it fixes the issue, if not then proceed with Solutions listed below.

Solution 1: Stopping igfxEm process

The igfxEM.exe is a software component of the Intel Common User Interface developed by Intel Corporation. It is included in the standard package when installing Microsoft Windows and drivers for the running of graphic cards. It is a type of middleware between the Intel Graphics and the user. It also has the function to make characteristics and settings visible and also adjustable through the GUI provided.

igfxEM stands for Intel Graphics Executable Main Module. It is a “.exe” file. The file brings no harm to the computer and is from a trustworthy source. It also has a digital signature signed. However, it is not a Windows core file and it is also not visible. The file location for igfxEM is fixed (C:\\Windows\System32\igdxEm.exe). If the executable is found somewhere else, it is most probably malware or a Trojan which can be harmful to your computer.

Many users reported that stopping this service and restarting Steam helped their problem to go away. Although it may be exactly unclear why there is no harm in disabling the service as it is not at all a core process and won’t affect your PC.

  1. Press Windows + R and in the dialogue box type “taskmgr”. This will run your computer’s task manager.
  2. In the task manager, look for the tab of Process and from the list, search for igfxEM.

  1. Once you find the service, end it and restart Steam using administrator. Start the download again and see if the problem is fixed.

Solution 2: Using Lockhunter (3rd party application)

If you are having a problem using solution 1, we can try using a third-party application to check which application is denying access to Steam and stop it. Please note that we don’t have any affiliations with any 3rd party applications and you will be using it at your own risk.

  1. Download and install Lockhunter from here.
  2. After you have downloaded it, open Lockhunter using administrator privileges by right-clicking it and selecting Run as administrator.
  3. After you open Lockhunter, you will be greeted by a window like this.

  1. To navigate to the folder/file which is giving the Steam error, select the option of browse for files and navigate to SteamApps<temp. Select this folder and press OK.

  1. After you select the folder, the application will determine which program is restricting the access of the file and return you with results. It would most probably be igfxEM.exe.

  1. Click the file and select Unlock It!. The application will forcefully remove any programs which may be giving a conflict.

  1. Restart Steam using administrator privileges and you will be good to go.

Solution 3: Changing the download region

One of the basic fixes includes changing the download region.

The Steam content system is divided into different regions. The client automatically detects your region through your network and sets it as default. Sometimes, servers in a specific region may be overloaded or may be going through hardware failure. Therefore changing the download region may solve the problem in question.

  1. Open Steam and click ‘Settings’ on the drop-down menu in the upper left corner of the window.
  2. Select ‘Downloads’ and navigate to ‘Download Region’.
  3. Select other regions other than your own and restart Steam.

Solution 4: Rebooting PC

Sometimes your PC may be experiencing technical errors which may not be evidently visible. Steam has multiple processes going on at the same time. Whenever you see an update rolling out, it is not just the downloading that is happening. Steam divides all the data of the game into different chunks of 1MB. Then it makes a manifest on how to assemble these chunks so they can perform their role properly.

If we suppose that your game files are of 1GB each and there are 3 of them present. An update rolls out of 3MB (1MB for each game file). What Steam would do is download the 1MB update and copy the remaining (1023MB). Multiply this by 3 times as there are three game files in total. Turns out that there is a lot of copying and very less downloading. Steam uses this method to avoid corrupt downloads and save you bandwidth.

It may happen sometimes that the copy process may experience some problem and Steam comes up with the error of missing file privileges. Restart your PC to see if the error gets solved. Also, avoid running any other software/program which may interfere with the update process as mentioned above.

Solution 5: Giving administrator privileges to Steam

Steam requires two things to perform its operations smoothly. Read and Write. Although it may seem like a no big deal, if your computer treats Steam as a “Read-only” program, it won’t be able to write on different files and get stuck while downloading/updating a game.

We can try granting Steam administrator privileges and check if the problem gets resolved. You don’t have to worry about Steam bringing harm to your PC. It is digitally signed by the company and all its programs are malware proof.

  1. Open your Steam directory. The default location for Steam is (C:\Program Files\Steam). If you installed Steam another directory, you can also browse to that. Press Windows + R button to launch the Run application and in the dialogue box type the address mentioned above. This should launch Steam’s directory.
  2. Once you have located your Steam folder, right-click it and select Properties. Browse to the Security tab and click on Advanced found at the bottom of the screen.

  1. Now you will be presented with a table like this. The first 4 rows are editable while the last two or not. Here you can see we have granted the folder full control. If your settings may differ, you can change the settings through the method listed below.

  1. Click on the row and click the button Edit. A window will come forward consisting of all the options in form of checkboxes. Check all of them including Full Control. Click Apply, save changes, and exit. Do this for the first 4 rows and exit after changing.

  1. Now you can re-launch Steam by clicking Steam.exe and clicking Run as administrator. Check if the download problem is fixed.

Solution 6: Granting full control to the affected file

We can perform another remedy by navigating to the affected file and granting it full access. The method 4 should grant them full access to all the folders and subfolders in the Steam directory. If you have a problem in that method, you can pinpoint the file and only grant it full access; so the missing file privileges error can go away. You need not worry about anything harming your computer through this process. Like I explained earlier, Steam is tested rigorously before it is launched to ensure that there is no software error.

  1. To pinpoint the file, look at the error. The exact address will be mentioned there.

The exact address mentioned is as follows.

C:\\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\downloading\47890\EP11\Game.
  1. You can browse to this location by using the Run application or by navigating yourself to the Steam directory. Another way is to open the Steam client, head over to the Library tab and select the game that is giving you the error. Right-click it and select Properties.

Once the properties are opened, select the Local Files tab and from the menu, click on Browse Local Files. You will be redirected to the game’s local folder and then you can locate the file which is giving you the problem.

  1. Once you have located the file, follow the steps mentioned in Solution 4 and grant full access to this file.
  2. Restart Steam and check if the problem still persists.

Solution 7: Repairing Library Folder and verifying integrity

There is a possibility that your Steam Library Folder may be corrupt and not configured correctly. There can also be the case that your game files may not be complete and some may be missing due to any reason.

The Verify Integrity of Game files will try to fix your install if there are some corrupt or missing game files. The repairing library option will refresh your files list and help if some files/files are not registered with the library. Follow the steps mentioned below.

  1. Open your Steam client. Once it is opened, click on Steam found on the upper left side and from the drop-down menu, click on Settings.

  1. Once in the Settings, navigate to the Downloads tab and click on Steam Library Folders found at the top.

  1. A small window will open in front of you listing all the locations where Steam is installed and the storage/spaces that Steam is using. Right-click and select Repair Steam Library.

  1. Once you have carried out all the steps to repair the library, we can now move on to verify the integrity of the game files present. Exit the settings and click on the Library tab in the Steam client.
  2. Right-click on the game which is giving you the error and select Properties.
  3. Once in the properties, browse to the Local Files tab and click on the option which says Verify Integrity of Game Files. Steam will then start verifying all the files present according to the main manifest it has. If there is any file missing/corrupted, it will download that files again and replace it accordingly.

Solution 8: Deleting files through safe mode

If the problem still persists by now, even after trying all the methods, we can delete the download files so Steam can download them from scratch. Another solution is to refresh Steam installation but we will try this method before trying that tedious one.

Entering through safe mode disables all extra running software and allows you to perform administrative actions much more easily. It is a diagnostic mode of a computer. It is intended to help fix all problems in an operating system. You need not worry because we won’t be tampering with the system files. We will try to delete the files which are stuck on download and cannot proceed further due to the error we are facing.

  1. First of all, note down the file path of the file that is giving you trouble like we did earlier on in solution 5 (C:\\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\downloading\47890\EP11\Game). After you have noted down the error, we need to enter your computer in the safe mode.

Get your computer to safe mode by selecting from various different options available. Select ‘Enable Safe Mode with Networking’. If you are running Windows 7, press F8 upon the startup of your PC and you will be directed to a similar window where you can select the required option.

  1. Once you have successfully entered safe mode, navigate to the file location we noted down earlier (navigate to SteamApps).
  2. Once you are in Steamapps, click on the folder which says “download”. Delete all the contents in it.
  3. Restart your computer and start Steam using administrator access. Now follow Solution 6 and verify the library and integrity of games before starting your download again. Hopefully, the problem would be solved by now.

Solution 9: Clearing Download Cache

In some situations, Steam might’ve acquired some bad cache due to which this particular issue is being triggered. Therefore, in this step, we will be logging into our Steam account and then we will try to clear out the Steam’s Cache and check to see if doing so fixes the issue. For that:

  1. Launch Steam and login with your credentials.
  2. Click on the “Steam” option in the upper left corner and then select “settings” from the list.
    Accessing the Settings screen of Steam
  3. In Steam settings, select “Downloads” from the left pane and then click on the “Clear Downloads Cache” button on the right side of the window.
    Clear Download Cache of the Steam Client
  4. Click on “OK” in the prompt and wait for the cache to be cleared.
  5. Launch the game and check to see if doing so has fixed the issue.

Solution 10: Allowing Through Firewall and Antivirus

In some situations, your Antivirus or the Firewall might be preventing some functions of the Steam application from being able to connect to the internet. Therefore, in this step, we will be allowing Steam through the Firewall and we will also add an exception in the Windows Defender. Make sure to also replicate these steps in your Antivirus.

  1. Press “Windows” + “R” to launch the Run prompt.
  2. Type in “Control Panel” and press “Enter” to launch the classical control panel interface.
    Accessing the Classic Control Panel interface
  3. Click on the “View by:” button, select “Large Icons” and then click on the Windows Defender Firewall option.
  4. Select the “Allow an app or feature through the Firewall” button on the left pane and then click on the “Change Settings” button and accept the prompt.
    Allow an app through Windows Defender Firewall
  5. From here, make sure that you check both the “Public” and the “Private” options for the Steam application.
  6. Save your changes and exit out of the window.
  7. After that, press “Windows” + “I” to launch the settings and click on the “Update and Security” option.
  8. From the left pane, click on the “Windows Security” button and then click on the “Virus and Threat Protection” button.
    Accessing the Virus and Threat Protection
  9. Select the “Manage Settings” button under the Virus and Threat Protection Settings heading.
  10. Scroll down and click on the “Add or Remove Exclusions” button in the next window.
  11. Click on the “Add an Exclusion” option and select “Folder’ from the File type.
    Add an Exclusion for a Folder in Windows Defender
  12. Make sure to specify the Steam installation folder and exit out of this window after saving your changes

Solution 11: Diagnosing Background Applications

Some people noticed that when certain applications or services were running in the background, Steam was getting this error while trying to working with Steam. Therefore, in this step, we will be performing a clean boot and we will diagnose any third-party interference with Steam during that mode. In order to do this, follow the steps below.

  1. Press “Windows” + “R” to launch the Run window.
  2. Type in “taskmgr” and then press “Enter” to start the task manager.
    Running the Task Manager
  3. In the Task Manager, click on the “Processes” tab at the top and a list of applications should be shown that are currently running on your computer.
  4. The Task Manager will also show the current CPU, DISK usage, and Memory usage on your computer.
  5. Click on the “CPU” option and make sure that the arrow is facing downwards to sort the usage from high to low.
  6. Check if any application is using an abnormal amount of resources on your computer and click on it.
  7. Click on “End Task” to prevent it from running on your computer.
    Clickijng on “End Task”
  8. Also, make sure to disable ETS2 app if it is present in the task manager.
  9. Similarly, click on the “Memory” and the “Disk” options one by one and eliminate all high usage applications.
  10. Check to see if doing so fixes the issue with Steam missing file privileges.

Performing the above steps should get rid of most of the third party applications that are running in the background. However, we also have to ensure that a system service or application isn’t interfering. For that:

  1. Press “Windows’ + “R” to launch the Run prompt.
  2. Type in “MSConfig” and press “Enter” to launch the Boot settings window.
    msconfig
  3. In this window, click on the “Services” option and then uncheck the “Hide all Microsoft Services” option.
    Clicking on the “Services” tab and Un-checking the “hide all Microsoft Services” option
  4. Click on the “Disable all” button to prevent these services from launching at startup.
  5. Now, click on the “Startup” tab and select the “Open Task Manager” option.
    Opening the Task Manager
  6. In the task manager’s Startup tab, make sure to disable all applications from launching at startup.
  7. After that, save your changes and close out of both windows.
  8. Restart your computer and check to see if Steam works normally.
  9. If it does, it means that a service or application was interfering with the proper functioning of the application. Therefore, you can start enabling these services and applications one by one and check which one makes the issue come back.
  10. After diagnosing the faulty service or application, you can either try to reinstall it or keep it disabled permanently.

Solution 12: File Sorting

It is possible that you might’ve disconnected your HDD from the computer at some point in time and due to that, the file sorting system of the computer might’ve been messed up. Therefore, first of all, identify where Steam is thinking the game is installed by navigating to the library, right-clicking on the game and selecting “Properties” after that, click on “Local Files” and then select the “Browse Local Files” button. Make sure that the game folder opens up instead of an empty folder or error. If an empty folder opens up, make sure to move the game to that folder and then try again.

Browse local files in Steam

Final Solution: Refreshing Steam files

If the error still persists at this stage, we have no choice but to refresh Steam files. Refreshing Steam files will reinstall Steam on your computer again. We will delete some of the configuration folders to ensure that they get renewed upon the installation and all the bad files get removed.

Please note that any interruption during the copy process will corrupt the files and you will have to re-download the entire content over again. Only proceed with this solution if you are sure that your computer won’t be interrupted.

  1. Navigate to your Steam directory. The default location for your directory is
C:/Program Files (x86)/Steam.
  1. Locate the following files and folders:

Userdata                                      (folder)

Steam.exe                                    (Application)

Steamapps                                    (folder- only preserve the files of other games in it)

The user data folder contains all the data of your gameplay. We don’t need to delete it. Furthermore, inside Steamapps, you will have to search for the game that is giving you a problem and only delete that folder. The other files located contain the installation and game files of other games you have installed.

However, if there is only one game installed and it is giving you problems, we suggest that you delete the entire Steamapps folder and proceed with the following step.

  1. Delete all other files/folders (except the ones mentioned above) and restart your computer.
  2. Re-launch Steam using administrator privileges and hopefully, it will start updating itself. After the update is complete, it will run as expected.

If none of the methods shown above helped you at all, it’s possible that there is something wrong with the game itself. You will have to contact the Steam support in order to get this issue resolved.

Kamil Anwar
Kamil is a certified MCITP, CCNA (W), CCNA (S) and a former British Computer Society Member with over 9 years of experience Configuring, Deploying and Managing Switches, Firewalls and Domain Controllers also an old-school still active on FreeNode.

Expert Tip

Fix: Steam Missing File Privileges

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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