Steam is a giant when it comes to clients distributing games and maintaining the servers. It has a huge collection of about thousands of games which the players can purchase through the Steam store and play online using the Steam client.
Like all other software, Steam also bumps into networking errors. Today we will talk about the error when a Steam game refuses to launch properly and an error comes forward saying “Steam was unable to sync your files for —-”. This error can be traced back to a number of problems. First of all, it may be that the Steam servers are down and not accessible. This happens rarely but it is possible. Other than that, it can be something wrongly configured in your PC or some third party program interfering with the connection. Check out the guide below to troubleshoot and fix your problem.
Solution 1: Steam Servers down
As a gamer, you already know this question, is Steam down? This question pops up the moment you are unable to connect to the Steam client, store, or the community properly.
There are a lot of ways through which you can check Steam’s server status. On the Steam site which is purely dedicated to providing this information, you can check the status of all the different servers i.e. United States, Europe, Netherlands, China etc. If the servers are healthy and up and running, the text would appear as green. If they are offline or going through a lot of loads, they may appear as red. Some servers may also appear orange to indicate their load is moderate; any more load would overload the server to its maximum capacity.
Not only this, you can also check if the Steam store is working properly as well as the Steam community. If you are experiencing the error where Steam isn’t able to sync your game files, you should first check if the Steam servers are down. If they are up, it means there is a problem on your end and you can follow the solutions down below. Also run a quick check if all the other Steam players are also facing the same problem. If they are, it means that the cloud servers are down and you would have to wait a bit before they are up again.
Check the Steam’s server status before following the other solutions listed below.
Solution 2: Deleting ClientRegistry.blob
Clientregistry.blob is the file used by Steam which 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.
- Completely exit Steam and end all tasks as mentioned in the solution above.
- Browse to your Steam directory. The default one is
- Locate ‘clientregistry.blob’.
- Rename the file to ‘clientregistryold.blob’ (or you can delete the file completely).
- 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.
- Browse back to your Steam directory.
- Locate ‘steamerrorreporter.exe’.
- Run the application and re-launch Steam.
Solution 3: Deleting userdata
There is a userdata folder present in every Steam directory. Within it, contains an ID number unique to each account. These contain information regarding your cloud configuration files and your user sync data. It is possible that these got corrupted and because of this, your Steam client is refusing to sync. Although reinstalling your whole Steam client might fix the problem but you would have to go through a lot of hassle.
We can try deleting/replacing the userdata folder and checking if the error gets fixed.
- Open your Steam directory. Once you have opened it, search for a folder named userdata in the main Steam folder.
- You can either delete it or cut paste it somewhere accessible (like your desktop). Make sure to stop all Steam processes through the task manager before using this solution.
- Restart Steam and check if cloud is able to sync your profile.
Note: Steam may require your credentials and account information if you delete the folder. If you don’t have your credentials at hand, don’t follow this method.
Solution 4: 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 crosschecking, 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.
Solution 5: Running Steam in Safemode with Networking
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 pin point 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.
You can learn how to get your computer to safe using this 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.
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.
Solution 6: Adding an exception to your antivirus and disabling Firewall
If solution 5 worked for you, it means there are third party programs having a conflict with your Steam client.
It is a well-known fact that Steam conflicts with the Windows Firewall. As we all know, Steam tends to download updates and games over the background while you are using Windows for something else. It tends to do so you don’t have to wait for download to finish when you want to play your game or use the Steam client. Steam also has access to a number of system configuration and it alters it so you can get the best experience available for your gaming. Windows Firewall sometimes mark some of these processes as malicious and tends to block Steam. There may even be a conflict going where the Firewall is blocking Steam’s actions in the background. This way you won’t know it’s even happening so it’ll be hard to pinpoint it out. We can try disabling your Firewall temporarily and checking if the error dialogue goes away or not.
You can check our guide on how to disable the firewall.
Like in the case of Firewall, sometimes your antivirus can also quarantine some of Steam’s actions as potential threats. The obvious solution would be to uninstall your antivirus but it isn’t wise to do so. If you uninstall your antivirus, you will be exposing your computer to a number of different threats. The best way is to add steam in the list of applications which are exempted from scanning. The antivirus will treat Steam as if it wasn’t even there.
You can read our guide on how to add Steam as an exception to your antivirus.
Solution 7: Disabling P2P programs
P2P programs form a direct conduit to your computer. Also, their security measures are easily avoidable. Malware writers actively exploit these programs and spread viruses and malware onto your PC. If you haven’t configured your P2P programs correctly, you may be sharing more than you realize or know. There have been many cases where a person’s information was shared through P2P programs such as his computer’s physical address, passwords, usernames, email addresses, etc.
With these credentials, it is very easy for exploiters to access your computer and delete important system files which may lead you having this error.
Examples of P2P programs include Bittorrent, Utorrent etc. Uninstall them, run a malware check and repair your registry files if you have to. Then start Steam again using administrative privileges and check if your game still refuses to sync.
Note: If your computer is acting weird and there are different advertisements popping up again and again on your home screen, it means that your PC is infected. Try installing a trustworthy antivirus and run a thorough check.
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 cancelling once you start the installing process.
You can follow how to refresh/reinstall your Steam files through this guide.
Note: If you are having a connection error where your entire Steam client refuses to connect to the internet, refer to this guide. If you are having problems even after following all the methods explained above, it means that there is a problem with the cloud service itself. Wait a day or two for it to get fixed.