Steam Won’t Open? – Here’s How to Fix

The steam not opening issue is widespread among users because it often occurs when the steam is silently running in the background and not showing in the taskbar or system tray. However, other factors, such as lack of administrator permissions, running the beta version, missing appcache files and interference from the third-party software or inbuilt firewall, can also cause this issue.

1. End Task Steam From Task Manager

We often encounter issues where the app or a game is not opening because it is already running and consuming computing power. However, this might be the same situation where the steam is not launching as it is already opened, but you might not be able to see it in the taskbar. To counter this, you need to close all the processes already running from the task manager. Below are the steps to do that:

  1. Right-click on your taskbar, and then click Task Manager

    Opening Task Manager
    Opening Task Manager
  2. Open the Task Manager, and right-click on Steam
  3. Then, click End Task

    Endtasking Steam
    Endtasking Steam
  4. Once done, try to launch Steam to check if the Steam Won’t open issue is fixed.

Alternatively, you can use Command Prompt to kill all Steam processes running in the background:-

  1. First of all, click on the search bar and search “Command Prompt“.
  2. Now click “Run as administrator“.
  3. Once the Command Prompt opens type this command and press enter:-
    taskkill /f /IM "steam.exe"
  4. Wait for the command to execute and then try running steam again.

2. Restart Your Computer

Another effective method that has already worked for most affected users is to restart your computer. Restarting the computer clears the data from the RAM and reloads all the required services. Therefore, if the steam processes are running in the background, you can perform a restart, which will fix the steam not launching issue.

3. Run Steam As An Administrator

The issue can also occur if you do not have administrator privileges while launching Steam. When you run a program with administrator permissions, the program will have access to make changes to your system.

Sometimes when a program does not launch, the issue is probably a lack of administrator permissions required by the application. Hence, you can try running steam with the appropriate permissions. To do so:

  1. Right-click on the Steam
  2. Go to Properties and then go to Compatibility

    Opening Steam Properties
    Opening Steam Properties
  3. Tick Run This Program As An Administrator and then click Apply and click OK

    Running Steam With Administrator Priviliges
    Running Steam With Administrator Priviliges
  4. Once done, check if the issue is fixed.

4. Delete The Beta File

The beta file is located under the Steam directory. It is a file that shows that you have a beta version of Steam. If you have opted-in beta of Steam it’s known to cause issues because it’s an unstable version. If you are using the beta version, you can encounter this issue. Hence, switch to the global version to fix this issue.

You can easily unregister the beta version from Steam, but because steam is not opening, you need to delete it manually by following the steps below:

  1. Right-click on your Steam app from the desktop
  2. Click Open File Location from the listed options
    Opening Steam Location
    Opening Steam Location
  3. Navigate to the Package folder
    Opening Package Folder
    Opening Package Folder
  4. Now find the beta file and right-click on it
  5. Then, click Delete to switch to the Global version
    Deleting Beta File
    Deleting Beta File
  6. Once done, check if your steam is launching.

5. Add a Parameter to Steam Shortcut

If the above solution does not suit you, you can trick Steam into thinking that you are trying to run a beta version of Steam. For that, you need to change the target value of the steam shortcut. Below are the steps:

  1. Right-click on your Steam client and click on Open File Location to open the steam directory
  2. Right-click the Steam.exe and click Create Shortcut

    Creating Steam Shortcut
    Creating Steam Shortcut
  3. Then, right-click the steam shortcut and go to Properties

    Opening Shortcut Properties
    Opening Shortcut Properties
  4. Now add -clientbeta client_candidate in the target box
  5. Click Apply and then click OK to save
    Changing Steam Shortcut Target Value
    Changing Steam Shortcut Target Value
  6. Now launch Steam by double-clicking on the shortcut to check if the issue is fixed.

6. Clear App Cache

The App cache folder contains the data about the task that you frequently repeat. It helps in preventing the downloading of resources again and again. If the files in the folder are missing or corrupted for some reason, you might encounter various issues, including this one. Therefore, it is recommended to clear the folder by following the steps mentioned below:

  1. Right-click on your Steam and then click Open File Location
  2. Then, select Appcache and press the Delete key or right-click on the folder and then click Delete

    Deleting Steam Appcache Folder
    Deleting Steam Appcache Folder
  3. Once you have removed the folder, launch Steam to check if the issue persists.

7. Temporarily Disable the Firewall

In some situations, the inbuilt Windows firewall prevents the applications from opening by blocking the exe file. Usually, when an application consumes a high amount of computing power, the firewall blocks it with the help of an exe file to reduce the GPU, CPU and memory resources. However, sometimes a firewall interferes without any reason. Therefore, it is advised to disable the firewall temporarily, as mentioned below.

  1. Click Start Menu and type Control Panel
    Launching Control Panel On Windows
    Launching Control Panel On Windows
  2. Open the control panel and go to the following path
    Control Panel\System and Security\Windows Defender Firewall
  3. Click Allow An App Or Feature Through Windows Defender Firewall from the left sidebar
    Clicking Allow An App or Feature through Windows Defender Firewall
    Clicking Allow An App or Feature through Windows Defender Firewall
  4. Click Change Settings and check Steam, then make sure the boxes under Private and Public are checked
    Allowing Steam From Firewall
    Allowing Steam From Firewall
  5. Once done, click OK and check if the issue is resolved.

8. Reinstall Steam

Unfortunately, if all the above solutions fail to solve your issue, the last method you could try is to reinstall steam completely. There is a chance that your steam.exe file is corrupted, leading to this issue.

Below we have given the instructions for reinstalling the steam.

  1. Right-click on Start Menu and click Settings to open
    Navigating to Windows Settings
    Navigating to Windows Settings
  2. Navigate to Programs & Features

    Navigating to Apps
    Navigating to Apps
  3. Search Steam from the search bar
  4. Then, select Steam and click Uninstall

    Searching Steam in Apps And Features
    Searching Steam in Apps And Features
  5. Again, click Uninstall to remove the steam
    Uninstalling Steam
    Uninstalling Steam
  6. Now open your favorite browser, and search for steam to download and install on your computer
    Installing Steam
    Installing Steam
  7. Once done, the issue should be resolved.
Hamza Mohammad Anwar
Hamza Khan is an intermediate javaScript web developer specializing in reactjs, MongoDb, express nodeJs, and more. He creates faster and better applications using mern technologies.
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Steam Won’t Open? – Here’s How to Fix

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