Steam is one of the most heavily used platforms when it comes to PC gaming. It allows PC users to download and play millions of games on their PCs without any hassle. But this fact can also not be denied that Steam also holds a fair share of issues that its users face.
One such issue is where the Steam app doesn’t open at all. If you are also one of those Windows users whose Steam is not opening, then this guide is for you. In this fixing guide, I am going to show you how you can fix it if the Steam app is not opening on your Windows 11 or Windows 10 PC.
Fix Steam Won’t Open On Windows
This is a pretty understandable problem when Steam just doesn’t open at all with no error message or anything. And hence there can be a number of reasons behind this abnormal behaviour of your Steam app. This can be due to:
- Corrupted Steam installation files,
- Pending Windows updates,
- Damaged system files,
- Connectivity issues,
- Steam is down, etc.
Now, based on these possible causes, you can perform their fixes accordingly. And what I would recommend you is to check whether Steam servers are up and running first. For this, you can head over to sites like IsItDownRightNow and check if Steam is working properly. If it is down (which is quite rare) then you’ll have to wait as you can’t do anything else in this matter. But if Steam is fine then head over to the following fixes.
1. Run Steam as Administrator
Running Steam with administrative privileges can help in solving the issue as it will provide all the required permissions to run it on the system.
1. Search for Steam and click on Run as administrator.
2. Select Yes on the User Account Control prompt window.
Once done, check if the Steam app has opened on the system or not. If not, then proceed to the next fix. But if yes, then you can make Steam run every time with admin privileges by following the below steps.
1. Search for Steam and this time click on Open file location.
2. This will open the location where the Steam app is installed. Here, right-click on the Steam app and click on Properties.
3. In the Properties window, switch to the Compatibility tab.
4. Here, checkmark the Run this program as an administrator option and click on OK.
2. Check and Troubleshoot your Internet connection
Next, you should make sure that you have a properly running internet connection. For this, firstly, restart your Internet router and modem. Also, if you are using ethernet, plug out the cable from your PC and connect it back again.
Similarly, if you are using Wi-Fi, turn it off and back on to reconnect to the network. And lastly, run the Network Troubleshooter on your PC. To run the internet troubleshooter:
1. Open Windows Settings by pressing Win + I.
2. Go to System and then select Troubleshoot.
3. Click on the Other troubleshooters option.
4. Finally, click on the Run button next to the Internet Connections option.
5. Select the Troubleshoot my connection to the Internet option on the troubleshooting window.
6. Now, wait for the troubleshooter to detect the problem and follow the on-screen instructions to solve them.
3. Set the Time and Time Zone to automatic
The out-of-sync date and time of the PC can cause Steam to not open on your PC. Hence syncing the date and time of your PC by setting the Time and Time Zone to automatic can solve the issue.
1. Open Settings.
2. Go to Time & language > Date & time.
3. Make sure the Set time automatically and Set time zone automatically are enabled.
4. Also, click on the Sync now button under the Additional settings section.
4. Restart Steam
Even though you have closed Steam Client on your PC, the process might still be running in the background.
Hence to restart Steam, killing that background task from the task manager is needed. And after that try to launch Steam again.
1. Open Task Manager on your PC. You can either search for it or can press Ctlr + Shift + Esc on your keyboard.
2. On the Task Manager window, switch to the Processes tab.
3. Now, look for the Steam process here and select it.
4. After selecting, click on the End Task button on the lower right corner of the window.
5. Wait for a couple of seconds and finally try to open Steam again.
5. Allow Steam through Windows Firewall
Messing with the Windows Firewall can easily inactive any program or app on your PC. Hence it is advised to check if Steam is not restricted by your Windows Firewall.
1. Open the Control Panel on your PC. You can simply search for it.
2. Make sure the View by is set to small icons and then click on Windows Defender Firewall.
3. Next, click on the Allow an app or feature through Windows Defender Firewall option from the left.
4. On the Allowed Apps window, click on the Change Settings option.
5. Now, navigate to the Steam app from the list and make sure to checkmark it for both Public and Private connections.
6. Finally, click on OK.
Tip: If Stem is not listed there, then click on the Allow another app button and browse to the Steam.exe which is located in the installation directory of Steam. For most of the PCs, the default installation directory is:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam
6. Delete the Steam Cache folder
The corrupted cache can conflict with the functioning of an app and hence you can try clearing the cache of your Steam app. For this, you simply delete Steam’s app cache folder. Here’s how.
1. Open the Windows File Explorer by pressing Win + E.
2. In the File Explorer window, naviGate to the following patch:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam
Or if you have installed STeam somewhere else, then navigate to that location.
3. Once you are in the Steam folder, right-click on the appcache folder and and delete it.
4. Once done, restart your PC and upon boot up, try to run Steam.
7. Run the SFC and DISM Scans
The corrupted Windows system files can also cause such issues where programs don’t run at all. Luckily, Microsoft has provided a backed-in tool to repair the system files. These are called the SFC and DISM scans and here’s how to use them.
1. Search and run the command prompt as administrator.
2. In the Command Prompt window, type-in
sfc /scannow and press Enter to execute this command.
3. This will begin the scanning process and will take a couple of minutes to complete.
4. After completion, there be results in the form of either of the following messages:
- Windows Resource Protection did not find any integrity violations.
- Windows Resource Protection could not perform the requested operation.
- Windows Resource Protection found corrupt files and successfully repaired them.
- Windows Resource Protection found corrupt files but was unable to fix some of them.
5. Once done restart your PC and again open Command Prompt with admin privileges.
6. And this time, execute the following commands one by one:
dism.exe /Online /cleanup-image /scanhealth dism.exe /Online /cleanup-image /restorehealth dism.exe /Online /cleanup-image /startcomponentcleanup
7. The commands mentioned in the previous step are of the DISM scans that ask for a properly working internet connection so keep this in mind.
8. Repair the SteamService.exe file
The SteamService.exe file is a crucial application file that is required for the Steam app to work properly. I am going to use Command Prompt for illustration but you can also use PowerShell.
1. Search and open Command Prompt as administrator.
2. Once on the command prompt window, type in the path of the steamservice.exe file followed by space and /repair. So, the complete command line would look like this:
“C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\bin\SteamService.exe” /repair
If you have installed Steam in the default location then the above command can be used directly as copy-paste in your command prompt.
However, if you have installed Steam somewhere else, then the file path of your steamservice.exe file will be different.
3. After executing the command, you will get a repair complete message. Now you can restart your PC.
9. Free up some disk space
Steam deals with a lot of online downloading and hence having sufficient disk space is a mandatory thing in order to have proper functioning of the program.
Hence you should consider cleaning your disk and here’s how you can without uninstalling any other program.
1. Open the Windows File Explorer by pressing Win + E.
2. Now go to This PC so that you can have the list of all the drives available on your PC.
3. Now, right-click on the C drive or the drive in which you have installed Steam and click on Properties.
4. In the Properties window, go to the General tab and click on Disk Cleanup.
5. This will open the Disk Cleanup prompt that will calculate the amount of space that can be made free on the drive.
6. Then the Disk Cleanup for OS window will appear where you will have to click on the Clean up system files option.
7. Wait for the processing and now checkmark all the desired items that you want to delete and click on OK.
8. Click on Delete Files to confirm the selection and restart your PC once the deletion process is finished.
10. Check for Windows Updates
An outdated Windows version also creates issues with the installed apps, hence keeping the Windows system up to date is a good practice that everyone should implement.
1. Open Settings by pressing Win + I on the keyboard.
2. Now go to Windows Update from the left.
3. Click on Check for updates. This will make Windows automatically look for pending updates.
4. If there are pending updates, simply download and install them.
5. Finally, restart your PC.
11. Reinstall Steam
Lastly, if nothing works then the ultimate solution and your last hope is to just simply reinstall the Steam app on your PC.
This will make sure that the app doesn’t have any corrupted files or cache and is installed properly with everything in compliance with your current Windows OS setting.
1. Open the Run dialog box by pressing Win + R on your keyboard.
2. Type in control appwiz.cpl and click on OK.
3. This will open the Programs and Features window from where you can uninstall the apps. Here, right-click on the Steam app and click on Uninstall.
4. This will open the Steam uninstall window, follow the on-screen instructions and uninstall Steam.
5. Once done, restart your PC.
6. Now head over to the Steam download page and click on DOWNLOAD STEAM. This will begin downloading the SteamSetup.exe file.
7. Once downloaded, open that file to run the installer.
8. Click on Next, then select the Destination Forder where you want to install Steam on your PC and finally click on Install.
9. Wait for the installation to complete, checkmark the run Steam option and click on Finish.
10. Now, Steam will open, let Steam download and install the required files for one last time.
11. Once done, restart your PC.
Ok, so here comes the end of this fixing guide where I have provided a number of ways to fix the issue of Steam not opening on Windows 11 or Windows 10 PC. The various fixes that are described in this fixing guide are based on different possible causes of the issue.
In most cases, simple troubleshooting of the internet and a restart rectifies the issue. But in some cases, the problem lies in the system files like corrupted cache folders of Steam or Windows files. In such cases running the SFC and DSCIM scans may help along with the deletion of the appcache folder of the Steam app.
All in all, if the Steam app is not opening, there can be any reason behind this, and hence you’ll have to go through different fixes to rectify the issue.
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