Steam Won’t Open: How to FIX Steam Not Opening (18 Possible Solutions)

Steam is the most popular gaming platform in the world. It provides access to countless free and paid games, giving users the possibility to play everything in a user-friendly interface.

Unfortunately, Steam won’t open every time you try to launch it, preventing you from getting back to your favorite games. It’s an annoying issue that troubles many gamers.

STEAM Won't Open

But rest assured, today you’ll find a workaround for your problem, no matter what the root cause of the problem might be, so read on to learn how to fix Steam not opening.

How do I fix Steam not opening on my PC?

Before starting to make changes to your computer, it’s a good idea to set up a system restore point. In case anything bad happens, you can use the Recovery option to restore Windows to a previous state.

You should also consider performing a full hard disk backup if you have enough storage space available. It’s more reliable since System Restore doesn’t always work as expected.

1. End all Steam processes from Task Manager

If you recently launched Steam, exited, and couldn’t open it anymore, it might be due to too many processes opened in the background. However, you should be able to quickly fix this problem by ending all associated processes from Task Manager.

  1. Right-click the Windows taskbar and open Task ManagerWindows 10 shows how to open Task Manager from the taskbar
  2. Locate all Steam entries, select each one, and click End task (starting with Steam Client Bootstrapper)Task Manager shows how to end the Steam tasks
  3. Restart your computer
  4. Try to launch Steam now

2. Repair the Steam service

If Steam is not opening on your computer due to service failure, you can fix it with the repair tool.

  1. Log in to Windows 10 as the administrator
  2. Make sure to end all Steam processes (see the previous solution)
  3. Press Ctrl + R and type "C:Program Files (x86)SteambinSteamService.exe" /repairWindows 10 shows how to repair Steam using a command
  4. If Steam is in another location than default, replace it accordingly. Press Enter
  5. Try to open Steam now

3. Free up disk space

Check if your computer is running low on disk space. Just like other software applications, Steam requires free disk space to be able to function correctly, especially since it’s an Internet-enabled tool.

The simplest way to free up disk space on Windows 10 without installing third-party cleaners is by turning to the Disk Cleanup tool.

  1. Log in to Windows 10 as the administrator
  2. Check the Downloads folder and Recycle Bin to save or restore any important files
  3. If Steam is installed on the C: drive, right-click C: and select PropertiesWindows Explorer shows how to access the Properties of the C: drive
  4. In the General tab, click Disk CleanupWindows 10 shows how to perform Disk Cleanup on the C: drive
  5. Select all items from the list and click Clean up system filesWindows 10 shows how to select files for Disk Cleanup
  6. Once Windows finishes the scan, select all items again, click OK and Delete Files to confirmWindows 10 shows how to select files for Disk Cleanup
  7. It might take a while. Once the task is complete, restart your PC and try to launch Steam

4. Delete the Steam appcache folder

The appcache folder contains information about the application and game files. Normally, it shouldn’t interfere with the Steam core components.

Still, you can delete it to give the gaming client a hard refresh. Don’t worry since the Steam will automatically rebuild the appcache folder with everything it needs.

  1. Go to C:Program Files (x86)Steam. If you installed Steam somewhere else, visit that location insteadWindows Explorer shows how to delete the Steam appcache folder
  2. Delete the appcache folder
  3. Restart your PC and try to launch Steam

5. Reinstall the Steam client

If the software application isn’t working normally, it could be the reason why Steam won’t open on your computer. You can fix this problem by uninstalling Steam and then downloading and installing the latest version. Don’t worry since your games will remain installed on your PC.

Here’s how to uninstall Steam

  1. Right-click the Windows 10 Start button and select Apps and FeaturesWindows 10 shows how to access Apps and Features from the Start right-click menu
  2. Click Search this list and type steamWindows 10 shows how to search the Apps and Features list
  3. Select Steam, click Uninstall, and proceed with the on-screen instructionsWindows 10 shows how to uninstall Steam from Apps and Features

You can download Steam from the official website and go through the setup operation again. It also ensures that you will be running the latest available updates.

6. Clear the Steam download cache

If you can open the Steam desktop client but can’t download or launch any games, try this:

  1. Launch Steam, open the Steam menu, and go to SettingsSteam not opening? Access the Settings menu
  2. Select Downloads, click Clear download cache, and Yes to confirmSteam shows how to clear the download cache
  3. Restart your PC and launch Steam

7. Unplug all extra external devices

Peripheral devices like USB flash drives, memory cards, and external hard disks can cause application functionality issues, even to Steam.

Try to pinpoint the time when you started experiencing  issues with the Steam launcher. If you plugged a new device into your PC around the same time, that device could be your culprit (or maybe you have faulty USB ports).

Just detach anything you don’t need, restart your computer, and try to open the Steam app. In the case of required devices, try plugging them into different USB ports.

8. Reset your Internet connection

Even if you don’t have an active Internet connection, you should still be able to launch the Steam app and switch to offline mode to play games. However, certain network connectivity settings could affect the entire client.

Here’s how to run the Internet troubleshooter:

  1. Right-click the Windows 10 Start menu and select SettingsWindows 10 shows how to access settings from the Start right-click menu
  2. Click Update & SecurityWindows 10 shows how to access the Update and Security settings
  3. Select Troubleshoot, click Internet Connections and follow the on-screen instructionsWindows 10 shows how to access the Internet troubleshooter

You can also flush your DNS servers:

  1. Press Ctrl + R, type cmd, then press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to launch Command Prompt with admin rightsWindows 10 shows how to run Command Prompt as admin
  2. Type the following lines (in this order) and make sure to press Enter between each lineCommand Prompt shows how to flush, register and release DNS
    1. ipconfig /flushdns
    2. ipconfig /registerdns
    3. ipconfig /release
    4. ipconfig /renew
    5. netsh winsock reset
  3. Restart your PC and try to launch Steam in online mode

9. Add an exception for Steam in your firewall

If you recently made changes to your firewall settings, you might have accidentally disabled Internet access for Steam.

To test this theory, you can temporarily disable your firewall:

  1. Press the Win key, type firewall, and open Firewall & network protectionWindows 10 shows how to search for Firewall and Network Protection
  2. Click Domain networkWindows 10 shows how to access Domain Network firewall settings
  3. Turn off Windows Defender Firewall and click Yes if prompted by User Account Control (UAC)Windows 10 shows how to disable the domain network firewall
  4. Try to open Steam in online mode

If everything is working fine know, then you know for sure that it’s the firewall’s fault. However, it’s dangerous to keep it disabled, so go back to Firewall & network protection, click Restore settings and Yes if prompted by UAC.

Windows 10 shows how to restore firewall settings

Here’s how to add an exception for Steam in your firewall:

  1. Go to Firewall & network protection and click Allow an app through firewallWindows 10 shows how to allow an app through the firewall
  2. Click Change settings (you need admin rights)Windows 10 shows how to change app firewall settings
  3. Click Allow another app and use the file browser to locate SteamWindows 10 shows how to allow another app through the firewall
  4. Check the Private and Public boxes next to Steam, then click OKWindows 10 shows how to allow Steam through the firewall
  5. Launch Steam in online mode

10. Get the latest Windows updates

It’s critical to keep Windows updated to the latest version. Otherwise, your Steam client might not launch if your operating system is obsolete and has missing features.

  1. Press the Start button, type Check for updates, and press EnterWindows 10 shows how to check for system updates
  2. Wait until the search is complete. If there are any pending updates, click DownloadWindows 10 shows how to download system updates
  3. Once all updates have been downloaded and installed, reboot your PC and try to launch Steam

11. Remove recent Windows updates

On the other hand, if you started having trouble with Steam after a recent Windows update, just remove it from your PC. It’s well known that some Windows updates are poorly designed and have a negative impact on your computer.

  1. Press Ctrl + R, type control panel, and press EnterWindows 10 shows how to access Control Panel using the Run tool
  2. Select Programs and FeaturesWindows 10 shows how to access Programs and Features from Control Panel
  3. Click View installed updatesWindows 10 shows how to view installed Windows updates
  4. Click the Installed On column to sort the Windows updates by time (newest first)Windows 10 shows how to sort installed Windows Updates by date
  5. Double-click the first entry in the list and proceed with its uninstallWindows 10 shows how to confirm Windows updates removal
  6. Restart your computer and try to open Steam

12. Update your device drivers

It’s an issue similar to Windows updates: if your device drivers are old and obsolete, it’s possible that Steam won’t open on your PC. Fortunately, it’s not a hardware problem, so you don’t have to spend money on new equipment.

Instead, make sure to update all your device drivers to the latest version. Put emphasis on the GPU and network drivers since these are directly related to the Steam desktop client.

Here’s how to manually update your drivers:

  1. Right-click the Windows 10 Start button and go to Device ManagerWindows 10 shows how to access Device Manager from the Start right-click menu
  2. Expand the Display adapters menu, right-click your GPU interface and select Update driverWindows shows how to update display adapter drivers in Device Manager
  3. Click Search automatically for updated driver softwareWindows 10 shows how to search automatically for updated driver software

If Windows returns the The best drivers for your device are already installed message, click on Search for updated drivers on Windows Update.

However, if you already downloaded the latest Windows updates, you can skip this part. It’s possible to manually look up new driver versions on the official website, depending on your manufacturer.

It’s risky business, however, since you might accidentally install an incompatible device driver. In turn, this will likely cause Windows compatibility issues.

A safer option is to turn to a driver updating tool. It automatically detects your current and obsolete drivers, finds newer versions on the Internet, then quickly downloads and installs them. You just have to reboot your PC when it’s all over.

13. Uninstall recent software

Steam could be affected by programs you’ve recently installed on your computer. It doesn’t really matter if they’re legitimate or suspicious since software conflicts are unpredictable and usually unavoidable.

Examples include CCleaner, Sandboxie, Process Hacker, Steam idlers, DLL injectors, free antivirus tools, some web browsers, and anything that could affect Steam and Steam game files.

Try to determine when you noticed that Steam is not opening on your computer anymore. If you’ve installed something you shouldn’t have right around that time, then you just have to remove the guilty party.

Here’s how to uninstall recent programs:

  1. Right-click the Windows 10 Start menu and go to Apps and FeaturesWindows 10 shows how to access Apps and Features from the Start right-click menu
  2. Set Sort by to Install dateWindows 10 shows how to sort apps by install date
  3. Select the first app in the list, click Uninstall, and follow the on-screen instructionsWindows 10 shows how to uninstall a program
  4. Restart your computer and try to launch Steam now
  5. If the issue persists, remove the next program on the Apps and Features list by taking into account the install date (newest first)

14. Synchronize your date and time settings

Certain software applications collect diagnostics to troubleshoot any issues you might be experiencing, including your system date and time. And Steam is one of them.

As such, if your Windows date and time settings aren’t correct, Steam might not be able to launch. But you can fix this easily.

  1. Make sure you’re logged in as the administrator
  2. Press Ctrl + R, type control panel, and press EnterWindows 10 shows how to access Control Panel using the Run tool
  3. Locate and click Date and TimeWindows 10 shows how to access date and time settings from Control Panel
  4. Click Change time zoneWindows 10 shows how to change the time zone
  5. Set your correct Time zone, enable Automatically adjust clock for Daylight Saving Time, and press OKWindows 10 shows how to adjust clock for Daylight Saving Time
  6. Switch to the Internet Time tab and click Change settingsWindows 10 shows how to change Internet time settings
  7. Enable Synchronize with an Internet time server, set Server to time.windows.com, click Update now, and press OKWindows 10 shows how to sync your clock with an Internet time server
  8. Click Apply, exit this window, and restart your PC
  9. Try to launch Steam

15. Repair system files

If Windows has corrupt system files, it could be the reason why Steam won’t launch.
But you can troubleshoot this issue without installing any third-party software since Windows has a built-in tool for this purpose: System File Checker (SFC).

  1. Press Ctrl + R, type cmd, then press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to launch Command Prompt with admin rightsWindows 10 shows how to run Command Prompt as admin
  2. Type sfc /scannow and press EnterWindows shows how to run the sfc scannow command in CMD
  3. Wait until the scan is complete. Windows will repair any corrupt files
  4. Reboot your computer and try to open Steam

16. Delete the Steam beta file

Although the beta development stage grants you access to upcoming features, it’s unstable and may cause Steam to stop working properly and even launching. If you joined the Steam beta program in the past, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Use your file explorer to go to C:Program Files (x86)Steampackage. If you installed Steam in another location, enter that one instead
  2. Locate and delete the beta fileWindows Explorer shows how to delete the Steam beta file
  3. Restart your computer
  4. Launch Steam. If you are successful, open the Steam menu and go to SettingsSteam shows how to access the Settings menu
  5. In the Account section, click Change next to Beta participationSteam shows how to change beta settings
  6. Set Beta participation to NONE – Opt out of all beta programsSteam shows how to opt out of beta participation

17. Run a clean boot

You can perform a clean system boot to start Windows using only essential processes, services, and drivers while excluding everything else.

  1. Click the Start menu, type System Configuration, and launch this appWindows 10 shows how to access the System Configuration app from the search menu
  2. Select the Services tab and deselect Hide all Microsoft services, then click Disable allWindows 10 shows how to disable all services
  3. Head over to the Startup tab and click Open Task ManagerWindows 10 shows how to open Task Manager from the System Configuration app
  4. End all currently running tasksTask Manager shows how to end the Steam tasks
  5. Restart your computer and try to open Steam

18. Use the Recovery tool

If you created a system restore point before Steam started acting up, then you can revert Windows to that state.

Before doing so, though, you should back up any essential files to cloud or an external disk because they will no longer be on your computer. Don’t forget about your offline saved games.

  1. Press Ctrl + R, type control panel, and press EnterWindows 10 shows how to access Control Panel using the Run tool
  2. Select RecoveryWindows 10 shows how to access Recovery from Control Panel
  3. Click Open System RestoreWindows 10 shows how to open System Restore
  4. Pick a checkpoint, click Next, and follow the given instructionsWindows 10 shows a couple of system restore points
  5. Restart your machine and try to launch Steam

Conclusion

To recap, if Steam won’t open on your PC, you can try ending all its processes from Task Manager, repairing the Steam service using a simple command, and freeing up disk space on your hard disk.

It’s also a good idea to delete the Steam appcache folder, reinstall Steam, clear the Steam download cache, and remove any unnecessary peripheral devices.

If that doesn’t work either, you can reset your Internet connection, add an exception for Steam in the firewall, update Windows and drivers, as well as uninstall any recent software or faulty Windows updates.

Additionally, you can adjust your time and date settings, repair system files using SFC, delete the Steam beta file, run a clean boot, and use the Windows Recovery tool.

Did any of these solutions did the trick for you? Let us know in the comment section below.

The post Steam Won’t Open: How to FIX Steam Not Opening (18 Possible Solutions) appeared first on TechtricksNg.

Leave a Comment