Steam Not Opening? Here Are Some Fixes

Written by Muqadas Wattoo | Published on February 12, 2019

Majority of Steam users complain that Steam won’t open on Windows 10. This issue is extremely annoying. Either the program closes automatically after a few seconds or nothing actually happens upon opening the client. There can be a number of reasons behind the Steam, not opening, such as intervention from some software, unclosed Steam processes and a lot more.

Moreover, whatever the reason is it can be really frustrating. If the Steam won’t open, you won’t be able to play games thus wanting an immediate solution. But don’t worry, this problem can be fixed. You are in the right place; this article will help you find some great solutions that have already helped several Steam users. Let’s take a look at them.

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End the process and re-launch

When the Steam game won’t launch try out this quick and easy fix. To be honest it is one of the simplest methods. This issue is encountered by most of the Steam users. Users try their best to launch Steam but no luck. They cannot see the Steam client running in the task manager

If you are facing the same problem then follow these steps:

  1. Press Alt + Ctrl + Del, you will be led to the task manager
  2. Look for the Processes tab
  3. Search for ‘Steam Client Bootstrapper’
  4. Right click on it
  5. Click on ‘End task’
  6. Re-launch Steam
  7. It will start looking for any updates

Clear cached data

If your Steam won’t launch then simply clear the cached data. As cached content is present in a browser, so is the cached data present in Steam as well. And mostly its cached download data. You just have to press Windows + R in order to clear the cache, you will get to see a run dialogue box and all you have to do is type the command ‘Steam://flushconfig’.

One thing you need to make sure is, look if there are any halfway downloaded games or software. Because if they are present, on clearing the cache you are going to lose them and have to re-download again

Obviously, you won’t be able to launch Steam, in order to check what was downloaded go to Steam present in the Steamapps. The next step is to right click on the folder called downloading, go to its properties and check for the folder size. Empty folder means that there are no paused downloads, however, if there is a certain file size such as 8 Gigs then that means there is a download that needs to get finished. After clearing the cache you can easily back up and copy that folder back.

Re-install Steam

If your steam won’t open then you might need to re-install the steam client to ensure there are no issues while launching it again. You will definitely lose all of the data and your favorite games as soon as you uninstall the Steam client.

If you don’t want to lose your games it’s better to back them up. In order to do so, you have to open the Steam library folder on your PC after that make a copy of Steamapps folder in any other location. Now after re-installing the Steam, all you have to do is replace the latest Steamapps folder with the older one, the one you kept as a backup.

Close all the Steam tasks in the background

If your Steam game won’t launch then you must try this method. There are times when you think your Steam client has been shut down but in reality, this is not the case. Some of its processes are still active and running in the background. Moreover, when you try to launch Steam any time later, the operating system gets confused and declines to launch the client as it thinks the similar processes are already running.

Under such circumstance, the Steam won’t open for sure. So to solve this issue, open your Stream client and end all task in Task Manager. To do these follow these steps.

  1. on the taskbar right-click anywhere on the empty space
  2. Click on Start Task Manage
  3. All running Steam tasks should be ended to do so right click on the task and then click End Task
  4. Launch the Steam client

Restart your computer

At times your operating system has these small issues with certain processes and programs thus stopping your Steam client from working or opening. Or maybe your Steam won’t open due to the interference of the cache of your PC with the client. These issues can be solved by simply restarting your computer. After that, you can see if your Steam will open now.

Restart your network devices

Sometimes your Steam won’t open due to really weak network status. There are certain problems with your network devices such as your router or modem. Furthermore, this can create issues for your Steam client without even you being able to notice it. To prevent this from happening it’s better to restart your network devices once in a while so you put them back to a normal state. To do so follow these steps:

  1. Turn off your computer
  2. Shut down your modem and router
  3. All the cables from your modem and router need to be unplugged
  4. Wait for a few minutes
  5. Plug back the cables
  6. Start the modem and router
  7. Wait until they are completely on
  8. Start your computer and check whether the problem is resolved

Update your operating system and drivers

Your Steam won’t launch at times maybe because your drivers and operating system are outdated. You can check if the problem goes away by updating your drivers and operating system. If you want to update your operating system then follow these steps:

  1. There is a start button on the lower left corner of your screen, simply click that button
  2. Now type ‘update’ and check for any updates available
  3. Windows will start to check for any updates, it will let you know if your system requires any updates.
  4. If there are any updates, download and install them
  5. See if the problem is resolved by checking your Steam client

As compared to the operating system, updating the driver is much tougher. There are more steps involved and of course, you need more computer skills for it. However, if you lack both time and skills then you can do it quickly and easily with the help of Driver Easy. It will do everything automatically.

Furthermore, Driver Easy works by automatically detecting your system and recognizing the right drivers for it. For this, you don’t need to know about the system your computer is running which means you won’t end up downloading and installing the incorrect driver. In short, it will prevent you from making any installation mistakes.

Temporarily disable your antivirus software

Sometimes your Steam game won’t launch due to certain interference from the antivirus software. What you can do is, temporarily disable the antivirus and look if the problem is resolved or not. You can consult the documentation of the antivirus program for instructions regarding the disabling process.

Restore your computer from a restore point

If your Steam won’t open, there are chances that the problem is caused by any new settings you have done, switched on any new feature or installed some program. These changes you made can cause problems to your Steam client. All you need to do is undo the changes and then see if the problem is fixed.

There is a feature known as System Restore, you can use it to restore your system back to the old form. However, for this to happen you need to have a restore point made before the problem actually takes place. This will allow you to fix the problem by simply undoing the recent changes. You can do this in the following steps:

  1. Click on the Start button on the lower left of your screen
  2. Now type recovery
  3. Click on the Recovery option
  4. By clicking on the Open System Restore option you will see the System Restore wizard
  5. Follow the instruction mentioned on the wizard
  6. This will help you restore from a system restore point
  7. Wait for the process to end
  8. Open your Steam client and see if the problem is fixed

Clear the app cache

Clear the app cache whenever your Steam won’t open. The Steam directory holds the app cache folder. This folder contains data about your setup and Steam apps. The best thing about it is that it stores tiniest details every time you open your Steam. The reason behind remembering small details is so that when the next time you open Steam, everything works faster. However, you should know that something can go wrong with the cache as well. The reason behind your Steam, not opening can be that the cache misremembers certain things.

Moreover, you can fix this problem by simply deleting the “appcache’’ folder. You don’t have to worry about deleting it as the next time you open your Steam it will be recreated. Follow the steps mentioned below:

  1. Go to the Steam directory
  2. Copy paste the appcache folder to somewhere safe
  3. After that, you can delete the appcache folder from the Steam directory
  4. Now start Steam again
  5. If it works, you can now delete the original backed-up appcache folder because a new one will be created

Check whether the Steam server is down

Whenever our Steam won’t open we often get so frustrated that we start to look for high-end techy solutions to our little problems. But that should not be done. The first and the foremost thing you should do is look if the Server is down, any issue can cause an outrage, even when maintenance is going on the problem can occur then as well.

The best site to take help is from Steamstat.us, it is known for giving reliable and detailed information regarding server loads, why the server is down etc. Visit this site to check whether there is an issue with your regional server. If there is a problem in the regional server, be patient and wait. If not then keep on reading.

Steam runs well because it is divided into a number of processes on your computer. There are times when you try to open Steam it may cause a tiny error thus resulting in Steam not appearing on your desktop. Nothing happens when you try to open it. The reason behind this can be that the Steam process has started but the element that shows the Steam on your desktop hasn’t started yet. To solve this problem follow the steps mentioned below:

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc
  2. Click on More details in the Task Manager
  3. Scroll down and look for Steam
  4. Right click on Steam processes
  5. Click on End task

Now try opening Steam again, see if it works.

Remove unnecessary external devices

If you think your Steam won’t open try unplugging your external devices for once. External devices such as a mouse, USB, extra keyboards, printers, monitors etc can often interfere with your Steam. Before trying to open the Steam you better unplug these devices.

Update Windows

One of the quickest fix to this issue is to update your Windows 10. Check if your Windows are outdated if so update them. Even at times, a faulty update can cause issues for the Steam client. The most recent update can easily resolve this problem. Following steps will help you update Windows 10:

  1. Go to the Start Menu on the lower left of your screen
  2. Click on the Settings
  3. Now select Update and Security from the Settings window
  4. On the right choose Windows Update
  5. Now click Check for updates present on the left *it could be found under Update status*
  6. After updates are installed restart the computer