Steam does not start on Windows 10/11: what to do and how to fix it?


Steam does not start on Windows 10/11: what to do and how to fix it?

Steam is the largest gaming platform in the world, with a number of advantages and disadvantages. It is not uncommon for users to encounter various errors and crashes when launching an application. In this guide, we will describe all possible causes and solutions.

Steam is running but won't open. How to force quit a process running in the background?

Sometimes, after launching an application, you do not see the active window, but the program may continue to work in the background. If this happens, restarting Steam from the desktop or taskbar shortcut will do nothing. In this case, you should forcefully terminate the "steam.exe" process using the "Task Manager":

  1. Press the key combination "Ctrl+Alt+Delete" or "Ctrl+Shift+Escape" . In the first case, select "Task Manager".
  2. Click the "Details" button.
  3. Go to the "Details" tab.
  4. In the list of processes, look for "steam.exe" (ignore other processes with a program icon). Right-click and select End Task.

You can also use a special command to terminate the respective processes. Open Search and paste the following text:

  • taskkill /f /IM steam.exe
Press Enter. If the Steam client was running in the background, then all processes will be terminated after that. Try reopening the app.

Windows update and PC restart

Not always fresh updates of the operating system allow you to solve problems with the launch of various applications. On the contrary, often such actions can only aggravate the situation. However, we recommend checking for Windows updates. If this does not help, try restoring the previous build of the OS.

How to Check for Windows Updates

  1. Open "Start" - "Settings" .
  2. Click on the section "Update and security".
  3. Click on the "Check for Updates" button.
  4. You can also track down optional Windows fixes here. They also need to be downloaded.
  5. Launch the Steam client.

How to reset your computer

  1. Open Search on the taskbar. Type "Reset your computer" or "recovery" without the quotes.
  2. In the window that opens, click "Start".
  3. After recovery, the system will reboot.
  4. Launch the Steam client.

Antivirus blocks Steam. What to do?

Often, antivirus programs such as McAffe, NOD32, Norton Firewall, and Kaspersky AV identify Steam as a threat and block it from running. To solve this problem, it is enough to disable protection for a while.

Running Steam as Administrator

Try running Steam as an administrator. This is an effective way that has helped most users.

  1. Find the shortcut on your desktop or taskbar.
  2. Right-click and select "Run as administrator".
You can also set this feature as default. Do the following:

  1. Right-click on the Steam icon on your desktop.
  2. Select "Properties".
  3. Click File Location.
  4. The root folder with the installed program will open. Here, look for "Steam.exe".
  5. Right-click and also click "Properties".
  6. Go to the "Compatibility" tab.
  7. Check the box next to "Run this program as an administrator". Click "OK" to save changes.

Reinstalling Steam

In some cases, reinstalling Steam will help resolve problems launching the application. Before doing this, you can create a backup copy of the games, but this is not necessary. Even after uninstalling the program, all installed applications will be located in the folder you specified. By default, the path to them is "Drive:\Program Files\Steam\steamapps\common".

How to back up games if Steam won't start

  1. Go to the root folder with the client and copy the project files to any location on your hard drive.
  2. Delete Steam.

How to get downloaded games back on Steam after reinstalling the app

After reinstalling, the Steam client may not detect previously downloaded games in the "common" folder. In this case, the client offers to re-download the application or program. We have prepared several solutions.

First way

  1. Move the backup copy of the games to the common folder along the path "Drive:\Program Files\Steam\steamapps\common".
  2. If there is no "common" folder in the "steamapps" directory, you should create it.
  3. You can also create this folder using the Steam client. Open the app and start downloading any game or program. Cancel the action after a few seconds.
  4. Find the game you downloaded earlier in the Steam Library.
  5. Click "Install".

If you did everything right, the client will detect the actual folder and try to check it. After a while, it will download the missing files and you will be able to run the application.

Second way

Sometimes the previous method may not work. In this case, after reinstalling the client, you will have to create a new folder for the Steam library and place the downloaded games in it.

  1. Open Steam.
  2. Click on the inscription Steam in the upper left corner.
  3. Select "Settings".
  4. Go to the Downloads tab and click on the Steam Library Folders button.
  5. Next to the default storage, click the "+" and place the folder on a different drive.
  6. Don't forget to create a "common" directory in the selected folder.
  7. Place pre-downloaded games here.
  8. Select the desired application in the Steam Library and click Install.

As in the previous case, the client will start checking the game and download the missing files.

Steam files are corrupted. How to fix Failed to load steam.dll, Timeout expired, Fatal Error, and more

Often, the problem with starting Steam can be related to corrupted program files. In this case, when you open the application, you will definitely see the corresponding error.

Failed to load steam.dll

  1. Open the root folder with the client - "Drive:\Program Files\Steam".
  2. Find the file "Steam.dll".
  3. Delete it using the keyboard shortcut "Shift + Delete" or empty the Trash after normal deletion.
  4. Launch Steam.

With the opening of the program, the client will check for missing files and download them again.

If this method doesn't work, try one of the following:

  • goog_1598619916Delete the contents from the client folder except for the files "steam.exe" and "ssfn ..." ;
  • Reinstall Steam;
  • Completely remove the client with registry cleaning (in this case, you will need the help of special programs, for example, CCleaner);
  • Run "steam.exe" with options "-clientbeta client_candidate" without quotes. To do this, open the properties of the shortcut and paste them into the "Object" line separated by a space.

As a last resort, if none of the methods helped, try reinstalling the Windows operating system.

Timeout expired

There are several ways to resolve this error. Below we describe each of them in detail.

First way

  1. Hold down the keys "Win + R".
  2. In the Run window, type "msconfig" without the quotes.
  3. The System Configuration will open. Here go to the Services tab.
  4. Check the box next to the line "Do not display Microsoft services".
  5. Click on "Turn off all" and restart your PC.

Second way

If the previous method did not work, but the Steam client started, try the following steps:

  1. Open Steam and go to Settings.
  2. Click on the "Downloads" section.
  3. Click Clear Download Cache.
  4. Change the download region to whatever you want.
  5. Click OK and restart the client.

Third way

  1. Find the program shortcut, right-click on it and select " Properties".
  2. In the "Object" line, insert the "-tcp" parameter separated by a space without quotes.
  3. Start the client. This will require administrator rights.
FATAL ERROR: Failed to Connect with Local Steam Client Process

The reasons for this problem may be different. In most cases, this is due to damage to the files of the client or an individual game. To fix the error, try one of the following:

  • Run the client as administrator;
  • Log out of your account and log in again;
  • Delete the "appcache" folder in the Steam directory;
  • Reinstall Steam.
If a similar error occurs when starting the game, check the integrity of the files. To do this, select the project in the library, right-click on it, and open " Properties" - "Local Files". Click "Verify Integrity of Game Files".

You can also try reinstalling the game.

Steam needs to be online to update

Many users report that this error occurs even with a stable Internet connection.

Run the Steam client in compatibility mode

Click on the application shortcut and select "Properties". Click File Location.

Find the file "steam.exe" and also open "Properties". Go to the "Compatibility" tab. Check the box next to "Run this program in compatibility mode for:" and select one of the available OS versions. We recommend starting with Windows 8.

Disable Windows Defender Firewall

Open "Search" on the taskbar and type "Windows Defender Firewall".

Check the "Turn off Windows Defender Firewall" checkboxes for all kinds of networks.

Steam blocking in the "hosts" file

In the "hosts" file, as a rule, any changes are made that block the launch of Steam:

  1. Run the Notepad app as an administrator.
  2. In the upper left corner, click "File" - "Open" and navigate to the path "Drive:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc".
  3. Above the Open button, select All Files.
  4. Open the "hosts" file.

Here you will see the strings "# localhost" and "#::1 localhost" without quotes. Delete all entries below these values.

If the previous step did not help, then insert the following parameters after the above lines:


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