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How To Resolve Steam Not Opening Problem

For most PC gamers steam is absolutely invaluable. Unfortunately steam may face some issues just like many of the best software. Understanding how to resolve steam not opening becomes handy at such times for a gamer.

Since its release in 2003, steam has grown into the most popular and used gaming platform available. With over 90 million active monthly users, and more than 34,000 games available, there are no signs of it slowing down.

This growth has no doubt come as a result of the high-quality experienced gamers have on steam. However, there are still a few issues that come up once in a while.

Sometimes steam doesn’t work, or it isn’t running smoothly. It is easy to be distressed when things like that happen. often the solution is just a few clicks away. This article will let you know what you can do if Steam Not Opening on your computer.

Sometimes these issues occur during installations or after you’ve made some system updates, or they just occur spontaneously. This article will walk you through the many possible solutions to steam not opening.

There could be different reasons why steam may fail to open. Some beyond the gamers control and others could be fixed with some quick tips. 

Methods To Resolve Steam Not Opening Problem

1. Use task manager to end steam processes

This is a simple but often effective solution. You can do this by right-clicking on the taskbar or by pressing Ctrl+ Alt+ Del then select task manager.

Steam not working

The processes are usually listed alphabetically, so when you find steam, end-all steam processes and restart the program. This should do the trick. If this doesn’t work restart your computer.

Steam Not Opening

2. Restart Your Computer

This is usually a standard option when software and applications are not working. This is often the quickest method you have to resolve any problems with steam.

How To Resolve Steam Not Opening Problem

Once you have restarted your computer, try opening steam again and you’re likely to see the problem has been resolved. If you’re still having problems with steam one or more of the other possible fixes will come in handy.

3. Check If Steam Is Down

Before smashing at your gadgets and getting frustrated, you should first consider the reality that nothing may be wrong with your gadgets and set up. This could be a huge time and stress saver in comparison to trying out some serious tech fixes.

Simply first check to see if the steam servers are down. This is not totally uncommon as maintenance or certain outage could cause the servers to be down. Using the site Steamstat.us could easily give one an idea of what servers are up or down.

How To Resolve Steam Not Opening Problem

When you’re having problems with steam, it’s natural to try everything you can to fix it. Sometimes the problem isn’t from your end at all.

Checking if steam is down can save you a lot of effort and time. First, check your own internet connection to see if it’s working properly.

If your connections are in order, you can check if steam is down. There are a good number of sites that can tell you if steam is down.

Visit https://downdetector.com/ and enter Steam services to check the status.

Steam Not Opening

Also, note that steam sometimes does routine maintenance and their servers are down during such maintenance.

4. Remove Unnecessary External Devices

Unplug any external devices you don’t need such as extra USB drives, mouse, keyboards. These devices often interfere with the running of steam. After removing the devices, open steam again.

5. Clear the Steam App Cache

You’ve probably noticed that clearing the app cache often works when an app isn’t working smoothly. Doing this could also work with steam.

Usually, the cache helps you launch programs faster, but there maybe be a problem with it that’s making steam not to work. Clearing the cache should fix the problem.

Locate your appcache folder in the Steam directory and delete it. Don’t worry a new cache folder will be created automatically.

Navigate to C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam in your PC and right-click on the Appcache folder and delete it.

How To Resolve Steam Not Opening Problem

6. Run Steam as Administrator

This should be one of your top go-to solutions when steam is having issues. Running steam as administrator helps to ensure that there aren’t any security or permission issues that prevent steam from running or that block certain games in steam from working properly.

To temporarily run as administrator right click on the steam shortcut found in the desktop and select “Run as administrator”.

To run as administrator long term, go to the steam install directory, right-click on the steam executable and click on properties.

Tick the box ” Run this program as administrator ” and click OK. Steam will continue to run as an administrator until you untick the box.

How To Resolve Steam Not Opening Problem

7. Delete Beta Client File

The beta client is more unstable, so this may be the source of the problems you’re having. If you’re currently running the beta client or if you have in the past, deleting the beta folder may remedy the situation.

Go to the Steam installation folder, then to the folder named “package”. Find the file named beta and delete it. If this is the reason why Steam isn’t opening, your problem should be solved.

Steam Not Opening

8. Failed to load SteamUI.dll

This is one of the common problems that steam usually has. This happens when steam fails to find the DLL file it needs for opening. The solution to this is a reversal of the previous method—you trick steam into thinking you are running the beta version of the program.

To do this, go to the installation folder, find steam.exe and right-click on it, and create a shortcut.

Right-click on the shortcut, click Properties then in the target box type -clientbeta  client_candidate to the end of the target directory. Use the shortcut to run stream and it should go smoothly.

How To Resolve Steam Not Opening Problem

9. Turn off Firewalls and Third-Party Antivirus

Sometimes your firewall or antivirus can prevent some applications from opening. If steam is not working check to see if this is the problem. Check to see if a firewall or antivirus is not blocking steam.

If this is the problem, put steam under exceptions. You can even turn off the antivirus while gaming on steam. Something else you should consider is replacing your antivirus with something more compatible with steam, or something less aggressive.

10. Check RAM

The problems you experience with steam may be related to problems with your computer RAM. RAM problems interfere with steam usually during installation.

Additionally, if steam is not working properly, it may be a sign that your RAM is having memory problems or it needs a bigger memory capacity.

Checking your RAM is simple, close any programs you have open, type “mdsched” into the start menu and from the list select Windows Memory Diagnostic.

In the pop up that appears choose to restart now and check for problems. Do not interrupt the computer while it’s running the diagnostics.

How To Resolve Steam Not Opening Problem

Once it is done, type event into the start menu and select Event Viewer.

Next, open the windows log and click once on “system”.

Then right-click on system to bring up a menu and choose “filter current log”.

How To Resolve Steam Not Opening Problem

Next, click on the dropdown menu next to Event Sources and place a checkmark in the box next to “MemoryDiagnostics-Results” then click OK.

How To Resolve Steam Not Opening Problem

Doing all these will return you to the Event Viewer where you would find events listed in the filtered log. Click on  each event and view the information provided.

If there is a problem with the RAM, you’ll have to change the RAM sticks, if not, other solutions in this article will come in handy.

11. Update (or rollback) GPU Drivers

Steam not opening may be caused by issues that arose during a GPU drivers update. To solve this you need to update the drivers.

The update isn’t a complicated affair. You can do it through GeForce Experience or Radeon settings for Nvidea and AMD respectively. Check for updates on the apps and download new drivers.

You can also go to the official Nvidea or AMD pages to track down an old driver and download it.

12. Update windows

The problem of steam not opening may be fixed after a windows update. A faulty update may cause issues and a more recent update will fix those problems.

To update click on the settings icon in the start menu. Choose updates and security in the settings window. Select windows update from the list that appears. Click on “check for updates” found under updates status. When updates are installed, restart your computer.

13. Nothing Happens When You Try to Open Steam

If nothing happens when you try to open steam, it may be because steam split up into separate processes, and the process that that deals with showing the user interface hasn’t opened.

Steam splits into separate processes to make your computer run smoothly. So sometimes stream actually runs on the computer without appearing on the screen.

If this happens hit Ctrl+Shift+Esc. Click more details in the task manager, right-click all steam processes you see, and click “End Task””.

Once all steam processes are ended, try opening steam again. This should solve the problem.

14. Uninstall and Reinstall

If you’ve tried every possible trick and steam is still misbehaving, you will have to uninstall and reinstall steam. You are probably dreading this because you may lose your preferences and games.

There is a way to reinstall without losing your preferences and games. In the steam installation folder delete everything except Steam.exe, steamapps and userdata. Then double click steam.exe and wait for it to reinstall.

To reinstall steam in a different location on your computer, what you have to do is move the files you did not delete to the desired location.


Steam has a wide variety of games. Having interruptions in your gaming because steam is not working is frustrating. Now you know what to do when steam is not working.