16 Fixes For Steam Game Won’t Launch

Steam has over 100 million users, who have access to over 30,000 games. As a Steam user, most of us have tried opening the game and waiting for quite some time before we realized that the game hasn’t launched like usual.

This is a confusing situation and can be really annoying when this ruins the start of your gaming experience. The next thing we do is to open the browser and look up what to do. If that is what you did, you should be glad that your search brought you here because we have everything you need to know and do, when your Steam game won’t launch on your computer. 

Solutions To Fix The Steam Game Won’t Launch Issue

There are a number of solutions that can be used to fix it when the Steam game won’t launch on your computer. Some of these procedures are for computers powered by the Windows 10 OS, while a few are for both Windows and macOS devices. 

  1. Reboot Your PC
  2. Take A Look At Your Computer’s Date And Time
  3. End The Steam Game Abruptly And Relaunch It
  4. Change The Game Installation Directory To Another Location 
  5. Install The Available Game And Steam Updates
  6. Check The Game Requirements
  7. Launch The Game With Administrator Privileges
  8. Run The Game In Compatibility Mode With The OS
  9. Download Updates For Your OS
  10. Update Or Roll Back The Drivers
  11. Verify Integrity Of The Steam Game Files
  12. Turn Off Your Third-Party Antivirus Software
  13. Launch The Game In Offline Mode
  14. Delete The ClientRegistry.Blob
  15. Uninstall And Reinstall The Game
  16. Uninstall And Reinstall The Steam Client

What Should I Do When My Steam Game Won’t Launch?

Reboot Your PC

Restarting the computer can help with the removal of temporary files and misconfigured system configurations that can stop the game from launching on your computer. This will flush the system memory and end all unwanted processes that are running and occupying the RAM.

At the same time, existing glitches and bugs will also be repaired. If you do not restart the computer, you can always use the Windows Task Manager (Ctrl + Shift + Esc) to kill all the processes that are causing a spike in CPU usage. 

Windows users can reboot their system through the Power option in the Start menu. If you are a Mac user, you have to click on the Apple icon and select the Restart option. Once the system boots up again, wait for the Steam application to start up and then run the game. 

If the game still does not launch, proceed to the next solution. 

Take A Look At Your Computer’s Date And Time

Updates can alter your system’s date and time. This will cause problems while launching games, especially those that have to connect to the game servers.  

Here is your procedure to set the date and time right on your computer. 

  1. Bring up the Control Panel window and go into the Date and time settings.
  2. Select the Internet Time tab from the window and click on the Change settings option. 
  3. Enable the Synchronize when Internet time server checkbox and select Update now.
  4. Once the time is set to your time zone, click on the OK button to save the changes. 

End The Steam Game Abruptly And Relaunch It

The Game can crash while running and you will be seeing only the frozen screen, mostly displaying the loading screen or the game User Interface (UI). This is the same as the game not launching as you won’t be able to play the game either way.

One well-known procedure we all do, if we see the game not running properly and we cannot interact with the options in it, is to kill the game and try to launch it again. 

For this, we will need the help of the Task Manager. These are the steps to kill the hung game process.

  1. Open the Task Termination window (Ctrl + Alt + Del) and choose the Task Manager option. Alternatively, you can also press the Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys on your keyboard to launch this utility. 
  2. In the Processes tab, locate the game process and select it.
  3. Now, click on the End task button, and the game will be killed immediately.  

After you no longer see the game running, relaunch Steam and run it again to see if it works. 

Change The Game Installation Directory To Another Location

  1. Launch the Steam application and click on the DOWNLOADS option at the bottom of the window. 
  2. Select the small gear icon at the top-right corner of the window. 
  3. In the Downloads Steam Settings window, click on the STEAM LIBRARY FOLDERS button at the top. 
Steam Library Folders option in the Downloads section of the Steam settings
  1. Press the Add library Folder option and navigate to the new location. If you have partitioned your hard drive, make to choose the drive that is different from where the current steam directory is. 
  2. Choose the new location for the games and save this. 
  3. Go to the following directory:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam 

  1. Now, delete everything in this location, except the steamapps and UserData folders. Do not delete exe for Steam too.
  2. Then, move the steamapps folder into the new Steam directory. You do not have to worry about the saved games and the DLCs, all of which will be transferred. 

If there are more than one games that won’t launch, moving existing Steam files to another location for all these games should help.

Install The Available Game And Steam Updates

If there are pending updates for the game, you will not be able to launch it until these updates are downloaded. When you have an update, you will see an UPDATE button, instead of the PLAY button. Even when you try to launch the game through the desktop or task tray Steam shortcut, the Steam client insists on updating the game. 

If the Steam client is outdated, you might not be able to launch Steam games. Even if it doesn’t work for you, it is always a good idea to keep this tool updated. 

To update the Steam application, open it and go into the Steam menu. Here, select Check for Steam Client Updates.

Check for Steam client updates option in the Steam menu

If you have an adequately powerful internet connection, Steam will contact its servers to see if there are available updates and start downloading them. Each update is usually around 300 MB to 500 MB large.

Check The Game Requirements

It is an obvious fact that the game cannot be run on your computer if the device does not meet the minimum requirements. Every game has a minimum demand for its processors, CPU memory, multimedia API, and maybe, graphics cards.

When these are not met, the computer will not be able to run the game. Even if the PC manages to run the game, the output will not be sufficient for smooth gameplay. You will be able to check the requirements on the Store Page of the game. 

If the game cannot be run on your system, you can get a refund if you haven’t played the game for more than 2 hours with a duration of 48 hours of the game being in the Steam library. 

Launch The Game With Administrator Privileges

  1. Go to the game files location, which is the Steam installation folder, and find the executable for the game. The default location of the steam game files is 

C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common

C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common Steam directory in the File Explorer with all the installations of Steam games
  1. Right-click on the application and select the Properties option. 
  2. Move to the Compatibility tab and check the Run this program as Administrator option. 
  3. Click on the Apply and OK buttons to keep these changes. 

The next time you launch the game, you will be shown a prompt window before the game is being opened. 

Run The Game In Compatibility Mode With The OS

  1. Open the game application’s properties, using the steps mentioned in the previous solution. 
  2. Go into the Compatibility tab and click on the ‘Run this program in Compatibility mode for’ checkbox.
  3. From the drop-down menu below, choose an Operating System (OS) version.
  4. Select Apply and then, OK, for this setting to be applied on your computer.

Download Updates For Your OS

  1. If you see the update notification on the right side of the taskbar, click on it. If not, go into the Settings > Updates & Security > Windows Update page.
  2. Now, click on the Check for updates button. Your system will reach out to the Microsoft servers asking for available updates for your system. 
Windows Update page in the Settings
  1. If any updates are detected, click on the Download and Install button, which is placed under the list of updates to be downloaded. If you choose, Update All, the system will automatically download everything that is available for update in the patch. 
  2. Once the updates are completed, restart your PC by selecting the Update and Restart option in the Start menu. This is the step to install the downloaded update on your computer.
  3. Run the game after this installation is complete. If it opens normally, the update should have removed the issue that stopped the game from launching. 

Update Or Roll Back The Drivers

  1. Open the Device Manager window, using any of the three methods. 
  2. Find and expand the Display Adapters category from the list of device types in the Device Manager.
Integrated and Dedicated graphics cards in the Device Manager

Here, you should be able to see two devices – the integrated and dedicated graphics cards.

  1. Right-click on any of the GPU devices and choose the Properties option. You can, also, just double-click on the device to open the Properties window.
  2. In the Drivers tab, you’ll see a number of buttons to modify the driver for this hardware. Among these are the Update driver and Rollback driver buttons.
    1. If you click on the Update driver button, an Update graphics driver window will open. Here, you have to select the Search automatically for updates option to download the graphics card drivers update with no effort. You can also use the interface application to download Graphics Card driver updates.
    2. If the Rollback driver button is chosen, you will be taken to the previous version of the graphics driver’s updates that were installed on your computer.
  3. After either of these steps, it is important to reboot your computer to apply the changes that were just made to the GPU’s software.

Verify Integrity Of The Steam Game Files

If there are missing game files for your Steam games, there is a chance that you will face the Steam games not launching issue on your computer, irrespective of the OS. You can check the files for the installed games

  1. Launch the Steam client on your system.
  2. Open Steam library and locate the game that is not launching and open its context menu by right-clicking on it.
Steam library with purchased games on the left panel and new games events
  1. Choose the Properties option and go into the LOCAL FILES tab. 
  2. At the top of this page, click on the BROWSE button. 
  3. Check the directory, you should be in a sub-folder in the Steam folder. 
  4. Go into the steamapps > common directory and open the folder of the problematic game. 
  5. If the folder does not open, go back to the Steam window and verify the integrity of the game files. Open the Manage menu for the game and choose Properties > LOCAL FILES > Verify integrity of game files
LOCAL FILES tab with the Verify integrity of game files option in the Steam game properties window

This will prompt the client to download the game again. 

Turn Off Your Third-Party Antivirus Software

The third-party antivirus software can be the culprit, regarding the Steam games not launching issue and many other issues. These tools can suspect the game or the game files to be some form of threat to the computer and prevent it from running on your computer. If the number of suspected files is large in number, your only option is to disable the antivirus itself from detecting the issue on your computer. 

For a third-party antivirus, you can disable it through its shortcut in the task tray. The alternate method for this is to open the antivirus and disable it through the settings. The interfaces can differ from antivirus to antivirus. 

Launch The Game In Offline Mode

If you’re playing an offline game or an offline part of the game, there will be no need for an internet connection to access the servers. You can launch the game, with the steam account being in offline mode.

  1. Launch the Steam client and unfold the Steam menu. 
  2. If you see the Go Offline.. Option, click on it. If you don’t, it means that you are already in offline mode. 

Delete The ClientRegistry.Blob

  1. Open the Task Manager window and end all the processes that are associated with the Steam Client Bootstrapper
  2. Then, open the File Explorer (Windows + E) and go to the Steam installation folder. 
  3. Find the ClientRegistry.blob file and rename it to ClientRegistryold.blob.
  4. When you launch Steam again, this file will be created again. Run the Steam game again and 
  5. See if the Steam game won’t launch issue persists. If it has been cleared, go to the Steam folder and run the Steamerrorreporter.exe.
Steam Error Reporter application in the Steam folder
  1. Once this app is running, launch Steam and run the game through the Steam library. 

Uninstall And Reinstall The Game

  1. Open your Steam client and click on the page of the Steam game. 
  2. Bring down the Manage menu (gear icon) and open the Manage option. 
  3. From here, choose the Uninstall option.
Uninstall option in the Manage game menu
  1. In the prompt menu that opens, select Uninstall again. 

Uninstall And Reinstall The Steam Client

  1. Search for the Add or remove programs window on your computer and open it.
  2. Navigate to the Steam application and select it.
  3. Now, click on the Uninstall button to open the Uninstall Steam wizard. 
Uninstall option for the Steam application on Windows 10
  1. Follow the on-screen instructions to remove the client and the files completely. There could be some temporary files left behind after the uninstallation.
  2. To install Steam again, you can download the Steam setup from the Steam website. 

If you still face the Steam games not launching issue on your computer, contact Steam support for other help. Happy Gaming!