12 Fixes For Steam Keeps Crashing

Gaming enthusiasts and Steam client users worldwide have constantly reported a persistent issue where Steam keeps crashing while launching a steam game or being engaged in a heated PvP moment in a real-time match.

Another problem occurs where Steam keeps crashing due to a generic error in the Steam client’s system files, and therefore the save files might get deleted.

Steam logo - Steam keeps crashing on your system error

Getting such random game crashes ruins your mood, makes you devasted and frustrated, and wastes your time while having to replay the mission again. You can restart steam client, contact application support, and explore many other troubleshooting techniques.

Still, our comprehensive list of possible fixes prevents further steam client crashing errors and ensures a smoother and satisfying gameplay experience. But first, let us explore why Steam keeps crashing in the first place.

Why does the Steam app keeps crashing when I launch a game?

The Steam client acts as a digital storefront and launchpad for Steam games, where we can buy PC games developed by prominent companies at a low price owing to random sales and festival deals.

The Steam client also helps us communicate with our steam friends, capture spontaneous gaming moments through the in-game overlay, develop our gaming profile, and support modern VR gaming.

Steam client has stopped working dialog box in Windows

Although the Steam client is well-known in the gaming community, it has started to monopolize PC gaming in the Windows platform and becoming notorious for random game crashes and Steam being unresponsive.

Steam keeps crashing when launching games for different reasons, such as a slow server, poor network connection filesystem issue with the client files attached to the user profile, inability to meet system requirements, etc.

The reasons can be many, but most of the time, a simple solution such as restarting the system or reconnecting the WiFi can fix the issue. We are here to guide you in making simple steps and exploring which solution works for you. Make sure to go through each of them, and without further ado, let us dive into these detailed Steam client fixing solutions.

Solutions to Fix Steam keeps crashing issue

  1. Delete ClientRegistry.blob to reset Steam Client
  2. Verify the integrity of your Steam game files
  3. Deleting the AppCache Folder of Steam Games
  4. Launch Steam after Booting into Safe Mode with Networking
  5. Add the Steam client to the exception list of your third-party antivirus application
  6. Launch Steam Using Administrator Access (Run as Administrator Method)
  7. Execute the Program Compatibility Troubleshooter through Control Panel
  8. Reset The Network Adapter
  9. Update The Graphics Driver To The Latest Version
  10. Leaving The Beta Participation Program
  11. Update Your Windows To The Latest Version Through Windows Update
  12. Reinstall The Steam Client: Uninstall And Install

The given application support solutions underneath range from simple to advanced in terms of their execution difficulties. But don’t worry, for we have tried our best to break down the challenging steps and provide a seamless fluent flow of instructions. So let us begin with the most basic fix to prevent Steam crashing issue:

Fix 1: Delete ClientRegistry.blob to reset Steam Client

In essence, the ClientRegistry.blob file, which can be found at the root of your Steam folder, is a binary/cache file used to store specific user preferences and other configuration codes necessary to maintain a proper connection between the local machine and Steam servers.

Over a quarter of all Steam client-related issues are caused by this particular file when it goes corrupted or missing in this folder. Fortunately, we’ll guide you through the process of rectifying the situation.

Please keep in mind that if you restart Steam after applying this solution, it will request your login id and password again. If you don’t have your credentials on hand, you shouldn’t proceed with this option.

Furthermore, your previously stored progress and in-game stuff will NOT be lost throughout this process because these achievements are saved on Steam’s cloud storage, and it is fair to believe that removing ClientRegistry.blob will not result in any issues for you or Steam in the future. Take the actions outlined below to complete the process.

  • Exit from the Steam client entirely (by right-clicking the Steam icon in the Windows taskbar and clicking Exit), and close any Steam games running in the background.
Exit option in the Windows settings
  • Navigate to the root installation directory of your Steam client in the primary hard drive. The default folder path is C:\Program Files\Steam.
  • Find the ClientRegistry.blob file from among the list of Steam configuration files. If you cannot find it, use the Windows search option.
Rename option for client registry
  • After finding it, rename the file to ClientRegistryOld.blob
ClientRegistry_OLD.blob renaming
  • You can also delete it, but we do not recommend it as Steam might fail to restart afterward.
  • Launch Steam client from the desktop to restart Steam, and type in your credentials to create a new configuration file.
Steam Login dialog box

Hope the resetting of the game files method fixed other Steam game crashing issues, and the client runs as expected.

Fix 2: Verify the integrity of your Steam game files

The given fix is beneficial in precarious situations where the Steam game keeps crashing while playing any mission or doing worldwide explorations. The position where we might get this issue is random, and the fault lies in the Steam game’s cache rather than the Steam client files.

The cache for Steam games comprises important chunky files, folders, executables, and DLLs that help the game’s proper functioning.

The game file’s integrity verification generally matches the checksums of the game cache files on the hard drive, with the checksums recorded during their initial download.

If any checksum mismatch error is present, the Steam client automatically initiates the download of the corrupted file and replaces them with the newly-downloaded file.

Therefore, let us show you how to perform an integrity check of Steam game cache files:

  • Firstly, restart your computer and launch Steam after the system boots up.
  • After the Steam client checks for updates, navigate to your Steam LIBRARY, and right-click on the game that requires this troubleshooting technique.
Steam Library tab
  • From the drop-down menu that pops up after the right-click, click on Properties…
Properties option for a Steam game
  • Click on the Local Files category from the left tab, and click on the button to Verify the integrity of game files…
Verify integrity of game files in the Steam settings
  • The process might take several minutes or a few hours to perform the rigorous checking process, and the time varies depending on the condition of your hard drive and internet connection.
Steam files validation process
  • After the process completes, press the CLOSE button to exit the Steam client.
  • Verify if the steam game still keeps crashing by running it from its desktop icon.

Fix 3: Deleting the AppCache Folder of Steam Games

The AppCache folder is a cache allocated specifically to store temporary files contributing to Steam games inside the hard drive for their fast retrieval while playing them. Quintessentially, the AppCache folder is designed to boost the performance of games by reducing the loading times for game shaders and main game files.

But in over 90 percent of cases reported by gaming enthusiasts, deleting the AppCache folder has proven helpful in removing prior critical bugs pertaining to the Steam client and increasing the initial startup times. This particular solution performs a “soft reset” to the pre-installed games and prevents Steam games from crashing further.

Keep in mind that when you clear the download cache, any modifications you have installed for your games will be removed as well. These mods are stored as part of the Steam download cache inside the AppCache folder.

Before erasing the cache, please make a backup of your customizations and relocate them someplace else. If you don’t transfer the mods to somewhere separate, you’ll have to download and re-install the mods again after you perform this operation. 

When you’re ready to remove your Steam download cache, follow the instructions below:

  • Browse to the folder where the Steam client is installed. Its default directory location is C:\Program Files\Steam.
Steam directory in the Program Files (x86) folder
  • If you had specified a custom location during Steam installation, go to that destination instead.
  • Search for a distinct folder called AppCache. You can either move the folder to a different location (by using the shortcut key combinations Ctrl+X and Ctrl+V) so that Steam Client cannot find it, or you can permanently delete the folder and send it to the Recycle Bin.
Context menu for the appcache folder
  • Restart your Windows OS, and open the Steam client in administrator mode by right-clicking its icon and selecting Run as administrator.
Run as administrator option for the Steam application

Follow the other solutions below if this solution fails to fix the Steam keeps crashing issue.

Fix 4: Launch Steam after Booting into Safe Mode with Networking

Safe Mode is a unique diagnostic environment prevalent in every Windows version, where almost every third-party application and service belonging to them are restricted and not started after getting into the boot system.

This mode provides an isolated platform that can help troubleshoot and fix critical problems regarding the Steam client or any other application. Therefore, we can pinpoint the problem and fix it completely in Safe Mode with Networking.

If the Steam client in your system launches perfectly in this mode without any crashing issue, it implies that Steam is in conflict with some third-party software or service. We can disable or uninstall these conflicting applications until the problem gets resolved.

Restarting your Windows System in Safe Mode does not pose any threat to your system’s existing files, and we can return from Safe Mode without any data loss. Follow the steps below to boot into Safe Mode with Networking:

  • Open the Start Menu by pressing the ⊞ Win key. Click on the Power button.
  • Hold down the Shift key, and click on the Restart option.
Restart option in the Start menu power section
  • After the device restarts, you will be presented with a blue screen with 3 options. Click on the Troubleshoot option.
Troubleshoot option in the Advanced Startup menu
  • On the subsequent screens after click the options in this order: Advanced Options -> Startup Settings -> Restart.
  • After the system restarts again, press 5 or F5 to confirm your choice of booting into the Safe Mode with Networking.
Enable Safe Mode with Networking issue on Startup Settings window
  • Windows 10 starts in low graphics mode with a black desktop screen. Connect to the internet, and launch the Steam client. If the issue of Steam keeps crashing in Windows 10 is not occurring, the antivirus software or other third-party application is interfering. We have included procedures to disable the interfering software in the fixes given below.
Windows booted up in Safe Mode

If this solution doesn’t solve your Steam issue, follow the steps below.

Fix 5: Add the Steam client to the exception list of your third-party antivirus application:

According to the method above, if Steam worked adequately for you in the Safe Mode, some third-party software affects its proper functioning. More often than not, this third-party application might be an antivirus application trying to block the Steam client from accessing the Internet entirely.

The Steam client consumes a hefty portion of CPU, RAM, and graphics card VRAM while running Steam games, so the antivirus software might flag Steam as a potential threat to the device such as ransomware or crypto miner, and in turn, block its access to the internet and computer resources.

Therefore, to prevent Steam from crashing further, we must add Steam to the exception list of your antivirus software. Consult the antivirus documentation for the relevant process of adding software as an exception. We will include the process of adding Steam as an exception in Kaspersky Antivirus as an example:

  • Open the Kaspersky Internet Security software from the Windows desktop or Start menu.
  • Open the antivirus settings page, and choose the Additionals option from the left pane. Click on the Threats and Exclusions settings button.
Threats and Exclusions tab in the Kaspersky additional settings
  • Click Manage exclusions or Specify trusted applications to either add a fail or folder (in the form of a pathname) or software to the exclusion list. In this case, we will add Steam as a trusted application. Click the option and search for Steam among the installed applications. Select it, and click OK to confirm.
Manage exclusions tab in the Threats settings
  • Close the Kaspersky window, and restart your PC.
  • Restart Steam to see if the issue is fixed.

Other popular antiviruses, such as Windows Defender, Norton Symantec Endpoint, ESET Internet Security follow the same protocol for making software exclusions. If the method doesn’t work, try the Administrator method below.

Fix 6: Launch Steam Using Administrator Access (Run as Administrator Method)

Steam is a platform that needs necessary permission to read and write data consistently on the hard drives on which it is installed to function correctly. It may also be required to make changes to the system files in the most optimized way possible.

Such permissions are only available through Administrator privileges. If Steam does not have administrator privileges, it may get stuck, and the Steam client might keep crashing forever.

When Steam is first installed, it does not have administrator privileges by default. You may provide it with the permissions by following the procedures outlined below:

  • Open the Windows Explorer, and navigate to the directory where you have installed the Steam Client. If you don’t know where it is installed, the default location is C:\Program Files\Steam.
  • Once you reach the Steam directory, find an executable file called Steam.exe. This is the program used for running the Steam client.
  • Right-click on Steam.exe and click on Properties from the options in the context menu.
Properties tab for the Steam application
  • Among the upper tabs in the newly opened window, click on Compatibility.
  • On the lower side of the window, a checkbox is listed with the option ”Run this program as an administrator.” Make sure that the checkbox is tick-marked.
  • Click on Apply, and then tap OK.
  • Now find another file called GameOverlayUI.exe. Right-click on this file, and click on Properties. Move again to the Compatibility tab, and tick-mark the checkbox saying “Run this program as an administrator.”
  • Again, click on Apply, and press OK.
  • Restart your computer to make finalizations to all the changes recently applied. Launch steam after turning on the system to see if the crashing issue has been fixed. If not, proceed to the next solution.

If you still experience Steam keeps crashing when downloading issues even now, then follow the steps below.

Fix 7: Execute the Program Compatibility Troubleshooter through Control Panel

Compatibility mode is a built-in feature of the Windows operating system that enables the comfortable operation of older applications on newer platforms. Additionally, we may utilize this capability to prevent situations where the Steam client keeps crashing on startup in Windows 10.

Compatibility mode is a feature that enables older applications to operate on newer operating system versions, such as running software for Windows XP, Vista on Windows 10.

Users may identify and resolve compatibility problems with some late programs or applications that do not perform appropriately with more recent versions of the Windows operating system by altering their compatibility mode settings.

The Program Compatibility Troubleshooter provides a straightforward troubleshooting technique to pinpoint the exact reason for constant Steam crashes. Follow the steps below to run this troubleshooter:

  • Right-click on the shortcut of the Steam client on the desktop, and click on Properties.
  • Navigate to the Compatibility tab among the upper layer, and click on the Run compatibility troubleshooter button.
Run compatibility troubleshooter button
  • In the Program Compatibility Troubleshooter window, click on Try recommended setting to launch a test run of Steam using suggested compatibility settings. Follow the given instruction on the subsequent screens to perform the test.
Try recommended settings option in the compatibility troubleshooter
  • Relaunch Steam to see if the Steam client keeps crashing Windows 10 issue persists. If it does, rerun the Compatibility Troubleshooter, and this time, select the second option called Troubleshoot program.
  • Otherwise, you can adjust different parameters manually under the Compatibility tab, such as Compatibility Mode, Disable fullscreen optimizations, and Run this program as an administrator. Use various combinations to find which one works best to prevent Steam games from crashing.
Steam client properties window

Working with the Program Compatibility Troubleshooter requires patience and the will to keep trying to fix Steam through it. Although in most of the cases, if this troubleshooting technique fails to be a proper solution for Steam keeps crashing Windows 10 issue, proceed with the solutions below.

Fix 8: Reset the Network Adapter

The network adapter is the primary component in your computer that interfaces with the rest of the system and the operating system. While network adapters function in unison with the rest of your drivers, they can encounter errors or have incorrect configuration settings.

The Network adapter also plays a crucial role in the arena of Steam because it controls and looks over the data flow between the Steam client and the Internet.

Without the Internet, the Steam client wouldn’t get downloadable data to update itself or the games installed through it. In most of the cases reported by PC gamers, it was found out that the network adapter and incorrect network settings were the main culprits for creating Steam game keeps crashing on startup issues, as they weren’t able to connect to their own servers (in the case of online multiplayer games) due to erroneous or corrupt configuration set.

It is a good maintenance habit to reset your network adapter if any problem arises and makes your Internet connection faster. So let us see how to perform this reset:

  • Close the Steam client by shutting all the Steam-related processes and games through the Processes section in your Task Manager.
Windows Task Manager with the active Steam applications
  • Open the Run dialog box by pressing the shortcut key ⊞ Win + R, and inside the blank field, type cmd, hold down the Shift button and click on the OK  button.
cmd command for the Run tool
  • The Command prompt will open up with administrator privileges, as this process will require them. If you do not have the permissions, contact your local administrator regarding the problem.
  • Type the following command inside the command prompt: netsh winsock reset
  • After the reset procedure, your Internet will show as disconnected for some time, then become connected again. Restart your computer and launch Steam to check the results.

If the Network adapter solution doesn’t fix the issue of Steam keeps crashing when downloading, follow the solution below to update your graphics driver.

Fix 9: Update the graphics driver to the latest version

Drivers are software component that facilitates the proper connection between different hardware elements connected to the device and the operating system. In other words, drivers provide a status report of the device (connected or unconnected), configuration settings, and requirement list to the operating system.

Without proper latest drivers, the hardware devices will not interact with the users and thereby cannot provide full service to the software applications for their adequate utility.

Steam might stop working due to driver issues because Steam keeps itself updated automatically with the latest drivers, and if the same driver version is not found inside the system, Steam might refuse to work further. Mostly Steam checks for the version of the driver installed for the graphics card, so we will list some steps to update the graphics driver:

  • Press the shortcut combination  ⊞ Win + R to open the Run dialog box.
  • In the search bar, type devmgmt.msc and hold down the Shift button, and press OK to open the Device Manager with administrator privileges.
Device Manager command in the Run tool
  • The Device Manager contains the drivers for all the hardware components present in the device.
  • Find the category called Display Adapters and click to expand it. If your device contains a dedicated graphics card, there will be 2 entries under it. Otherwise, there will be just one driver for the integrated graphics component.
Display Adapters section in the Device Manager
  • Right-click on the dedicated graphics driver (Nvidia or AMD), and click on the option to Update driver.
  • Another window pops up asking if you want to search automatically for updates on the Internet using the Windows Update or manually apply updates using offline files. Click on the first option.
Search automatically for drivers option in Update driver wizard
  • If new drivers are present, Windows will automatically download and install them simultaneously; else, the window will show that the best drivers are already installed on your device.
  • Close the window after completion, and launch Steam after restarting the device.

If the above System Driver solution didn’t work for you, follow the subsequent solutions.

Fix 10: Leaving the beta participation program

Steam had introduced the beta participation program to enable game testers and developers to get access to new juicy features without having to wait for them. The beta program was not available for a select number of people, and anyone had the opportunity to participate in them.

So developers from every corner of the world had experienced and reported problems to the steam community when they came up.

But the real trouble came when the beta testers said that numerous issues of the steam client crashing or closing unexpectedly occurred in the early access versions of Steam.

Therefore, the steam community urged them to leave the beta participation program and stick with the lower and stable versions of the Steam client. So let us see how to remove yourself from the beta program and get the regular version:

  • If the Steam client is opening, head over to the app, click on Steam on the top left corner of the window and press Settings.
  • Move to the Account section in the Settings window from the left pane. Find the Beta Participation category, and click on the Change… bar.
Account tab in the Steam settings
  • Open the drop-down menu and select NONE – Opt out of all beta programs. Click on OK to confirm your actions.
Beta Participation tab in the Steam settings
  • Steam will automatically downgrade itself to its stable version. The crashing issues will be fixed after this.

Follow the next step if you cannot open Steam to change its settings.

Fix 11: Update your Windows to the latest version through Windows Update

The Steam Client might keep crashing indefinitely if your Windows version is not the latest one. Updating Windows resets your previous preferences and fixes most of the issues connected with software installations in Windows. Updating your Windows might help fix the Steam issues, so let us see how to update Windows.

  • Open the Start Menu by pressing the Windows logo key on the keyboard (⊞ Win), type update on the Windows search bar, and click on the Check for Updates option that appears at the top.
Check for updates search result
  • Click Check for Updates to search for updates, download them, and install them in Windows automatically.
Check for updates option in the Windows Update section
  • Restart the computer to apply updates, and relaunch Steam to see if it is fixed.

If none of the above solutions worked for you, the next one would surely help you fix Steam crashing issues.

Fix 12: Reinstall the Steam client: Uninstall and Install

The final solution can fix Steam keeps crashing issue irrespective of the reasons that might have caused it. The steps for performing this fix are simple because we just have to uninstall Steam, download it, and install it again.

But it has been mentioned at the end because it will reset your Steam preferences and delete all the Steam games installed on your device.

You should make a backup of the “SteamApps” folder found in the root directory before removing Steam. This is where you’ll find all of your game-related information and downloaded files.

All game files will be deleted if you don’t copy this folder before uninstalling. Backing it up might take some type, depending on the number of games installed.

We are now ready to begin the process of uninstalling the software. Steam may be uninstalled in two ways. Using the Control Panel is the first method, and manually removing the software is the second.

Control Panel Method:

  • Open the Run window (Win + R) and type taskmgr to open the Task Manager. Delete all Steam-related processes starting with Steam Client Bootstrapper.
End Task option for the running Steam application
  • Open C:\Program Files\Steam, copy the SteamApps folder and paste it in some other location on the hard drive.
Copy option in the steamapps folder context menu
  • Open the Control Panel window by pressing Win+R, typing control panel inside the bar, and pressing Enter.
  • Click on Uninstall a program under the Programs category.
Programs settings in the Control Panel
  • Find Steam among the list of installed programs, click once on it, and press on Uninstall from the upper section.
Uninstall option for the Steam app
  • After uninstalling, head over to this link: Steam download link to download the Steam client and install it from the downloaded application.

Manual Method:

  • Navigate to the Steam directory, and take a backup of the SteamApps folder.
  • Permanently delete all the Steam files in the directory.
  • Open the Registry Editor by opening the Run Window and typing regedit.
  • For 32-bit computers, navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Valve\
  • Right-click on the entry called Valve and delete it.
  • For 64-bit computers, navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Valve\
  • Right-click on Valve and press the option delete.
Delete option for the Valve registry
  • Navigate to: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Valve\Steam
  • Right-click on Steam and delete it.
Delete option for the Steam registry
  • Exit from the Registry Editor.
  • After uninstalling, head over to this link: Steam download link to download the Steam client and install it from the downloaded application.

After installation, open the Steam client and log in with your username and password after installation. Copy the backed-up Steam Apps and replace them in the root directory of Steam with the newly-installed one. Now your Steam client should be running fine without crashing.

Other fixes:

If none of the above 12 fixes helped restore Steam to its functioning stage, there might be a problem with your hard drive. So in this scenario, you should check the components of the hardware devices in your PC with a technician.