[Solved] 10 Methods to Fix Steam Games Won’t Launch

[Solved] 10 Methods to Fix Steam Games Won’t Launch

/ Shayne Sherman
  • Steam’s game files can run into errors due to issues while downloading or updating.
  • Ensure you check the integrity of your game files, as they may have become corrupted.
  • If you are only experiencing the issue on a specific game on Steam, try running that game as an administrator.
  • To repair Steam Errors, Download Fortect PC Repair Tool
Automatically Repair Windows Errors

Recommended: To easily install drivers automatically, use the tool below.

Download Now
Fortect System Repair
steam games

If you find yourself stuck on Steam’s library page and unable to launch any Steam games, try to relax. We got you covered.

Steam’s extracted game files can run into errors due to issues while downloading or updating. This can also occur when you have just upgraded to Windows 10.

To get back to playing your favorite game fast, follow the simple guide below to troubleshoot this problem with Steam.

Don’t Miss:

Common Reasons Why Steam Games Won’t Launch

Understanding the root causes behind Steam games not launching can help you troubleshoot and resolve the issue more effectively. Here are some of the most common reasons why Steam games fail to launch:

  • Corrupted or missing game files: Sometimes, the game files can become corrupted or go missing, which can prevent the game from launching. Verifying the integrity of game files can help spot and fix these issues.
  • Outdated graphics drivers: Having outdated graphics drivers can cause compatibility issues with games and prevent them from launching. Ensure that your graphics drivers are up to date.
  • Incompatible game version: Some games might not be compatible with your current operating system or hardware. Running the game in compatibility mode can help resolve such issues.
  • Insufficient system resources: If your computer doesn’t meet the minimum system requirements for a particular game, it may fail to launch. Make sure your system meets the required specifications to run the game smoothly.
  • Conflicting third-party software: Certain antivirus programs or other third-party software can interfere with Steam and prevent games from launching. Temporarily disabling such software can help identify if they are causing the problem.
  • Steam client issues: Problems with the Steam client itself, such as corrupted cache files or an outdated version, can cause games not to launch. Clearing the download cache, updating the client, or reinstalling Steam can help resolve these issues.

By identifying the causes behind Steam games not launching, you can apply the appropriate methods mentioned in this article to fix the problem and get back to enjoying your games.

Fix 1: Restart the Steam Client

If you are experiencing a problem where Steam games are not launching, you can try restarting the Steam client to ensure that all of its resources and Steam’s extracted game files are correctly loaded.

Recommended: Fortect System Repair Tool – Fix Errors & Speed Up Windows Automatically

  1. Press the Windows Key + X on your keyboard and select Task Manager.
  2. Go to the Processes tab and find the Steam client from the list.
  3. Click on the Steam client and press the End Task button to stop it from running.
steam in task manager

Go back to your desktop, Run Steam and re-login to your Steam account, and check if your games will now launch on your computer.

Fix 2: Verify the Integrity of Game Files

Steam has a built-in tool to verify and check for missing or broken game files. You can use the Steam Verify Integrity of game files options to let the Steam client recognize which game files are damaged or missing, and it will automatically download the game files.

Step 1: Launch Steam

Step 2: Log in to your account

steam login page

Step 3: Go to the Steam Library Folders

Step 4: Right Click on any game that you are having problems launching

Step 5: Select Properties

steam game properties

Step 6: Click on the Local Files

Step 7: Click Verify Integrity of game files

verify game file integrity

Step 8: Wait for Steam to complete the file verification process.

Once Steam has verified the integrity of game files, try to launch the Steam games that are having issues and see if it is fixed. If you are still experiencing the Steam games not launching problem, proceed to the following method below.

Fix 3: Restart Your Computer

You can reboot your computer if you are experiencing issues such as Steam games not launching. A temporary error may have occurred on your system, which causes problems such as Steam games not launching. It is also possible that some drivers were not loaded when Windows booted the first time and needed a restart.

Follow the steps below to restart your system:

  1. First, click on the Windows icon on the Taskbar to access the Start Menu.
  2. Click on the Power button and select Restart.
restart computer

3. Wait for your system to reboot.

Launch the Steam client once your computer has restarted, and check if the Steam games are now launching correctly. If Steam somehow fails to fix the Steam games not launching problem still occurs, continue to the next step.

Fix 4: Run Steam Games As an Administrator

If you are only experiencing the issue on a specific game on Steam, try running that game as an administrator to bypass any restrictions preventing the game from launching and fix Steam game issues.

See the steps below to guide you through the process:

  1. On Steam, go to the Steam Library folders and right-click on the Steam games you are having issues with to browse local files.
  2. Select Properties and click on Local Files.
  3. Click the Browse button to access the Steam installation folder.
steam local files

4. Locate the game’s.EXE file, which is usually located in “C Program Files x86,” and right-click on it.

5. Access its Properties and go to the Compatibility tab.

6. Enable ‘Run this Program as an Administrator‘ and click OK to save the changes.

set steam game to run as administrator

Open the Steam shortcut in the Steam game folder located in “C Program Files x86” and try relaunching the game to check if the Steam games not launching issue has been fixed. However, if the Steam games not launching issue still occurs, continue to the next step.

Fix 5: Run the Game in Compatibility Mode

By running your Steam game in compatibility mode, you are enabling a game designed for an old version of Windows to a newer one, or vice-versa.

Step 1: Go to the Library.

Step 2: Right Click on the Steam games that you are having problems launching

Step 3: Select Properties

steam game properties

Step 4: Click on the Local Files tab

Step 5: Click on Browse

browse steam local files

Step 6: Right Click on the .exe file of the game

Step 7: Click on Properties

steam game launcher properties

Step 8: On Properties, Click on Compatibility

Step 9: Check Run this program in compatibility mode for:

Step 10: After checking Compatibility Mode, select Windows 8.

steam game compatibility options

Step 11: Click on Apply, then close the properties window.

Step 12: After setting your games to run in Compatibility Mode, try to launch the game that is experiencing launching issues and see if the problem is fixed. If the Steam games not launching issue still occurs, continue to the next step.

Fix 6: Check for New Windows Update

The version of Windows currently installed on your computer may not be compatible with the Steam games you are trying to play. It is also possible that there’s an underlying issue with the Windows operating system version that prevents applications or Steam games from launching.

To check for any available Windows updates, follow the steps below:

  1. First, open the Start Menu and click on Settings.
  2. Inside Windows Settings, click on Update & Security.
  3. Lastly, wait for Windows to check for updates and follow the on-screen prompts if there’s a newer version available.
check updates

After updating Windows, restart your computer and check if games are now launching on Steam.

Fix 7: Update Your Graphics Drivers

When you play Steam games on your computer, you must have the correct drivers for your graphics card to maximize its performance. If your Steam games are not launching on Steam, your graphics card drivers may be corrupted or outdated.

To fix this, follow the steps below to update your graphics card drivers:

  1. First, press Windows Key + X on your keyboard to access the Quick Menu.
  2. Click on Device Manager and select Display Adapters.
  3. Right-click on your Graphics card driver and select Update Driver. Follow the on-screen prompts to install the latest drivers for your system.
updating graphics driver

Go back to Steam and try launching another game to check if the problem is solved. If the Steam games not launching issue still occurs, continue to the next step. You may also visit the video card manufacturer’s website to download the latest driver for your video card.

Recommended: Fortect System Repair Tool – Fix Errors & Speed Up Windows Automatically

Fix 8: Reinstall the Game

While this solution seems inconvenient, especially if you don’t have good internet or your ISP has a bandwidth limit, this will surely fix launching problems with Steam games. Before doing this, ensure you have tried the other solutions above this article.

Step 1: Go to the Library.

Step 2: Right Click on the game that you are having problems launching

Step 3: Click on Properties

steam game properties

Step 4: Click on the Local Files tab

Step 5: Click on Uninstall game

uninstall steam games

Step 6: After uninstalling the Steam games, go to the Steam store and search for the Steam games

Step 7: Download and reinstall the missing game files.

Fix 9: Clear the Steam Download Game Cache Files

Another possible reason your Steam games won’t launch is a corrupted download cache in your Steam client. This is usually caused when a Steam update is interrupted and prevents games from launching. The only way to fix it is to clear the Steam game cache files.

Step 1: Launch Steam and click on the “Steam” option in the upper right corner of the Steam homepage and then click settings.

steam settings

Step 2:

Click on the “Downloads” option and click “Clear Download Cache.” Click “OK” to confirm.

clear steam download cache

Step 3: Reboot your computer, open Steam, and check if the issue has been fixed.

Fix 10: Reinstall Steam

Reinstalling the Steam client may fix any issues with Steam. By removing the old version of Steam, you are also deleting the potentially corrupted Steam folder causing the Steam issue.

Step 1:

Open the “Uninstall or change a program” window by pressing the “Windows” and “R” keys to bring up the run line command. Type in “appwiz.cpl” and press “enter.”

app wizard

Step 2: In the “Uninstall or change a program,” look for the Steam client in the program list and click “uninstall,” and click “uninstall” once again to confirm

uninstall steam

Step 3:

After successfully uninstalling Steam from your computer, download the latest installer by clicking here.

Step 4:

Once the download is complete, double-click the executable file of Steam and follow the installation wizard.

Step 5:

Sign in to Steam, download and install the problematic game and launch the game to confirm if the problem is fixed.


If your game won’t launch still, contact Steam’s customer support and report the problem. Issues within their server could cause it, and everyone is having problems launching the game.

See Also: How to Fix VAC Unable to Verify your Game Session

Windows Automatic Repair Tool
Windows 10
System Information
  • Your machine is currently running Windows 10
  • Fortect is compatible with your operating system.

Recommended: To repair Windows Errors, use this software package; Fortect System Repair. This repair tool has been proven to identify and fix these errors and other Windows problems with very high efficiency.

Download Now
Fortect System Repair
Norton Digicert
  • 100% safe as confirmed by Norton.
  • Only your system and hardware are evaluated.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I fix a Steam game that won’t launch on Steam?

If Steam games do not launch, you may be able to resolve the issue by confirming the game files’ integrity. There is a chance that the game files and game data itself will get corrupted, which will affect how the game behaves. However, the issue can be resolved by merely checking the integrity of the game files.

Why won’t the game start on Steam?

When a game doesn’t start, the extracted game files are frequently the culprit. Please consult our article on how to check the game files’ integrity. If you have software running that conflicts with Steam, games cannot start.

Why isn’t my game opening?

Numerous consumers complained that when they try to
launch Steam games, nothing happens. You should momentarily disable your antivirus program because it can prevent the app from working. To resolve this issue, you should always ensure that Steam runs with administrator rights.

Why will my game not load?

You won’t be able to launch any game if there are any pending updates left to download. When updates are available, the “PLAY” button will be replaced with an “UPDATE” button. 

If Steam itself is outdated, you may be unable to play games. The Steam client should always be updated, even if it doesn’t function for you. Open the Steam app and go to the Steam menu to check for updates. Here, click Check for Updates to the Steam Client.

How do I fix Steam games not working on Windows 10?

The solution to this problem depends on what is causing it. You may need to update your whole Operating System, update drivers, run a virus scan, uninstall and reinstall the game, and more.

How do I repair a Steam game?

To repair corrupt game files, you can try verifying the integrity of the game files or uninstalling and reinstalling a fresh copy. While doing this, ensure you have a stable internet connection to avoid corrupting the game files.

How do I see steam processes in the task manager window?

To see steam processes in the task manager window, you must open the task manager first. Then, click on the “Processes” tab. Next, click on the “Show processes from all users” button. Finally, scroll down until you see the “Steam Client Bootstrapper” process.

Can third party antivirus software block Steam client updates?

Third-party antivirus software can block Steam client updates, and Steam uses a self-updating mechanism incompatible with some antivirus software. When an update is blocked, the Steam client cannot download or install the latest version of the update.

What is the default location of the steamapps folder?

The default location of the steamapps folder is “C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps”. This is the location where Steam will automatically install games.

What is the Steam client bootstrapper?

The Bootstrapper is a program that helps you install Steam. It checks for updates to the Steam client and downloads them if they are available. It also allows you to create shortcuts to Steam games and start them without opening the Steam client.

What is the process for restarting Steam?

The process for restarting Steam is relatively simple. First, you need to locate the Steam directory. Once you have located the steam directory, you must find the file named “steam.exe.”
Right-click on this file and select “run as administrator.” This will launch the Steam game files. Finally, click the “restart” button in the steam window’s upper-left corner.

Why won’t some of my installed games launch from my Steam game library?

Several factors could be causing your Steam games not to launch, including corrupted game files, outdated drivers, issues with your Steam cache, or not meeting the minimum system requirements. To troubleshoot, follow the steps provided in the post above.

How can I clear the download cache to resolve issues with launching games on Steam?

To clear the download cache, open Steam, go to “Settings,” then “Downloads,” and click on the “Clear Download Cache” button. This will remove any potentially corrupt files and require you to log in to Steam again. Once done, try launching the affected games to see if the issue is resolved.

What should I do if older games won’t launch on Steam but newer ones work fine?

For older games that are not launching, you can try running them in compatibility mode or updating your graphics drivers.

How can I use the “Verify Integrity of Game Files” button to fix issues with my game library?

To verify the integrity of game files, open your Steam library, right-click on the problematic game, select “Properties,” navigate to the “Local Files” tab, and click the “Verify Integrity of Game Files” button. This process will check for corrupted or missing files and download any necessary replacements, which may resolve issues with launching games.

Can running a game’s exe file directly help resolve the issue of Steam games not launching?

If Steam games won’t launch, try running the game’s exe file directly from the game installation folder. This can help you identify if the issue is with the Steam client or the game itself. If the game runs successfully, it may indicate a problem with the Steam client, which can be further investigated and resolved.

Shayne Sherman
Meet the author

Shayne is an expert on all things Microsoft Windows and computer security. As a Windows user of over 30 years, he has been featured on Business Insider, Yahoo, Tech Republic, Hacker Noon, Techopedia, and many other publications. Aside from entertaining at his home theater, he enjoys spending time with his family, including his English bulldog, Fergie.