Steam, the popular video game digital distribution service and storefront from Valve, was launched in 2003. Today, it has become a go-to platform for millions of gamers to download and play video games online.
While the company behind Steam is constantly trying to improve its desktop client, Windows users still experience problems.
A few Steam users have recently reported that their Steam client is not opening on their desktop. So if Steam won’t open on your computer and you’re looking for help, continue reading the guide.
Fix Steam won’t open on Windows
Steam won’t open in Windows for a variety of reasons, and there are a few things you can try to fix the problem. Below we have shared some easy methods to fix it the steam does not open problem on Windows.
1. Restart your Windows computer
The first thing to do if Steam won’t open is to restart your computer. Certain programs or processes may run in the background, preventing Steam clients from opening.
Since it is difficult to find such apps and processes, it is best to restart your Windows computer. Restarting will most likely end all apps and processes and resolve the issue.
After rebooting, open the Steam app again on your computer. This time Steam would open.
2. Close all background Steam tasks
The Steam desktop client has many bugs and sometimes slows down the PC. The Windows client also needs a lot of optimizations.
When you install Steam on your computer for the first time, it creates a startup entry so that the client is automatically launched at startup.
So the Steam client may already be running in the background; that’s why it won’t open. Therefore, you need to make sure that no Steam app is running on your computer.
As the Steam client not showing up in the system tray, you need to open the task manager and end all steam tasks. Here’s what to do.
1. First click on Windows Search and type in Task management. Then open the Task Manager app from the list.
2. Look for the ‘Steamapp when Task Manager opens.
3. Right click on Steam and select ‘End task‘. You can also select the Steam app and click the End task button in the top right corner.
That is it! This is how you can end all Steam tasks running in the background.
3. Run Steam as administrator
Another best way to fix Steam won’t open Windows 10 is to run the desktop client with administrative privileges. Many users have already claimed that repairing Steam shortcuts won’t open issues by running the client as an administrator. Here’s what to do.
To run Steam as an administrator on Windows 10/11, right-click on the desktop shortcut and select ‘Run as administrator’. This will run the Steam desktop client with administrative privileges.
4. Always run Steam as an administrator
If the above method worked to fix Steam won’t open, then you need to set the Steam client to always run as administrator. Here’s how to force the Steam app to always run as an administrator.
1. Right-click on the Steam desktop icon and select ‘Characteristics‘.
2. In the Steam properties, go to the Compatibility tab.
3. Next, in the Settings section, check the box for ‘Run this program as administrator‘.
4. When you are done, click the To apply button and then on OK.
That is it! This will always run the Steam desktop app as an administrator on Windows.
5. Clear the cache of the Steam app
If you use the Steam app regularly, the app cache folder for Steam is already full. When the cache file gets corrupted, Steam does not open on Windows.
Therefore, you need to clear the cache folder of the Steam app to fix the Steam shortcut not opening. Here’s what to do.
1. Right-click on the Steam desktop icon and select ‘Open file location‘.
2. This will open the Steam folder. You need to find and click on it app cache.
3. Right click on the app cache folder and select ‘To delete‘.
That is it! This is how to clear the Steam app cache on Windows. After clearing the cache, restart your computer and relaunch the Steam client.
6. Allow Steam app through firewall
Windows from Microsoft has a robust firewall that blocks suspicious connections from your computer.
Sometimes the Windows Defender firewall accidentally blocks the Steam app from connecting to the internet; when this happens, Steam cannot be loaded on Windows.
You can easily solve this problem by allowing the Steam app through Windows Firewall. Here are the steps to let Steam pass through the firewall on Windows.
1. First click on Windows Search and type ‘Windows Defender‘. Then open the Windows Defender Firewall from the list.
2. When the firewall app opens, click the Allow an app or feature through Windows Defender Firewall link on the left.
3. Click on the next screen Change settings.
4. In the next window, find and check the ‘Private‘ And ‘Public‘ checkboxes for both Steam And Steam Web Helper.
5. After making the changes, click the Ok button and restart your computer.
That is it! That’s how easy it is to let Steam through a firewall on a Windows computer.
7. Update your operating system
If Steam still won’t open, it’s more likely that your Windows system files are corrupted or have a compatibility issue.
While there are many ways to deal with corrupted Windows files, it is best to update the Windows version to rule out compatibility issues.
Updating the Windows version is easy; go to Settings > WindowsUpdate. In the Windows Update screen, click the Check for updates knob.
This will automatically check for any available updates and will automatically download and install them. Restart the Steam client after updating Windows.
8. Reinstall the Steam app
Reinstalling is a good idea if none of the methods worked for you. Reinstalling Steam will repair the corrupted Steam files on your system.
So, if Steam won’t open on Windows, the Steam configuration or installation files are more likely to get corrupted.
To reinstall Steam on the desktop, open the Control Panel, right-click on it Steam app and select ‘To delete‘. Then follow the on-screen instructions to complete the uninstallation process.
Once uninstalled, you need to visit Steam’s official site and reinstall the desktop client. After installing it, open it and log into your Steam account.
Also Read: 10 Best Free Steam Games Worth Playing
Here are the best practices to fix Steam won’t open issues. You can do a few other things like run a full antivirus scan, update the device drivers, etc. If you need more troubleshooting help Steam won’t open on Windowslet us know in the comments below.