Top 9 Ways to Fix Steam Not Opening on Windows 10 Error

Every gamer needs Steam irrespectively of what other apps or platforms he/she plays on. If you are a PC gamer like me, you are on Steam and for a good reason. It’s your window to the gaming world. That is also why it is so frustrating when Steam doesn’t open on your Windows 10 computer.

Fix Steam Not Opening on Windows 10 Error

Sure, you can also download games from the Microsoft Store, but that won’t give you the same experience as Valve’s Steam. Apart from better download experience, Steam also offers a massive library of games with regular sale events. Let’s see how we can get you back in the game.

1. Kill Process and Relaunch

It is possible that the Steam client is stuck due to a bug and you need to restart it. Maybe you didn’t close the app properly last time, and Windows might be assuming that it is already running. The fastest way to fix the problem is to kill the associated process in the Task Manager.

Step 1: Press Ctrl+Shift+Esc keys on your keyboard to open the Task Manager. Find the ‘Steam Client Bootstrapper’ process under the Processes tab, right-click on it, and select End task.

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Step 2: Wait a few moments to allow it to close and then launch it back again. See if it opens.

2. Clear Steam App Cache Data

At least one person must’ve told you to clear browser cache data or app cache on your Android. Similarly, Steam app also stores cache data on your computer clearing which can solve quite a few problems. Like the one you are facing where Steam is not opening on your Windows 10 PC.

Step 1: Press Windows key+R to open the Run prompt and type ‘steam://flushconfig’ before hitting Enter.

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That will directly clear the Steam app cache without you having to do anything manually. Note that you will need to sign back into your Steam account. Any process running inside Steam will stop and terminated. For example, you will lose any game that was being downloaded and was midway.

3. Reboot

That will kill all running background processes. One of them could be interfering with Steam. It is also possible that you have too many apps or processes running, resulting in a lack of resources to run the Steam app. Steam is a heavy app and needs a lot of computing power to run and perform, especially when playing games.

4. Use Browser or App

This is a temporary fix until you figure out what’s wrong with your Steam app on Windows. While you can’t play games using the web or mobile app, you can communicate with friends or purchase that new game on sale.

5. Remove External Devices

Disconnect all accessories and devices that you have connected to your computer like mouse, keyboard, drives, and so on. Is Steam opening now? One of them could be causing a conflict. Connect them one at a time to find out which one was causing the issue. Possible solutions would include updating drivers.

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6. Check External HDD/SSD

Have you installed Steam on an external HDD/SSD? May be the Steam app doesn’t have any problem. It’s possible that the installation or where it is installed is facing a snag. If you’ve stored the Steam Game library on an external or a separate HDD/SSD, try reconnecting it. Since it’s beyond the scope of this post, we recommend you to try out as the last resort.

7. Disable Overclocking

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Many gamers overclock their system to extract maximum performance out of their CPU and GPU. A good solution if you know what you are doing. Otherwise, it can cause all sorts of problems including the one you are facing right now. Whether it’s ThrottleStop or any other app, disable overclocking now and reboot your computer to check if Steam is opening correctly or not.

8. Clean Install

Did you recently install an app on your Windows computer? Made some significant changes? A clean boot will help you find and eliminate conflicting apps while restoring to a previous point in time will help undo known/unknown changes you made that resulted in the Steam app not working on your computer.

9. Reinstall Steam

You won’t lose any data or game progress. I recommend using an app like Revo Uninstaller to remove the Steam app. That will perform a deep clean and remove even leftover files like old registry files, among others. A fresh and clean install should help.

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Note that you will have to re-download all games back, which can be time and bandwidth consuming. To avoid doing so, take a back up of the ‘steamapps’ folder. You will find it inside the primary Steam folder inside the drive where you installed the Steam app. For most users, that’s the C drive.

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Download the latest stable version of Steam and install it. Move the steamapps folder back inside the primary Steam folder and launch the Steam app.

More Steam

Steam is probably one of the best things that happened to the PC gaming community. It’s no wonder that pretty much all gamers have Steam on their system. The community feedback is really good and there are plenty of guides, and whatnot to solve all sorts of problems. You can ask your fellow Steam users for help though one of the above steps should have fixed the Steam not opening on Windows computer error.

Next up: Valve’s Steam is an awesome gaming distribution service but it’s always good to have options by your side. So, here are the five alternatives to Steam.

Last updated on 13 July, 2021

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