Since its release in 2003, Steam has improved and is now a well-known and the most used PC gaming platform today. However, sometimes Steam won’t open and it can be frustrating. If this is your current situation, there are common fixes to resolve the problem.
What to do when Steam won’t open
- Check if Steam is down if stuck at connecting phase, as this is the most logical explanation – either Steam is down or the connection is unstable. Steam usually goes down briefly for maintenance purposes each Tuesday between 1 and 3pm Pacific Time.
- Check if you can find Steam using Alt-Tab. If you launch Steam and can’t find it, press and hold Alt and Tab to see all currently open programs. If it isn’t on the list, look for it and check which screen it is on.
- Use Task Manager to end Steam processes. Right click the Taskbar or press CTRL+ALT+DEL and select Task Manager then find Steam and end its processes. Restart it after ending the task
- Check that you’re not on Steam beta client as it’s more unstable and can cause Steam not to open.
- Disable security software temporarily to ensure they’re not blocking Steam from opening. You can also add exceptions to your antivirus or firewall, or consider using a less aggressive antivirus software alternative
Clear Steam app cache
When apps cause issues, you can clear the cache to resolve such problems, and the same goes for when Steam won’t open. To do this, find the appcache folder in Steam directory usually in C:\ drive. Copy and paste the folder into a safe location and then delete the original directory before starting Steam again.
Uninstall and reinstall Steam
Uninstalling Steam is a drastic measure, but you can save yourself time by doing this:
- Open Steam installation folder in Program files
- Delete all files except Steam.exe, userdata and steamapps folders
- Grant admin permissions and delete the files
- Double click Steam.exe to reinstall the app
If Steam won’t open after a Windows update, roll back using System restore. To do this:
- Open Control Panel>View large icons
- Find Recovery and click it
- Launch System restore
- Press Next to find automatic restore points
- Select a date before the Windows update was installed
If all else fails, contact Steam support for further help.
Which of these solutions worked for you? Let us know in the comments section below.
Elsie is a tech writer with 8+ years professional experience. For Tech News Watch, she brings rich experience contributing to topics such as Windows, MacOS, Android, and iOS among others. In her spare time, she loves checking out the latest tech trends, gadgets, and news, listening to music and cars.