Every gamer needs Steam regardless of the other apps or platforms they play on. If you’re a PC gamer like me, you’re on Steam, and for good reason. It’s your window to the gaming world. It’s also why it’s so frustrating that Steam won’t open on your Windows 10 computer.
Of course, you can also download games from the Microsoft Store, but that won’t give you the same experience as Valve’s Steam. Along with a better download experience, Steam also offers a huge game library with regular sales events. Let’s see how we can get you back into the game.
1. Kill the process and restart
It is possible that the Steam client is stuck due to a bug and you may need to restart it. Maybe you didn’t close the app properly the last time, and Windows can assume it’s already running. The fastest way to resolve the issue is to kill the associated process in Task Manager.
Step 1: Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to open Task Manager. Find the ‘Steam Client Bootstrapper’ process under the Processes tab, right-click on it and select End Task.
2nd step: Wait a few moments for it to close, then restart it. See if it opens.
2. Clear data from the Steam app cache
At least one person must have told you to clear data from the browser cache or app cache on your Android. Likewise, the Steam app also stores cache data on your computer, which can fix many issues. Like the one you are facing where Steam won’t open on your Windows 10 PC.
Step 1: Press Windows key + R to open the Run prompt and type “steam: // flushconfig” before pressing Enter.
This will directly clear the Steam app cache without you having to do anything manually. Note that you will need to log back into your Steam account. Any process running in Steam will stop and end. For example, you will lose any game while downloading and downloading.
This will kill all running background processes. Any of them could interfere 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 application and needs a lot of computing power to run and run, especially when playing games.
4. Use the browser or the app
This is a temporary fix until you figure out what’s wrong with your Steam app on Windows. While you cannot play games using the web or the mobile app, you can connect with friends or purchase this new game on sale.
5. Remove external devices
Disconnect all accessories and peripherals that you have connected to your computer, such as mouse, keyboard, drives, etc. Does Steam open now? One of them could be the source of a conflict. Connect them one by one to find out which one was causing the problem. Possible solutions include updating the drivers.
6. Check the external hard drive / SSD
Have you installed Steam on an external hard drive / SSD? Maybe the Steam app has no problem. There may be a problem with the installation or its location. If you stored the Steam Game Library on an external or separate hard drive / SSD, try reconnecting it. As this is beyond the scope of this article, we recommend that you try as a last resort.
7. Disable overclocking
Many gamers overclock their system to extract maximum performance from their CPU and GPU. A good solution if you know what you are doing. Otherwise, it can cause all kinds of issues, including the one you’re having right now. Whether it’s ThrottleStop or any other app, turn off overclocking now and restart your computer to check if Steam opens properly or not.
8. Clean installation
Have you recently installed an application on your Windows computer? Have you made significant changes? A clean start will help you find and eliminate conflicting applications when restoring to an earlier point in time will help you undo any known / unknown changes you made that prevented the Steam application from working on your computer .
9. Reinstall Steam
You will not lose any data or game progress. I recommend using an app like Revo Uninstaller to remove the Steam app. This will do a deep clean and even remove leftover files such as old registry files among others. A fresh and clean installation should help.
Note that you will need to re-download all games, which can take time and bandwidth. To avoid this, back up the “steamapps” folder. You’ll find it in the main Steam folder of the drive where you installed the Steam app. For most users, it’s C drive.
Download the latest stable version of Steam and install it. Return the steamapps folder to the main Steam folder and launch the Steam app.
Steam is probably one of the best things to ever happen to the PC gaming community. It’s no wonder that almost all gamers have Steam on their system. The feedback from the community is really good and there are lots of guides and so on to solve all kinds of issues. You can ask your fellow Steam users for help, although one of the steps above should have fixed the Steam not opening error on Windows computer.
Valve’s Steam is a great game distribution service, but it’s always good to have options on your side. So here are the five alternatives to Steam.
Last updated Sep 15, 2020
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