Some Windows users are complaining that Steam client apps stop with an error message that says “Steam Client Bootstrapper is not responding” or “Steam Client Bootstrapper has stopped working“. And obviously, since, Bootstrapper is an essential service and if there is some issue with it, you won’t be able to run the launcher. And even if you do, you won’t be able to play games or add new ones. Therefore, we need to fix it!
What is Bootstrapper error on Steam?
Bootstrapper is a service that gets triggered when you open your Steam Client app. It will analyze your computer, will check the resources, get things ready for Steam to launch. It is an essential component and holds the utmost importance if there is some issue in the Bootstrapper, the Steam won’t launch. And even if it launches, there are some essential features, such as installing a new game, playing existing games, etc, that won’t work.
Why is Steam Client Bootstrapper not responding or working on my computer?
Steam Client Bootstrapper may not respond on your computer because of various reasons. Sometimes, it can be because of corrupted Steam files, other times, because of a glitch. Your antivirus can also block the Steam Client app or the service, hence, stopping it from running on your system. So, you need to say to your antivirus that this app or service is not going to do any harm to the system. We will see how to do the same.
We are also going to see some simple workarounds as well as some more solutions and reasons that can help you in fixing the error message. All the solutions are easy to execute, so, go through them and fix your issue.
Fix Steam Client Bootstrapper not responding or working
If Steam Client Bootstrapper is not responding or working on your system, then you should start troubleshooting by restarting your system and also by checking for updates. Make sure to run the latest version of Windows. Once you do that, you can move to the following solutions to resolve the issue.
- Remove Download Cache
- Run Steam in Big Picture Mode
- Open Steam as an admin
- Check your antivirus
- Reset Winsock
- Remove VPN
- Check if Cortana is enabled
- Reinstall Steam
Let us talk about them in detail.
1] Remove Download Cache
You may have noticed that when you open the Steam Client application, it checks for updates first, download it, and then launch the app. If the update gets stopped for some reason, sometimes, it can get corrupted. Therefore, we need to remove the download cache and some registry files to make it work.
There are two scenarios here, some are able to open the Steam app and not the game, whereas, some are unable to open both.
If you are able to launch the Steam Client program, then check the following solutions to resolve Download Cache.
- Open Steam.
- Click Steam > Settings.
- Go to Downloads.
- Click CLEAR DOWNLOAD CACHE.
- Click Ok when prompted.
In case, Steam doesn’t launch on your system, then we need to go to File Explorer. Open Windows File Explorer and go to the following location.
Note: If you have stored Steam in a location other than the default, then go to that location.
From there, you need to rename ClientRegistry.blob to ClientRegistryOld.blob.
Then navigate to.
Then remove the content of that folder. Finally, restart your system and Steam and check if the issue persists.
2] Run Steam in Big Picture Mode
If you are seeing the error message in question when trying to install a game, then try running Steam in Big Picture Mode. This is not a fix, instead is a workaround that has worked for many users and has the potential to work for you. So, open Steam, click on Settings > Big Picture Mode.
Just by clicking on the button, your Steam client will go fullscreen and hopefully, you will be able to do the task.
3] Open Steam as an admin
The issue can occur because of a lack of administrative privileges. Hence, you need to grant Steam the required privileges in order to make it work. To do that, right-click on the Steam shortcut and select Run as administrator.
You can also, make the app run with the required privileges all the time. To do that, follow the given steps.
- Right-click on Steam and click Properties.
- Then go to the Compatibility tab.
- Tick Run this program as an administrator.
- Finally, click Apply > Ok.
4] Check your antivirus
Your antivirus can block Steam from functioning on your computer. This issue is most common in third-party antivirus but some users have noticed that even Windows Firewall is blocking Steam. Therefore, you should either disable your antivirus or whitelist your program. You can also disable the Windows Firewall from Settings or allow the game through Firewall.
Then restart your computer and check if the issue persists.
5] Reset Winsock
Winsock is an essential component that looks after the input/output request for Web Applications. If there is some gitch in it, you won’t be able to connect to Steam. Therefore, try removing it, in order to resolve the issue. To do that, open Command Prompt.
Now, run the following command.
netsh winsock reset
If that doesn’t work, then try running the following command.
netsh winsock reset catalog
If both the commands didn’t work for you, try these ones and see if that works.
netsh int ip reset reset.log hit ipconfig / release ipconfig / renew
Once you do that, restart your system and check if the issue persists.
6] Remove VPN
You may also see the Bootstrapper error if you change your network or enable a VPN. For some, launching Steam after 5-10 minutes of enabling VPN has worked, because then it won’t be experiencing network change. However, in some cases, then Bootstrapper will refuse to launch on a VPN connection. So, pick your situation and resolve it accordingly.
7] Check if Cortana is enabled
Cortana is an assistant, a virtual one, but still an assistant. It looks after your system, extracts some information to make it work smartly, and it does all this seamlessly. However, sometimes, it can conflict with your program. And for many users, it is interfering with the Steam client application. Therefore, you should disable Cortana in order to resolve the issue. To do that, we are going to use Registry Editor.
Open Registry Editor by searching it out of the Start Menu. Then go to the following location.
Then right-click on the empty space and click New > DWORD (32-bit) Value. Name it “Allow Cortana” and set the Value data to 0.
Finally, restart your computer and reopen Steam to see if you are still seeing Bootstrapper error.
8] Reinstall Steam
If nothing works, then we have to use the last solution, i.e; to reinstall the Steam Client application. So, go ahead and uninstall Steam from Windows Settings, then download a fresh copy and install it on your system. Hopefully, it will resolve the issue.
How do I get rid of Steam Client Bootstrapper?
You can not get rid of Steam Client Bootstrapper. As mentioned earlier, it is an essential component required by the Steam app to perform some essential tasks. You need to remove the Steam app in order to do the same. But, if you are seeing errors related to Bootstrapper, you can use the solutions mentioned in this article to resolve the issue.