Are you unable to launch or open your Steam games on your Windows 11/10? Steam is one of the most popular universal game launchers for Windows PC. It contains most of the free and paid video games that users can download & install and play on their PCs. However, several Steam users have reported that they can’t launch any or some of their installed games via the Steam client. While the Steam app is opening and working properly, the games just won’t load or launch.
This issue could be caused because of various reasons. Here are the potential causes:
- This issue might be caused if Steam or the games lack essential permissions to run properly.
- If you are trying to open some older games, there might be a compatibility issue which is why the game is not launching.
- Outdated Windows OS and graphics drivers can be another reason for the same issue.
- A corrupted Download cache on Steam can also trigger this issue at hand.
- If there is an interruption by your security suite, the game might not launch.
- In case the installation of the Steam app is corrupted or faulty, this issue can occur.
Now, if you are facing the same problem, this post will interest you. We will mention all the working fixes for the “Steam games not launching” problem. You can apply a suitable fix and get rid of the issue.
Before using any of the fixes, make sure your computer meets the minimum system requirements to run the games in question. If your PC is too old to run new Steam games, you will have to upgrade your hardware to be able to launch the games. Also, reboot your computer and then try launching Steam games. It could be some temporary glitch causing the issue at hand. If that doesn’t work, follow the below-mentioned fixes.
Steam Games not launching or opening on Windows 11/10
If your Steam Games are not launching or opening on your Windows 11/10 PC, you can use the below methods to fix the issue:
- Launch Steam and the game as an administrator.
- Run older games in compatibility mode.
- Install pending Windows updates.
- Update/ reinstall your graphics driver.
- Update DirectX.
- Verify all game files.
- Delete the Steam Download Game Cache files.
- Disable antivirus/ firewall temporarily.
- Reinstall the Steam client.
- Perform a system restore.
1] Launch Steam and the game as an administrator
The first thing you should do is to run Steam and the game as an administrator. It might be the case that you lack the necessary permissions to launch Steam and your games. And thus, Steam games are not opening or loading on your PC. Hence, if the scenario is applicable, you should be able to fix the issue by launching Steam and the games with admin rights. Here’s how:
- First, locate the Steam shortcut on the desktop and right-click on it.
- Now, select the Properties option from the context menu.
- Next, go to the Compatibility tab and check the Run this program as an administrator option.
- After that, press the Apply > OK button.
- Now, locate the executable of the problematic game on your computer and right-click on it. You are most likely to find Steam games in the following directory: C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common
- Repeat the above steps (2), (3), and (4) for the game executable.
- Finally, open Steam and then try running the game and see if it opens or not.
If the problem is resolved, do the same for all your Steam games. However, if the issue remains the same, move on to the next potential fix.
2] Run older games in compatibility mode
If you are trying to run older games that are designed for an earlier version of Windows, you might be dealing with a compatibility issue. So, you can launch them in compatibility mode and see if the issue is fixed. Here’s how you can do that:
- Firstly, open File Explorer using Win+E and go to the installation directory of your Steam games.
- Now, right-click on the main executable of the problematic game and select the Properties option.
- In the Properties window, move to the Compatibility tab and tick the checkbox called Run this program in compatibility mode for and choose an older version of Windows to run the game.
- Finally, press the Apply > OK button and then try launching the game to check if the problem is fixed.
If running in the compatibility mode works for you, repeat the above steps for all other games.
3] Install pending Windows updates
This issue can be caused if your Windows OS is outdated. Hence, update Windows by downloading and installing all the latest Windows updates. Open Settings, go to Windows Update, and press Check for updates to scan and download pending updates. Then, reboot your computer and see if you are able to launch Steam games or not.
4] Update/ reinstall your graphics driver
If you have an older version of your graphics driver, it will cause issues in launching games on your PC. Hence, make sure you have updated your graphics driver. To update your graphics driver, launch the Settings app by hitting Win+I and click on the Windows Update > Advanced options > Optional Updates option. You will be able to view all the pending device driver updates that you can download and install. You can also AMD Driver Autodetect, Intel Driver Update Utility or Dell Update utility
If updating doesn’t work, it is quite possible that your graphics driver is corrupted. And thus, your Steam games are not launching. Hence, uninstall your graphics driver and then reinstall it to fix the problem at hand. However, if you still face the same problem, go ahead and apply the next fix.
5] Update DirectX
The next thing you can do to fix the problem is to update DirectX to its latest version. A lot of games require the latest DirectX to run properly. Hence, you should ensure that you have installed the most recent version of DirectX on your PC. If it is missing from your computer, download and install the latest version and then check if the problem is resolved.
6] Verify all game files
It is quite possible that your game files are corrupted and damaged which is why no Steam game is launching on your PC. This might have happened due to malware or virus present on your PC that infected all your game files. Hence, to counter the problem, you must run an integrity verification check on your game files and fix the broken ones. Steam provides a dedicated feature to do that. Here’s how:
- First, open the Steam app and go to LIBRARY.
- From the list of your installed games, right-click on a problematic game and select the Properties option from the context menu.
- Now, go to the Local Files tab and press the Verify the Integrity of Game Files button to start verifying and repairing the bad game files.
- Finally, when the process is successfully complete, try launching the game and see if the problem is fixed or not.
You can repeat the same procedure for each problematic game. If you still can’t launch Steam games, move on to the next solution.
7] Delete the Steam Download Game Cache files
The corrupted download cache stored in your Steam app can be one of the reasons that you are unable to launch your games. Hence, if the scenario is applicable, you can delete the Download Game Cache files and then try launching the games. To do that, here are the steps to follow:
- Firstly, open the Steam client and then click on the Steam > Settings option from the top menubar.
- Inside the Settings window, go to the Downloads tab and tap on the CLEAR DOWNLOAD CACHE button.
- After that, click on the OK button and exit the Settings window.
- You can now try launching your games and see if the problem is resolved.
8] Disable antivirus/ firewall temporarily
Many antiviruses and firewalls are known to cause issues in the launching or working of various games. Hence, try disabling your antivirus or firewall temporarily and then check if you can launch the games on Steam or not. If yes, the main culprit is your security suite.
Now, we don’t recommend keeping your PC’s security at stake by turning off antivirus protection. Hence, to fix the issue permanently, allow the game through your antivirus and firewall. To add an exception for your games, you can open the main settings of your antivirus and then move to the Exceptions/ Exclusion/ Whitelist settings. After that, add the main excitable of your games to the list and save the new settings.
To allow the game through Windows Firewall, here are the steps to use:
- First, open the Windows Security app and click on the Firewall & network protection option.
- Now, from the right-side panel, tap on the Allow an app through firewall option.
- After that, press the Change settings button, and in the Allowed apps and features list, find your games. If the games are not listed, click on Allow another app > Browse and manually add the main executable of your games. Steam games are usually stored at C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common.
- Next, tick the checkboxes associated with your games and enable both the Public and Private networks checkboxes.
- Finally, try opening Steam games and see if the problem is fixed.
9] Reinstall the Steam client
If none of the Steam games is opening, there must some corruption with the installation of the Steam client. Hence, the last resort to fix the problem is to uninstall Steam from your PC completely and then install a clean copy of it on your computer. Before uninstalling Steam, it is recommended to create a backup of your games folder and other important data.
To uninstall Steam from your PC, open the Settings app and go to Apps > Installed apps. Now, select Steam and click on the three-dot menu button. After that, click on the Uninstall option and follow the onscreen instructions to complete the process. Once done, download the latest version of Steam from its official website and then install the application by running the installer. Hopefully, you will now be able to run your games.
10] Perform a system restore
There might be some system corruption which is why you can run Steam games on your PC. If the problem just occurred recently after making some changes to your computer, you can perform a system restore to a previous point where you were able to open Steam games. Here’s how you can do that:
- Firstly, open the Run command box using Win+R and enter rstrui in the Open box to launch the System Restore window.
- Now, either you can use the Recommended Restore point or click on the Choose a different restore point option and press the Next point.
- Next, choose a restore point and press the Next option.
- After that, follow the onscreen instructions and reboot your PC.
- Finally, open Steam and try launching your games to check if the problem is resolved.
Hopefully, you will now be able to open Steam games.
Why is Steam not working Windows 11?
If the Steam client is not working on your Windows 11/10 PC, it might be the case that Steam servers are not available or are down at the moment. Besides that, a lack of admin permissions, outdated device drivers, corrupted Steam Cache, overclocked GPU/ CPU, antivirus and firewall interference, and third-party software conflicts can be some other reasons that the Steam app is not working on your PC.
Why is Steam not letting me launch games?
If you are unable to launch games on Steam, the problem might be caused due to faulty and broken game files that are infected by malware or virus. Hence, you should try verifying the integrity of the game files of the problematic games and then launch them. Apart from that, missing administrator privileges, interruption caused by your antivirus/ firewall, outdated device drivers (especially graphics drivers), and compatibility issues can also cause the same issue.
Related read: Fix Steam Friends List not working on Windows PC.