Steam games not launching? Try these 7 fixes

Steam is one of the most popular online gaming platforms. Despite the popularity of Steam, many Steam fans have encountered games that refuse to launch or crash unexpectedly – sometimes after the game has already run without a problem.

Due to the diversity of hardware, software, and bandwidth requirements for each game, it’s not always easy to diagnose why a specific game is not running on a specific computer. Here you will learn how to solve all these problems.

1. Update your operating system

If your operating system is out of date, you may be experiencing an issue that has already been fixed in a recent update. It is generally a good idea to verify that your operating system is up to date.

2. Are your drivers up to date?

Your graphics card drivers are vital to the Steam experience, so if your drivers are outdated, your Steam games can experience a range of issues. Even if your video hardware exceeds a game’s requirements, outdated drivers can still affect your game’s performance.

To update your graphics card drivers, you must first know your graphics card model and the version (s) currently installed on your PC:

1. Click on the Windows “Start” button, then on “Run…”

2. When prompted, enter “dxdiag”. Click on OK.

3. The DirectX diagnostic tool should start. At this point, Windows may ask to verify that your drivers are digitally signed. Select “Yes”.

4. In the “System” tab, select “System Information”.

5. Switch to the “Display” tab.

In the upper left corner, you will see the “Name”, “Manufacturer” and “Chip Type” for your video equipment. In the upper right corner, you will find the “Version number” and “Release date” of the video driver.

Now that you have all the information about your drivers, you can visit the manufacturer’s website or search for your exact video card model and download any available updates.

3. Is your cache corrupted?

If your game does not start, it could be due to an issue with the extracted game files.

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Steam can check the integrity of your cached game files and correct any issues it finds. As part of this process, Steam will compare the game files installed on your computer with the latest version of the game files on Steam’s servers. If any of these files are different, Steam will replace or repair the corrupted local files and download any missing files to your local cache.

To check your game cache files:

1. Launch the Steam client.

2. Select “Library”.

3. Control-click on the game that’s causing you problems and select “Properties…”

Steam can check the integrity of your local game files and fix any issues it finds.

4. In the next window, select the “Local files” tab.

Steam will compare the game files installed on your computer with the latest version of the game files on Steam's servers.Steam will compare the game files installed on your computer with the latest version of the game files on Steam's servers.

5. Click on the “Check integrity of game files…” button.

Steam will now check the game files and fix any issues it finds.

Steam will attempt to validate all files in your local cache and re-download any missing or corrupt files.Steam will attempt to validate all files in your local cache and re-download any missing or corrupt files.

Note that this process may take several minutes depending on the size of your game.

4. Delete the GameOverlayRenderer64.dll file

According to some users, you can force a game to launch or prevent crashes by removing the “GameOverlayRenderer64.dll” file from the game.

Since this is an experimental fix, I recommend that you move the “GameOverlayRenderer64.dll” file to a new location or rename the file, as this allows you to test this fix without committing to removing GameOverlayRenderer64.

If this workaround provides the desired results, you can go ahead and remove the troublesome GameOverlayRenderer64.dll file.

5.Windows: run in compatibility mode

If you are having issues with a specific game only, Windows users may be able to resolve these issues by running the game in compatibility mode:

1. Launch the Steam client application.

2. Select the “Library” tab.

3. Control-click the game you are having problems with, then select “Properties…”

4. In the next window, open the “Local files” tab.

5. Select “Browse local files …”

6. Control-click the game’s .exe file, then select “Properties”.

Windows users can get positive results by running their game in compatibility modeWindows users can get positive results by running their game in compatibility mode

7. In the next window, open the “Compatibility” tab.

8. Select “Run this program in compatibility mode for …”

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9. Open the associated drop-down list and choose your version of Windows.

10. Select “Apply -> OK”.

Try restarting the game to see if that fixed your issue.

6. Try to disable third-party apps and services

There is always the possibility that third-party applications and services may interfere with Steam.

If you have a large number of background apps or services, identifying the culprit can be a tedious task. To make your life easier, I recommend that you focus on the following, as they are most likely to interfere with your Steam experience:

Antivirus programs

Antivirus software can interfere with disk and network operations, which can cause issues with Steam. Additionally, some games use copy protection technology which can cause virus scanners to falsely report this game as malware.

If your antivirus program is interfering with Steam, you may need to modify your antivirus setup to include exceptions for Steam, or you may prefer to manually disable your antivirus software before each game session.

Virtual private network (VPN)

Certain VPN software can prevent the Steam client application from accessing the Steam server or prevent games from accessing the web, which can cause issues for games that require an internet connection.

If you are using a VPN, you must verify that your VPN is configured to allow Steam and Steam related activities.

Anti-spy software

Aggressive anti-spyware software can flag Steam as a threat and prevent the Steam client from accessing Steam servers.

If you are using anti-spyware software, you may need to modify your configuration to make exceptions for Steam. You can also manually suspend your anti-spyware software before launching Steam.

Firewall

Certain firewall configurations may prevent the Steam client from communicating with Steam servers.

If you think your firewall may be affecting your Steam experience, you will need to change your firewall configuration and add exceptions for Steam.

Peer-to-Peer, file sharing, FTP and web server applications

If not properly configured, peer-to-peer (P2P) applications, file sharing, file transfer protocol (FTP), and web server applications can all consume large amounts of bandwidth, which may prevent Steam from accessing the resources necessary to run your Games.

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Even if you only experience occasional issues with Steam, disabling or pausing these apps while using Steam can often result in a significant increase in performance.

IP filtering programs

These types of programs are designed to limit the traffic received and sent through your network, which is known to cause issues with Steam.

7. If all else fails: reinstall Steam

If none of the above fixes work, there may be an underlying issue with your Steam library. By uninstalling and then reinstalling Steam, you will know that you are running the latest version of the Steam client and that all of your games are located in the correct folders.

To uninstall Steam:

1. Launch the Steam client application.

2. Select the “Library” tab.

3. Control-click on each game in your library, then select “Manage -> Uninstall”.

If all else fails, you can uninstall all of your Steam games and then uninstall the Steam client.If all else fails, you can uninstall all of your Steam games and then uninstall the Steam client.

4. Go to “Control Panel -> Programs and Features”.

5. Search for “Steam” and uninstall it.

6. Restart your computer.

You can now re-download Steam and follow the on-screen instructions to install.

Hopefully, with the above fixes, you can fix the issue of Steam games not launching. If, however, your problem is with Steam not opening, you can follow the fixes here. One more thing, you should also speed up your Steam downloads to avoid a long wait time.

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