Steam games won’t launch in Windows 10 [Full Fix]

Ivan Jenic
by Ivan Jenic
Troubleshooting Expert
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  • Steam games run without a problem for the most part but sometimes they won't start when you try to launch them.
  • This can be due to a number of reasons but mostly it's because of the drivers.
  • Bookmark our Steam page and check it often as we upload guides and fixes all the time.
  • Explore our Gaming Hub if you want to stay tuned to the gaming world.
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Microsoft made Windows 10 a very gamer-friendly operating system with all these features like game streaming, recording, and a great Xbox One app.

But PC gamers use Steam even more than they use the Xbox One app, and a few of them reported that they’re unable to play steam games at all.


What can I do if I can’t launch Steam games?

  1. Update your Drivers and DirectX
  2. Verify game cache 
  3. Update Windows
  4. Roll back Windows
  5. Update GPU drivers
  6. Run the game as Administrator
  7. Run games in the compatibility mode
  8. Remove the ClientRegistry.blob file
  9. Relocate the Steam client

1. Update your Drivers and DirectX

It won’t do any harm if you head to Device Manager, right-click on the graphics card under Display Adapter, and see if there are any Driver updates.

The same goes for DirectX, check if the latest version is installed, and if not, go to Microsoft’s website and download it.

Updating drivers manually can be a long process, especially if you do it manually, download DriverFix (100% safe and tested by us) to do it automatically.

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2. Verify Integrity of Game Files

Steam games not working Windows 10

  1. Launch Steam.
  2. Go to Library and click on Properties from the menu.
  3. Select the Local files tab and click the Verify integrity of game files button.
  4. Wait for the process to finish and re-launch Steam.

3. Update Windows

Microsoft pays a lot of attention to gaming and considers gamers a valuable part of the whole Windows community.

Therefore, the company includes some threats for gamers in every major update for Windows 10.

Run a System Scan to discover potential errors

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And besides the new features, major Windows 10 updates also solve certain issues related to gaming. In this case, our Steam issue.

So, make sure you have the latest version of Windows 10 installed on your computer, and maybe you won’t have to do anything else.

You can find the updates by starting the Settings and then clicking on Update & Security.


Having trouble updating your Windows 10? This guide will help you solve them in no time


4. Rollback Windows

  1. Go to the Settings app.
  2. Click on Update & security.
  3. Navigate to the Recovery tab from the left pane and click the Get started button in Go back to the previous version of Windows 10section.Steam games not working Windows 10
  4. Select the reason for going back to the previous build and click Next.
  5. You’ll be offered to download the latest updates. Click on the No, thanks button.
  6. Click Next to continue.
  7. Click on Next once again and select Go back to the earlier build.

Note: You’ll only be able to do this if you use a Windows 10 version older than the Fall Creators Update because this option has been removed from this version of Windows.

If you’re using Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, the only thing you can really do is to clean install some previous version of the system.


5. Update GPU drivers

  1. Right-click on the Start button and, from the Power-user menu, select Device Manager.
  2. Navigate to Display adapters and expand this section.
  3. Right-click your graphics device and open Properties.Steam games not working Windows 10
  4. Select the Details tab.
  5. From the drop-down menu, open HardwareIds.
  6. Copy the first row and paste it into your browser’s address bar.
  7. The search results should show you the exact drivers you’ll need to install.

Note: This is where you’ll need to act with caution. Drivers are often distributed by some suspicious sources and you need to avoid those like plague.

Here are the official sites where you should find your drivers:


6. Run the game as Administrator

  1. Go to the Steam Library
  2. Locate the game you want to run
  3. Right-click the game title, and go to Properties Steam games not working Windows 10
  4. Head over to the Local Files tab
  5. Click Browse Local Files
  6. Find the game executable, right-click it, and go to Properties
  7. Head over to the Compatibility tab, and check Run this program as Administrator
  8. Save the changes and try to run the game

Note: If nothing happens when you click on the Run as administrator, take a look at this excellent guide to solve the issue quickly.


7. Run games in the compatibility mode

  1. Go to Steam Library
  2. Locate the game you want to run
  3. Right-click the game title, and select Properties 
  4. Head over to the Local Files tab
  5. Click Browse Local Files
  6. Find the game executable, right-click it, and go to Properties
  7. Head over to the Compatibility tabSteam games not working Windows 10
  8. Check Run this program in compatibility mode for:
  9. Choose the operating system
  10. Save the changes

You can’t delete a file in Windows 10? Check out this useful guide that will help you


9. Relocate the Steam client

  1. Exit the Steam client.
  2. Go to the Steam installation folder and locate the folder you would like to move (D:Steam, for example).
  3. Delete all of the files and folders except the SteamApps & User data folders and Steam.exe
  4. Cut and paste the whole Steam folder to the default location. Usually, it’s the following path: C:\Program Files\Steam
  5. Launch Steam and log into your account.

Change the default installation path

  1. Open Steam
  2. Navigate to your Steam client Settings menu.
  3. Select Steam Library Folders from the Downloads tab.Steam games not working Windows 10
  4. Select Add Library Folder and create a new path
    Steam games not working Windows 10
  5. Right-click the newly created path, to make sure it’s set to default.

If you encountered any other Steam errors, we recommend you to take a look at this in-depth guide that will help you fix common Steam errors on Windows 10.

What is your gaming experience in Windows 10? Do you have any problems or everything runs smoothly? Share that with us in the comments, below.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in March 2020 and has been since revamped and updated in October 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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Editor's Note: This article was originally published in November 2017 and was revamped and updated in October 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.