Fix Steam Won’t open [ Windows 10, 7 & Mac ]

Radu Tyrsina
by Radu Tyrsina
CEO & Founder
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  • Steam is the best-known video game digital platform. The Steam client is available on all major operating systems and provides access to the entire library as well as other features.
  • The app might have issues opening. It might be already running or it might have encountered an error. Restart the computer first. If it still won't open, flush the config or reinstall it. 
  • Learn all the things you can do with this software by visiting our Steam guides section and select anything you like from there.
  • Gaming means having fun. Issues are quite the opposite. We want to help you, so check out the Steam Gaming section to learn more.
Fix Steam won't open
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Steam is a highly reliable application that allows users to easily access and buy games. However, despite it being reliable, some users will still experience errors and malfunctions.

For example, some users can’t open Steam on Windows 10, even though it is already completely optimized for the OS. If you are having trouble opening Steam on Windows 10, then you will want to take a look at the troubleshooting techniques in this article.

How to fix Steam not opening or launching

  • Use the ‘steam://flushconfig’ command
  • Start your PC in Safe Mode
  • Reinstall Steam

Fix Steam using “steam://flushconfig” command

The command is used to refresh the installation of the Steam application. Therefore, it is used to fix a number of issues related to the gaming client. If you are unsure how to use this command, then follow these steps:

  1. Open the Run dialog box. You can do this by pressing the Windows key together. Alternatively, you can type in Run in Cortana on the Windows menu.
  2. Once the dialog is open, type in or copy this command steam://flushconfig . fix steam
  3. Next, press enter and this dialog will appear from Steam.
  4. Press OK.

Enter Safe Mode

Configuring your PC’s settings to start in Safe Mode is another method you can use to troubleshoot this issue. Safe Mode only allows vital applications to operate. So, if there are third party programs interfering with the starting of the steam application, then Safe Mode should fix the problem.

Is Safe Mode is not working, this troubleshooting guide will help you fix the problem.

If your Steam application works in Safe Mode, then you need to look for the program that is disrupting Steam and disable it. If you are not sure how to turn your Windows 10 computer into Safe Mode then follow these instructions:

  1. Type in System configuration into your search (Windows menu). Click on System configuration when it shows up.
  2. When the dialog opens go to the boot tab.
  3. There will be a Safe boot option located on the bottom left side of the dialog.
  4. Select Safe Boot and underneath it select Network. We will need the network to be running because the Steam client uses the internet. If you are still confused, you can look at the picture below for reference.
  5. The Safe Boot will take effect after you restart your computer.

Reinstall  Steam

If all else fails, there is always the option of reinstalling Steam. However, this process can be somewhat tiring as you will have to redownload all of your games, then install them. Of course, you will not have to rebuy the games, as they are part of your steam account permanently.

If you really do not want to go through the tiring process of redownloading and reinstalling all of your games, then you can choose to move the steamapps folder (folder of all of your games) from the steam directory and save it in another place on your HDD. Afterward, uninstall your Steam and delete the folder completely. After you reinstall the game you will want to copy the steamapps folder back into the Steam directory.

So, if you can’t open Steam on Windows 10, then you will want to try these fixes mentioned above. It is also a good idea to turn off any antivirus programs you may have enabled and even disable Windows Firewall. Temporarily disabling your antivirus programs may resolve the issue.

Steam won’t open Macsteam won't open mac - system settings

  1. Hit Command + Space to open Spotlight and type in Security. Choose Security & Privacy under System Preferences.
  2. From the left panel, click on Accessibility and scroll until you find Steam.
  3. Click on the bottom left padlock and type in your password to be able to make changes.
  4. Make sure that Steam is enabled and has that blue boxes ticked. If Steam is not in the list, press the + button and add it.
  5. Close the window and open Steam.

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If you tried opening the Steam app but it keeps jumping up and down in the dock, make sure you have Steam enabled in the Accessibility area. Follow the steps from above to achieve this.

Steam still won’t launch? Then it’s time for a reinstall.

To reinstall Steam on a Mac quickly, without losing any games already installed, you need to go to ~/Application Support/Library/Steam and delete the folder named Steam.AppBundle. Then launch Steam like you normally would.

This will force Steam to download the latest version and perform a fresh install.

If you followed the solutions explained before and got Steam running again, congratulations. These instructions also apply to the following errors:

  • steam client won’t open – This happens occasionally and a restart should be enough. Otherwise, this guide will help.
  • steam app won’t open – The Steam app is also known as the Steam client.
  • steam won’t open when I click the icon – In both scenarios, double-clicking on the desktop icon or using the Start Menu, the result is the same and is fixed in this guide.
  • steam won’t open on pc – This error might show if there’s a conflicting software installed that prevents Steam from opening.
  • steam won’t open windows 7 – Steam won’t open error is encountered by users of Windows 10, Windows 8, and Windows 7 alike. There’s no difference, so the advice stays the same.
  • steam game says running but won’t open- In this case, Steam is already running but it is not responding. You can end the process in Task Manager.
  • tera won’t open on steam – This can happen if a game is not properly integrated with Steam.

FAQ: Learn more about Steam client not opening

  • What to do if Steam won’t open?

If Steam won’t open you can clear the cache, reset the application or reinstall it. Full instructions are in this guide.

  • What to do if your Steam games won’t open?

If the Steam app itself is not the issue, but the games are the ones causing problems, read what to do if the Steam games won’t launch in Windows.

  • Tera won’t open up in Steam?

Some users complain that while every other game works, Tera will not start. Restarting the computer usually does the trick. Alternatively, uninstall from Steam and use the new client launcher for Tera.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in September 2017 and has been since revamped and updated in May 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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