How to fix the Steam service error

Matthew Adams
by Matthew Adams
Windows & Software Expert
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  • Steam is probably the world's most well-known digital distribution platform for games.
  • Unfortunately, the Steam client is not impervious to errors, and that is what we will be looking over in the guide below.
  • The article is just one of many that we've included in our dedicated hub for troubleshooting Steam errors.
  • For even more great articles, check out our Steam page.

Some users have posted on support forums about a Steam service error that arises when they try to launch Steam. That error message states:

In order to run Steam properly on this version of Windows, the Steam service component is not working properly on this computer.

Consequently, the Steam client doesn’t start.

How do I fix the Steam service error

1. Configure Steam to run as an administrator

  1. The Steam service error can usually be resolved by configuring Steam to run with admin rights.
    • If you have a desktop shortcut for Steam, right-click it and select the Properties option.
  2. If you don’t have a desktop shortcut for the software, right-click the Steam EXE file within its folder and select Properties.
    • The default folder path for Steam is: C: > Program Files> Steam (x86).
  3. Select the Compatibility tab shown in the snapshot directly below.
    Compatibility tab steam service error
  4. Select the Run this program as an administrator setting there.
  5. Click the Apply option, and press the OK button.

2. Turn off Windows Defender Firewall

  1. The Steam service error can be due to firewall blocks.
  2. Enter firewall in the search box to find WDF.
  3. Click Windows Defender Firewall to open its Control Panel applet window.
    Windows Defender Firewall applet steam service error
  4. Click Turn Windows Defender Firewall on or off on the left of the applet.
  5. Next, select the Turn off Windows Defender Firewall options within Customize Settings.
    Turn off Windows Defender Firewall options steam service error
  6. Click OK to exit.
  7. Thereafter, launch Steam again with WDF off.

3. Disable third-party antivirus software

Users with third-party antivirus software might need to disable those utilities. To do that, right-click the system tray icon for your antivirus software to open its context menu.

Then select a disable option of some description on the context menu to turn off the antivirus utility’s shield for a certain time period. Launch Steam with your antivirus utility disabled.

Avast antivirus options steam service error

4. Configure the Steam service to start automatically

  1. Check that the Steam service is running and configured to start automatically.
  2. Press the Windows key + R keyboard shortcut, which opens Run.
  3. Type services.msc in the Open box, and click the OK option.
    Services window steam service error
  4. Double-click Steam Client Service to open the properties window for it.
  5. Click the Stop button if the service is running.
  6. Select the Automatic option on the Startup type drop-down menu.
  7. Press the Start button.
  8. Select the Apply option to save changes.
  9. Then click OK to exit.

5. Fix the Steam service

  1. Repairing the Steam service might fix the service error for some users.
  2. First, right-click your Steam shortcut and select the Open file location option.
  3. Then note down the full folder path for Steam within File Explorer.
    • Alternatively, copy it to the clipboard by pressing the Ctrl + C hotkey.
  4. Open the Run window.
  5. Enter cmd in Run’s Open box, and press the Ctrl + Shift + Enter hotkey.
  6. Then enter the full path of Steam followed by /repair in the Command Prompt.
    • For example, the command for the default Steam path would be entered as shown in the snapshot directly below.
      repair command steam service error
  7. Press the Return key after entering the repair command.

Those are some of the more widely confirmed fixes for the Steam service error. Running Steam as an administrator will often fix the issue. However, some users might need to fix the error with the other resolutions.

FAQ: Learn more about Steam

  • How much is Steam on PC?

The Steam service is completely free of charge.

  • How does Steam work?

Steam acts as a digital distribution platform through which you can buy, download, install, manage, and run a wide variety of software.

  • Can I get free content through Steam?

Plenty of titles are free on Steam, and you can also use the platform to access free demos as well as Early Access phases for a variety of games. More so, they have partnerships that allow for periodic giveaways from time to time.