Fix SteamVR Error 306 With a Few Easy Steps

Reading time icon 4 min. read

Readers help support Windows Report. We may get a commission if you buy through our links. Tooltip Icon

Read our disclosure page to find out how can you help Windows Report sustain the editorial team Read more

Key notes

  • SteamVR error 306 can arise due to certain SteamVR updates, outdated or incorrectly installed GPU drivers, or certain conflicting software.
  • Driver updater software can sometimes fix VR headset and software issues like error starting SteamVR 306.
  • Uninstalling certain conflicting software might resolve the SteamVR failed to initialize for unknown reasons 306 error.
  • Some users might need to check how their VR devices are connected with PCs to fix the shared IPC compositor connect failed 306 error.
SteamVR error HTC Vivo Pro

SteamVR is a virtual reality platform that’s compatible with Vive, Windows Mixed Reality, and Oculus Rift headsets.

However, error 306 can arise for some users when they try to launch SteamVR. The full error 306 message says this:

Error Starting SteamVR – SteamVR failed to initialized for unknown reasons (Error: Shared IPC Compositor Connect Failed (306))

SteamVR doesn’t start when that issue arises. Speaking of problems, users also reported other possible variations. Check them out below!

Where does this error occur and what can I expect?

  • SteamVR failed initialization with error code vriniterror_init_hmdnotfound (VR init error HMD not found is one of the most frequent error codes, but there can be others as well)
  • SteamVR error 436, 435, 301, 475, 309, 119, 307, 303, 0 or SteamVR fail -203
  • Frequently associated with Oculus Quest 2: SteamVR Compositor had an error on present (108)
  • SteamVR error during OpenVR (Also found under this form: OpenVR runtime is not installed)

If you need to fix the SteamVR 306 error, check out these potential resolutions for that issue.

How can I fix SteamVR error code 306?

1. Update your drivers

There are a few ways you can update your graphics card’s driver, but the most straightforward method is to utilize driver updater software.

A quick Outbyte Driver Updater scan will display a detailed report that shows driver versions for your PC’s devices and which ones need new drivers.

Thereafter, you can select to update your graphics card’s driver if required. It will then download your GPU’s latest driver for you.

If you’re utilizing Outbyte Driver Updater Pro, you can then select the Apply All option to quickly install the driver without needing to extract and open its setup wizard.

Sometimes, malfunctioning drivers can cause multiple system errors. If this happens to your PC, you may need to update or reinstall certain drivers entirely. As the process is not quite straightforward, we recommend using a reliable driver updater for the job. Here's how to do it:
  1. Download and install Outbyte Driver Updater.
  2. Launch the software.
  3. Wait for the app to detect all faulty drivers.
    OutByte Driver Updater Scan
  4. Now, it will show you all the malfunctioning drivers listed to select the ones to Update or Ignore.
  5. Click on Update & Apply Selected to download and install the newest versions.
  6. Restart your PC to ensure the applied changes.
Outbyte Driver Updater

Outbyte Driver Updater

Secure your Windows PC with Outbyte from various errors caused by problematic drivers.
Free trial Download now
Disclaimer: this program needs to be upgraded from the free version in order to perform some specific actions.

2. Connect your VR cable with your graphics card’s primary port

  1. First, disconnect the HDMI cable for your monitor from the main port on your desktop graphics card.
  2. Then plug the VR cable (from the VR box) into the graphics card’s Main Port/Primary Port.
  3. Reconnect your monitor via your graphics card’s secondary port.
  4. If your SteamVR app is running, close and restart it to see if the error 306 issue persists.

3. Opt into SteamVR Beta Update

  1. Open your Steam client software.
  2. Select the Library tab in Steam.
  3. Right-click SteamVR on the left of the Library tab to select its properties window.
  4. Select the Betas tab shown directly below.
    SteamVR Beta Update option steamvr error 306
  5. Then choose the beta – SteamVR Beta Update option on the drop-down menu.
  6. Press the Close button.

4. Clean boot Windows

  1. Open the Run window.
  2. Input this run command in the Open box: msconfig
  3. Click the Selective Startup radio button.
    Selective startup steamvr error 306
  4. Deselect the Load startup items setting.
  5. Make sure you’ve selected the Load system services and Use original boot configuration checkboxes.
  6. Deselect the checkbox for Hide all Microsoft services shown directly below.
    The Hide all Microsoft services option steamvr error 306
  7. Click Disable all to disable remaining third-party services.
  8. Select the Apply option to save the new settings.
  9. Select the OK option to close the MSConfig utility.
  10. Select the Restart option on the dialog box that opens.
  11. Then try launching SteamVR after clean-booting Windows.

Note: Steam confirms Razer Synapse, Avast Antivirus, and the Asus AI Suite conflict with SteamVR and its drivers. So, uninstalling those conflicting programs might also help resolve SteamVR error 306.

5. Uninstall Natural Locomotion

  1. To launch Run, press the Windows and R keys at the same time.
  2. Input this command for opening the Windows uninstaller in the Open text box: appwiz.cpl
  3. Select the Natural Locomotion software within the Programs and Features applet.
    Windows uninstaller steamvr error 306
  4. Click the Uninstall option for Natural Locomotion to remove that software.
  5. Press the Windows + E hotkey to launch File Explorer.
  6. Open the config folder in File Explorer at this path: D:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\config
  7. Right-click the locomotion subfolder and select Delete.

Those are some of the more probable fixes for resolving SteamVR error 306 that are worth a shot.

You can also contact Steam via the Steam support page if further potential resolutions for error 306 are required.