Steam is the main app that most gamers use when they want to play online via desktop or laptop, but it’s not always the perfect application. You can run into issues with the app when loading it – in some cases, Steam takes forever to launch. In other scenarios, you may not even be able to open the Steam app at all.
And as open of the most popular gaming platforms online, it can be pretty annoying. Here’s what you should do if that happens.
Steam app won’t open? – What to do
There are many reasons for why your Steam client could not be opening; it can happen when you launch Steam or even whilst you’re using it and running processes, it won’t let you navigate back to it. We’re going to go through some common issues, and ways in which they can be solved. That way, you can get back to beating your friends up in Brawlhalla or whatever other Steam game is currently dominating your life.
Steam can’t open if it doesn’t have access to the internet. So, firstly, check that you’re connected to the internet. If so, check that your router’s light indicator is green. This usually means the router is working. If it’s not green, try turning the router off and on again. Then, try opening the Steam app.
If the app still won’t open, try opening something else that requires the internet on the same device. For example, a YouTube video. If it works, then there shouldn’t be an issue with your internet.
Something else you can try is to disconnect your Wi-Fi or internet, and then reconnect it again. This can fix Steam processes without having much of an issue, and it can save you from reinstalling Steam (which can take a while).
If the internet continues not to work, there may be an issue with your internet provider. If you have mobile data or a device with working internet (some devices can work whilst others don’t in these situations), you can go on this website to check: https://downdetector.co.uk/.
Just click on or search for your internet provider to view their outage reports over the last few days. If there are a lot of reports, there’s most likely an issue with your internet provider.
You can try going on your broadband’s website to see if they discuss any connection issues, and when they’ll be resolved by.
Steam is a widely-used platform, so they have great server maintenance support. Any server issues are usually resolved in a few hours, or a day at most. The Steam servers are generally reliable, but they can have the odd issue from time to time.
You can see if Steam’s servers are down by looking at these websites:
https://www.issteamdown.com/ – This website states whether the servers are down. It also has a FAQ section, which gives reasons for why the platform is down as well as when it will likely be up again. If the servers are down, you won’t be able to open Steam. You can only wait until the servers are back up again before trying to open the app once more.
https://steamstat.us/ – You can use this website to see if the status of Steam services are normal. If they aren’t normal, that means there’s most likely a problem with the servers; which is preventing your Steam app from opening properly.
Additionally, you can see if there are any connectivity issues with Steam in your region. If there are, your Steam client is most likely not opening due to server issues in your location. You can wait until those issues are fixed, which should only take a day at most, and try opening the Steam app again.
There could be an issue with the app itself that is causing issues, so it’s usually best to re-launch Steam and see whether that can help fix the problem. There are a couple of different ways you can go about restarting it, and it all depends on the device you’re using.
For Laptop/PC users:
Open your task manager by pressing ‘Windows-key + ‘x’, and clicking ‘Task Manager’ from the list of options that appear.
This should open the task manager, which shows a list of all apps that are currently running in the background.
If Steam is on that list, click on it, and press ‘end task’ to close it. Then, try opening the Steam app again. You can also just restart your computer entirely if you want to close down the other apps that you’ve currently got opened with it and start again from a fresh boot.
For apple users:
Go to Settings>General>Background App Refresh
This should show what apps are currently running in the background.
Find Steam, and turn off background activity by pressing the green switch.
Then, open the Steam app again.
For android users:
Go to Settings>Apps
Find Steam and press on it. Then, click ‘force stop’ in the bottom-right corner.
Then, open the Steam app again.
If the issue doesn’t lie with the Steam app, then the problem may be with the device itself. You can go ahead and restart your device, and then open Steam again.
For Laptop/PC users:
Go to the Start menu, then Power Button, and then click Restart.
Depending on your iPhone model it may differ, but generally you can turn your iPhone off by holding down the lock button on the right side of your phone, and then simply sliding the power off on the display.
After 10 seconds, you can hold the lock button down on your phone to confirm that it’s turned off for good.
In a similar manner, for Android you hold down the lock button too, but instead of using a slider you’ll just have to press the Power off button when it pops up.
Over time, you need to ensure that your computer is kept up to date. If you’re using a Macbook and the MacOS, your drivers will update automatically – but for Windows users, you’ll need to do this manually instead.
Go to Start Menu>Settings>Update & Security, and click ‘check for updates’.
Head into Settings in the bottom left hand corner of your display.
Then, go to Update and Security
Then, you should be able to click on the updates button underneath Windows update.
There will be an Update button if your device does need updating, and there’s a good chance this will fix Steam if the issue is caused by an update (or a lack of one).
For Apple (iOS) users:
Though you won’t need to update the drivers on a Macbook, you’re an iPhone user, making sure your mobile is updated is a good idea if you want to run Steam. Head into Settings, then General, where you should be able to find Software Update. If you can update, then there will be an option for you to do so in the form of a button.
For Android users:
In a similar fashion to the iPhone operating system, you can check for updates and install them like you can on an iPhone. You do this in the same manner – heading into your settings, and then into Software Update.
Steam users are generally less likely to use the iPhone app, but it’s worth knowing anyway just incase you do like to use it on your mobile from time to time.
If nothing we’ve mentioned so far has helped, or you’re still unable to determine the reason for why your Steam app isn’t opening, try going to Steam Support for help: https://help.steampowered.com/en/.
Click on ‘Steam Client’ for help with the Steam app, then click on the most relevant issue.
Then, you have three options to choose from.
You can get more possible solutions to your issue by clicking on ‘General Steam Client Troubleshooting’.
You can get more information on why the app won’t open by clicking ‘Programs Which May Interfere With Steam’.
Or, you can click ‘Contact Steam Support’ for more personalised help. You can discuss your issue with Steam Support, and see if they can help solve it.
Potential other issues
So, we’ve run through the most common issues that people face when trying to run Steam games – but that’s not all of them. Here’s a few more things that may be stopping your Steam files from running;
- Antivirus software – An antivirus software could prevent Steam from running its program files, especially if its a strict program (like Windows Defender or Norton). Try disabling any installed antivirus programs to see if this helps.
- Update graphics drivers – Using Windows? You may need to update the graphics drivers on your device, as it could be affecting your game client. You can do this within the Control Panel of your Windows settings.
- Restart and relaunch Steam – When Steam won’t open and you can’t think of anything else to try, completely resetting your device is a good idea. You’ll have to go through the Steam setup again, but it may get the app working for you properly.
To conclude, if the cause for your Steam app not opening is due to an external party, such as Steam’s servers or your internet broadband – if it’s the servers, then unfortunately you’ll just have to wait until they’re fixed by the Steam network. If it’s your Wi-Fi, then a reboot should do the trick.
It could also be an issue with your device – making sure everything is updated here is key as well as potentially uninstalling and then reinstalling Steam too. You can try storing Steam games on an external drive too, as it could be an issue with your computer’s storage capacity. If nothing else, you may need to get in touch with Steam support.