Steam says game is running when it isn’t – 8 ways to fix

Steam is a famous and widely-used video game platform for PC/Desktop. The platform both sells video games and allows you to play video games. Usually, when you play a game using Steam, Steam will detect it and state whether a game is currently running.

However, there may be times where Steam is incorrect in its detection and states a game is running when it isn’t. Fortunately, there are several ways to fix this error.

Steam says game is running when it isn’t – Fix

The first thing you should do if you encounter this problem is restart Steam. If restarting Steam doesn’t fix the issue, then you may want to restart your laptop or computer too.

You can also consider closing the game, deleting it from your Steam client and then re-installing it. The good news is that you can usually fix your Steam game by running through the steps below.

These are the most common ways you can fix Steam saying that game processes are still running when they aren’t. In this article, we’ll cover some of the different methods in detail you can utilise in order to fix this issue.

Step 1: Restart PC/Laptop

The first method for solving the issue is restarting your device. This will help reboot the Steam application and any relevant data.

This will also ensure that any corrupt and missing files aren’t causing this game running issue.

Go to Start menu > Power Button > Restart.


Then, try opening Steam to see if it’s still saying the game is running. This is also the easiest way to fix the Steam library locked error.

Step 2: Restart Program

If the system restart didn’t work, try simply restarting the Steam Client.

First, ensure that the Steam application is closed. You can check if it’s still running in the background by opening the task manager.

You can access the task manager by pressing Windows-Key + ‘x’, and clicking the ‘task manager’ option.


Check whether Steam is listed in the task manager. If so, select the program and click ‘end task’ in the bottom right. This will fully close Steam’s activities.


Finally, open up Steam again and see if the issue is still present.

Step 3: Check Background Tasks

You can also use the task manager to check whether a game is still running in the background despite it being closed.

If the game is listed in the task manager, Steam may be detecting its background activity. This could be the reason why Steam is saying the game is still running.

To fix this issue, click on the game in the task manager and click ‘end task’. This should stop the game’s background activities. Now, you can go back to Steam to see if the issue has been resolved.

Step 4: Log out of your Steam account

Another method you could use to remedy the problem is logging out of your Steam account, and logging back in.

This can help refresh your account and possibly solve any errors currently showing. There’s still no way to transfer Steam games to other accounts, so that can’t be causing the issue.

See Also: Can you transfer Steam games?

To log out of your account in the Steam app, click on your username in the top left. This should cause a list of options to show up. Click the ‘log out of account’ option to log out.


Next, log back into your Steam account. Now, check to see if Steam is still saying the game is running when it isn’t. You can even test to see if the error will reoccur by starting up a game in Steam, and closing it.

Step 5: Restart Game

You can try restarting the game to see if Steam will refresh its statement, as this can often fix Steam game running errors.

Simply open the game again, and exit the game once more. Then, go to Steam to see if it still says the game is running.

Step 6: Reinstall Game

If restarting the game didn’t help fix the issue, try reinstalling the game instead. This will allow you to delete the game files, which can help prevent Steam from continuing to detect it as running.

In order to uninstall the game, open up Steam. Click the ‘library’ option near the top to access your Steam games library. Find the game you wish to uninstall, and right-click on it. A set of options should appear. Hover over the ‘manage’ option and click ‘uninstall’ to uninstall the game.


Confirm the uninstallation and wait for the process to finish. After the game has been uninstalled, reinstall it by finding the game in your Steam library and right-clicking on it. Then, click the ‘install’ option to download it.


Alternatively, you can click on the game to open its page, and click the ‘install’ option there.

After the game has been reinstalled, check to see if Steam still says the game is running.

Step 7: Reinstall Program

If nothing has worked in solving the problem so far, try reinstalling the Steam application.

First, search for the Steam app in the Start Menu. It should show up as the best match. Next, click ‘uninstall’.


This will take you to the Programs and Features settings. You can also access these settings by going to Control Panel > Programs > Programs and Features.

Search for the Steam app in the search bar. Select Steam and right-click on it. Then, click ‘uninstall’ to uninstall the program.


Once the app has uninstalled, go to and click ‘install Steam’ to download Steam again.


Once Steam has finished downloading, open the app and log into your account. Now, check if Steam is still saying the game is running.

Step 8: Contact Steam Support

If none of methods above helped prevent Steam from saying a game is running when it isn’t, try contacting Steam support.

You can find their help form by accessing Log into your Steam account in your browser before clicking the link to the form. Otherwise, you’ll just be prompted to log in.



In conclusion, there are many ways in which you can stop Steam from incorrectly saying a game is running.

The core method for solving this issue is refreshing Steam and its contents. You can achieve this by restarting your device, the game, or the Steam app. You may also want to double check your internet connection speed.

Related: Transferring Steam Money to PayPal

Or, you can undergo a more drastic refresh by reinstalling the game or the Steam app. If none of these methods worked in fixing the problem, go to Steam support for help.

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I love reading, writing, drawing, and other creative pursuits. I wish to travel more and do extreme activities, such as bungee-jumping and skydiving. I'm a casual gamer with an affinity for narrative-driven games and unique art styles. I like watching a variety of different media, but I particularly enjoy animations and musicals. My favourite genre, for both books and visual media, is psychological-thriller.

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