Steam service error message – How to fix

Steam is a popular distributor of PC video games. The platform has its own website, as well as an application available for download.

Steam usually undergoes routine maintenance to ensure that no errors occur when users are on the platform.

Therefore, Steam often runs quite smoothly with few issues occurring. However, errors can sometimes still occur despite the regular maintenance the platform undergoes.

One such error is the Steam service error, which can occur during Steam’s launching process.

Steam service error – Fixing the issue

This error will prevent the program from starting up, which means you won’t be able to access Steam for the time-being.

The Steam service error can occur if Steam lacks the proper permissions to run as a program on your device. It can also occur when you run Steam but it requires maintenance.

Fortunately, there are a few methods you can use to prevent this error from occurring. We’ll cover some of the methods for fixing the Steam service error in this article.

Run Client as Administrator

The first method for solving the Steam service error is by simply running the Steam client as an administrator.

One of the common reasons behind the Steam service error is a lack of administrator privileges.

Running the program as an administrator will give the client access to all the admin permissions it should require in order to launch successfully.

To run the client as an administrator, first locate Steam’s shortcut file. The file should be on your desktop by default. Once you’ve found the shortcut, right-click it and select ‘properties’.


If you either can’t locate the shortcut on your desktop, or simply don’t have a shortcut for Steam, open the File Explorer.

Click on This PC > Windows (C:) > Programs (x86) > Steam. Locate the Steam .exe file and right-click it. Click ‘properties’ to open the properties settings.

Select the ‘compatibility’ tab near the top of the window. You should be able to see an option called ‘run this program as an administrator’.

Check the box next to it. Then, select the ‘ok’ option and exit the window.


Steam should now be able to run as an administrator. Try launching the Steam client once more to see if the Steam service error has been fixed.

This should also fix any missing file privilege errors that may occur too, as long as you have administrator privileges in advance.

Repair the Steam Client Service

Another method for solving the Steam service error is by repairing the Steam client service. The Steam client service can experience issues at times.

Luckily, there is a way to repair the service by using a command function. The command should be able to restart the service from outside the client.

In order to access the command, you must first open the Run dialog box. You can do so by pressing Windows-key + ‘r’. Within the dialog box, type ‘cmd’.


Then, press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to run the command prompt. A window should then pop up. Type out the location of the Steam service .exe file.

The default location should be C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\bin\SteamService.exe. After the file location, type /repair.

The final line should “C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\bin\SteamService.exe” /repair. After typing out the line, run the repair command to start repairing the Steam client service.

After the repair command has finished processing, try launching Steam once more to see if the error still occurs.

Ensure Steam Service is Running

Another method for solving the Steam service error is by checking that Steam service is running. In order for Steam to launch properly, Steam service should be up and functioning.

By default, the service should start running whenever the Steam client launches. If, for some reason, this doesn’t seem to be the case with your Steam service – you can make it so that the service automatically runs on Startup.

The Steam service client is usually only set to launch when the Steam client launches, but the service may be struggling to do so.

Therefore, you can make it launch on Startup instead to ensure that the service is running when you try to launch Steam.

In order to change the Steam service launch settings, open the Run dialog box (Windows-key + ‘r’).


Within the dialog box, type ‘services.msc‘. Then, click ‘ok’ to open the services settings.

Alternatively, you can access the services settings by searching ‘services’ in the Start Menu.

See Also: Taking Screenshots on Steam

Within the services settings, find the Steam client service. The list of services is ordered alphabetically by default, so the Steam client services should be located near the end of the list.

Once you’ve found the Steam client service, right click it. Then, click the ‘properties’ option.


This should open up the service’s properties settings. You can check whether the service is currently running by looking at the ‘service status‘ near the bottom.

If the service is running, it should say ‘running‘ next to the ‘service status‘. If the service is currently ‘stopped‘, start it by clicking the ‘start’ option.

To make the Steam client service open on Startup, look at the ‘Startup type‘ section. If the option next to ‘Startup type‘ is ‘manual‘, the service will only start when Steam starts.

Click on the ‘manual‘ option to open the drop-down menu. Click the ‘automatic’ option to enable the service to launch on Startup.


You could also try restarting the Steam client service. Stop the service by clicking the ‘stop’ option, and restart the service by clicking ‘start’.


In conclusion, the Steam service error can sometimes occur when Steam tries to launch. This is usually due to Steam failing to have the right permissions to run, which can cause it to fail in starting up.

Try running the client as an administrator to solve the Steam service error message.

Related: Uninstall and Reinstall Steam Guide

If this solution doesn’t work in solving the problem, the issue may lie with the Steam client service itself. Try checking the service’s properties settings to see its status. If the service isn’t currently running, restart it using the settings.

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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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