This article will discuss a few of most common problems with Steam.
Please keep in mind that Steam is a product of Valve Corporation.
Facepunch Studios is not obligated to provide support for Steam or other Valve products and services.
If you encountered a problem with Steam, please contact Steam Support instead.
Below you can see solutions to most common problems with Steam.
These solutions may or may not fix the problem.
The Steam Client
In order to download and install games from Steam, you must download and install the Steam Client first.
You can find the Steam client installed on the official Steam Store website:
Once downloaded, installed and fully updated, you will be promted to enter your Steam Account credentials.
Your games are attached to your Steam Account and cannot be transfered to another account.
Steam Family Sharing information: http://store.steampowered.com/promotion/familysharing
Steam Refunds information: http://store.steampowered.com/steam_refunds/
In case you have lost your account, be that forgetting your password, log in username or your account getting hijacked, please refer to this article from Steam Support:
It describes what to do in each case. NEVER TELL YOUR PASSWORDS TO ANYONE.
A Steam game is missing from my Steam account
Steam games cannot disappear from your Steam account, unless you acquired them illegally or it was a timed offer ( Free Weekend or a Guest Pass ).
The only official place to buy Facepunch games ( Rust and Garry's Mod ) is the Steam Online Store ( http://store.steampowered.com/ ).
Please make sure that you have logged into the correct Steam account that you bought the game(s) with.
Please make sure that you have selected the full list of your games in Steam Library, not a list of currently installed games:
In case of a gift, the game may have appeared in your Steam Inventory instead, in which case you must navigate to your Steam Inventory ( Hover over your name in Steam and select Inventory ) and redeem the game from there.
Game constantly re-downloads and re-validates
Sometimes a game on Steam will non-stop update and validate itself, and when trying to launch it, it will update and fail with reason "Corrupt update files" or something similar.
This can be caused by your anti virus or similar software deleting the update files before steam has a chance of copying them to their intended location to update a game.
Try temporarily disabling your anti-virus (or similar) software and see if the problem is resolved. Check your anti virus (or similar) software logs to see if they did in fact interfere with Steam or your games.
The solution to this problem is to do a full reinstall of the game:
- Right click on the game in Steam Library and select Delete Local Content...
- Once the game has finishing uninstalling, install it again.
- Please keep in mind, that reinstalling a game will remove all user content, so backing up your content is highly recommended.
Disk Read or Write Error or Content File Locked
If when installing or updating a game on Steam displays one of these messages:
- "An error occurred while updating [game title] (disk write/read error)"
- "An error occurred while installing [game title] (disk write/read error)"
- "An error occurred while updating [game title] (content file locked)"
- A file Steam needs to access is locked and cannot be opened or edited. This usually happens when the game in question is currently running, or any of its files are opened on another program.
- File is opened for scanning or quarantined by your Anti Virus software by real time filesystem scanning. This is also known as a false positive.
- Close the game that fails to update with the error
- Usually restarting Steam or your PC helps too.
- Exclude game's or Steam's folders from your antivirus scans.
- Temporarily shutdown your antivirus completely.
Here's also an official Steam Support article about this issue:
A game is stuck on "Preparing to launch"
- Restart Steam
- Restart PC
- Disable Steam Cloud
- Make sure nothing blocks Steam from accessing the Internet.
- Make sure nothing blocks Steam Cloud servers.
- Try again later ( in a day )
For more information see this article from Steam Support:
Failed to start game (app already running)
- hl2.exe did not close properly when exiting the game ( For Garry's Mod )
- Steam did not capture game closing properly
- Some external program is preventing Steam Overlay from closing ( GameOverlayUI.exe )
- Restart Steam ( End Steam Process using Task Manager )
- Restart PC
- Manually close hl2.exe process ( For Garry's Mod )
- Try starting the game executeable directly from the game folder. ( hl2.exe in case of Garry's Mod )
In case steps above do not help:
- Exit any 3rd party programs that may have game overlays ( Discord, Overwolf, Teamspeak Overlays )
- Manually close/kill the processes for said Overlay programs ( DiscordOverlay.x86.exe for example )
- Manually close GameOverlayUI.exe after manually closing "Steam Service" (SteamSerive.exe) or "Steam Bootstrapper" (Steam.exe)
- For Windows 8+ users: Some processes may be hidden in the "Details" tab of the Task Manager!!
Failed to start game (executable missing)
Your anti virus or similar software removes the game executable as a "false positive" virus.
To fix this problem either wait for anti virus update that fixes the problem, or add the problematic file to your anti virus exceptions.
After that, validate the game on Steam to redownload the missing file.
(Workshop) Steam Downloads are stuck at 0%
This is a visual bug with Steam Client. While it shows 0% all of the time, it actually downloads your subscribed Steam Workshop mods.
If you do not wish to wait for it to download all if your mods, unsubscribe from the mods that you do not use.
There are reports that flushing Steam Config may solve the issue:
Resetting the ClientRegistry.blob file
Certain Steam issues may be corrected by renaming or deleting the ClientRegistry.blob file and restarting Steam.
Here's an article from Steam Support describing how to do so:
Programs Which May Interfere with Steam
There are certain applications that may interfere with Steam resulting in all sorts of problems.
Here's an article from Steam Support describing those programs: