Steam Games Won't Launch Windows 11 - 10 Simple Fixes

Reading time icon 5 min. read

Readers help support MSPoweruser. When you make a purchase using links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Tooltip Icon

Read the affiliate disclosure page to find out how can you help MSPoweruser effortlessly and without spending any money. Read more

Steam games wont launch Windows 11

It’s frustrating when your favorite Steam games won’t launch on Windows 11. Steam is a great game client, but sometimes games just don’t want to start up. But don’t worry; read on to find out how to fix this annoying issue for good.

Preliminary Checks

  • Ensure your PC meets the minimum system requirements for the affected game(s).
  • Restart the game and your PC.
  • Temporarily disable firewall and antivirus software.
  • Temporarily turn off VPN, download accelerators, and P2P software.
  • Update Windows 11 to the latest version.

If the problem persists, do the following:

1. Run Steam Client as Administrator

1. Right-click on the Steam client shortcut on the desktop and select Open file location.

2. Scroll down the Steam folder and find the Steam exe file.

3. Right-click on the Steam.exe and select Run as administrator.

Run Steam as admin

2. Set the Steam Game to Run with Administrator Rights

1. Open the Steam client and navigate to your games library.

2. Locate the affected game, right-click on it, and choose Manage > Browse local files.

browse local files

3. In the game folder, locate the game’s exe file, right-click on it, and choose Run as administrator.

Run the game as admin

3. Update Graphics Driver

You can update your drivers by checking Windows Update or manually downloading the latest ones from your GPU manufacturer site (like NVIDIA, AMD, or Intel).

1. Right-click on the Start menu and choose Device Manager.

2. Double-click on the Display adapter category to expand it.

3. Right-click on your graphic card name and select Update driver.

Update driver

4. Now, you can choose “Search automatically for drivers” or “Browse my computer for drivers.”

Browse New Drivers

5. Either way, follow the on-screen guide to complete the update process and reboot your PC.

4. Run the Game in Compatibility Mode

1. In the game folder, locate the game’s exe file, right-click on it, and choose Properties.

2. Click the Compatibility tab on the Steam game’s properties window.

Compatibility Mode

3. Select the checkbox labeled “Run this program in compatibility mode for” and then choose Windows 8 or Windows 7 from the compatibility drop-down menu.

4. Also select the checkbox labeled “Run this program as an administrator.

5. Click on Apply and OK and try to run the game from the games folder.

5. Update the Steam Client

1. Open the Steam client, and click on Steam > Check for the Steam Updates.

Check for Steam Update

2. If there’s a new client version, click Download and wait for Steam to update.

Steam Update Download

3. After updating, log in to your Steam account and try running the game to check if the issue is resolved.

6. Verify and Repair Game Files

1. Launch the Steam client and navigate to the LIBRARY.

2. Right-click the game in your Library and select Properties.

Game Properties

3. Select Installed Files from the left pane and click the Verify integrity of game files.

Installed Files

4. Now, Steam will verify the game’s files. Be patient; this process may take several minutes, depending on the size of the game.

Verify game files

5. After completing the verification process, restart Steam and launch your game to ensure it runs without issues.

7. Disable Background Apps

1. Press the Ctrl + Shift +Esc keys simultaneously on the keyboard to open Task Manager.

2. Click on the Startup tab to view all apps that start with Windows. Then, right-click on any unnecessary third-party startup items and select Disable.

Startup app

3. Exit Task Manager and press the Win + R keys to open the Run dialog box.

4. Type “msconfig” and press Enter to open the System Configuration window.


5. On the Services tab of System Configuration, check “Hide all Microsoft services” and uncheck all other services by selecting “Disable all.”

System Configuration

6. Click OK. After that, restart your PC. Once your device has finished restarting, try relaunching your Steam game.

8. Clear Game Cache

1. Open the Steam client, and from the main menu, choose Steam>Settings.

Steam Settings

2. Select Downloads from the left pane and click the “Clear Cache” button under the “Clear Download Cache” options.

Downloads cache

3. Confirm the action and relaunch the Steam client (you must log in to your Steam account again).

Clear Download Cache

9. Disable Steam Overlay

 1. Open the Steam client and choose the Steam> Settings option from the menu.

2. Choose “In Game” from the left pane and disable the “Enable Steam Overlay while in-game.”

In Game Overlay

10. Reinstall the Steam Client or Affected Game

If all else fails, you might want to try uninstalling and reinstalling the games causing issues. This can help solve problems arising from a faulty installation process or missing/corrupted files that Steam can’t fix.

If this doesn’t work, I recommend uninstalling and reinstalling the Steam client as a last resort. However, remember that this might involve downloading your games again.

You may also be interested in:

So, now you know what to do when Steam games won’t launch on Windows 11. If the steps I’ve provided don’t work for you, try reinstalling Steam as a last resort. Remember that doing so will also remove all games installed with the client unless you move the steamapps folder (C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps) to another location.

More about the topics: steam, windows 11