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This page may require cleanup to meet basic quality standards. The specific problem is: Content past community links needs updating for modern Steam versions. Slimdown (delete?) reinstallation instructions. You can help by modifying the article. The discussion page may contain useful suggestions.
Developer(s) Valve Corporation
First release date Windows September 12, 2003
OS X May 12, 2010
Linux February 14, 2013
Digital Distribution

Key points

Information DRM: Digital distribution platform with accompanying client required for downloading and often playing games as well. Games can also be DRM-Free or contain third party DRM.
Information Refund policy: 14 days or 2 hours of playtime, 24 hours for Steam Workshop purchases; see the Steam Refunds and Steam Workshop Refund Policy pages for details respectively.[1]
Information Some games sold through third parties activate on Steam; see Retail / Digital CD Keys.
Information Periodic free weekend and individual publisher-driven events provide temporary and permanent free access to select titles.

General information

More information Official store
More information Official Support
More information Account details
More information Steam Community Forums
More information Steam Users' Forums
More information Steam Database

Big Picture[edit]

Information This mode can be launched by clicking on the Big Picture icon, by pushing Alt+ Enter while the Steam window is on focus, or through the home button on a controller.
Information See PC gaming on a TV and couch for general setup information.
Advantage Allows Steam to be used with a controller.

Adjust font size DPI (Windows)[edit]

Information Steam does not always respect the Windows DPI settings.
Information Appears to work if the Windows DPI settings are also adjusted above 100% size.

Fix Instructions

  1. Open the Registry Editor.
  2. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\steam
  3. Right Click on steam, then select New, DWORD (32-bit) value and name it as LogPixels.
  4. Select the LogPixels entry, select Decimal, then write the desired DPI value.

Taskbar showing on top (Windows)[edit]

Disadvantage This is caused by the incompatibility with DPI scaling in Windows.

Fix Disable Display Scaling On High DPI Settings

  1. Right click on Steam shortcut > Properties.
  2. Choose the Compatibility tab.
  3. Select 'Disable display scaling on high DPI settings.
  4. Running Steam will provide a compatibility warning. Press cancel to ignore.

Family Sharing[edit]

Information Allows sharing games between accounts. Each account gets separate saves, achievements, et al. except for DRM keys, which are shared.[2]
Information If the account's main owner is playing a game from their own account, or someone else is using family share on that account, you are presented with the "buy" option instead of install/play for the selected game.[3]
Information VAC bans can apply to the both the perpetrator and the owning account of a shared game, and the Family Share feature can be revoked entirely.[2]
Disadvantage Games with 3rd party DRM tied to account-locked keys (such as Uplay), have the feature specifically turned off by their publisher, or are VAC-banned cannot be shared and are not shown in shared accounts.[2]

Fix Instructions

  1. Log into your Steam account and press Authorize this computer if shown in Settings->Family.
  2. Log out and into the account to want to share with, go to Settings->Family, press Authorize this computer if shown, and for each account in Eligible accounts you want to share with ensure the Share box is enabled.
  3. Log back into your main account, go to Library and select Games from the drop down, and you should see games categorized as MY GAMES for games belonging to your account and [USER]'s Games for each family shared account.

Issues fixed[edit]

Error 80 And Application Load Error P:0000065432[edit]

Information Restart Steam.

Failed To Find Steam[edit]

Information Restart Steam. If this doesn't work, then see Delete ClientRegistry.blob.

Failed to start game. App already running[edit]

Information This may appear when launching the same game twice. Restart Steam if it still appears.

Game fails to launch or has odd gamebreaking issues[edit]

Fix Instructions

  1. Right Click on the desired game in the Library.
  2. Select Properties, the Local files tab, then click on the Verify integrity of game cache button.

Lowered volume when using background Metro apps while Steam is open (Windows 8)[edit]

Fix Instructions

  1. Push Win+R, type mmsys.cpl, then select OK.
  2. Open the Communications tab, then select Do nothing and save.

Make the Big Picture web browser faster (Windows)[edit]

Information This feature is enabled by default for compatibility reasons. It can add significant delays when loading any content on the internet, and as such is not usually required.
Advantage Certain browsers such as Chrome may benefit from this change too.

Fix Instructions[4]

  1. Open the Start menu and type Internet Options.
  2. Open the Connections tab, click the LAN Settings button.
  3. Uncheck the Automatically detect settings checkbox.

Steam fails to launch[edit]

Information No error messages are present, placeholder.

Delete ClientRegistry.blob[edit]

Information Steam updates sometimes fail to progress, or the message Failed to find Steam appears.

Fix Delete <Steam-folder>\ClientRegistry.blob

Information Deleting this file will reset the login information, while also forcing Steam to re-download any failed client updates.

Reinstalling Steam[edit]

Information If the other solutions don't work, then follow these instructions.
Information Every Steam game should be installed in a separate folder, outside the main Steam installation location, this makes it easier to play and backup such games again.
Step One[edit]

Fix Killing the Steam Process

  1. On the top left, select Steam, then Settings.
  2. Open the Interface section, then uncheck the Run Steam when my computer starts checkbox.
  3. Restart the computer.


Information Restarting should ensure that the main Steam processes are all killed, doing otherwise could lead to some issues down the line.
Step Two[edit]

Fix Removing Steam (Windows)

  1. Navigate to the main installation path, backup the steamapps and userdata folders.
  2. Download Geek Uninstaller, extract it anywhere and run it.
  3. Find Steam in the list, then Double Click on it, select Finish when asked to remove any leftover items.

Fix Removing Steam (OS X and Linux)

  1. Navigate to the main installation path, backup the steamapps and userdata folders.
  2. Uninstall Steam.
Step Three[edit]

Fix Reinstalling Steam

  1. Download and install Steam.
  2. Run Steam and let it update, once it's finished close it.
  3. Copy the steamapps and userdata folders into the main Steam installation path.
Information This is for games downloaded outside of the main Steam installation path.

Fix Instructions

  1. On the top left, select Steam, then Settings.
  2. Open the Downloads section, then click on the Steam Library Folders button.
  3. Add the desired library paths, then close the window.

Unable to download any games[edit]

Information Steam servers are currently unavailable.
Information Steam servers are too busy.
Information The Steam servers are currently too busy to handle your request. Please try again in a few minutes.

Fix Instructions

  1. On the top left, select Steam, then Settings.
  2. Open the Downloads section, then change the Download Region to something else.

Unable to log in[edit]

Information Steam has an official support page for most network issues here.

Fix Use the -tcp command line argument.

Other information[edit]

Change a game's language[edit]

Fix Instructions

  1. Right Click on the desired game in the Library.
  2. Select Properties, the Language tab, then select the desired language.


Information Changing a game's language might not be possible while the game is already open.

Delete files stored in the Steam Cloud[edit]

Fix Upload Empty Files[5]

  1. Check if the Steam Cloud is enabled on the desired game, then close Steam.
  2. Navigate to <Steam-folder>\userdata\<user-id>\<game-id>\
  3. Edit all the files present in the remote folder with a text editor, open each file individually and erase all the content present inside.
  4. Navigate to <Steam-folder>\userdata\<user-id>\<game-id>\ and delete remotecache.vdf
  5. Start the desired game from the Library.
  6. When prompted with the Sync Conflict, delete the <game-id> folder.
  7. Select Upload to the Steam Cloud.

Disable Steam announcements[edit]

Fix Instructions

  1. On the top left, select Steam, then Downloads.
  2. Tick the Notify me about additions or changes to my games, new releases, and upcoming releases checkbox.

Disabling automatic game updates[edit]

Information This feature has never been available.[6] Only update this game when I launch it might be a palliative

Steam Offline Mode[edit]

Information The Offline Mode can only be forced after having logged into Steam at least once with a working internet connection.

Fix Instructions

  1. Open Steam while being connected to the internet.
  2. When logging in tick the Remember my password checkbox.
  3. On the top left, select Steam and Go Offline.


Information Start dialog box can be removed by setting SkipOfflineModeWarning to 1 in <Steam-folder>/config/loginusers.vdf

Toggle Steam Cloud per game[edit]

Fix Instructions

  1. Right Click on the desired game in the Library.
  2. Select Properties, the Updates tab, then click on the Enable Steam Cloud synchronization checkbox.

Toggle the Steam overlay per game[edit]

Fix Instructions

  1. Right Click on the desired game in the Library.
  2. Select Properties, the General tab, then click on the Enable the Steam Overlay while in-game checkbox.

Copying a game from a different computer[edit]

Fix Instructions

  1. Go to <Steam-folder>/SteamApps/common/ on the computer where the game is installed.
  2. Look for the folder that fits the game you want to copy and move it to the same location on the target computer.
  3. Go to in your browser and visit the game's store page
  4. in the Url bar of your browser you'll see<appid>/, where <appid> is a number that uniquely identifies the game on Steam.
  5. Grab the <Steam-folder>/SteamApps/appmanifest_<appid>.acf file that fits the <appid> from the store page and copy it to the same location on the target computer.
  6. Close and restart Steam.
  7. The game should now show up in your Library and be ready to play.
  8. (Optional) If the game doesn't run or if it came from a different OS, right click on the game in your Library and choose Properties ; then go to the Local Files tab and click on Verify integrity of game cache… . This will trigger Steam to repair the installation.


  1. Pre-release titles are refundable through the Store Transactions page.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Steam Family Sharing FAQ
  3. StackExchange :: Why is Steam only showing me “Buy” instead of “Play” option for a game shared via Family Sharing?
  4. Reddit Gaming Subreddit - Make Big Picture Quicker
  5. Finally! A method to DELETE files stored in Steam Cloud servers! - Steam Users' Forums
  6. New Steam version removes option to disable automatic updates - Steam Users' Forums