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Steam logo.svg
Developer(s) Valve Corporation
First release date Windows September 12, 2003
OS X May 12, 2010
Linux February 14, 2013
Digital Distribution

Key points

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.
Refund policy: 14 days or 2 hours of playtime,; see the Steam Refunds and Pre-release titles are refundable through the Store Transactions
Two-factor authentication: Steam Mobile app or email
Some games sold through third parties activate on Steam; see Retail / Digital CD Keys.
Periodic free weekend and individual publisher-driven events provide temporary and permanent free access to select titles.

General information

Official store
Official Support
Account details
Steam Community Discussions
Steam Users' Forums
Steam Database

Big Picture[edit]

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.
See PC gaming on a TV and couch for general setup information.
Allows Steam to be used with a controller.

Adjust font size DPI (Windows)[edit]

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

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

Allows sharing games between accounts. Each account gets separate saves, achievements, et al. except for DRM keys, which are shared.[1]
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.[2]
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.[1]
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.[1]
  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]

Restart Steam.

Failed To Find Steam[edit]

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

Failed to start game. App already running[edit]

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]

  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]

  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]

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.
Certain browsers such as Chrome may benefit from this change too.
  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]

No error messages are present, placeholder.

Delete ClientRegistry.blob[edit]

Steam updates sometimes fail to progress, or the message Failed to find Steam appears.
Delete <Steam-folder>\ClientRegistry.blob
Deleting this file will reset the login information, while also forcing Steam to re-download any failed client updates.

Reinstalling Steam[edit]

If the other solutions don't work, then follow these instructions.
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]
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.


Restarting should ensure that the main Steam processes are all killed, doing otherwise could lead to some issues down the line.
Step Two[edit]
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.
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]
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.
Changing the main Steam installation paths[edit]
This is for games downloaded outside of the main Steam installation path.
  1. On the top left, select Steam, then Settings.
  2. Open the Downloads section, then click on the Steam Library Folders button, under the Content Libraries header.
  3. Add the desired library paths, by pushing the Add Folder button, then close the window.

Unable to download any games[edit]

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

Steam has an official support page for most network issues here.
Use the -tcp command line argument.

Other information[edit]

Change a game's language[edit]

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


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

Delete files stored in the Steam Cloud[edit]

Upload Empty Files[4]
  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. Erase the contents of every file present in the remote folder with a text editor.
  4. Navigate to <Steam-folder>\userdata\<user-id>\<game-id>\ and delete remotecache.vdf
  5. Launch Steam, then 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.


If the data is still being synced check any other possible locations in which the files may be stored, then erase them if they exist.

Disable Steam announcements[edit]

  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]

This feature has never been available. The Only update this game when I launch it checkbox doesn't do anything either, the only way to avoid updates is by playing Offline.[5]

Steam Offline Mode[edit]

The Steam Offline Mode can only be enabled after logging in at least once with a working internet connection.
  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.


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

Toggle Steam Cloud per game[edit]

  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]

  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]

  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. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Steam Family Sharing FAQ
  2. StackExchange :: Why is Steam only showing me “Buy” instead of “Play” option for a game shared via Family Sharing?
  3. Reddit Gaming Subreddit - Make Big Picture Quicker
  4. Finally! A method to DELETE files stored in Steam Cloud servers! - Steam Users' Forums
  5. New Steam version removes option to disable automatic updates - Steam Users' Forums