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Summary :

Steam not responding

Have you encountered Steam not responding, or Steam Client Bootstrapper not responding error? In this post, MiniTool will guide you to troubleshoot this tricky Steam error with feasible solutions.

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As a video game digital distribution service, Steam has a large number of users worldwide. However, plenty of problems related to Steam have been reported and Steam not responding is one of them.

According to the reports on the forum, users receive Steam not responding or Steam Client Bootstrapper not responding error especially when they are trying to login Steam account or play games on the platform.

Due to different hardware and configurations, it is hard to figure out the specific reason for Steam not responding. However, you can try the following methods one by one to solve this problem. Continue reading this article to get the detailed instructions.

Note: Some users recommend running Steam as administrator and you can have a try. Besides, a simple restart of your Steam client or computer can fix Steam not responding effectively sometimes. So, you are suggested to perform a restart before trying the following solutions.

Fix 1: Clear Download Cache

The download cache is used to save temporary files associated with games or programs in your Steam library. If the cache files get corrupted for odd reasons, your Steam might stop responding. To fix the problem in this case, you can try clearing your Steam download cache.

Step 1: Open your Steam client and go to Settings.

Step 2: Hit Downloads tab from the left pane and click CLEAR DOWNLOAD CACHE button.

clear download cache

Step 3: When you get the following confirmation window, click OK to confirm the operation.

confirmation window

After the process completes, just relaunch your Steam and login. Your Steam will automatically download the deleted cache files and update itself. Now, your Steam should start properly without any error.

Fix 2: Update the Date and Time on Your Computer

If your Steam Client Bootstrapper has stopped working, perhaps the date and time on your computer are not correct. You can update the date and time with the following steps.

Step 1: Right-click Start button and choose Settings app.

Step 2: Go ahead to Time & Language.

Step 3: In Date & time tab, scroll down to click Add clocks for different time zones from the right pane.

add clocks for different time zones

Step 3: In the pop-up window, switch to Internet Time tab and click Change settings button.

Step 4: In Internet Time Settings window, check Synchronize with an Internet time server. Choose a Server from the drop-down list and click Update now. Then, click OK to save the change.

update time

Fix 3: Update Device Graphics Driver

Your Steam stops responding might also because your device graphics driver is outdated or corrupted. You can fix the issue by updating the driver.

Step 1: Press Windows + R to access Run window. Input devmgmt.msc and click OK button to enter Device Manager.

Step 2: Double-click Display adapters to expand it. Right-click your graphics driver and choose Update driver.

update driver

Step 3: You will be asked to choose a method to search for drivers. Just click Search automatically for updated driver software to continue.

You just need to wait for the process to complete and then restart your computer. If Steam not responding issue is resolved, well done! If it still exists, try the next method.

Fix 4: Check File System for Your Hard Drive

It’s known that the file system errors on the hard drive will affect the proper function of the applications installed on it. If your Steam Client Bootstrapper has stopped working, perhaps there’s something wrong with your hard drive. Therefore, you can try checking file system for your hard drive to fix this issue.

You can use Windows 10 CHKDSK utility to check and repair your hard drive errors and here’s how to do it.

Step 1: Double-click This PC icon on your desktop to open File Explorer.

Step 2: In Devices and drives section, right-click the drive where your Steam is installed and select Properties from the context menu.

Step 3: In the pop-up window, switch to the Tools tab and click Check button.

click Check button

Step 4: Click Scan drive to start checking the selected drive for file system errors.

Apart from the Windows built-in tool, you are recommended to use a professional third-party utility – MiniTool Partition Wizard. As a reliable partition manager, this utility provides a feature of Check File System to help you check and repair your hard drive errors. You can feel free to have a try.

Step 1: Click the button below to download MiniTool Partition Wizard and install it on your computer.

Free Download

Step 2: Launch the program to get its main interface.

Step 3: Right-click the partition where your Steam is installed and choose Check File System from the pop-up menu. You can also choose Check File System feature from Check Partition section in the left pane.

Note: This feature only works for a partition with drive letter. So, please make sure the selected drive is assigned one.

choose Check File System feature

Step 4: In the pop-up window, choose Check & fix detected errors option and click Start button.

choose Check & fix detected errors

If the selected partition is your system drive, you will be prompted to schedule the partition to be checked next time your restart the system and you should click Yes and restart your computer to start checking the drive. If not, the scanning process will start immediately.

After checking and repairing the hard drive errors, Steam not responding issue should have been resolved. If it still appears, continue with the next solution.

To check hard drive for file system errors, I have tried the Windows 10 CHKDSK utility and MiniTool Partition Wizard. Both are reliable and safe.Click to tweet

Fix 5: Disable Compatibility Mode

In some cases, users encounter Steam Client Bootstrapper not responding due to compatibility issue. And their Steam start working again when they stop running it in compatibility mode. So, you can try disabling compatibility mode for your Steam as well.

Step 1: End all the running processes related to Steam in Task Manager.

Step 2: Right-click Steam shortcut or executable file and choose Properties.

Step 3: Switch to Compatibility tab and uncheck Run this program in compatibility mode for option.

disable compatibility mode

Step 4: Click Apply and OK to save the changes.

Now, you can try opening your Steam again to check if it can work smoothly.

Fix 6: Disable Cortana

Cortana is a useful digital assistant in Windows 10, but it has been reported to conflict with installed software, including Steam in our cases. Thus, if your Steam stops responding, try disabling your Cortana in Registry Editor.

Step 1: Type regedit in Run dialog and click OK to access Registry Editor.

Step 2: Navigate to the following path by copying and pasting it to the address bar:

Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows

Step 3: Right-click Windows and choose New > Key to create a new folder named Windows Search.

Step 4: Right-click Windows Search and choose New > DWORD (32-bit) Value and name the new entry as AllowCortana.

Step 5: Double-click AllowCortana to open its Properties. Set its Value data as 0 and click OK to save the change.

Note: To enable Cortana again, just set its Value data as 1.

disable Cortana in Registry Editor

Once it’s done, close Registry Editor and restart your computer. You can run your Steam as administrator to check if it works now.

Fix 7: Disable VPN Programs

According to the statement of Steam official, Steam not responding problem might also be caused by your VPN services issue, as most of the VPN programs are incompatible with Steam client. Therefore, try disabling your VPN programs temporarily or uninstalling them to check if Steam not responding issue can be fixed.

Note: If you choose to uninstall VPN program, please make sure it’s uninstalled completely (as even some remnants of the program can interfere with your Steam), and you need to reboot your system after uninstallation to make sure the registry is successfully updated.

If the problem still exists, you might need to reset your network Winsock settings. Just open your Command Prompt, input the command netsh winsock reset catalog and press Enter.

reset network Windsock settings

Then, restart your computer to complete the reset and launch Steam as administrator to check if it is responding now.

Fix 8: Disable Real-time Scanning and Verify Integrity of Game File

Your antivirus programs might affect certain important Steam files which are required for the smooth running of your Steam. In this case, you can disable your antivirus temporarily, or specifically, disable real-time scanning for your Steam client.

Besides, you need to verify the integrity of game file in Steam as your antivirus might have affected them. Just go to Steam LIBRARY, right-click the problematic game and choose Properties. Under LOCAL FILES tab, click VERIFY INTEGRITY OF GAME FILE.

verify integrity of game files

Then, wait for the validation to complete and your Steam should run properly as expected now.

Fix 9: Repair Your Steam Service

The Steam service failure might also lead to Steam not responding issue. To fix it, you can try repairing the Steam service.

Step 1: Exit Steam and end all the related processes.

Step 2: Type cmd in Run dialog and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to run Command Prompt as administrator.

Step 3: Input the following command line "PATH" /repair and press Enter. PATH should be replaced by the actual path of your Steam service, such as “C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\bin\SteamService.exe” /repair.

Now, you can launch your Steam to check if it works smoothly.

Fix 10: Reinstall Your Steam

If all the methods introduced above fail to fix Steam not responding issue, you might need to uninstall your Steam client and reinstall it. This is a time-consuming but effective solution to most tricky Steam issues. If you decide to reinstall your Steam to fix the issue, you’d better back up your games in advance to avoid data loss.

Tip: If you want to move your Steam games to another drive, you can read this post to get 3 methods.

This post introduces 10 methods to troubleshoot Steam not responding issue. You will thank this post if you are one of those who are facing the problem, believe me!Click to tweet

Bottom Line

Have you resolved Steam not responding issue with the methods above? If you have any problems or suggestions about this post, just let us know and we will give you timely feedback.

Just leave a message on the following comment zone or contact us via [email protected]

Steam Not Responding FAQ

Why is my Steam not responding?

Some Steam users have reported Steam not responding issue. The appearance of this issue might be caused by various factors and some common items are listed below:

  • Steam download cache files are corrupted.
  • The date and time on your computer are not correct.
  • The device graphics driver is corrupted or outdated.
  • Your steam is interfered by antivirus.
  • There are file system errors on your hard drive.
Why does my Steam keep crashing?
According to the reports from Steam users, their Steam keeps crashing when they are trying to launch the Steam client or playing games. This issue occurs might because your game cache is corrupted, your Steam client is blocked by your antivirus or your graphics driver is outdated. Of course, there are some other potential reasons for this problem.
Why is Steam not downloading games and how to fix it?

There are several reasons for Steam not downloading games and your Steam Download settings should be the main reason. To fix this issue, you can try the following method:

  1. Make changes for Steam Download settings.
  2. Turn off other running programs.
  3. Sync your system clock with a time server.
  4. Update your network driver.
  5. Stop DiagTrack service.
  6. Update or reinstall Steam.
How do you restart Steam?

To restart Steam, you just simply need to close your Steam and launch it again.

To close Steam client, click Steam in the top right corner and choose Exit from the drop-down menu. You can also go to Task Manager to end all the processes related Steam to close it completely. To launch Steam client, just click the Steam icon on the desktop or the executable file of Steam.

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