[Fixed] Steam Keeps Freezing + Not Responding

Last Updated on May 10, 2022

Steam is the ultimate destination for playing, discussing, and creating games. In other words, Steam is a video game digital distribution service and storefront by Valve. Valve created it to provide updates for their games, and soon it was expanded to distributing and offering third-party game publishers’ titles.

If your Steam keeps freezing and is not responding, you don’t need to worry. This happens to Steam at some point, and you can troubleshoot the problem in a few minutes. If you are experiencing the same problem and are looking to fix this error, you are at the right place.

You will find all the fixes to dealing with a not responding, stuck, or frozen Steam on this page. Let’s see how you can fix Steam if it freezes without warning right after opening it.

Fix # 1: Restart your PC

A simple PC restart can fix a not responding Steam client. Sometimes your PC or laptop gets stuck, and the Steam client doesn’t get the required resources to function properly. Moreover, Steam clients can get stuck too. Hence, a restart will not only refresh your PC but will also reset Steam.

Fix # 2: Restarting your Steam Client

You can restart your Steam client to make it work. A simple exit and re-launch will not be very effective compared to ending the process from Windows Task Manager and then restarting the process. Here’s how you can restart your Steam client from Windows Task Manager.

  • Open task manager by searching task manager in the search bar on your desktop. Alternatively, you can also press the Windows key + R to open the Run box. Now type “taskmgr” and press ok.
  • Look for Steam under the processes tab. Right-click it and select end process.
  • This will force Steam to shut down, and it may fix any bugs in the client.
  • Launch your Steam client again and then see if the problem is fixed.

Fix # 3: Clearing Web and Download Cache to Make Steam Work

You can fix a not responding Steam client by clearing your Steam client’s web and download cache. Please note that only users who can access the Steam client’s toolbar can use this method. If you can’t open the top menu bar on your Steam, try other methods, as this will not work for you.

  • Let’s see how you can clear the web and download cache on the Steam client and make it work!
  • Click Steam on the top left corner of your client.
  • Go to settings and then look for downloads.
  • You will find a clear download cache button at the bottom of the screen. Click it and then follow the prompts and clear the download cache on your Steam client.
  • Next, you have to clear the web browser cache in the Steam client; go to Steam in the menu bar and select a web browser.
  • You will see two tabs here; delete web browser cache and delete all browser cookies.
  • Click them one by one and follow the prompts to clear the caches and cookies.
  • This is similar to clearing your PC’s web browser’s cookies and cache to make it run smoothly. Cookies and cache can slow down your PC and all other applications and softwares on it.

Fix # 4: Update your Graphics Driver

Steam is a gaming client, and its performance depends a lot on the graphic card in your PC.  If you are using a built-in graphics card to run Steam, you will face a lot of problems. Steam’s minimum graphic card requirement is Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 / AMD RX 480, and Steam recommends using Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 or better for a smooth Steam experience.

Before trying this fix, make sure you use the correct graphic card to run Steam. If you don’t have a high-end graphics card in your system, Steam won’t run properly and will freeze frequently.

Let’s see how you can update your graphic card’s driver to fix a not reposing Steam client!

  • Click on the start menu and type device manager in the search bar; open it.
  • Look for display adapters in the list. You will see a monitor along with it, expand it, it will show the display drivers installed on your PC.
  • Right-click on the driver and click update. This will open a new dialogue box saying “Search automatically for updated driver software” and “Browse my computer for driver software.” Select the first option and let your PC look for an update for the browser.
  • If you think that you need to update the driver manually, click the second option and then follow the prompts.

Fix # 5: Update your Windows to fix a Not Responding Steam Client

Sometimes a simple Windows update can fix Steam and other issues on your PC. The problem arises when your tools, softwares, programs, and applications don’t support the older version of Windows. This leads to compatibility issues, and the programs crash. Steam is no different. Hence, updating your Windows can fix a stuck Steam.

Follow the steps below to update your Windows!

  • Go to the search bar in the taskbar and type Windows update. Select Windows update settings and look for any pending updates available for your PC.
  • Download and install all the updates.
  • Restart your system before running Steam again and check the difference.

Fix # 6: Allocating more Resources to your Steam Client

You don’t know it, but many processes and applications are running in the background that consumes your System’s resources. Moreover, many applications are programmed to automatically startup as soon as you log in. You may think that these programs and processes are necessary for your system; they aren’t.

First of all, you must disable all the programs from startup and close any irrelevant programs running on your PC before you launch the Steam client. Let’s see how you can disable these programs and allocate more resources to your PC to work flawlessly!

  • Open task manager by typing task manager in the search bar on your desktop. Go to the processes tab, look for any irrelevant processes, and close them before launching Steam.
  • Now go to the startup tab; you will find it on the 3rd left of the processes tab.
  • Disable all the applications that you don’t need at the startup. For example, your web browser, game launchers, and social applications.

Fix # 7: Deleting Temporary Files to Fix Steam

Many users don’t know that deleting temporary files on your PC can fix many potential problems. This small action also makes applications and softwares run better and improve the overall performance of your PC.  The biggest difference is in your browser’s speed.

Follow the steps below to check how you can delete temporary files to improve your Steam experience!

  • Press Windows key + R to open the run box
  • Type “%temp%” and click ok.
  • This will open the temp files folder. You can delete all of these files and folders as your PC does not need them.
  • Select all files by clicking one file/folder and then hitting Ctrl + A on your keyboard.
  • It is better to use Shift + Del than to send the files to the recycle bin and empty it. Be smart; save time.  
  • You will see a dialogue box asking permission to delete the temp files. On this dialogue box, you will see a checkbox saying “Do this for all current items” check it and then press continue.
  • All of the files will delete in a couple of minutes. The time may vary depending on the number and size of files and folders.

Fix # 8: Repairing Corrupted Steam Files to Fix Steam

Steam mentions on its support page that Steam files can get corrupted over time. It is important to repair your Steam files to make them work correctly.

Check the steps below for repairing corrupted Steam files on Windows and Mac.

On Windows

  • Close Steam.
  • Open the Steam installation directory. You can go to “C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\” if the Windows are installed in the C drive or you haven’t changed the installation directory.
  • Open the folder and delete everything in it but make sure you don’t delete the following files.
  • Steam.exe
  • Steamapps directory (this is where all of Steam’s game files are kept)
  • Restart the Steam client to check if the problem has been solved.

On Mac

  • Close steam and open “Users/[username]/Library/Application Support/Steam”.
  • Delete everything from the folder except for the steamapps folder. Please note that you may lose mods or custom content with this method.
  • Launch Steam and test if the problem has been solved.

Fix # 9: Update Date and Time on your System

Though it may happen rarely, it is worth checking. Check that your system’s date and time settings are up to date and you have selected the correct time zone.         

Fix # 10:  Disabling Programs that interfere with Steam

The applications and software running on your PC can negatively affect Steam’s working. This is a commonly reported problem, and you can easily fix it by disabling some applications on your PC. Let’s see which applications can freeze Steam.

Anti-virus Software: The anti-virus software monitors everything you download, install or run on your PC. It can affect disk and network operations which can cause issues with Steam. Some games use copy protection technology that triggers your antivirus.

To ensure that your antivirus doesn’t interfere with Steam, you will need to either disable it before you start Steam or add an exception for Steam.

VPN Software: A virtual private network (VPN) can control your internet connection. Most people use it for proxy. It may prevent you from accessing the Steam client application and interfere with the network capability of your game.

Make sure that either VPN is turned off while you use Steam, or it is configured to allow traffic for Steam and the games you are playing.

Firewall and Security Applications: Check the firewall of your system. You may need to add an exception for Steam in order to make it work.

Peer-to-Peer (P2P) clients & File Sharing Softwares: Using a file-sharing application or a P2P client while playing games on Steam can reduce bandwidth allocation to Steam; hence, it will not work smoothly. Make sure that you stop all such tools and applications before using Steam or limit their bandwidth.

Download Managers, FTP, and Web Server Applications: Any download manager, FTPs, and web server applications require a lot of bandwidth to function properly. If you are using Steam with these applications, you are bound to experience problems unless you limit their bandwidth share to close them.

Fix # 11: Recognize a Recent Purchase

You may have made a recent purchase, and Steam has not recognized it yet. You can check this by following the steps below.

  • Open your Steam client and click Steam in the upper left corner.
  • Go to change account and follow the prompts.
  • Restart Steam and enter your login credentials. You should now be able to download or install the games.

Fix # 12: Disable Compatibility Mode on Steam Client

Many Steam users have reported that freezing and not responding Steam client can be fixed by dealing with compatibility issues. This is a simple process and will take only a couple of minutes.

  • Open task manager on your laptop and end all processes related to Steam.
  • Right-click Steam and open properties.
  • Click the compatibility tab and uncheck the compatibility mode box.
  • Click apply and then click ok to save the changes.

Fix # 13: Reset the Network Adapter

The network adapter is responsible for communication between the computer and the operating system. Network adapters can go in an error state or have a corrupt configuration. A simple reset can fix the issue most of the time and make your steam work flawlessly.

  • Close Steam and close all processes associated with Steam from the task manager.
  • Press the Windows key and type the command prompt. Right-click the app and select run as administrator.
  • It will open a new window. Type in “netsh winsock reset” and press enter.
  • Close the command box and restart your system.
  • Check if the problem has been solved on your Steam client.

Reason # 14: Opting out of Beta Version

Many users don’t know that they are running Steam’s beta version. It can cause stability issues and force Steam to crash repeatedly.

Follow the steps mentioned below to opt-out of the beta version of Steam

  • Open Steam and click Steam on the menu bar.
  • Click settings and then click account.
  • You will find Beta Participation written in the middle of the account. Click change and select “NONE – Opt-out of all beta programs.”
  • Select OK to save your settings.

Fix # 15: Reinstall/Update your Steam

The last fix is to update or reinstall your Steam client. Check if there are any updates available that you haven’t installed for your steam client.

The second option is to uninstall Steam and then reinstall it from the official Steam website. This will be Steam’s latest version.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I check Steam’s network outage?

You may not be able to access Steam immediately if its network is experiencing a large amount of traffic or if the network is temporarily offline. You can check the Steam network status on this page.

Why is my Steam not responding?

There can be various reasons behind your Steam client not responding. It can happen due to Steam download cache being corrupted, wrong date and time on your computer, outdated, corrupted, or low power graphic card, file errors on your drive, and antivirus or firewall stopping Steam from working properly.   

Why is my Steam crashing after running for a few minutes?

Steam crashes because the file system is corrupted, the Steam client is blocked by antivirus, or graphic card is outdated, or your internet fails to keep up with Steam.

Why is my Steam not downloading games?

If your Steam is not downloading games, it is because of a blocked account. Log out from your Steam client and then log in again to recognize your account or recent purchases.

Final Words

If you have tried every fix discussed above and nothing seems to work for you, it is time that you contact Steam’s customer support (https://help.steampowered.com/en/) and discuss your problem. Steam has millions of users, and its servers can go down anytime. However, they are up and running in a couple of minutes. Hence, it is best to try again after a few minutes if you face connection problems.

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