Like most gaming platforms, Steam comes with a whole bunch of annoying bugs that can be very painful if you don’t know how to fix them. One of the most annoying problems is when you try to load your favorite game and Steam informs you that it is already running – when it is not.
Fortunately, this error is one of the easiest (and fastest) to fix. The following are the most common methods that you can use to resolve the Game is Already Running error, including some other related fixes.
With that said, let’s jump right into the fixes!
Quit the game in the task manager
This best practice works almost every time. Sometimes a game file won’t shut down completely, leaving part of the game open in the background of your PC. In this case, stopping the task and restarting the game will fix the problem. Here’s how:
- Open Task Manager – Ctrl + Alt + Del
- In Task Manager, find the game you want to load. You may need to open other processes and find it among the other files running on your PC
- Once you find it, just right click on the game and choose “End task’From the drop-down list
- Once the game is completely closed, simply try restarting the game by double-clicking on the desktop icon or through your Steam library
While the method described above works almost every time, sometimes it doesn’t. For people who are still having trouble resolving the “Steam game is already running” error, here are some alternative solutions:
- Open your Task Manager by clicking Ctrl + Alt + Del and choose it from the options available
- After opening, select “More details’And look for the‘steamapplication
- Once you find it just right click on Steam and select “End task’From the drop-down menu
- After closing, wait about a minute for Steam to close completely
- After doing that, try restarting Steam and you should be able to load your game
Close the game launcher
There are a number of titles with game launchers that load alongside the Steam client. For example, if a game has an intro menu that is effectively outside of the game, nine times out of ten that is a launcher that is often minimized as a separate application to the system tray.
If this error persists, look in the system tray for a launcher for the game you want to play. If you can, just right click on it, close the application and restart the game. This should do the trick.
Restart your PC
If none of the above methods gave you pleasure, it is definitely time to restart your PC. While many view this as a worldly task that doesn’t really help things, it couldn’t be more wrong. Not only will this completely restart Steam, but it will also restart all associated temporary files / data. A full system reset should never be overlooked.
Reinstall the game
If this error still occurs – extremely rare cases – the last thing we recommend is to reinstall your game. This really is the final hurdle and should solve any persistent problems you are having while loading your game. To quickly reinstall a Steam game:
- Start by loading Steam
- Find your game library and right click on the game you want to reinstall
- Find and select in the drop-down menu “Uninstalll ’
- Steam will then prompt you with a “Delete game files” warning. Just click “Delete”. Steam will begin the process of removing all files for this game
- When done, do a quick restart on Steam
- On reboot, go back to your game library and find the game you want to reinstall
- Right click on the game and choose Install from the drop down list
- Click on “Next” and then on “Finish”.
- The game will automatically start downloading the game files again
- Once you’re done, you can restart the game
Steam users are well aware of the number of bugs associated with the most widely used gaming platform. While we haven’t created pages for all Steam errors, below are some of our most popular ones:
So this is our comprehensive guide to troubleshooting the “Steam Game Already Running” error that has plagued so many people over the years. Most of you will likely find that the first option works almost every time. However, in other rare cases, a reinstallation may be required to resolve the problem. Even so, all of the above methods are very simple and shouldn’t pose a threat to most gamers.
If you’re still having similar issues, please leave us a comment in the section below. We will get back to you as soon as possible. Better yet, visit our Community Hub, where you can discuss any Steam issues with like-minded people.