Game is Running

How To Fix Steam Says ‘Game is Running’

Have you just encountered the “Game is running” issue on Steam when you opened your game? Are you puzzled about how to resolving it? Fortunately, we will provide you with a simple solution in this article!

The game is already running error is disconcerting when you have previously closed the game, yet Steam is showing the app already running failure prompt. Despite the popularity and reliability of the gaming platform, Steam is unmatched in the market; it can have its fair share of issues. Steam offers a complete gaming experience beyond providing top-range games; it enhances the gameplay by including voice chat, progress tracking, and more.

If you want to resolve the ‘App is already running’ error to go back to your gaming, keep reading. Let’s first explain why this issue occurs:

Fixing The Game is Running Error

Why does ‘Steam thinks game is running’ error happen?

You might have already guessed the error by its name; the typical reason behind the issue is improper or incomplete shutting down of the game. Usually, Steam will have multiple tasks running in the background, which can be a cause. 

Even though you might be sure that you closed the game, there is a chance that the files associated with the game are still running in the background. 

Now, let’s take a look at a few solutions to the problem so you can go back to enjoying your game:

Method 1 – Closing Steam Associated Functions Through Task Manager

The Task Manager allows you to locate and end Steam-related tasks and games running in the background despite closing. Follow the steps below to close Steam associated functions through Task Manager:

  • On the Start Menu button, press right-click and select Task Manager.
  • Once the Task Manager window opens, identify services and games related to Steam running in the background. 
  • Select the function you want to close and click on End Task
  • This should close the game properly, which will fix the error. Rerun the game to ensure if the issue is resolved.

Method 2 – Restarting Steam To Close All Running Games

Another easy fix that usually works to resolve minor errors is closing Steam and restarting the app. To ensure that the app and all associated functions close properly, we recommend ending the tasks through Task Manager.

Wait a couple of mins and then reopen the Steam app and the game you want to play. Check if the issue is resolved.

Method 3 – Rebooting your PC 

Rebooting your system is one of the surefire ways to fix many errors. Most importantly, the ‘App is already running’ problem. The solution is a classic method for closing down all running tasks on your device.

If you already don’t know how to restart your computer, here’s how you do it:

  • Click Start Menu and then select the Power button.
  • Click on the Restart option and then allow your system to reboot completely.
  • Once the PC is running again, open the Steam app and then load the game. 

If the issue persists, move on to the following method.

Method 4 – Close the Game Launcher In The System Tray

You will find some games with a launcher along with the Steam client. If your game launches with an intro menu outside the game, then this shows that your game has a launcher that usually minimizes as an app in the system tray.

Check your system tray and find a launcher. Once you do, right-click it and select ‘Close/Quit/Exit.’ And then restart the Steam app and ensure if the issue is fixed. 

Method 5 – Reinstall the Game

If the four methods mentioned earlier do not solve the issue, then it is highly likely that the game is causing the problem. If that’s so, then you should consider deleting and reinstalling the game. 

It is important to note that you would have to backup all the game files before deleting the game if you are playing an offline game. However, if you are playing an online game, then don’t worry about creating a backup. 

Follow the steps below to successfully reinstall the game without losing any of your game files.

  • Open Steam and find the game that is causing the issue in the ‘Game Library.’
  • Find the ‘Settings’ icon on the right side of the game’s poster. Select the icon and then select ‘Properties’ from the menu.
  • From the left side panel, find and select ‘Local Files.’
  • Now select the ‘Verify integrity of game files’ option to verify if all the game files are in working condition and fix file errors or problematic files. 
  • Next, click on ‘backup game files’ to safely backup your game data/files.
  • After successfully verifying the integrity of your game files, you can try launching and playing the game before uninstalling it. If the game starts working correctly, then skip the following steps. If not, then please continue the uninstallation process.
  • Open the ‘Game Library.’ Select the particular game that you want to uninstall, select the ‘Settings’ icon, click on ‘Manage,’ and then select ‘Uninstall.’
  • Follow the game uninstallation wizard to complete the uninstallation process. Any purchased Steam game will remain in your library even after deleting it. Select the game from the game library and click on ‘Install’ to reinstall it. 
  • After the game is successfully installed, find the ‘Steam’ option in the top-left corner of the screen and click on it. Then select the ‘Backup and Restore Games’ option.
  • A small window will appear. Click on the ‘Restore a previous backup’ option and select next.
  • Locate Steam backup game files and restore the game files. 
  • Now rerun the game. Hopefully, the ‘Steam thinks the game is running’ issue is now fixed.

Method 6 – Reinstall Steam

If none of our other methods resolve the issue, the final option is to delete and reinstall the Steam app. 

Follow these steps below to uninstall and reinstall the Steam app:

  • Open the start menu and type ‘Steam’ in the search bar. Right-click on the Steam app and select ‘Uninstall,’ follow the uninstallation wizard to complete the process.
  • Once it’s uninstalled, go to Steam’s official website and install the app again on your PC.
  • The reinstallation process is safe and easy, and you will not lose any of your Steam data during the installation process.
  • After successfully reinstalling Steam, rerun the game and check whether or not the issue persists. 


Steam usually does not have errors. However, every technology has errors and glitches occasionally, including Steam! But don’t worry because you can solve. Steam thinks the game is running issue efficiently with our six easy methods.

We hope you’ll find our guide helpful and fix the Steam says the game is running issue.

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Lucas is an IT student completing his studies in Networking. He worked at Ycombinator as a research analyst. He loves to write about his technology experiences. He also enjoys traveling and captures the best moments with his Canon 5d lens. He is a review specialist at Reviewsed.