How To Fix Steam Must Be Running To Play This Game

Steam is one of the most popular online platforms that distributes digital copies of games. It’s a convenient way of getting your favorite games on your computer as you don’t have to go to a physical store and search for the specific title. Although this is a solid platform there are instances when certain issues can occur which we will be addressing today. In this latest installment of our troubleshooting series we will tackle the Steam must be running to play this game error.

How To Fix Steam Must Be Running To Play This Game Error

Before performing any of the recommended troubleshooting steps listed below it’s best to restart your computer first. This action refreshes the operating system and remove any corrupt temporary data that could be causing the problem.

There are several factors that can cause this particular problem ranging from a corrupted Steam installation to some gaming files missing. Listed below are the recommended troubleshooting steps you need to do to fix this problem.

Install the Steam client

The first thing that you should do in this case is to make sure that the Steam client is installed in your computer. If it isn’t then you will need to download and install it.


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  • Download the Steam client from here https://store.steampowered.com/
  • Once the executable is downloaded, open it and follow the on-screen prompts to install the Steam client on your computer.
  • Once the installation is complete, restart your computer.

Check if the Steam must be running to play this game error still occurs.

Update the Steam client

Steam usually updates its client regularly. You need to make sure that the version installed in your computer is the latest one so as to prevent any issues caused by an outdated software.

  • Open Steam and make sure you are logged in.
  • Go to the ribbon bar and click on Steam > Check for Steam Clients updates
  • If a new version is found, follow the on-screen instructions to install the newer version on your computer.
  • Once the installation is complete, restart your computer.

Check if the Steam must be running to play this game error still occurs.

Remove any foreign game files

If you downloaded a game using Steam then proceeded to modify its folder by adding mods or scripts then there’s a chance that this problem will occur. Steam might be blocking these foreign files from running which is why you will need to delete these files. The commonly blocked files are .DLL and .LUA files so make sure to remove them.

Once they are removed check if the Steam must be running to play this game error still occurs.

Verify the game file integrity

Sometimes this problem can occur if the game you are trying to open has corrupted or missing files. To fix this you will have to verify its file integrity.

  • Open the Steam client and go to the Library tab.
  • From your list of games (left section of the screen), right-click on the game and choose Properties.
  • Inside the Properties screen of the game, go to the Local Files tab and click on Verify Integrity of Game Files.
  • Wait until the process is complete, then restart the Steam client.
  • Open the game

Check if the Steam must be running to play this game error still occurs.

Run Steam as an administrator

There are cases when the problem can be fixed by running Steam as an administrator.

  • Open Steam then go to the top-right corner of the screen and click on your account to make the drop-down menu visible. Then, from the drop-down menu, click on Log out of account.
  • Confirm the logout procedure by clicking the Logout button from the newly appeared Logout window.
  • Close steam completely – make sure that the tray-bar icon of Steam is also closed.
  • Launch Steam with administrative privileges by right-clicking on the shortcut and choosing Run as administrator. Then, log-in with your user account again.
  • Try launching the game from the Steam interface instead of double-clicking the dedicated executable.

Check if the Steam must be running to play this game error still occurs.

Reinstall Steam and the game

In case the above steps fails to fix the problem then you should do a reinstallation.

  • Press Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box. Then, type “appwiz.cpl” and press Enter to open up the Programs and Features window.
  • Inside the Programs and Features window, scroll down through the application list to locate the Steam client. Once you see it, right-click on it and choose Uninstall.
  • Inside the Steam Uninstall window, simply click the Uninstall button to remove the client from your computer.
  • Repeat the procedure above with the game that is triggering the error.
  • Once the uninstallation of the game is complete, restart your computer.
  • Download the Steam client from here https://store.steampowered.com/
  • Once the executable is downloaded, open it and follow the on-screen prompts to install the Steam client on your computer.
  • When the installation is completed, restart your computer.
  • Reinstall the game that is triggering the error.

Check if the Steam must be running to play this game error still occurs.

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