Steam is perhaps the most popular game distribution service on the planet. The UI is top-notch, and it is pretty straightforward to use. However, it has some defects and difficulties. One of the most typical errors you may notice with Steam is the “Windows cannot find steam.exe error.”
This problem is commonly seen when customers try to launch the steam exe file directly from the desktop or the installation location. The file would be accessible, but the error still appears up. In this article, we will be giving down some strategies by which you might get rid of this mistake for good. Above all things has been mentioned about Windows cannot find steam.exe.
Getting to the Bottom of the Problem
We will be troubleshooting the problem and giving you possible solutions. There is no certainty that a particular remedy would fix the issue. The solution that worked for one user might not work for another. Keep trying different options until it works for you.
1: Check if you are Using a Faulty Shortcut File
Now, this might sound small but trust us; this has created way too much hassle than it should have. Sometimes, the problem can not be attributable to the steam application but is just a result of a bad shortcut. What you need to do is to open Steam from the file explorer. Above all things has been mentioned about Windows cannot find steam.exe.
2: Choose this PC from Windows Explorer.
Head to the disc where Steam is installed. Usually, it is in the C drive. Then open the Steam Folder. Please search for the steam.exe file and try launching it.
3: Restart your Computer
Sometimes a simple restart might fix the issue for you. There have been users that reported that rebooting addressed several issues with Steam. We also recommend you to do the same. All programs will be returned to their original state, and the cache will be cleared when the computer is restarted. Above all things has been mentioned about Windows cannot find steam.exe.
4: Make a Virus Scan of the Computer.
It’s possible that a virus or malware has infiltrated the system and prevented the application from opening. You’ll need an antivirus program like Avast or Malwarebytes to scan your computer if this happens. It’s also possible to use Windows Defender.
- To open Windows Security, touch on the Windows Security option and select Open Windows Security.
- You can do this by pressing the Virus and Threat Protection button.
- You can then pick Full Scan from the scan options on the next screen.
- Go to the Protection History page.
- Scan results that have been flagged as potentially containing viruses can be found here. Delete them or place them in quarantine.
- Open Steam once more and check if the problem remains.
Avast Antivirus: Add Steam App to the “Exceptions” list
Third-party software may be the answer if the above options fail. Steam may not launch properly if a third-party app is installed. In particular, Avast antivirus software has been known to cause these kinds of problems. As a result, you will need to add Avast to the list of exceptions because it is incompatible with Steam. It is how you do it.
- When Avast is running, go to the menu and select “Settings.”
- Select the option to change settings.
- The exceptions section should be visited.
- To add an exception for Steam, you first need to click the “Add an exception” button.
- Press the button labeled “Add Exception.”
- In the end, restart the computer.
- Changing the Exe File’s Name.
Renaming the exe file in the steam folder may also help eliminate the error notice. Right-click the exe file in the Steam installation folder to run it. It’s time to rename it. For some users, this has addressed the problem.
Remove Third-Party Antivirus Software from your computer.
If you can’t get Steam to operate by adding it to the exceptions list, this is your next best option. If your antivirus software doesn’t work with Steam, it’s best to switch to another one. Launch Steam once more after you’ve finished uninstalling it. You may need to tweak the registry to get it to operate.
Removing a Corresponding Key from the Registry:
Modifying registry settings is a serious matter that should not be treated lightly. The computer could be seriously damaged if there is even the slightest error. We strongly advise you to create a registry backup before proceeding with this step.
- To launch the Run dialogue box, press Windows+R simultaneously.
- Press the enter key after typing Regedit.’
- In the Image File Execution Options, select the option to delete the Steam.exe file.
Restart the computer at this point
The likelihood is that Steam will be functioning regularly by now. There’s an error message informing users that Windows can’t find Steam.exe, whether they try to start it directly from its installation folder or by double-clicking the Steam shortcut on their desktops. Even though the file exists and can be accessed, the error message continues to plague users around the globe.
Fortunately, several proven solutions are floating around the Internet. Users that we’re able to fix the issue posted them on the site. Make sure to check out the detailed instructions below for these methods!
Windows Cannot Find Steam.exe Error – What’s Causing It?
Several factors contribute to this issue. Steam.exe is found where it should be; thus, the problem should be further investigated using the list of causes we’ve provided. You should have a look at these!
Malware – It is not uncommon for your computer to have malware that directly causes this issue. Because it’s unusual for malware to target solely Steam, users frequently dismiss this possibility. However, it’s a real one, so be sure to scan your machine.
Antivirus software from Avast is incompatible with Steam. The Steam executable might have been marked, and you’ll need to add it to the exceptions list. Uninstalling the software or deleting a registry item may be necessary if the first method doesn’t work.
Add an Exception to Avast to get around it.
Avast and Steam do not get along. Why does Avast make it into Steam’s list of programs that can interfere with its installation? Most likely, Avast! has identified the Steam client as a potential threat. Adding an exception is the only method to fix this issue and keep both programs installed. Follow the steps below to do so!
You should use Restore Repair if you have a PC or a laptop/notebook problem with corrupt or missing files. It usually fixes the problem if a corrupted system causes it. Restore can be downloaded by clicking this link. Avast may be opened by double-clicking its desktop icon or searching for it after entering the Start menu or the Search box. After typing “Avast” and selecting “Left Click” to start scanning for malware, click on the first result.
Activating Avast Settings
In the General tab, make sure you check the Exceptions option. After that, click on “Add Exception” to finish the procedure. Navigate to the location where you want Steam to be installed by clicking the Browse button. As a matter of course,
Avast’s new exception policy
This folder should be selected, and the Add Exception button should be clicked in the dialogue that appears.
Uninstall Avast and then delete a registry value to remove it.
There are better free alternatives to Avast, and Steam is more significant. However, even after removing Avast, some users are still experiencing issues. You might have to delete a registry value if that is the case to fix the issue permanently!
On Windows 10, open the Settings app. It is possible to open using a variety of different approaches. Windows Key + I can be used for this purpose (tap them simultaneously).
Using the Start button’s cog icon
Open the Apps area by clicking on it. All of your PC’s apps will be displayed in a list. Once you’ve located the Avast entry, left-click on it to bring up the context menu and select Uninstall from the display options.
Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, and 8.1
Search for Control Panel in the Start menu and open it. When you open the Start menu, type “Control Panel.” By pressing the Windows Key + R keys simultaneously, type “control.exe,” and pressing the OK button in the Run box, you can run it as well. Above all things has been mentioned about Windows cannot find steam.exe.
Using the Control Panel.
Select Category from the View by drop-down menu. The Control Panel window’s top right corner houses it.
Remove a program from the Control Panel.
You’ll get a list of all the programs installed on your computer. Click the right mouse button on the Avast entry in the list and then select Uninstall from the context menu that appears. If the “Windows cannot find Steam.exe” issue still shows while running Steam, follow the on-screen directions to complete the uninstallation. Above all things has been mentioned about Windows cannot find steam.exe.
If it works, we’ve laid out the rest of the instructions for you below. To use this strategy, you’ll need to change the registry. It would help if you exercised extreme caution to avoid causing instability in the system. Check to consider our How to Backup and Restore the Registry article as a precautionary measure. It’s possible to avoid any problems by carefully following the methods outlined in this article. Above all things has been mentioned about Windows cannot find steam.exe.
After pressing Windows Key + R, type “Regedit” into a search field and click the OK button to enter the Registry Editor. Ensure that you confirm any UAC prompts that pop up.
Use the left-side navigation menu to get to the following location:
When you right-click the Steam.exe key and select Delete from the context menu that appears, Steam will be deleted.
The last words
We hope that this post helped resolve your Steam-related troubles. Most people will fix this issue using one of the following solutions. Restarting the computer is the quickest and most common option, and it’s also the most effective.