Fix: Steam Missing File Privileges

Getting the annoying "Missing File Privileges" error in Steam? You're not alone. In this guide, we show you how to fix the "Missing File Privileges" error.

The “Missing File Privileges” error on Steam has raised a lot of concern among the world-leading gaming platform’s users.

Although Steam offers hours of fun to millions of users daily, the application is so complex that encountering occasional bugs is unavoidable.

Steam Missing File Privileges error
The infamous “Missing File Privileges” error on Steam.

Fortunately, Steam’s enormous community can come to the rescue! The users are often the first to find solutions for problems that occur on the platform.

Table of ContentsShow

The “Missing File Privileges” Problem Explained

This error occurs when a user tries to update a game on Steam. It appears to happen most frequently on Windows 10.

As for why it happens, users report that it is seemingly related to Intel’s onboard graphics driver.

This issue has affected many users as it is not game-specific. It has occurred with various titles on Steam, including some of the most popular ones such as PUBG and Dota2.

For more information, you can read the largest community thread on Steam’s forums regarding this problem.

Quickest “Pre-Fixes” To Try

Rather than immediately diving into the more complex solutions, we recommend that you try these simpler ones first, as they might save you a lot of time.

  • Restart your PC and try updating the game again. Users have reported this basic fix working in this Reddit thread.
  • Run Steam with administrator privileges and see if this temporarily solves your issue.
  • Temporarily disable your antivirus software, including Windows Defender.

If none of these work for you, don’t worry. The following solutions are proven to solve the “Missing File Privileges” error on Steam.  

Fix 1: End The “igfxEM” Task In Task Manager

This solution is related to your Intel graphics card. If you don’t have one, you should skip it and try the other ones instead.

Here’s how to end the “igfxEM” task via Task Manager on Windows.

  1. Press CTRL + Alt + Delete on your keyboard simultaneously. Select Task Manager in the menu.
  2. If your Task Manager runs in “Compact” mode, click “More Details” in the bottom left.
  3. Now that the window is expanded, click “Processes” in the top-left corner to open the list.
  4. Here, look for a process called “igfxEM Module,” which should be active.
  5. After finding it, left-click the process and click “End task” in the bottom-right corner.
    Ending igfxEM in Task Manager on Windows

After completing these steps, restart Steam and try downloading or updating the game again. If the issue persists, try repairing your Steam library folder. Read the following section for more information.  

Fix 2: Repair Your Steam Library Folder

Steam has several built-in repair features across the platform. Most of the time, they are highly beneficial. For example, repairing a corrupt or misconfigured Steam library folder can help you solve the “Missing File Privileges” error.

Some users recommend doing this on a freshly-restarted PC. If you read the pre-fixes in this guide, you already know restarting your system is one of the possible solutions. Try this method immediately after the reboot.

  1. Open your Steam client. In the top-left corner, click Steam and then Settings.
  2. When the Settings panel opens, click Downloads on the menu to the left.
  3. Click the “Steam Library Folders” button, which should be the first in the section.
  4. Highlight the folder(s) listed, right-click and select Repair Library Folder.
    Repairing Steam Library Folder
  5. When the process is completed, try installing or updating your game again.

The problem should no longer occur as this solution has helped many Steam users. However, every system is different, so don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t work for you. There are other methods you can try.

Fix 3: Verify The Integrity Of The Game Cache

It doesn’t matter which game gives you the Missing File Privileges error because you can apply this method to any Steam title.

Here’s how to do it in a few simple steps.

  1. Open Steam on your PC. In the top-left corner, click Library. You should now see the full list of games added to your Steam.
  2. Right-click the title you wish to update but can’t due to the error. Select Properties.
  3. In the menu that appears, select Local Files on the left side.
  4. Click Verify integrity of game files and let Steam complete the procedure.
    Verifying integrity of game files on Steam

Note that you can only do this for games that are already installed on your system.

You don’t need to restart Steam after this process finishes. Simply try to launch or update the game again and see if it works this time.

Verifying the integrity of game files can solve many problems with games on Steam.

However, it might not be applicable to this problem in your case. The “Missing File Privileges” error has an unknown origin, so a solution that helped one user might not work for you.

Check the other solutions if the problem persists.  

Fix 4: Modify Your Download Region Settings On Steam

Steam automatically assigns a download region for you based on your geographical location. This doesn’t cause any issues on its own, but changing your download region might help you solve other problems.

Here’s what you need to do.

  1. Open Steam on your PC. In the top-left corner, click Steam and then Settings.
  2. Select Downloads from the menu on the left.
  3. You will now see an option to change your download region via a dropdown menu.
    Modifying Download Region Settings On Steam
  4. Select any region you think will work best with your location.
  5. Save your changes and try updating or installing the game. The problem should now be fixed.

You don’t need to restart your Steam client for this fix to work. However, if this solution didn’t solve the problem, you can still try one more.

Fix 5: Change Settings In The Properties Menu

Our final option is a more complicated fix, but one that’s been found to work by many Steam users. Here’s what you need to do.

  1. Open your Steam client and navigate to your library. Right-click on your game of choice and select Manage, then click Browse Local Files on the menu that appears.
  2. In the folder that opens, right-click anywhere in the space. Do not right-click a particular file.
  3. Select Properties and navigate to the Security tab. Here, make sure that no user listed has the “Deny” tick mark in the column.
    Changing Settings in Windows Properties Menu Security tab
  4. If you notice that a user has a tick mark in the “Deny” column, click on Advanced.
  5. Select the user and click View. In the dropdown list, select Allow.
    Changing Settings in Windows Properties Menu Security Advanced
  6. Close the windows and restart Steam.
  7. Try updating or installing the game and see if the problem is solved.

This fix has the highest success rate, but many users try the others first as this solution is more intimidating.

Conclusion

This guide has shown you some of the many possible fixes for the “Missing File Privileges” problem on Steam.

Users can’t be sure which fix will work for them as every system is different, but trying each of the methods we’ve provided should help you find a viable solution.

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Bojan Veselinovikj
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Bojan Veselinovikj

Bojan is a video-game developer and a tech enthusiast. Combining these two passions allow him to keep you informed on everything that's new in this fast-paced digital world.