Fix: Steam Service Error

Are you getting the annoying "Steam Service Error" issue? You are not alone! Here, we've listed all the possible fixes for this particular Steam error.

Steam has been a world-leading PC gaming platform for many years. To be more precise, Steam launched all the way back in September 2003.

Since then, the platform has been used by millions of gaming enthusiasts and its user numbers just keep growing!


Users generally have very positive comments about Steam, calling it one of the most sophisticated gaming platforms for PC enthusiasts. While that’s true, Steam is not perfect.

Like any other computer program, Steam occasionally encounters problems.

One of those problems is the “Steam Service Error.” This guide provides the methods you need to solve it.

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What Exactly Is The “Steam Service Error”? – Explained

Not everyone is a computer expert or knows how to determine the origin of hardware or software errors.

When users encounter the “Steam Service Error” message, they might be confused and unsure of what to do next.

Before describing the fixes, let’s have a closer look at this infamous Steam error.

Steam Service Error

The message shown on the image above appears each time a user runs Steam on their system. Some users (such as in this Reddit thread) reported that having Steam set to run on startup will cause this error each time you boot up your PC.

The reason for this is the following:

  • Steam requires administrator privileges to perform certain tasks on your PC.
  • As the Steam Service is the first process to run when booting up the client, this prevents the app from fully loading and this message appears instead.

The Steam Service is responsible for installing and updating games, as well as enabling anti-cheat detection.

This isn’t something to be overly concerned about. The conflict is caused by Steam not having permission to install these files and services in a secure folder. The C:\Program Files (x86) folder is an example of this. Don’t worry, we can help!

Let’s take a look at some fixes.

Method 1: Run Steam With Administrator Privileges

Running Steam with administrator privileges can help you overcome the problem.

Here’s how to do that.

  1. Find the shortcut for Steam on your PC and right-click it.
  2. On the list of options, select “Run as administrator” to launch the client.
    Run Steam as Administrator through Steam shortcut

There’s an easy way to ensure you don’t have to do this manually every time you launch Steam. Follow the steps below to permanently enable Steam launching with administrator privileges.

  1. Navigate to the folder where you have Steam installed on your system.
  2. Find the .exe file and right-click it. The properties window will appear on your screen.
  3. Open the Compatibility tab and find the Settings section on the bottom half of the window.
  4. Tick the “Run this program as an administrator” box and finish by clicking Apply and OK.
    Run Steam as Administrator

You can now launch Steam again and see if the problem is gone. If it isn’t, reinstalling Steam might solve the issue. Read the following section for more information.

Method 2: Reinstall Steam On Your System

A few users confirmed that reinstalling Steam on their systems helped solve the Steam Service Error.

This is relatively easy to do, but there are some important things to note before uninstalling Steam, such as creating a backup of your games.

We have a specific section in one of our guides that explains this process in detail, so be sure to check it out before proceeding with a reinstall.


After applying these two easy fixes, you should no longer experience the Steam Service Error.

Although this error does nothing to damage your PC, it also prevents you from opening Steam and playing games.

Thankfully, it’s easy to fix the issue by simply applying the methods listed in this guide.

Related Reads

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Fix: Why Is Steam Downloading So Slow?
Bojan Veselinovikj
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.