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 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 issues is the “Steam Service Error.” This guide provides the techniques 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 displayed in the picture above pops up whenever a person starts Steam on their computer. A few users (like those mentioned in this Reddit conversation) have mentioned that if you have Steam set to open automatically when you turn on your PC, this error occurs every time.

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 the client might solve the issue. Read the following section below for more information on that.

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 fairly straightforward and easy to do, but there are some significant 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 implementing these two simple solutions, you should no longer encounter 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.

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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.