Steam has become a global marketplace for gamers at the moment. It has evolved into a community for gamers where they can chat, review games, and buy gaming services. If you are a die-hard gamer, you must be familiar with it. If so, you must be aware of the errors and glitches that, out of nowhere, may creep at your end and spoil your fun. The problem of a “Steam game already running” truly puts the user through a lot of trouble. Luckily, we’ll show you how to fix the issue when Steam is not closing games.
After all, it’s annoying when the same issue continues to occur with your Steam game after you’ve already restarted it. To clarify, when you start a game on Steam, the program says it is already running. However, the game does not start or open for the user despite waiting. If you’ve been seeing it, a few ways to solve it exist.
Why Does the “Game Is Currently Running” Message Show Up?
When you attempt to launch a game on Steam, the “game is running” prompt is designed to prevent you from doing so inadvertently. The message will look something like this –
This function ensures that two games do not run at the same time, putting a load on your operating system. One of the most blatant issues with the game is that it will not load. These several factors are different for each user and computer. It might be that it was not closed, and it’s running in the background on some people’s computers.
For some gamers, it might be because of a Steam desktop client problem or your game files may be missing or corrupt. Additionally, in extremely rare cases, it might be caused by updates or your hardware issues, which can be fixed by making small changes at your end.
Methods to Fix Steam Not Closing Issue
By now, you should have some idea why Steam is saying the game is running when it isn’t in reality. The solutions for the issues are what our guide is about. Some may be as simple as turning off and on again, while others might require a more extensive procedure. If you think you can get by with basic troubleshooting, go ahead and try the methods that seem most likely to work.
1. Restart Steam
Starting is the most basic, tried, and tested approach for fixing this issue; and many users suggest it. Restarting solves the issue at its core by shutting down all the games and processes that are operating in the background, ensuring that when you run the game or open Steam again, you don’t see the “game is running” notification.
- Press the “X” button to exit Steam. You can go to the tray icon if it’s minimized.
- Right-click on the Steam icon and opt to quit. This will close Steam completely.
- You can now restart Steam again from the Start menu.
2. Close Steam through Windows Task Manager
The most common reason for the Steam not closing games error is that background processes may be already active on Steam when you attempt to restart it, suggesting a fix. Therefore, you remove the problem by closing the Steam application from Task Manager this way:
- Press the Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys simultaneously and hold them until the “Task Manager” window shows up on your screen.
- Now, among the processes, select Steam.
- Press the “End Task” button.
- Find other processes related to Steam and end them the same way. Now, you’ve successfully closed Steam and can proceed to restart it.
3. Close Game Via Task Manager
Closing Steam closes its processes, but sometimes, the game operates independently of Steam, resulting in an error message. Therefore, if closing Steam doesn’t solve the problem in this case, terminate the game from your Task Manager.
- Press Ctrl + Alt+ Delete to launch the task manager.
- In the Processes section, look for the processes related to the game.
- Select the process and press the “End Process” button.
4. Kill Game Launcher Process in the System Tray
Some games require an additional game launcher, which may allow the game to run in the background even after you’ve closed the application. These launchers use little memory and are difficult to spot in Task Manager. The game launchers are usually accessible through the system tray, and you can close them from there. To do so, follow these steps:
- Got to the right side of the taskbar at the bottom right of the window’s screen.
- Press the “^” symbol. Tray icons show the currently active applications.
- Look for the game launcher and right-click it.
- Select Quit/Close.
- Your game may now exit, or you can kill it yourself, and the issue should be resolved.
5. Restart Your PC
It’s best to restart your PC only after attempting the preceding measures to guarantee the problem is taken care of at your end. Restart straight away to close all the game processes and the ones associated with Steam since they are not part of the system processes.
6. Let Steam Cloud Finish Syncing
One of the reasons for Steam throwing the message that the game is running, but it isn’t, is due to an incomplete Steam cloud sync. You won’t be able to play the game while the syncing procedure is running; don’t exit the Steam window until the “syncing” message disappears.
When you close your Steam game, Steam will upload your offline progress from local files to the servers as part of the normal closing procedure. That takes time, depending on your internet speed. You can kill the Steam process before the sync finishes.
7. Reinstall Steam or the Game
You can also try reinstalling the Steam desktop client, and surprisingly, that may also come in handy. It’s a less technical approach to get rid of all Steam corrupt files that cause the error “game is already running.” You can install the default files, as well as they are updated automatically to the latest version. The uninstallation process is quite easy as you can find the installed apps in Control Panel. Once you have done that, follow these steps to reinstall Steam on your computer.
- Head to the Steam site, and from the top right corner, select “Install Steam.”
- Next, select your operating system and proceed with the download.
- Once you download the .exe file, you can re-install the Steam client on your PC.
Further, if you couldn’t get the issue fixed, perhaps reinstalling the game would solve the problem. We would leave this approach as the last resort, i.e. if nothing else you try manages to fix the issue when Steam is not closing games.
8. Try Running the Game in Compatibility Mode
Compatibility Mode is one of the most reliable methods for any window client, particularly for issues like this. By running the game in that mode, you can determine the cause behind why Steam is not closing games and how to fix it. Do this:
- Right-click on the game icon and go to “Properties”.
- Select “Compatibility”.
- Troubleshoot for compatibility or check the box for “Run this program in compatibility mode for.”
- Choose Windows 8 or earlier version and configure the rest of the settings as per your need.
- Press the “Apply” button and then, “OK”. Now, the game should launch easily.
9. Check for Integrity of Game Files via Steam
Verifying the game’s integrity means looking for missing or damaged files in the game. Luckily, Steam includes a built-in tool to check your game files for corrupt and missing files. If Steam informs you that the game is still running even after you’ve attempted the suggestions above, verifying and repairing the game files on your computer is the right way to go. Follow the steps given below:
- Launch Steam and head to “Library Options”.
- Select the game, right-click it and proceed to “Properties”.
- In properties, select the “Local Files” tab.
- Now choose “Verify Integrity of game files”.
- Once the process is completed, you’ll be notified. If you come across any missing or corrupt files, you can download them specifically or reinstall the game.
10. Use a Different Storage device
Most people use HDDs in their native devices, as they are much cheaper. However, one should not forget that it is equally slower. Now, it won’t matter if the game is small or old, but with the current games that are resource-intensive, an HDD can make matters worse by slowing down a lot of the gaming process, including its closure. Thus, using an SSD instead of an HDD might just work.
11. Exit Steam Beta
A beta program is often not only fun but also useful, as it allows the user to test drive the upcoming features and also provide valuable feedback that just might help shape the app as they want. Sadly, beta trials are fraught with bugs and other inconsistencies. Thus, if you are on a Steam Beta and are experiencing this issue, then maybe the problem lies with the app. You can exit the Steam Beta first and make sure whether the problem exists or not.
To exit the Steam Beta, all you have to do is:
- First, go to the Steam window and click on the Menu tab.
- Then, go to the Account tab and click on the Change button next to Beta Participation.
- Now, choose None on the pop-up menu, and you will be excluded from the beta program.
- Finally, save the changes and restart Steam.
12. Use a different Steam Account
Many users have different Steam accounts. They regularly switch between these accounts, and sometimes, it just might be responsible for the issue at hand. It might lead Steam to think that the game is being played by a different account. Thus, it doesn’t close it. Now, you can solve this issue by simply switching back to your other account and then terminating the game.
13. Wait for the Cloud to Sync your progress
Some games regularly back up their progress to the Steam Cloud. Thus, when you close a game, it takes some time to back up the data to the cloud, which slows down the process. Thus, you might want to wait for the cloud to finish synchronizing before closing a game.
14. Run Steam as An Administrator
Running the Steam app as an administrator might also solve this issue. If you lack the necessary permissions, then you should run Steam as admin, if only to avoid some minor inconveniences and other small issues.
15. Run the Game From Local Installation
There is still a way for you to play your favorite games, even if Steam refuses to close the ongoing title. And that is running the game from your local storage. You can use Steam to run your games via the local files. All you have to do is:
- First, go to Steam and click on the Library tab.
- Now, right-click on the game and select Properties.
- Then click on Local Files under Game Properties.
- Browse the files and click on the .exe file to launch the game.