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When you tried opening a game on Steam, did you come across an error that says ‘Missing Files’ or ‘Missing File Privileges’? This error happens due to a number of reasons, and we have traced each one of them.

Below, there are a few solutions on how to fix Steam’s missing file privileges error. Try them out and see what caused the error.

You can also consider using these fixes whenever you face the similar error with other games on Steam.

1. Allow Admin Privileges to Steam

If you want Steam to operate smoothly, make sure to take care of two things. Firstly, allow Steam to read files from its default folders as well as other folders on your PC. And, secondly, enable Steam with the permission to write (modify) these files.

You can hit both these targets at the same time by simply allowing Administrator privileges to Steam.

Allow Admin Privileges to Steam

  • Go to the default Steam folder on your Windows computer
  • If you don’t know where it is, try searching for ‘Steam’ in the Program Files folder on your C: drive
  • Now, right-click on the Steam folder
  • Select and click on ‘Properties’ from the drop-down menu
  • Go to the Security tab in the Steam Properties window
  • Now, click on ‘Advanced’ button
  • You’ll see a list of Permission entries
  • Click on ‘Edit
  • Now, put a tick in the checkbox for all the permissions mentioned below
    • Full control
    • Modify
    • Read & Execute
    • List folder contents
    • Read
    • Write

You need to save the changes by clicking on ‘Apply’ and ‘OK’. Now, you can try re-launching Steam to see if the ‘missing file privileges’ error has been fixed or not.

With the Admin liberties, Steam can easily update/download files. It can also locate the missing files and avoid encountering this error completely.

2. Give Full Access to Missing/Affected Files

If you closely look at the ‘missing file privileges’ error message on Steam, you can note down the exact address where files went missing. With that address, you can pinpoint the affected file(s) and fix it.

You can grant full access to the affected file to fix this error. Full access permissions to the Steam files can make the ‘Missing File Privileges’ error go away.

Give Full Access to Missing/Affected Files

  • Copy the exact address from the error message
  • Browse to that location by entering the address into the File Explorer window
  • You can also use the Run application (‘Windows’ + ‘R’ key) to access the affected files
  • If you want to access the location on Steam, open the Steam client
  • Go to the Library tab
  • Select the game, right-click on it and click on ‘Properties
  • Now, go to the Local Files tab
  • Click on – Browse Local Files
  • Here, locate the affected file by referring to the address

After you locate the file, right-click on it and follow the process explained in fix #1. Allow full access to the file and see if it fixes the Steam error by reopening the app.


Reboot Your PC

There’s an unwritten rule that your Steam may work properly if you just reboot your PC. In most cases, the ‘missing file privileges’ error in Steam gets fixed after you restart your computer.

  • Press the Windows button
  • Click on the Power button
  • Now, click on Restart/Update

Let your PC reboot itself and restore all essential files into the designated folders. This way, the error of missing file privileges in Steam gets fixed altogether.

3. Select a Different Download Region

There’s a basic fix to the missing files privileges error on Steam. You can select a different download region. This way, the files get a new path and Steam can access them instantly.

To change the Download Region on Steam,

Select a Different Download Region

  • Open the Steam app
  • Click on the Settings tab
  • Now, go to Downloads from the context menu
  • Navigate to ‘Download Region’ and click on it
  • Here, select another region (instead of your own)
  • Close the app and restart it

Selecting a new download region allows Steam to use different servers. If servers of your actual download region are overloaded, Steam may encounter errors such as ‘Missing File Privileges.’

This fix further allows Steam to detect region with the least traffic. It eventually helps you avoid hardware failure errors as such.

4. Go to Safe Mode and Delete Steam Files

If the solutions above couldn’t fix the problem, you can consider deleting a few Steam files and re-downloading them. To do this, your Windows system needs to be running in Safe Mode.

As you log on to the Safe Mode, Windows disables all the extra software running in the background. It allows apps like Steam to perform actions more easily.

Another advantage of this method is no other software can interfere while you make changes in Steam. In the Safe Mode, there’s no unwanted program tampering with system files.

To delete Steam files in Safe Mode,

Go to Safe Mode and Delete Steam Files

  • Note down the file path (displayed in the error message)
  • Now, restart your computer to Safe Mode
  • Select ‘Safe Mode with Networking’ option and enable it
  • Now, go to the file path (address)
  • Delete all contents in the ‘download’ folder (which is present in the SteamApps folder)
  • Restart your computer

While this is a makeshift fix, the Steam app is less likely to face the error after trying this out.

5. Fixing Corrupt Files from Steam Library Folder

If you can’t risk deleting any Steam files, try fixing the corrupted Steam Library Folder. There’s a good change that this folder isn’t properly configured, and that has triggered the error.

You can also check if any game files are left incomplete during downloads. To repair the Steam Library Folder, follow these simple steps below –

Fixing Corrupt Files from Steam Library Folder

  • Open the Steam client
  • Click on the Steam menu (upper left side)
  • Click on ‘Settings’ from the drop-down menu
  • Go to Downloads and click on ‘Steam Library Folders
  • Here, a small window opens up
  • From the locations listed in it, right-click on the one that shows where Steam is installed
  • Click on ‘Repair Steam Library
  • Now, exit the settings and go to the Library tab
  • Here, right-click on the game that triggered the error
  • Select ‘Properties
  • Go to Local Files tab in the Properties window
  • Click on ‘Verify Integrity of Game Files

Steam starts verifying the game files to check for corrupted or missing ones. It automatically downloads those files and replaces them correspondingly.

The ‘Verify Integrity of Game’ option fixes the corrupt and missing system files. Steam starts working properly after you use this feature to the erring game. Try it out to see if your problem gets fixed with it.


Run an SFC Scan

If corrupted Steam files are causing this error, you can use System File Checker (SFC) tool on your Windows. It is a free solution to scan for corrupted .exe files and program components.

To run an SFC scan,

  • Type ‘cmd’ in the Windows 10 search box
  • Go to Command Prompt program from the search results
  • Right-click on it and select ‘Run as administrator’ from the context menu
  • Type the command ‘sfc /scannow’ in the Command Prompt window
  • Press the Enter key to execute the scan
  • Wait for the scan to finish (this make take a couple of minutes)
  • Restart your PC

With an SFC scan, you don’t need to spend on purchasing antivirus software; the scan is inbuilt and free! You should always run an SFC scan whenever you face the missing file privileges error on your Steam app.

6. Stop the igfxEm.exe Process

If corrupted files didn’t cause the missing file privileges, Steam is likely to have run into trouble due to a software component. To be specific, the software component ‘igfxEm’ is likely to have caused this error on Steam.

You can stop the igfxEm.exe process running in the background, every time you launch the Steam app.

Stop the igfxEm.exe Process

  • Press ‘Windows’ and ‘R’ keys to launch the Run application
  • Type ‘taskmgr’ in the Run dialog box and press the Enter key
  • Go to the Processes tab
  • Look for ‘igfxEm’ processes
  • Right-click on ‘igfxEm Module’ process and end it
  • Restart the Steam app as an administrator

For those who don’t know, the igfxEm process stands for Intel Graphics Executable Main Module. It is responsible for adjusting graphics card and is used as a middleware between Steam and Intel Graphics.

7. Refreshing Steam Files

If all fails, you have no choice but to refresh Steam files. It is the last resort to fix the Missing Files Privileges error on Steam.

Before you follow the steps below, make sure nothing interrupts you when you execute it. Interruptions can corrupt Steam files during the refresh process.

To refresh Steam files,

Refreshing Steam Files

  • Go to the Steam folder (default location is C:/Program Files/Steam)
  • Locate the User Data folder, but don’t delete any file that it contains
  • Now, search for SteamApps folder and browse to the game folder (the one that triggered the error)
  • Here, delete the contents of this game folder only
  • Except for the UserData and the exe files, delete all other contents of the Steam folder
  • Now, go to the exe file and double-click

As your Steam restarts, the files get updated and replaced. After the update is complete, Steam starts running as normal again.

Please share your experience on how you fixed the missing files privileges error in Steam by commenting below.

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