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Steam is simplified and appreciated by users for its gaming-friendly features. Sometimes, games fail to launch on Steam and stop running when the app gets stuck in the process. Some games crash instantly, right after you launch them.

There is no specific reason as to why Steam gets stuck like this. Every PC has different hardware and software configuration to support Steam games.

Steam stuck on preparing to launch

However, when Steam is stuck on ‘Preparing to Launch,’ there not much you can do with the app. You can’t open other games if Steam keeps getting stuck in the “Preparing …” stage over and over.

So, to fix the issue and allow the games to launch, here’s a general guide on how to fix Steam stuck on “Preparing to Launch”:

#1. Fix Corrupt File with 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,

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Fix Corrupt File with 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.

#2. Update Your Windows

At times, certain games require the latest version of Windows to have compatibility between Steam and the Windows version. If the version does not fulfill the game’s requirement, it crashes immediately.

In such cases, you can’t run Steam games on outdated Windows. So, to update your Windows version:

Update Your Windows

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  • Click on Start and search for Settings in the dialogue box. Go to the application displayed in the search results. Click on “Update and Security button”.
  • You see “Check for Updates” option in “Windows Update Tab.” It checks for the updates which are available on your system and runs them after installing

Also Read: What to do When Windows 10 Update Stuck on Checking for Updates?

#3. Update Your Drivers

Always keep your Drivers updated it includes audio, graphics drivers, video and other drivers like DirectX. To update your drivers,

Update Your Drivers

  • Hold the Windows + R keys together to get the run window (run as an administrator).
  • To open the DirectX diagnostic tool, type “dxdiag” in the dialogue box. It shows the list of the available hardware along with its software versions installed on your PC.
  • To search for the latest driver, use your hardware name and download them via the internet.

#4. Verify the Integrity of Selected Games

If your game is still getting stuck, there are chances that the selected game files are corrupt. To use the “Verify Integrity of Game Files” option, follow the steps given below:

Verify the Integrity of Selected Games

  • Restart your computer foremost and relaunch steam
  • Got to the library section and Right click on the game which is causing issues.
  • Further, go to its properties and select the Local files
  • Hit on the “Verify Integrity of Game Cache” icon, and with steam, it verifies the particular game in a few minutes.

#5. Disable the Unwanted/Unessential Software

Many background processes are active due to the unwanted software in their device. As a result, there is a shortage of memory in RAM and Windows doesn’t allow the Steam to function well on low memory.

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Follow the steps To Disable the unwanted software and processes:

Disable the Unwanted/Unessential Software

  • Press Windows + R to launch the Task Manager. It opens the Run application
  • To open the Task Manager, type “taskmgr” in the dialogue space.
  • Delete every unwanted process you want to end such as Skype, Updater, Web Browsers, etc.
  • Use Steam.exe to restart

#6. Reinstall Steam

If the above methods don’t work well to fix the issue, you can finally choose to reinstall your steam client and also keep your in-game data secure. To reinstall the Steam, follow the instructions below:

Reinstall Steam

  • Do not interrupt your computer during the process as it may corrupt your files
  • Go to the Steam directory. The default location is C:/ProgramFiles (x86)/Steam.
  • Locate the SteamApps, Steam.exe., Userdata and Ssfn files respectively.
  • Re-launch steam and it will start updating itself. There won’t be any issue with the steam client after the update is done.

We hope the above methods helped you fix the issue.


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