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How to Fix the Windows Cannot Find Steam.exe Error?

Steam.exe Error
Written by Kelly Houstan

The “Windows cannot find Steam.exe” error message basically appears. Whenever users are trying to open the Steam client via double-clicking on the Steam shortcut on the Desktop. As well as whenever opening the Steam.exe file directly from the Steam installation folder. Even though the file is there and it’s also accessible, the error message still appears and troubles users around the globe. In this article, we are going to talk about How to Fix the Windows Cannot Find Steam.exe Error? Let’s begin!

Luckily, there have been a lot of successful methods circling the Internet. They were posted via users who managed to resolve the problem. We also have provided step-by-step instructions for these methods so just make sure you guys check them out below!

How to Fix the Windows Cannot Find Steam.exe Error?

What Causes the Windows Cannot Find Steam.exe Error?

There are a few specific causes of this problem. If the Steam.exe file is actually located in the place where it needs to be and then the problem should be analyzed further along with the list of causes we have prepared below. Just check them out!

  • Malware – It’s not unusual that there is malware on your PC that directly causes this problem. Users mostly write this cause off since it’s unexpected to have malware attack only Steam. However, it’s a viable cause so just make sure you scan your computer.
  • Avast – Avast doesn’t work well along with Steam. It’s possible it flagged the Steam executable and you will actually have to add it to the list of exceptions. If that doesn’t really work out, then you might need to uninstall or even delete a certain registry entry.

Open Steam from its Original Location

In spite of a ton of new security features on Windows, defective shortcuts are still a big menace too. These shortcuts could provide you the illusion that the app exists, however, in reality. Just hold no ties to the original software. In order to make sure that Steam opens properly, then try to open the app from its source file.

  • Most of the time, the installation folder of Steam is basically located in the C drive.
  • Here, you have to open the folder that reads Program Files (x86).
  • This will basically open the source files of all the applications installed on your PC. Just scroll down to find and then open the Steam folder.
  • Now within this folder, just find the ‘Steam’ application and run it. If it still does not open, then just try renaming the app to something else and also run it again. This seems just like an unlikely tip, however, once renamed. The app is overlooked via many threatening applications on your PC and the ‘Windows cannot find Steam.exe’ error should be fixed as well.

Create an Exception in Avast Antivirus | Steam.exe Error

Avast is actually one of the few antivirus applications that also has caused severe troubles for Steam. The reason for the feud is unknown, however, for Avast, Steam appears to be a corruptible virus that will potentially wreck the system actually. Here’s how you guys can create an exception for Steam and also make sure that Avast does not avoid Windows from finding the executable file.

  • First of all, open the application, and on the top left corner, then click on Menu.
  • From the options that basically appear, you need to click on ‘Settings.’
  • Now under the General category in Settings, choose Exceptions and tap on Add exception.
  • A really small window will appear, that will ask you to specify the location of the folder you want to add as an exception. Here, tap on Browse and find the Steam folder in the C drive under Program Files (x86).
  • Steam should be added like an exception and the Windows cannot find Steam.exe error should also be fixed.

Scan for Potential Malware

Malware and viruses could avoid your Windows from recognizing the Steam app and also opening it. If you guys have a dedicated antivirus, then run it to see if you can discover any threats. Plus, you can also use the Windows security feature in order to solve the issue.

  • In the Settings application of your PC, you need to open the Update & Security.
  • Now in the panel on the left side, tap on Windows Security.
  • Under the section titled, Protection Areas, just tap on Virus and threat protection.
  • Then scroll down to the Current threat section and under the Quick scan button, tap on Scan options.
  • Under scan options, just choose the Full Scan option and then click on Scan Now.

Steam.exe Error

  • Your whole system will be scanned and any potential threats will now be eliminated. Reboot and then start Steam again to see if Windows is able to find Steam.exe.

Delete Steam Value from Windows Registry | Steam.exe Error

Deleting a registry value is actually a serious process, however, if done correctly. Then it has proven to be the most successful method of all. Because of the complications caused via malware and antivirus applications; Steam could end up appearing on a list it is not supposed to as well. Hence, deleting the registry value, in this case, is actually a safe and valid option.

  • On the Windows search bar, just look for the Registry Editor application and then open it.
  • Now just open the application and in the small address bar, below the options, then paste the following address:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options
  • A bunch of files will then display under the Image File Execution Options. Just look for the folder titled Steam.exe and  then right-click on it.

Steam.exe Error

  • From the options that appear, just tap on ‘Delete’ to remove the folder from the list.
  • When the folder is deleted, reboot the PC and run the Steam application again. Chances are that the Windows cannot find Steam.exe error will be fixed.

Other versions of Windows:

  • Just open the Control Panel via performing a search for it in the Start menu. Now simply type “Control Panel” along with the Start menu. You can also run it via tapping on the Windows Key + R keys at the same time, then typing “control.exe” and then clicking the OK button in the Run box.
  • Tap on the View by option and set it to Category. It’s located at the top right part of the Control Panel window as well. Press the Uninstall a program button that is under the Programs
  • A list of all installed programs on your PC will now appear. Scroll until you reach the Avast entry in the list, right-click it, and then select Uninstall from the context menu which will appear.
  • Just follow the instructions on-screen to follow through with the uninstallation and then check to see if the “Windows cannot find Steam.exe” error still appears whenever trying to run Steam.

If it does, then it’s now time to follow the rest of the steps we have prepared below. You guys will have to edit the registry to perform this method. You have to be extra careful whenever doing this as you don’t want to cause system instability.

  • Just use the Windows Key + R key combination to start the Run Type “regedit” in the box. And tap on the OK button to open the Registry Editor. Now confirm any UAC prompts that might appear.
  • Now navigate to the following location via the left-side navigation menu:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options
  • Just double-click to open the Image File Execution Options key. And then just look for the Steam.exe entry in the lift of values at the right side of the window as well. Right-tap the Steam.exe key and select Delete from the context menu which will appear.
  • Now just exit the Registry Editor and re-run Steam in order to check whether the same error message appears!

Well, That is all from my side. If you want to know more about this article or have any queries. Then feel free to ask me anything in the comments section below.

Have a Good Day!

Also See: The Boot Configuration Data File Doesn’t Contain Valid Information – Fix

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Kelly Houstan

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