Steam says ‘Game is Running’

How To Fix Steam says “Game is Running”

Nowadays, Steam is considered as the most extensively used free gaming platform, especially for PC games, because if we analyze its service scope in a broader context, we can see that it comes with so many unique features & multiple gaming services, i.e., server hosting, installation & automatic update of games, video streaming, cloud storage, Social Network services & a lot more.

Steam enables its users to install & download their favorite PC games quite conveniently; to carry out all such significant processes, the users must run the Steam app in parallel to the game they intend to play because Steam plays a fundamental role in accomplishing all the associated functions.

‘App Already Running’ error in Steam. 

As Steam is responsible for driving all the processes & games, sometimes it might encounter a glitch in rendering its services; ‘App Already Running’ is a similar kind of glitch you might encounter either in the attempt to play a new game or closing the Steam app                                                                                        

Why Steam says Game is Running?

If you have come across an error message stating “Failed to start the game (App already Running)” on an attempt to play a new game, this is because Steam thinks the game is running already, so it prevents the launching of another game.

One of the major causes of this issue might be a previously played game that wasn’t appropriately closed because there is a possibility that either you forgot to exit or the game couldn’t shut down successfully. 

Such a troubling state often occurs if your PC is low on RAM (a low-end system) and the game you have played previously was a high-end game.

Because a high-end game consumes much RAM and slowdowns the entire system; consequently, it may take longer than the estimated required time to get closed successfully.

How to fix the ‘App Already Running’ error in Steam?

How to fix the ‘App Already Running’ error in Steam?

As the above analysis depicts, the most likely cause of the ‘App Already Running’ Steam error might be a previously played Steam game that failed to shut down properly. Therefore, here we have demonstrated the best possible approaches that can be applied to fix the encountered issue.

End the Running process(Game) using Task Manager

To fix this particular issue, you must again attempt to close that game, but you would have to use the Task Manager this time. To do so, follow the below-stated steps precisely.

  • At first, launch the Task Manager by using the shortcut keys either CTRL + ALT + Del or CTRL + SHIFT + ESC.
  • Then click on the Processes tab in Task Manager to browse the running processes.
  • Here, you need to select the process that exactly matches that particular game you have played.
  • Right-click on the selected process and select the “End Process” option.
  • Then the error-causing things will get fixed instantly.

End the Running process(Game) using Process Explorer 

Although the Task manager is quite an efficient program, it may not work well in every erroring situation, such as in this existing scenario. Some users may not find it efficient enough to produce precise results because the Task Manager may hide a few running processes.

So, such users can go for an alternate related program such as the Process Explorer software to show a more accurate & complete list of all the running processes. You can easily download the free application of Process Explorer software from Microsoft’s official website. 

Afterward, you just have to launch the Process Explorer on your PC; although it is more complex than the Task Manager, it will give in-depth information of all running processes of the entire system. Then you can quickly locate and End the relevant game process running in the system background unknowingly.

 Restart the Steam 

Although the ways stated above are pretty effective to end the already running Game in Steam, but both are time-consuming as you would need to navigate through the entire list of running processes to locate the respective running game in Task Manager, even then too, you might get confused with the game name.

So, here we present a quicker way to end a specific running game in Steam, giving an instant restart to the Steam application. This Steam restart process will too take place using the Task Manager program. To do so:

  • Press the Windows icon key from the keyboard and here search for Task Manager program in search tab or you also access it directly by using the shortcut key CTRL + ALT + Del.
  • In Task Manager, navigate the Processes tab and locate the Steam in the running process list.
  • Now, right-click on the Steam and choose the option “End Process” (Steam may take some time to get closed properly, so it is better to wait for a while).
  • Then Relaunch the Steam and reattempt to run that game encountering error earlier.

Close Game launcher in System Tray 

It is a fact that Steam is responsible for controlling and running the games on the system, but some games come with an intro menu generally outside of the game; that is what we perceive as a launcher. So, each time you attempt to close a game, the launcher gets minimized in the System tray as a running application.

This minimized launcher might be causing the “App already running” Steam error unknowingly; therefore, it is an excellent approach to check the system tray. If any launcher is found there, you can Exit it instantly.

Suppose you discover a launcher in the System tray. Just right-click on it and select the option Exit/Close/Quit. Then relaunch the respective Game in Steam.

Restart the PC

Restarting the PC is considered the most common fixing tactic applied in an erroring state. This quick-fix doesn’t consume much time and often effectively eradicates the minor errors you may encounter in any other program.

Most computer users prefer to try it in the first place. Still, in the current situation where Steam thinks the game is running already, we recommend trying out the earlier explained fixes first. You can go for the restart option if the particular problem persists there. This is a quick way to reboot the Steam app with its associated files.

Reinstall your Game

Reinstall your Game

Till now, we assume that the problem doesn’t exist anymore if you have tried out all the aforementioned fixes. If it doesn’t so on account of a few uncommon causes, then you may need to reinstall that particular game too. The reinstallation process of the game will require uninstalling the existing game and its all related files. Here is the way given how you can reinstall a game.

  • At first, launch the Steam app.
  • Select the “Library” and right-click on the specific game.
  • Select the Uninstall option from the popped list of choices.
  • You will get prompted to a warning stating “Delete Game files?” here; just click on the “Delete” option.
  • Now, relaunch the Steam app and access the Library to locate your desired title.
  • Then click on the “Install” option to install the selected game. (Note that Steam will also download all the associated games files in this reinstallation process.)
  • Complete the installation process by following all the displayed instructions and end this process by clicking on the “Finish” option.
  • Once the game gets installed completely, you can relaunch it successfully.

 Reinstall the Steam program.

The computer systems vary based on their used technologies, so the error states may also vary with the system. Although the fixes we have stated above are highly effective, they may still not work in a few error cases due to some contrasting scenarios.

So, if you are encountering a similar kind of situation, you can choose to reinstall the Steam program on your system, which is the most drastic option, but you would have to decide to get out of the erroring phase. To reinstall Steam, you need to uninstall the existing Steam app in the first place. So:

  • Press the Windows icon key from the keyboard, and here search for the “Control Panel” in the search bar.
  • Launch the Control Panel from displayed search results. 
  • In the Control Panel menu, select the option “Uninstall a Program.”
  • Here, just locate the Steam app in the list of all programs.
  • Right-click on Steam and select the “Uninstall” option.
  • Then download the latest Steam version from its official site after the successful uninstallation process.
  • Now, you need to double-click on the downloaded exe file of Steam and complete the entire installation wizard precisely.
  • Relaunch the Steam app, and then you can quickly run your desired game on the system without encountering any error.

Note: Some games offer in-game features to launch any third-party application, so if you use such an in-game feature, then make sure to close all the related things of the game before attempting to run another game or closing the Steam app.


Steam is a well-known gaming platform equally appropriate for both developers & players. Although Steam presents the downloadable games, you will still need to run the Steam app in the background because, being a central unit, it controls all the associated playback processes. 

Therefore, it requires sufficient RAM to run the games smoothly.

In such a case, you might face an error in running a new game, and meanwhile, Steam says the game is already running in the system. 

So, in the above entire discussion, we have illustrated how to instantly fix this issue, such as termination of the running game via Task Manager, the closing of the game launcher in the System Tray, reinstallation of the game, reinstallation of Steam, etc.

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