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Windows Vista, 7 and 8 Troubleshooting

What are some common issues for running Steam and Steam games with Windows Vista or Windows 7?

Important:

If you have recently updated or reinstalled Windows 7 or Vista, make sure to Update all Drivers (Video, Audio, etc.) before attempting any of the following fixes.

 

Windows 7 and Vista require greater system resources than prior versions of the Windows operating system. If you have upgraded to these versions of Windows but have not upgraded your system's hardware, you may notice a drop in performance. Please see the Troubleshooting Gameplay and Performance topic for suggestions to compensate for changes in game performance.

 

Note:

Please do not run Steam in compatibility mode.

 

Windows Vista Service Pack 2

Before engaging in any troubleshooting on Windows Vista, please ensure that you have the latest Service Pack installed:

Vista Service Pack 2

After successful installation of SP2, make sure to keep your machine current by checking for any available updates to the Vista OS.

 

Running Steam as Administrator

If you are seeing issues with Steam and Steam games, please try the following:

  • Exit from Steam.
  • Right click the Steam.exe from C:\Program Files\Steam or your default location and choose the "Run as Administrator" option to launch Steam. The option may not work with a Desktop shortcut to Steam so be sure to use the direct Steam.exe.

This process is not permanent.  If this corrects your issue, you can continue to launch Steam in this manner or upgrade your Windows User account to Administrator status.

 

Disable User Account Control (UAC) in Windows Vista

Disabling this process is recommended only as a troubleshooting step. If needed, UAC can be re-enabled once any Steam issues have been corrected.

  • Go to the Windows Control Panel
  • Select User Accounts
  • Choose "Turn User Account Control on or off"
  • Uncheck the box next to "Use User Account Control (UAC) to help protect your computer"
  • Select OK and restart your computer
  • Re-test any issues you were seeing with Steam

 

Disable User Account Control (UAC) in Windows 7

Disabling this process is recommended only as a troubleshooting step. If needed, UAC can be re-enabled once any Steam issues have been corrected.

  • Click Start > Run (or Windows Key + R) and type wscui.cpl and choose Ok.
  • Choose Change User Account Control Settings from the menu on the left.
  • Move the slider to the Never notify option.
  • Select OK and restart your computer
  • Re-test any issues you were seeing with Steam

 

Disable User Account Control (UAC) in Windows 8

Disabling this process is recommended only as a troubleshooting step. If needed, UAC can be re-enabled once any Steam issues have been corrected.

  • Press Windows Key + R and type wscui.cpl and choose Ok.
  • Choose Change User Account Control Settings from the menu on the left.
  • Move the slider to the Never notify option.
  • Select OK and restart your computer
  • Re-test any issues you were seeing with Steam

 

No OpenGL Mode for GoldSrc-engine Games

Many video card manufacturers do not offer support for OpenGL within Windows 7 or Vista - this will cause a Failed to set video mode error message when GoldSrc-engine games attempt to load in OpenGL mode.

If you encounter this error when attempting to load GoldSrc-engine games, (i.e. Counter-Strike, Half-Life) please see the Reset Video Settings and Force a Video Mode article for instructions to use the game launch option -soft (software mode) as a workaround.

 

Installation Trouble

If you have difficulty installing Steam, a Steam game or other files required for a Steam game, please ensure that Windows Installer Service is enabled under the System Configuration's "Services" Tab.

 

Further Issues

If you have recently installed Windows 7 or Vista and are now encountering technical issues which were not present in the past, please see the Contacting Steam Billing and Support article for instructions to contact Steam Support for assistance. Please reference Windows Vista in the subject line of your case to ensure proper issue tracking.

 

Problem with Steam?

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