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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?


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.



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.


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.


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