Fixing the Steam Error: Failed to Start Game (App Already Running)

Users encounter the following problem: Steam reports that the game is already running when it is not. This error can be caused by a number of reasons. Your Steam client may not have been updated or your participation in the beta testing may have been compromised. We have listed a number of solutions that seem to work for all users.

The error message looks like this:

“Unable to start the game (application already running)”.

What causes the Steam error “Failed to start game (app already running)”?

Steam determines that the game is running in the program because it probably is. In most cases, the error is the result of a software failure. The game may not have shut down properly after the last session. It may also be running under a different user profile on your system.

Another possible cause of this error is a startup error. This is especially true if the error persists after a second attempt to start the game.

How to repair the Steam error “Can’t start the game (application is already running)”?

Check your game files

If your game’s installation files have been damaged or accidentally deleted, this can also cause this error.

  1. Reboot your computer
  2. Running Steam
  3. Go to the Library section, right-click on the game that is causing the problem -> select Properties.
  4. Select the Local Files tab -> click Check game file integrity.
  5. Wait for Steam to check the game files, then restart your computer.

Close the game using the task manager

  1. Hold down the Ctrl+Shift+Esc key combination to open the Task Manager.
  2. Click the Details button to view all the processes.
  3. Select the Processes tab.
  4. Find the game’s executing process in the list and select it.
  5. You can get detailed information by expanding the Description column.
  6. Right-click the selected process and click End Task.

Disconnecting from the current Steam beta

  1. In Steam, click Steam in the upper left corner and select the Settings menu.
  2. On the Account tab, under Beta Participation, click Edit.
  3. In the drop-down list, select NONE – Opt-Out of All Beta Programs and click OK.
  4. You will be prompted to restart Steam, please select the Restart Steam button.

Disconnecting Other Users

If you have multiple user accounts on your computer and you think another user account might be running the game you are trying to run, try logging out of all other user accounts.

After that, restart your computer and see if Steam still shows that the game is already running.

Frequently Asked Questions

This problem occurs if your previous game didn't end properly or you simply forgot to quit it. When the Task Manager opens, look through the running processes and see if a process with a name similar to the game you're playing has appeared. If it does, right-click on the process and select End Process.

Check the integrity of the game file. If you're getting a Steam "App Already Running" error on a recently installed game, the installation files were probably corrupted or missing. To fix this problem, you can use the built-in Steam utility to check the integrity of the game files.

  1. Reboot your computer.
  2. Clear the download cache.
  3. Restore the library folder.
  4. Check local files.
  5. Change the download region.
  6. Reinstall Steam.
  7. Move the game folder.
  8. Update your local network hardware.

This error most often occurs when launching a game that has not closed properly with a silent crash or that cannot be launched properly. Perhaps the game is already running under a different user account on your operating system.