How to Fix Windows Cannot Find Steam.exe in 5 Minutes
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How to Fix Windows Cannot Find Steam.exe in 5 Minutes

Sometimes users experience the error, “Windows cannot find steam.exe” on their screen when they open Steam using the .exe file from the folder, where they installed the Steam.

Users also complain about this frustrating error when they open Steam.exe by using a PC desktop shortcut.

The same error, “Windows cannot find Steam.exe” will pop up on your screen in both the cases, you read.

The good news?

Whether you’re struggling with Steam Friends Network Unreachable or want to know why does steam update every day, all these frustrating errors can be fixed easily.

What are the Causes of the Error, “Windows cannot find Steam.exe”?

The two major causes of error will be discussed below for your information to be aware next time when you face this issue again.

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Once we know the reasons we can solve the issue very easy easily. These are

  1. Malware
  2. Avast
  3. Incorrect delivery of the game files by the steam service


It is the most common and viable cause of steam.exe. So, it is an important thing for you to scan your PC. A virus-contaminated system can corrupt many files and can put you to face an uncalled issue.

So, scan your system by the antivirus that you have installed. It’ll detect the corrupted files and make them clear from viruses.


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Avast is a complaining antivirus by the users of steam. It does not allow steam to execute well. It is possible for Avast to block Steam. It is not recommended for steam users.

Therefore, follow any one of the procedures given below. There are six undeniable methods that will help you in the solution of a problem.

Solution 1: Scan your PC Immediately

It is analyzed that the error, “Windows cannot find steam.exe” can be solved easily through this method.

Step 1. Chose the best anti-virus (Norton security, Kaspersky, MacAfee, and Bitdefender, etc.) from the renowned IT market.

Be aware:

You should not install Avast, whether it is the best one maybe.

One might ask!

What is wrong with the Avast?

Many users complain that AVAST is not compatible with Steam. When they try to open Steam at the same time when AVAST is installed on their PC, they face the error steam.exe missing files.

That’s why I recommend you to install an antivirus except for Avast.

Solution 2: Add Steam to the List of Exceptions to Avast

Don’t you want to delete the Avast?

You can really do it by adding steam to the exception list in the Avast. Let’s see how you can do it.

  • Open the software.
  • Click on Menu in the upper right corner.
  • Click General in settings from the Menu drop-down.
  • Click Exceptions and then click on Add Exception.
  • Browse is the next option to be click on.
  • Go to Local Disk where the window is currently installed > Program Files.
  • Locate the Steam folder and select it.
  • Click on Ok.

I hope, no error will be shown by the system when you double-click on the shortcut of Steam.exe after following the above steps.

Try to open the steam and check whether the error has left your steam or not.

Solution 3: Replace the Anti-virus Program With Another Best One

If the error is still going on, then uninstall the Avast and install any other anti-virus. For this purpose

  • Go to control panel
  • Click Uninstall a program.
  • Locate the Avast.
  • Double-click the Avast icon.
  • Then click on uninstall.

After a few seconds, uninstalling Avast will be finished. Now install any credible anti-virus except Avast.

Try to check the problem is resolved or not.

If the error Windows cannot find steam.exe is still popping up on the screen. Let’s be close to the next fix.

Solution 4: Remove the Permission of Admin to the Steam Client

When a specific type of virus affects your system. The program prevents admin access when it is opened.

Perform the below steps to remove the error from your computer system.

  • Select the Properties from the drop-down menu (prevents when right-clicking on the shortcut of the steam on desktop).
  • Erase check from the Run this program as an Administrator under the Compatibility tab in Menu Bar.
  • Now click on Apply and then on Ok.

Solution 5: Uninstall and Reinstall Steam

Installation of the software can also resolve so many issues. If you are still encountering the error steam.exe missing files, then I recommend you uninstall the steam and reinstall it. For this purpose

  • Click on the Windows start button
  • Write Uninstall in the search bar and click Enter
  • Find Add or Remove Program our of the search results
  • Right-click on the steam and select Uninstall

Steam will be uninstalled after the completion of the process. Now restart your PC and again install the steam. Check for the error, whether it persists or not.

Solution 6: Delete a Registry Value

If the above 5 solutions do not match your criteria for the error called steam.exe. Then delete a certain registry value that is associated with Avast to resolve the problem.

Follow the simple steps to delete the registry value.

  1. Press the Window Key+I to open the run dialog box.
  2. Type the word Regedit and hit enter.
  3. Select Yes to confirm and open the Registry Editor.
  4. Find the Exe and Delete it from the Image File Execution Options.
  5. Close the registry editor and check the error, “windows cannot find steam.exe” will be disappeared.

Final words

I’ve provided here the tooth and nail to the error windows cannot find steam.exe. I hope you’ll find this article much beneficial for you. Share with me in the comments section which solution is proved beneficial for you.