Fixing Game is running error on Steam

Do you get the “Game is already running” error when starting your game? Everybody who has played Steam games has gone through this moment at least once. When you know you closed a game for sure but it still shows a “Failed to start the game – app already running! “ error. You might be wondering why this happens?

The prime reason for this error is Steam not completely shutting down the game fully. But some unknown factors can lead to a player getting this error. Here are steps to follow if your Steam game shows your game was already running. These range from the easiest to the hardest, so try to do them in order. The last step must be your last resort if everything else fails.

Steps to fix the game is running when it isn’t error:

  1. Restart your Steam game:

Restarting your Steam game should be the first thing you do as it is very simple. Do this by closing the Steam game using the Task Manager.

  1. Press Ctrl+Alt+Del on the keyboard and click on “Task Manager” from the options that appear on the screen.
  2. In Task Manager, navigate down the list until you spot Steam and click on it. At the bottom of this, you can see an End Task option, click here and Steam will shut down.
  3. Wait a minute or two and then you can relaunch Steam to play your game.
  4. Closing the game in the Task Manager:

If you can still see the game running in the background, then the above method didn’t work. Do the following steps then:

  1. Open up Task Manager using the above-mentioned step.
  2. Here, try to locate the service that’s associated with the game you were playing. If you can’t make out the name of the service, then go to the Steam Library and select the Properties menu. Go to the local files tab and click on “Browse Local files”.
  3. Click on the service, and then click below on ‘’End Task’’ once again.
  4. Relaunch Steam and then you can launch your game.
  5. Closing the Game Launcher

Some game titles have a launcher that co-exists along with a Steam client. If a game produces a different intro menu from the normal one, this is most likely due to the launcher. Often the game gets minimized due to this occurrence.

Check your system tray. If you spot a launcher, right-click on it and click on close/quit/exit, or anything similar. Restart Steam and launch the game you want to play.

  1. Restart your PC

If the above-mentioned methods haven’t worked, the next step is to fully restart your PC. This step reboots Steam and its temporary data. This step also resets the Windows which is a good thing to do once in a while.

  1. Reinstall the Game

If a PC restart doesn’t work, the next method is to Reinstall the Steam game. This involves downloading all the game files again. This method takes time though, depending on your internet speed. Follow the below steps to reinstall the Steam game.

  1. Launch the Steam app.
  2. Click on ‘’Library’’ in the menu, right-click on the game and select uninstall.
  3. A pop-up opens, which asks if you actually want to delete the game’s files.
  4. Click on “Delete”. Steam will now remove all the data/files related to this game.
  5. Restart Steam by the steps mentioned in the first method.
  6. Locate the game in your library and then hit “Install”.
  7. Click on “Next” in the Install Window and Click “Finish” next.
  8. Let Steam download the game files in full and then launch the game.
  9. Reinstall Steam

It’s highly unlikely that you’ll need this next step. Most of the problems showing that the game is running error should be resolved by the above steps. If it isn’t, you’ll need to follow this drastic step, which is to reinstall Steam.

  1. Right-click on the Windows Start menu and click on ‘’Search’’.
  2. Type ‘’Control Panel’’ into the search bar and open the app.
  3. Go to “Programs and features” and you’ll see “Uninstall a program” on your screen.
  4. Search and find Steam in this list of programs. Click on it and then click on “Uninstall” which appears just above the list of programs.
  5. When Steam is uninstalled, go and download the latest version of Steam from here
  6. Download the Steam application. Double click on the Steam file and complete the installation.
  7. Launch Steam and then install the game you want to play.
  8. Launch the game.

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