What Should I Do If Windows Can’t Find Steam.exe?


Windows is unable to locate When you double-click the Steam shortcut on the desktop to activate the Steam client, you may get an error called Steam.exe. When you open the Steam.exe file directly from the Steam installation location, you may see this problem.

You might discover that the file exists and is accessible after checking. However, Windows was unable to locate steam. What causes this problem?

The Most Common Causes of Windows Not Finding Steam.exe

These two scenarios are the most common causes of missing Steam.exe:


This is a typical reason. However, you may be oblivious to it. Many customers have complained that this is the reason why Windows is unable to locate steam. To eliminate the virus and malware, you must check your computer using antivirus software.


 AVAST is not Steam-friendly. It may prevent Steam from working, thus you’ll need to add it to the list of exceptions. To resolve the problem, you may need to uninstall AVAST or erase a certain registry key.

Fix #1: Run a virus/malware scan on your computer.

If you suspect that the Windows cannot find steam.exe error is caused by a virus or malware, you should first install anti-virus software on your computer and run a comprehensive scan with it.

For virus/malware scanning, Malwarebytes is a decent option. You may install it on your computer and then use it to scan your system and eliminate any viruses or malware that it detects.

Fix #2: In AVAST, add Steam to the list of exceptions.

Steam and AVAST are not compatible. Even the Steam client has been identified by AVAST, which is on the list of apps that interfere with the Steam installation. By adding Steam to the list of Exceptions in AVAST, you may cure Windows cannot find steam.exe.

Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. AVAST should now be open.
  2. Select Menu > Settings > General > Exception > Add Exception from the drop-down menu.
  3. Click Browse, then navigate to the place where Steam should be installed.
  4. To add Steam to the exception list, choose that folder and then click Add Exception.

Finally, check to see if you can launch Steam without getting the Windows cannot locate steam.exe issue.

Fix #3: AVAST must be uninstalled.

If the Windows cannot find steam.exe issue remains even adding Steam to AVAST’s Exception list, you can try uninstalling AVAST. This will eliminate the conflict between AVAST and Steam totally.

Delete a Specific Registry Value (Fix #4)

If none of the preceding alternatives work, you should attempt deleting a registry value. When deleting a registry value, exercise extreme caution. You should back up the register in advance to keep the registry value safe.

Then, to delete the registry value you need to delete, follow these steps:

1. To open Run, press Win + R.

2. To open the Registry Editor, type regedit and click Enter.

3. Go to the following web address:

Image File Execution Options in HKEY LOCAL MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsNTCurrentVersion

4. Locate the Steam.exe entry under Image File Execution Options. Then, from the context menu, right-click Steam.exe and select Delete.

5. Exit the Registry Editor programme.

Finally, you can check to see whether you can open Steam regularly.

The issue with Windows not being able to find Steam.exe should be resolved using these approaches.


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