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Easily Fix The Steam Stuck On Preparing To Launch Problem

Steam is a distribution platform to get gaming and other software onto your computer. This platform allows you to play any games after they are installed properly. Despite having so many different features and capabilities, you can get into various kinds of problems. One such error is Steam stuck on preparing to launch.

This error means that during the launch of any games or software the Steam application or the application itself crashes. There are quite a lot of reasons why this error occurs after all. Some of those are corrupt system files, obsolete Windows Operating System.

Further, outdated driver software of the devices, corrupt game files, etc. Moreover, not enough RAM space due to the execution of unnecessary programs, interference from the security software.

Now, let’s take a look at how you can solve this issue at the earliest.

Methods to Simply Eradicate the Steam Stuck on Preparing to Launch

In this section of the article, we elaborated probable solutions which can help you to eliminate this problem within the least possible time.

Install the Steam Client once Again

The easiest solution to rectify the Steam stuck on preparing to launch error is to perform a reinstallation of the Steam client. But, first, you will have to keep all the data of the games intact. In order to do it, follow the steps:

  • First, go to the desktop and double-click on the ‘This PC’ icon to open it. After that, type the following path on the address bar of the window – “C:/Program Files (x86)/Steam”. This will take you to the location of the ‘Steam’ directory.
  • Once the directory provides all its contents, then find the following files and directories – ‘SteamApps’, ‘Userdata’, ‘Steam.exe’, and ‘Ssfn’.
  • Except for the above-mentioned files and folder, remove all the rest of the contents from the directory.
  • After rebooting the computer, launch the ‘Steam’ application. It will start to update itself. Once it is complete, attempt to launch any games and see if this error comes back or not.

Perform a System File Checker Scan

If there are corrupt system files within the computer, then due to those files you can get this glitch in the first place. The solution to resolve this problem is to perform a scan using the System File Checker or SFC tool.

This tool looks for any corrupt or damaged system files present within the computer. Once it finds any of those files, then it attempts to automatically repair those files. To do that, follow the steps:

  • First, tap on the ‘Cortana Logo’ on the taskbar to launch the ‘Windows Search’ text box.
  • Within the text area, type “command prompt” and then, tap on the ‘Enter’ key. After that, from the result of the search, locate the option ‘Command Prompt’ and right-click on it.
  • Then, choose the sub-option ‘Run as Administrator’ from the popup options menu. Now, a new window with the black background will show up, that has a name ‘Command Prompt’
  • On this window, type the following command – “sfc /scannow” and then, press ‘Enter’ to execute it.
  • Now, wait for the process of scan and repair to get over.
  • Once it is complete, reboot the computer and see if you are encountering this problem or not.

Update the Display/Graphics Drivers

This point provides information to update the display driver software installed within your machine, which may ultimately allow you to correct the Steam stuck on preparing to launch. To perform the update procedure, you will have to follow the guide underneath:

  • First, right-click in the ‘Windows Logo’ present on the left-hand side of the taskbar to open the Options Menu.
  • Next, from that menu, locate and choose the option ‘Run’. This will open a new dialog box that has the same name as the option you chose on the last line.
  • Within the ‘Run’ dialog box, just beside the label ‘Open’ type a text “devmgmt.msc”. Then, press the ‘OK’ button. This will open a new window named ‘Device Manager’
  • On this window, there will be a list of all devices and their drivers installed within the machine will be present. From that list, find and double-click on the ‘Display adapters’, which will expand it to reveal the driver software.
  • Now, from the expanded list, right-click on the display driver and then, select the sub-option ‘Update Driver’ from the popup menu. This will open a new window with two options.
  • Among those two options within that window, choose the first one that says ‘Search automatically for updated driver software’. As soon as the previous option is chosen, the machine will automatically search for any updates available online.
  • Now, if an update for the display driver is present, then that will be downloaded and installed automatically on the machine. This process takes some time to complete.
  • Once the update process gets over, then simply reboot the computer. And see if you are still getting this problem or not.

Check for the Games Integrity

Sometimes, if the game cache or files gets corrupted somehow, then for that reason also you might face this problem. Thus, the solution to eliminate this error is to inspect the integrity of all the files of the game that got stuck. For that to happen, follow these steps beneath:

  • First, reboot the computer and then, locate and double-click on the ‘Steam’ application to open it.
  • Once this software opens up, then go to the section ‘library’. After that, within the section that is mentioned on the last line, locate the game that gives this error and right-click on it.
  • Now, from the popup menu, find and select the option ‘Properties’. Next, from the new dialog box that comes up, choose the tab ‘Local Files’.
  • Under this tab, move down a little bit and choose the button ‘Verify Integrity of Game Cache’. At this time, the Steam application will initiate the verification procedure of the game, which will take some time to complete.
  • Once the integrity of the game has been checked. Now, launch the game and see whether this glitch comes back or not.

Deactivation Process of Windows Defender

Windows Defender is the default security software available for the Windows OS. This application can interfere with the program files of the games, which can give you the Steam game stuck on preparing to launch error.

Now, the solution to rectify this problem is to disable the ‘Windows Defender’ application. To do that, go through the following guide:

  • First, hit the combination of ‘Windows + R’ keys simultaneously to open the new ‘Run’ dialog box.
  • Within that dialog box go to the text area present just on the right side of the label ‘Open:’. On the text, area type the text ‘gpedit.msc’ and then hit the ‘Enter’ key. This will launch a new window called ‘Local Group Policy Editor’.
  • When the new window comes up then go to the left panel and tap on the folder ‘Computer Configuration’. After that, locate and choose the folder ‘Administrative Templates’.
  • Now, choose the directory ‘Windows Components’ then, from the right pane find the directory ‘Windows Defender’ and double-click on it.
  • Next, from the various options that are available within the ‘Windows Defender’ folder on the right panel and choose the ‘Turn off Windows Defender’ and double-click on it.
  • In this window, tap on the option ‘Enabled’ on the left side to disable the Windows Defender application.
  • Tap on the ‘Apply’ and then ‘OK’ button respectively.
  • Finally, start the ‘Steam’ application and see this error resurfaced or not.

Deactivate /Disable the Unnecessary Application from your Computer

If there are some unwanted software present within the computer, then those programs can take space of the Random Access Memory module.

So, for that reason, you might encounter the Steam stuck on preparing to launch error. To disable the application that not required by the machine, follow the steps below:

  • First, tap on the three buttons ‘Ctrl + Alt + Delete’ altogether. After that, from the blue screen that comes up, choose the option ‘Task Manager’.
  • When the new window ‘Task Manager’ comes up, then tap on the tab ‘Processes’. Under that tab find the unnecessary software from the list of all the processes. After that, click the process that you wish to deactivate and press the button ‘End Task’.
  • Repeat the previous step for all the other unnecessary processes.
  • Once all the processes that are not so much needed are cleared out, then open the ‘Steam’ application and see this problem comes back or not.

Update the Windows Operating System

If all the above points do not help you to rectify this issue, then the only solution that you have is to update the Windows 10 OS. To perform the update process, follow these steps:

  • First, hit both the keys ‘Windows + I’ simultaneously to launch the ‘Windows Settings’ application.
  • On this window go at the bottom and tap on the category ‘Update & Security’. This will launch a new page within this window only, where go the left pane and select the option ‘Windows Update’.
  • After this, on the right pane of that page with the heading ‘Windows Update’, tap on the button ‘Check for updates’. At this moment, the OS will automatically for any updates available or not. If there are any updates available, then those will be presented on a list and downloaded automatically.
  • Once all the downloads within the list get over, then simply restart the computer.
  • Finally, when the machine starts up, then the installation of all the updates will automatically start. After the installation is over, wait for the desktop to appear.


If you get the Steam stuck on preparing to launch error, then do not worry a bit. Just, give the details of the problems that you have encountered while attempting to follow any one point on the previous section.