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When I try to run a Steam game, the error message “Can’t start the game (application already running)” appears. What am I doing?
This error is most often encountered when launching a game that has not closed properly with a silent crash or does not start correctly.
Sometimes the game is already running under a different user account on your operating system.
Check the integrity of the game files.
I see purple chessboards, missing weapon or world models, or crashes during the game. How can I make sure my game files are installed correctly?
- Restart your computer and start Steam
- On the Game Library page, select Manage > Properties.
- Select the Local Files tab and click Check Integrity of Game Files.
- Steam will check the game files – this process may take several minutes.
Important: One or more files may not be available to check.
This is normal for most Steam games. The files that cannot be checked are local configuration files and should not be overwritten as part of this process. You can ignore this message.
Close the game using the task manager
If your game crashes or “hangs” unnoticed, this method will force the game to close.
- Hold down Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open the Task Manager.
- Click Details to view all the processes.
- Select the Processes tab.
- Find the executable process of the game and select it from the list. You can get detailed information by expanding the Description column.
- right-click the selected process and select End Task.
The game should now be closed so that you can restart it.
Deactivate the current Steam beta
If you are participating in Steam beta testing, try logging out and see if the error is resolved.
- In Steam, click Steam in the upper left corner, then select the Settings menu.
- On the “Account” tab, under “Participate in Beta Testing,” click the “Change” button.
- Select NONE – Disable All Beta Programs from the drop-down list, then click OK.
- You will be prompted to restart Steam. Click the Restart Steam button.
Restart Your Computer
If none of the above methods have satisfied you, it’s time to restart your computer. While many see this as a mundane endeavor that doesn’t really help, it couldn’t be more wrong. Not only will this completely restart Steam, but it will also restart all related temporary files/data. A full system reset should never be overlooked.
Reinstall the game
If this error occurs again – in very rare cases – the last thing we recommend is to reinstall the game. This is really the last hurdle, and should fix any unresolved issues that arise when the game loads. To quickly reinstall the Steam game:
- First, download Steam.
- Find your game library and right-click on the game you want to reinstall.
- Find and select “Uninstall” from the drop-down menu.
- Steam will then ask for the “Delete game files” warning. Simply click on “Delete.” Steam will begin the process of removing all files from that game.
- After that, perform a quick restart in Steam.
- When restarting, go back to your game library and find the game you want to reinstall.
- Right-click the game and select “Install” from the drop-down list.
- Click “Next” and then “Done.”
- The game will automatically restart downloading the game files.
- Once you’re done, you can restart the game.
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I am a computer enthusiast and a practicing IT Professional. I have years of experience behind me in computer programming, hardware troubleshooting and repair. I specialise in Web Development and Database Design. I also have a CCNA certification for Network Design and Troubleshooting.