If you keep seeing the error code 80 whenever you try to launch a game in the Steam client, follow the steps in this article to get rid of the problem.

What Is the Error Code 80 in Steam

The error code comes up whenever Steam tries to execute a game. It’s an indication that the game’s files might be corrupt, Steam’s installation might be problematic, or there’s a device driver issue.

Why Does the Steam Error Code 80 Occur?

There are different causes of this particular problem. They include:

  • Missing, outdated, or corrupt game files
  • Problematic device drivers
  • Faulty Steam installation
  • Data Execution Protection conflict with Steam
  • Clashes with other applications

How to Fix the Steam Error Code 80

You’ll be finding different solutions to the issue in this article. These fixes have helped many gamers get rid of the problem for good. Make sure you follow the solutions just as we’ve arranged them.

Verify the Integrity of Game Files

Since you’re experiencing the error code whenever you try to load a particular game, the issue could be traced back to problems with the game’s files. It’s possible that Steam isn’t able to communicate with the file responsible for launching the game, causing the client to produce the error.

Game files become faulty for different reasons. For starters, it could be that malware infected your system and tampered with the files. Other reasons include abrupt system shutdown in the middle of gameplay, antivirus interference, and incomplete or interrupted installation or update.

To resolve the issue, you have to verify the integrity of the game’s installation files. You can easily use the Steam client to do that. The client will compare the files on your system with their updated versions on its servers. What’s more, missing, outdated, and corrupted files will be automatically replaced.

If you don’t know how to use the Steam client to verify the integrity of your game’s files, the following steps will show you what to do:

  1. Click on the Start button and type “Steam” (no quotes). Right-click on the client once it shows up on the results list and select Run as Administrator. If you have Steam’s shortcut, even better; you just have to right-click it and click on Run as Administrator.
  2. Click on Yes in the User Account Control dialog window.
  3. After the Steam client appears, go to the top of the window and click on Library.
  4. Next, navigate to the affected game, right-click it, and then choose Properties from the context menu.
  5. After the Properties page shows up on the right side of the window, navigate to the Local Files tab.
  6. Under the Local Files tab, click on the button that reads, “VERIFY INTEGRITY OF GAME FILES…”
  7. The client will now begin to check whether the game’s installation files match those on its servers. It will automatically replace any that doesn’t.
  8. Note that the duration of the process will depend on the speed of your computer, your network strength, and the files that are being replaced.
  9. Once the process is complete, restart Steam and try launching the game to check for the problem.

Make Sure the Steam Folder Isn’t Read-Only

When any folder or file is set to “Read-Only”, you can’t modify it. It’s possible that this is the case with Steam’s folder. The client might be unable to access its folder and make use of certain files. So, try navigating to the folder and confirm that it isn’t Read-Only. The steps below will guide you:

  1. Go to the taskbar, right-click the Start button, and then click on File Explorer in the Quick Access menu. You can also launch File Explorer by double-clicking any folder on your desktop or by pressing the Windows and E keyboard combination.
  2. After the File Explorer window opens, go to the left pane and click on This PC.
  3. Open the folder where Windows is installed, then double-click on the Program Files (x86) folder.
  4. Now, locate the Steam folder. If you don’t know where you installed Steam, you can right-click on its shortcut, click on Properties, then check the shortcut location.
  5. Once you see the Steam folder, right-click it and select Properties from the context menu.
  6. Under the General tab of the Properties dialog window, make sure the “Read-only” box is unchecked.
  7. Click on the OK button.
  8. Launch the Steam client, then perform the action that triggered the error to check for the problem.

Make Sure Your Device Drivers Are Up to Date

Every application works with more than one device at any given time. For example, the Steam client works with your graphics card, network card, sound card and other devices.

As you know, every component requires a driver to function properly. So, if these drivers become faulty, issues will begin to spring up. It’s possible that one or more problematic device drivers could be triggering the error code 80 in the Steam client. Try updating your device drivers and check if the error will go away.

There are different ways to update your drivers. You can use the Windows Update utility, the Device Manager, or a third-party application.

If you don’t know how to use these tools, follow our instructions below.

Updating your operating system

By updating your operating system, you’re not just installing the latest versions of different Windows components and Microsoft applications, but you’ll be updating your device drivers. Any obsolete and incompatible driver will be automatically updated when you run the Windows Update utility.

However, you must note that the drivers must have been published by Microsoft before Windows Update can download and install them.

Normally, the utility should automatically update your PC whenever you’re connected to the Internet, but having a metered connection or no network at all could serve as a barrier. So, run the Windows Update utility to check if your system is up to date. If it isn’t, then prompt the tool to do its job.

Follow these steps to check for and install updates:

  1. Start with summoning the Windows Update utility. There are different ways to do that. You can either go through the Settings application (Windows + I >> Update & Security) or you can click on the magnifying glass icon in the taskbar, type “Updates” and click on Check for Updates in the search results.
  2. Once you see the Windows Update interface, allow the utility to check for updates.
  3. If you see a green checkmark beside “You’re up to date”, then you have to move on to the next method. However, if there are available updates, the utility will list them out.
  4. Allow Windows Update to download the updates.
  5. Once the updates are downloaded, click on the Restart Now button to allow the utility reboot your system and perform the installation.
  6. Once your computer restarts and the installation begins, your PC will further reboot several times.
  7. After the installation process is complete, you’ll be taken to the log-in or desktop environment.
  8. Now, run Steam and check for the error.

Using the Device Manager

When you use the Device Manager, you have to know the particular driver you want to update. In some cases, the Device Manager will indicate drivers that are problematic. The following steps will show you how to use the tool:

  1. Go to the taskbar and click on the magnifying glass icon. You can also tap the Windows and S keys together to open the search box.
  2. After the search box opens, type “device manager” (no quotes), then click on Device Manager in the results list.
  3. After the Device Manager shows up, navigate to the category of devices you want to update and click on the arrow beside it.
  4. Locate the device, right-click it, and then click on Update Driver.
  5. After the Update Driver window comes up, click on the option which reads, “Search automatically for updated driver software”.
  6. After that, allow the tool to search for the driver and install it.
  7. Once the process is complete, restart your system and check for the error.

Use an Automated Program

Hunting down problematic drivers by yourself can be a pain. Windows Update hardly detects drivers with micro issues and Device Manager can’t always tell you when a device driver is malfunctioning or out of date. If you want to cure the headache of faulty drivers for good, you need a tool that can keep track of your drivers and notify you when issues occur.

One of the best tools for that purpose is Auslogics Driver Updater. The program is designed to keep tabs on device drivers. It performs regular scans and will notify you whenever a device driver needs to be updated or replaced. Once that is done, you can easily install the updated version of the problematic driver.

The tool only downloads officially signed drivers, so you don’t have to be worried about the legitimacy of the updates you get. Also, it will save backups of the driver versions that are being replaced so that you can easily roll back whenever issues occur in the future.

These steps will show you how to use Auslogics Driver Updater:

  • Access the download page of Auslogics Driver Updater.
  • After you get to the web page, click on the Download button and save the setup file.
  • The download should only take a couple of seconds as it’s not larger than 16 megabytes.
  • Once your browser successfully downloads the file, run it directly or go to the folder where you saved it and double-click it.
  • Click on the Yes button in the User Account Control dialog to permit the setup to run.
  • After the first page of the setup wizard opens, select your preferred language, then direct the wizard to the folder where you’ll like the app to be installed.
  • There are checkboxes in the wizard’s first page which you can use to make certain decisions, such as creating a desktop icon, allowing the app to launch on startup, and sending anonymous reports to the program’s developers.
  • Click on the “Click to install” button after you’ve entered your decisions.
  • Once the program is installed, it’ll automatically open and begin to scan your PC for problematic drivers.
  • If it doesn’t launch automatically, you’ll have to do this yourself by double-clicking its Desktop icon (if you created one) or by going through the Start menu. After you’ve opened it, click on the Start Scan button to begin the scanning process.
  • The program will furnish you with a list of outdated, faulty, and missing drivers once the scan completes.
  • Allow the tool to update every outdated or problematic driver. Note that you might have to click on the Update button for every driver. You can also go for the option to enjoy multiple downloads at the same time.
  • Once the update process completes, reboot your system and launch the client to check for the problem.

Allow Steam Through Your Antivirus Program

It is possible that your antivirus program is seeing the Steam client as a security threat and blocking it as a result. Applications that suffer such overreach are often called False Positives. If the protection program is the cause of the problem, then you will continue to see the error until you disable it or add Steam as an exclusion.

Adding the Steam client as an exclusion is the safer option since the antivirus program will still be active to block out other genuine security threats. Once you’ve added the app as an exclusion, the antivirus will no longer scan or block it. We recommend that you add Steam’s entire installation folder as an exclusion. This way, the security program won’t block any of its files.

You should note that you might be adding Steam as an Exception, an Exemption or to the Whitelist or SafeList of your antivirus program, instead of using the Exclusions option. Every AV suite has a different procedure. If you don’t know what to do, you can always go through the support page of your app’s developer for a guide.

The steps below, however, will show you how to add Steam as an exclusion in the Virus & Threat Protection tool of Windows Security:

  1. Go to the Start menu and click on the cogwheel above the power icon to launch the Settings application. To summon the app, using your keyboard, press the Windows logo and I keys simultaneously.
  2. Once the home screen of the Settings app shows up, go to the bottom of the window and click on the Update & Security icon.
  3. After the Update & Security page appears, navigate to the left pane and click on Windows Security.
  4. Switch over to the right pane and click on Virus & Threat Protection under Protection Areas.
  5. The Virus & Threat Protection page of the Windows Security suite will now appear.
  6. Scroll down to Virus & Threat Protection Settings and click on the Manage Settings link.
  7. After the Virus & Threat Protection Settings interface shows up, go to the Exclusions section and click on “Add or remove exclusions.”
  8. Click on “Add an exclusion” once the Exclusions window opens, then choose Folder from the context menu.
  9. Once the Browse dialog window appears, navigate to Steam’s installation folder and select it.
  10. Now, check if the error shows up again.

Turn off Data Execution Protection for Steam

Data Execution Protection, DEP for short, is one of those built-in security features that prevent malicious programs from harming your system. Its job is to make sure suspicious applications do not execute code from system memory locations that should only be accessed by Windows and other permitted applications. That is because if they successfully get to do that, program files could be harmed.

It’s possible that DEP is considering the Steam client to be a threat and preventing it from accessing the system memory. In this case, you have to turn off DEP for Steam. To do that, follow the steps below:

  1. Go to the taskbar, right-click the Start button, and then click on file Explorer in the Quick Access menu. You can also launch File Explorer by double-clicking any folder on your desktop or by pressing the Windows and E keyboard combination.
  2. After the File Explorer window opens, go to the left pane, right-click on This PC and select Properties from the context menu.
  3. After the System window shows up, go to the left pane and click on Advanced System Settings.
  4. Once the Advanced tab of the System Properties dialog window appears, click on Settings under Performance.
  5. Navigate to the Data Execution Protection tab once the Performance dialog box opens.
  6. Next, select the radio button for “Turn on DEP for all programs and services except those I select,” and then click on the Add button.
  7. Browse to the location of Steam’s installation folder.
  8. Select the folder and click on the OK button.
  9. Now, click OK on each of the open dialog boxes, then launch the Steam client. Check if the error persists.

Perform a Clean Boot to Get Rid of Software Conflicts

Steam could be producing the error code 80 because it is clashing with a background application. Normally, you could resolve the problem here by going to the Task Manager and shutting down every running app. However, the program could be a startup item that is configured to launch after your system boots up. These startup items almost always continue to run in the background.

To find out which application is having conflicts with Steam, you have to disable every startup item, then restart your system to check if the problem persists. Rebooting your system after disabling the startup items is known as performing a Clean Boot.

If the error doesn’t show up after starting your system in a Clean Boot environment, then you can go on to look for the culprit. The steps below will show you how to go about it:

  1. Click on the magnifying glass icon in your taskbar or press the Windows and I keys together to open the search bar beside the Start menu.
  2. Once the search function appears, type “msconfig” (without the quotes), then click on System Configuration from the results.
  3. After the System Configuration dialog window appears, go to the Services tab.
  4. Under the Services tab, tick the checkbox beside “Hide all Microsoft services,” then click on the Disable All button. The services in the list (except core Microsoft services) will now be disabled from automatically launching when your system starts.
  5. Now, move over to the Startup tab and click on Open Task Manager.
  6. The link will take you to the Startup tab of Task Manager.
  7. Go to each startup program in the tab, right-click it, and click on Disable. Make sure you do this to every program on the list.
  8. Now, close the Task Manager and click on OK in the System Configuration dialog window.
  9. Reboot your system.

Run Steam and check for the error after your system boots. If the Error Code 80 shows up, then none of the startup items is responsible. If the issue doesn’t occur again, however, then your next step will be to isolate the culprit. To do that, you have to enable the Startup applications one by one and restart your computer after enabling each.

You’ll have to repeat the steps until the error shows up again. The last app you enabled before the issue appears is what you’re looking for.

To make things easier, follow the steps below:

  1. Open the System Configuration dialog window and go to the Services tab.
  2. Enable half (start from the top) of the services under the tab and click on the OK button.
  3. Reboot your PC and launch the client to check for the error.
  4. If the error appears, then one of the services in the top half is responsible. Go to the Services tab of System Configuration again, disable the services in the tab, and then check only the top half services one by one until the issue resurfaces.
  5. If you don’t experience the problem, however, go to the next half of the services and check for the issue.
  6. Go to the startup programs in the Task Manager next, and check them by halves until you determine which item is responsible for the error.

Reinstall Steam

Another trigger for the error is corrupt Steam installation. If you have tried other methods with no luck, then you should consider reinstalling Steam. You don’t have to panic about losing your game files; we’ll show you how to back them up. The following methods will walk you through the entire process:

How to create a backup of your game files:

  1. Launch a File Explorer window by clicking on the folder icon in the taskbar or by double-clicking on any folder on your desktop. You can easily summon the program by tapping the Windows and E keys simultaneously.
  2. Once the File Explorer window opens, go to the left pane and click on This PC.
  3. Navigate to the right pane and double-click the Local Disk C under Devices and Drives.
  4. After the volume opens, go to the Program Files (x86) folder and double-click it.
  5. Next, open the Steam folder once the Program Files (x86) folder shows up.
  6. Now, copy the Steamapps folder to another directory.

How to uninstall Steam:

  1. Right-click the Start button and click on Run in the Quick Access menu or use the Windows + R keyboard combo to launch the Run dialog box.
  2. After Run appears, type “control panel” (no quotes) into the text box and click on the OK button.
  3. Once Control Panel opens, click on Uninstall a Program under Programs.
  4. After the Programs and Features window shows up, locate Steam, select it, and then click on Uninstall.
  5. Click Yes once the User Account Control dialog box appears.
  6. Now, follow the subsequent prompts to remove the program.
  7. Restart your system after the process completes.

Once your system boots, open your browser, find your way to the Steam website, get the installation package, and then run it. After installing the program, copy and paste the folder you backed up earlier into its installation folder. You can now launch Steam and open the game to check if the Error Code 80 shows up again.


You can rest easy with the knowledge that the error code 80 is no longer an issue. If you have any questions or want to share your experience about the problem, use the comments section below!