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What is the Invalid Depot Config Error?

By Eunice Samson | May 6, 2020 |

greater than 7 minutes

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Those who love video games like Player Unknown’s Battleground (PUBG), Team Fortress, and Grand Theft Auto are familiar with the gaming platform Steam. It provides players with a venue to download, install, and update their favorite video games. What’s more, it connects them to the gaming community by allowing them to add friends and join groups while chatting and sharing files over the platform.

While Steam is loaded with exciting features, it is still no stranger to errors. Recently, a lot of people have been complaining about the Invalid Depot Config error on this gaming platform. If you share the same sentiment, this article is what you’ll need. We will teach you how to fix Steam’s Invalid Depot Configuration error in Windows 10. You will also understand what causes the problem, which will help you prevent the issue from reoccurring.

What Is the Invalid Depot Config Error?

Now, you might ask, “Why does the Steam Invalid Depot Config issue occur?” Based on the complaints submitted by players, there are a number of things that trigger it. Here are some of them:

  • The Steam client is out of date – The error can occur if you’re using an outdated version of Steam. On the other hand, a glitched auto-update feature may prevent the client from running the update successfully. To resolve this problem, you can manually force the update or reinstall Steam.
  • The DNS address has a glitch – Steam’s DNS cache may also be causing the error to appear. In this case, you can flush Steam’s DNS address or its generic DNS cache.
  • The problem is coming from the beta program – Active participants in beta programs usually get this error message. If you want to get rid of the issue, our tip is to opt out of the program.
  • Steam does not have access to essential game files – The problem can happen if you have strict User Account Control (UAC) settings. It’s possible that Steam does not have the permission to access critical game files.
  • There’s a conflict with Steam Client Bootstrapper – For some reason, the Steam Client Bootstrapper app is causing the error to appear. Many users claimed that the problem went away when they disabled this feature.
  • The appmanifest.acf file is corrupt – If the game’s appmanifest.acf file is corrupt, the error message may appear. The workaround here is to open the .acf file and remove the MountedDepots section.

If you’re dealing with the error, don’t worry because it is fixable. We have included several solutions that will help you get rid of the problem. We have listed them from the easiest to the most complex. As such, we recommend that you start from the top of the list and work your way down. Soon enough, you will discover the workaround that will resolve the issue.

Solution 1: Updating Your Steam Client

One of the most common reasons why the Invalid Depot Configuration error occurs is because of an out-of-date Steam client. While the app can update automatically, the feature can encounter glitches at times. When this happens, the client cannot update successfully. As such, we recommend that you trigger the process manually by restarting the app. The other method is to force Steam to update. You can do that by following the steps below:

  1. Launch the Steam client.
  2. Go to the ribbon bar at the top of the app.
  3. Click Steam, then select Check for Steam Client Updates from the options.

If the error message is still there, you can try a different approach to updating Steam. Here are the steps:

  1. Make sure that Steam is not running. You can do this by going to your taskbar, then checking if the Steam icon is still there. If it is, terminate it.
  2. Go to the installation folder of Steam. Usually, you can find it through this path:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam

  1. Select everything apart from the Steamapps folder, the Steam.exe file, and the Userdata folder. Delete the selected files.
  2. After cleaning the Steam folder, restart your PC.
  3. Once your computer boots, open Steam using its main executable file.
  4. The program will go through integrity verification. Once that process is complete, the client will download and install the latest version of the program automatically.

Once the process is complete, restart the Steam client and check if the error message is gone. If the issue persists, proceed to the next solution.

Solution 2: Flushing Steam’s DNS Cache

At times, a network issue can cause the Steam Invalid Depot Configuration error to show up. If this is the case, then flushing the DNS cache will resolve the problem. You can deal with the error in two ways. The first method is quite generic. All you need to do is clear the entire DNS of your PC. On the other hand, you can take a focused approach and flush only Steam’s DNS cache. To do that, you must follow the instructions below:

  1. On your keyboard, press Windows Key+R. Doing so will launch the Run dialog box.
  2. Once the Run dialog box appears, type “steam://flushconfig” (no quotes).
  3. Press Ctrl+Shift+Enter on your keyboard.
  4. If you are prompted to give permission to the program, click Yes.
  5. You will see a warning that if you proceed, your Steam client’s cache will be deleted and you’ll have to log in again. Click Yes.
  6. Once the process is complete, launch Steam and log into your account.

Try opening a game from your library and check if the error message is gone.

Solution 3: Opting Out of Beta Programs

Are you an active participant in any beta programs? If so, then you might want to opt out of them. Many users reported that enlisting out of the beta program helped them resolve the error. To do that, follow the steps below:

  1. Launch Steam, then go to the menu at the top and click Steam.
  2. Select Settings from the list.
  3. Once the Settings window pops up, go to the left-pane menu and click Account.
  4. Move to the right pane, then click the Change button under the Beta Participation section.
  5. Once you get to the Beta Participation screen, click the drop-down list and select the ‘None – Opt out of all beta programs’ option.
  6. Click OK on the Beta Participation screen.
  7. Go back to the Settings window, then click OK.

After completing these steps, restart Steam and check if the error message persists. If the Invalid Depot Configuration issue appears, try the next solution.

Solution 4: Using the .Exe File from the Installation Folder to Launch Steam

Some users who were able to get rid of the error message tried using Steam’s .exe file from the installation folder instead of its shortcut. It’s likely that permission issues are causing the problem. So, the workaround would be to directly go to the installation folder. If you want to learn how to run the Steam client from the install folder location, follow the instructions below:

  1. Go to the system tray on your taskbar, then check if the Steam icon is present. If it is, terminate the program.
  2. Now, press Windows Key+E on your keyboard to open File Explorer.
  3. Navigate to the installation folder of Steam. You should find it in this location:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam

  1. Look for Steam.exe, then double-click it to launch the program.

After opening Steam from its installation folder, try loading a game from your library and check if the problem has been resolved.

Solution 5: Removing Steam Client Bootstrapper from the Startup Items

In some cases, the Steam Client Bootstrapper process is causing the error to appear. This service is supposed to download updates and missing files, but it can experience bugs or glitches that may affect the program’s performance. As such, we recommend that you stop it from launching automatically. Here are the steps:

  1. Open the Run dialog box by pressing Windows Key+R on your keyboard.
  2. Once the Run dialog box appears, type “msconfig” (no quotes), then hit Enter.
  3. Once the System Configuration window appears, click the Startup tab.
  4. Click the Open Task Manager link.
  5. Go to the Startup tab in the Task Manager.
  6. Right-click Steam Client Bootstrapper, then click the Disable button.
  7. Go back to the System Configuration window, then click OK.

After completing these steps, launch Steam and check if the error message will still show up.

Solution 6: Modifying the Game’s App Manifest

If there is a specific game that is triggering the error message, you can try making some changes to its .acf file. In this solution, you’ll have to remove the entire MountedDepots config section of the file. According to several users, this is what’s causing the error to appear. You can resolve the issue by recreating the MountedDepots part of the file. To do that, follow the instructions below:

  1. The first thing you need to do is ensure that Steam is not running. You can do that by opening the Task Manager. Press Ctrl+Shift+Enter on your keyboard, then look for Steam among the processes. If it is there, select it, then click End Task.
  2. Now, go to the apps folder of Steam by navigating to this path:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps

  1. Look for the appmanifest.acf file and right-click it.
  2. Open the file with Notepad.
  3. Press Ctrl+F on your keyboard, then type “MountedDepots” (no quotes).
  4. Hit Enter on your keyboard.
  5. Select the whole MountedDepots config section, then delete it.
  6. If there are other appmanifest.acf files in the folder, delete their MountedDepots config part as well.
  7. Restart Steam and let it validate the game files.
  8. Try installing the affected game and see if the error message is gone.
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We hope this guide helped you get rid of the Invalid Depot Configuration error on Steam.

If we missed other important solutions, please feel free to share them in the comments below!

Fed up with your slow PC? Tired of waiting for Windows to start up? Take a look at the most common reasons behind poor performance and the best ways to deal with them here.

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