One day, not long ago, my Steam wouldnt start anymore and I thought I just needed to restart my PC. After 5 times of restarting and trying to open Steam, I searched for help. I tried many things, and at the end I tried to delete Steam. I deleted about half of the files, because most of them were running in the background. I didnt know that before just now, so I couldnt delete Steam, open it or anything else. And I cant even find steamclientbootstrapper. I cant find it in the task manager or anywhere. I cant delete Steam since my Steam starts up when my PC does, and then I cant download steam again from Steam setup because Steam is already running in the background. And I cant stop Steam from running...

2 Answers 2


Start your PC in Safe Mode, then proceed to uninstall Steam from the Control Panel (Add/Remove Program).

  • 1
    How do I start my PC in safe mode? (Windows 8)
    – TrymSan
    Commented Jan 27, 2016 at 7:15
  • 1
    Hold F8 while booting (after the BIOS screen)
    – Burgi
    Commented Jan 27, 2016 at 16:21
  • 1
    I feel like this answer is better than the currently accepted one, as it's an easy, valid, and less risky (than poking at the registry) method of solving the given issue that doesn't rely on external software; It's faster and safer.
    – user37332
    Commented Jan 27, 2016 at 18:46
  • @TrymSan if you have an SSD you might have trouble with newer windows versions - techrepublic.com/blog/windows-and-office/… Commented Jan 27, 2016 at 18:51
  • I've already uninstalled steam with Resource Hacker (angusj.com/resourcehacker) And it worked. Thanks for the tip though. Next time I will try that first. 😀👍🏻
    – TrymSan
    Commented Jan 27, 2016 at 20:29

What do you mean by deleted? I hope you mean uninstall and you didn't just try to delete the actual Steam files. Trying to delete the files directly (for any program) will usually not work for a multitude of reasons, one reason being that when you install programs registry entries will be installed as well which also need to be deleted, so unless you go through and delete all these as well you won't have a clean uninstall. Another reason, which is what you're experiencing is that things like Steam have background processes and services running which will prevent deletion as you found out.

If you tried to delete it try to uninstall it from Add/Remove Programs instead. Doing it this way will usually close all the services that are running and would prevent deletion.

Manual Registry Deletion

Note that messing with your registry can cause issues with your computer if you do not know what you are doing and make a mistake. I recommend that you export the entire registry as a backup that you can restore just in case.

Go to Run and type in regedit.

For 32 bit OS go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Valve\. Right-click on Valve and select Delete.

For 64-bit operating systems go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Valve\. Right-click on Valve and select Delete.

Then for both go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Valve\Steam Right-Click on Valve and select Delete.

Note you can stop it from starting up by running msconfig and then try to turn everything Steam related to disabled (in services and startup (moved to task manager on 8) tab). This will allow you to delete the files after restarting as Steam won't be running. But I don't recommend just deleting files, always use the uninstaller provided as deleting files manually won't completely uninstall Steam (the registry entries and files in other locations issue that I mentioned previously).

  • Another problem: Steam is NOT in the add/remove programs tab.
    – TrymSan
    Commented Jan 27, 2016 at 7:13
  • And I used the uninstaller but it didnt delete all the files. It did only delete like half of the files in the steam folder.
    – TrymSan
    Commented Jan 27, 2016 at 7:20
  • @TrymSan That's strange that steam doesn't appear in the add/remove programs, neither for me not sure what's going on there. I've updated answer for full manual deletion of steam
    – Aequitas
    Commented Jan 27, 2016 at 8:20
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    I think a note about being extremely careful when editing your registry should be made. Export the whole thing as a backup before you do anything.
    – Mazura
    Commented Jan 27, 2016 at 9:59
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    I used something called Resource Hacker, angusj.com/resourcehacker and it worked!!! I MANUALLY UNINSTALLED steam. Next time I`m trying(if nothing else works, like now) to use resource hacker immediately.
    – TrymSan
    Commented Jan 27, 2016 at 14:38

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