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How to restart Steam?

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  • 3 min read

Steam is one of the most popular PC gaming platforms in the world and has been for quite a while now. While Valve has put significant effort into making its platform a breeze to use. However, just like with any other piece of software, bugs and glitches do happen from time to time. 

Thankfully, a lot of the problems you face on Steam can be addressed by simply restarting the program. In this article, we’re going over a few ways you can restart Steam. 

Also read: How to fix Steam error reference: library_7668455_5f24d6ddd9f44727? 

Restarting using the Steam menu

This is by far the simplest method you can use to close Steam as it takes only three clicks. Open the icon drawer on the taskbar and right-click the Steam icon. From here, select Exit and Steam will close itself.

How to fix the 'VAC was unable to verify your game session' error?

Alternatively, if you don’t have the Steam icon on your taskbar, you can open Steam, click Steam in the top-left and select Exit from there. Once the program has closed, you can restart Steam using the start menu or a desktop icon if you have one. 

Force quitting Steam

If you can’t access Steam to close the program, you can also shut it down from the Task Manager. Here’s how. 

Step 1: Open the Task Manager by pressing Windows Key + X to open the quick access menu and select the right option.

Step 2: Find and close all Steam-related processes by right-clicking them and selecting End Task. 

Once all processes are closed, start Steam as you normally would. 

If you’re using macOS instead, you’re going to have to use the Force Quit option found in the Apple menu. After you’ve clicked the option, select Steam from the list of applications that appears and click Force Quit. This should close the program. 

Flushing Steam data

Using a special Steam command, you can flush any Steam configurations on your PC and restart the program. All you have to do is open the Run utility by pressing Windows Key + R and run the following command.


Steam will launch and ask for confirmation. Click OK to continue and you’re good to go. Keep in mind that you’ll have to log into your Steam account again afterwards. If you’re on macOS, you can run the aforementioned command as a browser URL and any browser of your choice. 

Also read: How to fix Steam service error?

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here: