As an avid gamer, I find few things more frustrating than encountering a roadblock that stops me from diving into the next exciting adventure on my computer. Unfortunately, with today’s complex gaming platforms and software updates, technical hiccups are inevitable. One such particularly annoying hiccup is the dreaded Steam error code 51, which prevents games from starting up correctly.
After encountering this error too many times to count, I’ve decided to take matters into my own hands and delve into how to fix Steam error code 51. In this blog post, I’ll share what I’ve learned about overcoming this issue, so you can get back to slaying dragons or defending your castle in no time! Keep reading for a step-by-step guide that could save you hours of frustration when faced with this pesky error code.
Also Read: How to Fix Steam Error Code E84?
What Does Steam Error Code 51 Mean?
Steam error code 51 occurs when Steam is unable to load a game due to some type of conflict with the system’s files or settings. This error can be caused by a multitude of factors ranging from interfering third-party software or outdated drivers to more obscure issues within game files.
Though it may seem like deciphering this error is a daunting task, the truth is that there are many possible culprits that can be addressed systematically until the issue is resolved. The silver lining in all of this is that Steam error code 51 typically indicates that the game itself isn’t the problem, but rather something within your system or configuration.
In other words, your precious saved progress and achievements are safe! What remains to be done then is to identify and fix what’s causing that pesky error code so you can get back into action without compromising your gaming experience. With patience and perseverance, we’ll explore possible solutions one-by-one in our quest to make error code 51 a thing of the past.
How to Fix Steam Error Code 51 in 2024?
1. Restart Steam and your Computer
Sometimes, the simplest solution can be the most effective one. Before diving into more complex troubleshooting methods, let’s try giving Steam and your computer a fresh start. This may resolve any temporary issues causing error code 51 by clearing memory, closing background applications, and resetting configurations.
- First, make sure you save any ongoing work or close any open applications to prevent data loss.
- Close Steam completely by clicking on Steam in the upper-left corner of the client, and then selecting Exit.
- Once Steam is closed, restart your computer by following these steps:
- On Windows:
- Click on the Start menu (Windows logo in the lower-left corner).
- Click on the Power icon.
- Choose Restart.
- On macOS:
- Click on the Apple logo in the top-left corner of your screen.
- Select Restart…
- Click on Restart in the pop-up window to confirm.
- Once your computer has restarted, open Steam again by double-clicking its icon or searching for it in your applications list.
- Log into your account and try launching the affected game(s) to see if Error Code 51 persists.
2. Verify the Integrity of Game Files
Another common and effective solution for error code 51 in Steam is to verify the integrity of your game files. This process ensures that all necessary files for your game are present, up-to-date, and not corrupted. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to verify the integrity of your game files:
- Open Steam and go to your Library.
- Locate and right-click the affected game in your list.
- Select Properties from the context menu.
- Navigate to the Local Files tab in the Properties window.
- Click on Verify Integrity of Game Files… button. Steam will start verifying all files for your game. This process can take a few minutes, depending on the size of the game and your internet connection.
During verification, Steam will compare your installed game files with the data available on their servers. If any discrepancies are found, Steam will automatically download and replace these corrupted or missing files with the correct versions.
Remember that you may need to restart Steam once this process is complete so changes can be applied properly. In most cases, verifying integrity successfully resolves error code 51 issues and allows you to enjoy your favorite games once again without hindrance!
3. Temporarily Disable Antivirus Software and Firewalls
Sometimes, third-party antivirus software or firewalls can interfere with Steam’s operation, causing error code 51. Temporarily disabling these programs might help identify if they are the root cause. It’s crucial to clarify that disabling such programs is just for troubleshooting purposes, and once the error has been fixed, you should re-enable them to keep your system secure. Below are some general steps to temporarily disable your antivirus software or firewall.
- Find the antivirus icon: Usually located on the Windows taskbar or System Tray, look for an icon associated with your antivirus program.
- Right-click on the icon: Doing so will open a context menu with various options.
- Choose a disable option: Select an option like ‘Disable,’ ‘Turn off,’ or ‘Pause protection’—the wording may vary depending on your antivirus software.
- Remember to re-enable your antivirus protection after troubleshooting.
Note: For specific instructions about disabling your particular antivirus program, consult the software’s support documentation or website.
- Open Control Panel: Press
Win + Xand click on ‘Control Panel’ from the menu.
- Select ‘System and Security’: Click on this section in Control Panel.
- Click on ‘Windows Defender Firewall’: This will open firewall settings.
- Choose ‘Turn Windows Defender Firewall on or off’: This option is found in the left sidebar menu; click it.
- In both sections (private network settings and public network settings), check ‘Turn off Windows Defender Firewall (not recommended)’.
After completing these steps, start Steam and attempt running the affected game again to see if error code 51 has been resolved.
Remember: After testing for solution effectiveness, be sure to turn your firewall back on by repeating these steps and selecting ‘Turn on Windows Defender Firewall’ to maintain system security.
4. Run Steam as an Administrator
Running Steam as an administrator gives it some extra privileges on your system, allowing it to bypass certain restrictions and potentially alleviating error. It’s a straightforward process to elevate Steam’s permission level, just follow these simple steps:
A. Close Steam
Ensure that the Steam client is completely closed; you may need to check the system tray to make sure it’s not simply minimized.
B. Locate the Steam application
Navigate to where the Steam application is installed on your computer. By default, it’s usually in the
C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam folder for Windows users.
C. Right-click on the executable file
Within the directory you navigated to in Step 2, find the
Steam.exe file. Right-click on this file and then select ‘Properties’ from the context menu that appears.
D. Enable ‘Run as administrator
In the Properties window, click on the ‘Compatibility’ tab. Check the box next to ‘Run this program as an administrator’, and then click ‘Apply’. Finally, click ‘OK’ to save your changes and close the window.
E. Run Steam
Now that you’ve enabled administrative privileges for Steam, double-click on
Steam.exe or create a shortcut for this file and run it with administrative rights.
It’s important to mention that granting applications administrative access can be risky if you don’t trust their source or security measures. However, since we’re dealing with a reputable platform like Steam here, giving elevated permissions should not present any risks or compromise system integrity.
5. Update your Device Drivers
Outdated or incompatible device drivers can often cause issues when trying to launch games on Steam, resulting in error codes like 51. Updating your drivers, especially graphics and sound card drivers, can help resolve this problem. Follow these steps to update your device drivers:
A. Check current driver versions
- Press the Win + X keys together and click on Device Manager.
- Expand the categories related to graphics and sound cards.
- Right-click on the respective devices and select Properties.
- Under the ‘Driver’ tab, note down the Driver Version and Date.
B. Visit the manufacturer’s website
Navigate to the respective manufacturer’s website for your graphics card (e.g., NVIDIA or AMD) and sound card (e.g., RealTek) to check for driver updates:
C. Download & install the latest drivers
- Depending on your hardware model, locate the latest available driver version for your device from the manufacturer’s site.
- Compare it to the version you noted earlier – if there is a more recent version available, download it.
- Install the downloaded driver following their installation instructions.
- Restart your computer once complete.
D. Verify updated drivers
- Open Device Manager again as in Step 1.
- Check under the ‘Driver’ tab for updated Driver Version and Date. Ensure they correspond with the new driver installed.
After successfully updating all relevant device drivers, relaunch Steam and attempt to start up your game again to see if fixing error code 51 required this update. If you continue to experience the issue, try exploring the other solutions in this article.
Also Read: How to Fix Destiny 2 Error Code Calabrese?
6. Reinstall DirectX and Visual C++ Redistributables
In many cases, error can be traced back to issues with DirectX or Visual C++ redistributables that are essential for running games on Windows PCs. If these components are outdated or corrupted, your game may not start correctly. Take the following steps to reinstall them:
A. Uninstall current DirectX and Visual C++ Redistributables
Open the Control Panel, click on Programs and Features, and search for “DirectX” and “Visual C++ Redistributable.” Uninstall all installed versions currently on your system.
B. Download the latest versions
Visit the official Microsoft websites to download the latest versions of DirectX and Visual C++ Redistributable Packages.
- Make sure you choose the correct bit version (32-bit or 64-bit) based on your operating system.
- Keep in mind that you may need to install multiple versions of Visual C++, as different games may require different packages.
C. Install downloaded components
Once you have downloaded the required packages, locate them in your Downloads folder. Run each installer one by one, following all prompts until installation is complete. Restart your computer after installing these components.
D. Launch Steam and test your game
After successfully reinstalling DirectX and Visual C++, open your Steam client and try launching the game that was previously giving you Error Code 51. If this was indeed the cause of the issue, it should now be resolved!
Remember that reinstalling these components shouldn’t have any negative impact on your system or other games. In fact, it’s always a good idea to keep them up-to-date to ensure the best possible gaming experience.
7. Opting Out of Beta Programs on Steam
Being a part of beta programs can be both exciting and rewarding, as it allows you to get early access to new features, updates, and gameplay elements before they’re released to the general public.
However, these beta versions can sometimes cause compatibility issues or conflicts that may result in errors such as Steam code 51. If you suspect that participating in a beta program might be the culprit behind your error, it’s advisable to opt out of the program temporarily and revert back to the stable version of the game or Steam client.
Here’s how to opt out of beta programs on Steam:
- Open your Steam client and sign in using your account credentials.
- Navigate to your Library located at the top left corner of your screen.
- Right-click on the game for which you’re experiencing Error Code 51 and select Properties from the context menu.
- In the Properties window, click on the Betas tab at the top.
- Look for a dropdown menu with participation options. Click this dropdown menu and select “NONE – Opt out of all beta programs“, then click Close.
Give it a few moments for any updates to be reverted back to their stable versions. Restart Steam and try launching your game again; there should no longer be any conflicts arising from beta versions causing error. It’s important to remember that opting out this way might mean missing out on some new content or features until they become officially available in stable releases — but hey, at least your game will run without hitches!
8. Check for Software Conflicts with your Game’s Launcher or Presets
Software conflicts often arise when multiple applications are competing for system resources, or when background processes interfere with your game’s smooth operation. This can sometimes trigger error code 51 in Steam. To resolve this issue, you’ll need to examine the running programs on your computer and identify any potential conflicts.
A. Close unnecessary applications
Before launching your game, close other applications that are not essential to the gaming experience. This can be done using the Task Manager (Ctrl + Shift + Esc), which will display all running processes on your system. Be cautious when closing applications, as some essential system processes should not be terminated.
B. Start Steam in Safe Mode
Launching Steam in safe mode ensures it doesn’t load with any additional third-party services or programs. To do this, simply hold down the Shift key while starting up Steam.
C. Identify conflicting software
Check if any background applications may conflict with your game’s launcher or presets by disabling them temporarily. Look for recent software installations that may be causing issues, such as overlays or monitoring tools like Razer Synapse, MSI Afterburner, or Discord overlay.
D. Configure conflicting programs to avoid interference
After identifying potential conflict-causing software, configure these applications to not start automatically or disable their features that might interfere with the game launcher or preset.
In many cases, visiting the official forums of the conflicting application can provide helpful tips and advice from other users who faced similar issues. Software-specific settings may vary and require a different approach to mitigate interference.
9. Delete any Custom Game Content or Mods Installed
While user-created content adds a tremendous level of depth and excitement to games, some modifications may cause compatibility issues that lead to error code 51. To ensure this isn’t the case, follow these steps to delete any custom game content or mods you have installed.
A. Locate the game folder
First, use your file explorer to navigate to your Steam installation directory:
- By default, this should be
C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\commonon Windows.
- If you’re on macOS, go to
B. Remove custom content and mods
Once in the game folder:
- Look for subfolders with names like “mods,” “custom,” “downloads,” or “workshop.”
- Delete any files within these folders or, if you want to be safe, move them to another location on your computer for backup.
- Make sure there’s no conflicting content causing issues within other folders as well.
Note: Some games manage mods differently, and they could be stored in specific game libraries or third-party mod managers. Refer to the game’s official documentation if you are uncertain about how mods are implemented for that particular title.
C. Restart your computer
After removing any custom content and mods:
- Close all applications running in the background.
- Restart your computer for a fresh start.
D. Launch Steam and try again
Once your computer has restarted:
- Open Steam as an administrator (see Solution #4).
- Attempt running the affected game once more.
10. Reinstall the Affected Games and/or Steam Client
As a last resort, if none of the previous solutions have resolved the Steam error code 51 issue, you may need to consider reinstalling the problematic game or even the entire Steam client. This solution will ensure that any corrupted or missing files are replaced with fresh copies, potentially resolving any conflicts causing this error code.
To reinstall a specific game:
- Open Steam and navigate to your Library.
- Right-click on the affected game and choose Uninstall from the context menu.
- Confirm your decision by clicking ‘Delete‘.
- Once removed, click on ‘Install‘ to download and install a fresh copy of the game.
Note: This will not delete your saved progress or achievements.
If reinstalling the game doesn’t work, then you’ll need to try reinstalling the entire Steam client.
To reinstall the Steam client:
- First, make sure to back up any custom user data and mods in your Steam user data folder (found under \Program Files\Steam\userdata).
- Close Steam completely by right-clicking on its icon in the system tray and selecting ‘Exit‘.
- Navigate to ‘Control Panel > Programs > Uninstall a program’.
- Find ‘Steam‘ in the list, click on it, and hit ‘Uninstall‘.
- Head over to Steam’s official website and click on “Install Steam Now” to download its latest version.
- Run through the installation process using default recommendations.
- Once installed, log in with your credentials and re-download any games that were uninstalled.
Your issue with Error Code 51 should now hopefully be resolved! However, if you still can’t get your game up and running, it’s time to reach out to Steam Support for further assistance.
Also Read: How to Fix Roblox Error Code 503?
In this day and age, gaming is more than just a hobby – it’s a passion. A break in that immersive experience because of an annoying error like Steam error code 51 can be maddening, but always remember: every problem has a solution.
Persistence is key to diagnosing and addressing the inaccuracies that interrupt your gaming session. The steps I’ve provided will help you inch closer to identifying the culprit behind this error and allow you to enjoy your games without interruption once again.
Lastly, keep in mind that the world of software is ever-evolving, and with that comes new bugs and issues. As you continue to partake in your virtual adventures, stay informed about any new updates or solutions related to the games and platforms you love. Constant learning and adaptation are what makes us not only better gamers but also more tech-savvy individuals who can tackle anything thrown our way. Happy gaming!