Let’s Fix ‘Unable to Initialize Steam API’ Steam Error

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Unable to Initialize Steam API

Many possible reasons cause the ‘unable to initialize Steam API’ error. The problem in your Steam clients, computer system, or settings can cause this error while launching the game.

More importantly, there is no fixed rule for fixing this error. You can fix the ‘unable to initialize SteamAPI’ issue if you properly know the cause of the problem. However, different solutions work for different people.

In this article, we have covered all the possible reasons that might cause this error in your computer system and the solutions that will help you fix those problems.

If you cannot fix the error, then read this article and learn to fix the steam error ‘unable to initialize SteamAPI.’

What Causes Steam Error – Unable to Initialize Steam API?

The cause of this error is not absolute, and there are plenty of options that you can try to fix it. The cause of the Unable to initialize SteamAPI error differs from one game to another.

However, there are some common causes that we have mentioned below: 

  • Sometimes firewall prevents the system from connecting to the Internet and, therefore, causes this error.
  • It might be possible that antivirus Comodo Internet Security has listed the game on the Auto-Containment category, and it has bugged the Steam API.
  • Sometimes another Steam client like Steam client beta may cause this error. So, it is recommended to use public clients while launching the game.   

Method 1: Enable the Games Executable in Your Firewall

Among other solutions, this solution has solved many Steam users’ problems. If you have an active third-party firewall or the Window Defender Firewall is enabled, it might cause a problem for launching the game on Steam.

The connection between the game’s executable and the Internet is blocked by the firewall, and hence, it causes an Unable to initialize Steam API error.

Important Note: If you use a third-party firewall, the method may differ. You can Google the third-party firewall solution to enable the game’s executable.

However, if you use a Windows firewall, the following steps will help fix the problem.

#1: Go to Window Start and search for Control Panel. If you are using Windows 10, go to Cortana in the bottom-left of the taskbar and search for Control Panel.

#2: Click on the View by Large Icon located in the upper-right of the Control Panel window. Search for the Windows Defender Firewall option and click on it.  


#3: Choose the option Allow an app or feature through Window firewall from the left side of the panel. 

Choose Allow an app or feature through Window firewall

#4: Search for the problematic game’s entry on the given list and click on the checkboxes of Private and Public networks.       

Enable the games executable in firewall to fix Unable to Initialize Steam API

#5: Lastly, click the OK button to save the changes and restart your computer system. Try launching your game on Steam and check whether the Unable to initialize Steam API error persists.

Method 2: Opt-out of Stream Client Beta to Fix ‘Unable to Initialize Steam API’

Although the Steam Beta client users get the updates before other Stream users, it also causes problems.

Many times the users get updates even if they are not fully programmed. These improper updates cause an Unable to initialize SteamAPI error.

Therefore it is recommended to opt-out of the Steam Beta program and use other public clients to launch games on Steam. 

Besides, if you are experiencing the issues like VAC was unable to verify your game session, here are the top solutions for you.

However, even if you have opted out of this project, you need to follow the steps below to restart your Steam and manage your data properly.

#1: Go to the Start menu, search for the Steam Beta client, and click on it. Or, double-click on the Steam Beta client icon and open the Steam PC client. 

#2: Search for the ‘Steam‘ option from the main menu and click on it. Go to ‘Settings‘ and select the ‘Account‘ option from the left bar. Click on the ‘Change‘ button below the ‘Beta participation‘ section.

Click on the 'Change' button below the 'Beta participation'

#3: A new page will pop up. Go again under the Beta participation section and click on the option to open a drop-down menu. 

#4: Select the Steam section on the window’s top-left corner and click on the Exit option to exit from Steam.

exit from Steam

#5: Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc key together to open the Task Manager to remove all the Steam processes. 

#6: Alternatively, use Ctrl + Alt + Del key together to open a new blue screen window. Choose the Task Manager option. You can also search for Task Manager in the Start menu.

Task Manager option

#7: In the Task Manager, search for More details and click on it to expand the window. Click on the Processes column and search for the Steam-related data such as Steam Client Bootstrapper, GameOverlayUI.exe, or Steam.exe.

One by one, select those memories and click on the End task option located at the bottom of the Task Manager window.

End task

#8: Click the OK button to confirm and finish the process.   

#9: After completing the process, follow the instructions and reopen the client to launch the game from the Steam Library. Check whether the Unable to initialize SteamAPI error persists.

Important Note: If the above steps do not solve your problem, you still need to opt out of the Steam Beta client. So, follow the above steps, exit Steam Beta completely, and run Steam.exe client processes as an administrator. This formula has solved many users’ problems which is why we highly recommend it.  

Expert Tip: In case your PC, laptop, or notebook is not working properly, we recommend using Restore Repair. This software scans the repositories and fixes corrupted or missing files in the computer system. In most cases, this solution will help you fix the error if your computer system has corrupted files.

The Following Guide will help solve this ‘Unable to Initialize Steam API’ Issue.

1. Go to the Start menu and search for the Steam executable. Right-click on it and open its ‘Properties.’

2. In the Properties window, locate the Compatible tab and check the box under that tab to run Steam.exe as an administrator.

Run program as administrator to fix Unable to Initialize Steam API

3. Confirm any dialog that pops up to confirm the admin privileges choice. Steam must launch with your choice of admin privileges. Double-click the Steam icon to open it and launch the game with Steam. Check whether the Unable to initialize Steam API error occurs or not.

Method 3: Disable the Auto-Containment option on Comodo Internet Security

If you use Auto Containment on Comodo Internet Security antivirus in your computer system, you would have noticed that it automatically blocks some programs.

To solve this problem, you can either disable the auto-containment option or delete the game processes from the blocked list.

Follow the Below Steps to Disable the Auto-Containment Option from your Computer System. 

#1: Go to the Start menu and search for the antivirus, or you can double-click on the antivirus icon and open its interface.

#2: Click on the Settings option and locate the Containment tab. Click on the Auto-Containment option under the Containment tab. 

#3: Check the box which says Enable Auto-Containment under the Auto-Containment sub-section. 

disable the auto-containment option on comodo

#4: Alternatively, search for the game’s executable in the list and click on the slider below Enable Auto-Containment. Then, click on the OK button to save the changes. This will allow you to open Steam and launch the game. 

Method 4: Reinstall Steam

Steam users do not prefer to reinstall Steam, so we have put this method in the end. Reinstalling Steam takes a lot of effort, and we have already mentioned some simple methods to help you fix the inability to initialize Steam API errors.  

If you reinstall Steam, you need to re-download all the game files. However, if the above steps cannot fix the problem, you can consider reinstalling Steam.

Following Are the Steps to Back up Files Before Uninstalling Steam.

#1: Double-click on the ‘Steam‘ icon to open the Steam PC client. 

#2: Click on the ‘Steam’ option at the window’s top-right corner and select ‘Settings‘ from the menu. 

#3: You can see the drive name in which you have downloaded all the files related to the game. 

#4: Click on any folder and navigate to the location. Then click on the My Computer or This PC option in the right corner. Now, open the drive folder location and search for the steamapps folder.

#5: Select the folder and click Copy from the context menu. Search for the drive where you want to save files. You can paste all the files into the folders on the Desktop.

Select the folder and click Copy

#6: Repeat the same process for all the folders and files that are available in the library. After saving all the files in another drive, reinstall Steam and save the files in your Steam library again.

#1: You must log in to Steam with admin privileges; otherwise, you won’t be able to uninstall programs.   

#2: Make sure to follow the above steps closely to save files properly. 

#3: Open Control Panel and choose the View as Category option at the right corner of the window.    

#4: Click on the Uninstall a Program option below the Programs section

Uninstall a program

#5: If you use the Setting app, click on App to open the list of folders or programs in your computer system.

#6: Click on the Steam option on the list and then the Uninstall option. Check the dialog box that appears and follow the instructions to uninstall Steam.

Reinstall Stream

Also read: Disk write error on Steam – Let’s fix it with ease.


1. How do I update my Steam client?

To update your Steam client, open the Steam application, go to the “Steam” menu, and select “Check for Steam Client Updates.” If an update is available, allow Steam to download and install it.

2. Will reinstalling Steam delete my games?

Yes, reinstalling Steam will remove all your installed games. Ensure that you have a backup of your game files or can redownload them after reinstalling Steam.

3. Why does the error occur only on certain games?

The “Unable to Initialize Steam API” error may occur only on certain games if there are specific compatibility issues or corrupted files associated with those games. Following the provided solutions can help resolve the issue for individual games.

4. Can I permanently disable my antivirus to resolve the issue?

While temporarily disabling your antivirus software can help identify if it is causing the error, it is not recommended to permanently disable your antivirus for system security. Instead, try adding Steam to the list of trusted applications in your antivirus settings.

5. Is there a way to prevent this error from occurring in the future?

To minimize the chances of encountering the “Unable to Initialize Steam API” error in the future, make sure to regularly update your Steam client, keep your system and drivers up to date, and maintain a healthy installation of Steam by verifying game file integrity and practicing good security measures.


We have extensively covered all the possible solutions to fix the unable to initialize Steam API error in your computer system. If the above solutions cannot solve your problem, then leave a comment below and let us know.


Ten years of experience in information and computer technology. Passionate about electronic devices, smartphones, computers, and modern technology.

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