Steam is one of the most popular digital gaming platforms where gamers can use any system to play the games that they buy/download into their Steam accounts. Recently, there have been reports by users that they are not able to open/play their favorite games in Steam as a result of the validation issues with the game files. When they try to validate their game files from the Steam library they see the error message below:
1 file failed to validate and will be reacquired.
Generally, you will see this game file validation error if you have installed mods for any game in Steam. These mods conflict with the Steam client and trigger the error. At times, previous incorrect updates of game files may throw this error.
If you are facing this error and not able to launch your favorite game in Steam, then read along. In this article, we have curated some troubleshooting solutions that you can use to fix this error with the Steam game files on your Windows PC.
1. Disable any 3rd party antivirus on your system and check if this helps resolve the issue.
2. Uninstall/disable any mods if you have installed any mods.
3. If you are using any game controllers then disconnect them.
Fix 1 – Terminate All Steam Processes
1. Press and hold the Ctrl, Shift, and Esc key combination to open the Task Manager.
2. If the Task Manager is in a minimized view, click on More Details at the bottom.
3. Select the Processes tab.
4. Locate the Steam process in the list of running processes. These processes include Steam, Steam Client WebHelper, and Steam Client Service.
5. Select each of the above Steam-related processes and click on the End task button to terminate the processes.
6. Make sure that are no Steam processes running.
7. Now open Steam and check if you are able to access the game files.
Fix 2 – Perform a Windows Clean Boot
1. Open Run using the Windows and R keys.
2. Type msconfig and hit Enter to open System Configuration.
3. Here, go to the Services tab.
4. Check the box next to Hide all Microsoft services at the bottom left corner.
5. Click on the Disable all button.
6. Select the Startup tab.
7. Here, click on the Open Task Manager link.
8. In the Task Manager’s Startup tab, disable all the running applications. To do this, right-click on each application one at a time and choose Disable.
9. Close the Task Manager.
10. Click on Apply and then on OK in the System Configuration window.
11. System Configuration will prompt for a restart to apply the changes. Click on Restart to reboot your computer at that moment.
12. After startup, you may see a service error from Steam asking to install the Steam service. Click on Install Service here.
13. Launch Steam and verify the game files. Check if the problem is resolved with the game.
Note: Revert back to normal boot using the steps below
- Open System Configuration using Steps 1 and 2.
- Select the option Normal startup in the General tab.
- In the Services tab, uncheck the box next to Hide all Microsoft services.
- Go to the Startup tab and click on the link Open Task Manager.
- Right-click on each program in the Task Manager Startup tab and choose Enable. This will enable all the previously disabled applications.
- Perform Steps 9 – 11 again to restart the computer in normal boot mode.
Fix 3 – Run a CHKDSK Scan
1. Launch the Steam application. Go to the Library tab.
2. Here, right-click on the game having this validation issue and choose Properties.
3. Select the Local Files tab in the left pane.
4. Then, click on Verify Integrity of Game Files on the right side. Wait for the verification to complete.
5. Perform this verification process in Step 4 twice.
6. Hold down the Windows + R to open the Run dialog.
7. Type cmd and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open Command Prompt as administrator.
8. Type the command below and hit Enter to execute it.
chkdsk C: /r
Note: Here C: refers to the system drive. Change this if your drive uses another letter like D or E or so on.
9. Type Y or Yes when prompted to schedule the check at the next system restart as the volume is being used by another process.
10. Exit Command Prompt.
11. Reboot your computer.
12. The scan will begin during the system restart. Wait for this scan to finish.
Check if the error with Steam game file validation is fixed.
Fix 4 – Delete the Steam Configuration File
1. Launch the Steam app.
2. Click on the Steam menu at the top and choose Exit.
3. Open Run using the Windows + R key combination.
4. Type the below location and hit Enter to navigate to the Steam directory.
C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam
5. Here, look for the userdata folder and open it.
6. In this folder, you will find folders named with Steam IDs.
Note: There will be only one folder if you have only one Steam user account.
7. Select your Steam ID folder and click on the Delete (bin) icon at the top of the File Explorer.
8. Now open Steam. Steam detects that the configuration file is not present and downloads a new file automatically.
Check if this helped you to fix the issue.
Fix 5 – Turn Off Windows Defender Firewall
Note: This is a temporary solution as this makes your system open to malware attacks and threats.
1. Open Run by holding down the Windows and R keys.
2. Type firewall.cpl to open Windows Defender Firewall settings.
3. In the left pane, select Turn Windows Defender Firewall on or off.
4. Select the option Turn off Windows Defender Firewall for both the Private network settings and public network settings.
5. Then, click on OK to save these changes.
6. Check if this helps you fix the error with game files in Steam.
Note: To turn on the Windows Defender Firewall, select the option Turn on Windows Defender Firewall for both private and public network settings.
Thanks for reading.
We hope this article has been informative enough in resolving the Steam game file validation error “1 file failed to validate and will be reacquired” on your Windows PC. Comment and let us know which of the above-mentioned fixes worked for you.