Steam is a popular game distribution platform among gamers around the world. It consists of a large number of games that Steam players can buy from the Steam Store and play them online via the Steam client.
However, like any other application, Steam also faces some network connectivity issues of its own as a result of which it is unable to sync files over the Steam Cloud. Here, were are discussing the error that many users have encountered while trying to open a game through the Steam cloud. The user is faced with an error message that reads as Steam was unable to sync your files for a particular game and the game doesn’t launch itself.
Possible reasons for this error are as below.
- Steam servers are down and inaccessible.
- Corrupted game files
- Wrong configurations or corrupted userdata files in Steam
- 3rd party app or firewall interfering with the connection
Are you one such Steam Client user who is facing this error while trying to launch a game? Then, go ahead and read the article below. In this guide, we have discussed some troubleshooting methods that can help your resolve this error in Steam.
Before trying the fixes below, check the Steam server status to see if the servers are down or under maintenance. If there is an issue with the servers, then you need to wait until the issue is solved from their end. Else, move on with the fixes below to resolve the error.
Fix 1 – Delete the userdata Folder
Steam installation directory consists of a userdata folder that contains an ID number that is unique to the account. All your account information including the cloud configurations and user sync data is present in this folder. There are high chances that this folder may have got corrupted and in turn, the Steam client is refusing to sync the files. Many users have been successful in clearing this error either by deleting or replacing this folder on their PC.
1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open the Task Manager.
Make sure that you end all the Steam-related processes here.
To do that, in the Processes tab select the Steam process and click on the End task button.
2. Press Windows + R to open the Run box.
Here, type C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam and hit Enter. This is the default location of the Steam installation directory.
This opens the File Explorer in your Steam directory.
3. In the Steam directory, locate a folder with the name userdata.
Select this folder and click on the Delete (bin) icon to delete this folder.
Alternatively, you can just cut and paste this folder anywhere else on your PC (like Desktop, Documents, and so on).
4. Relaunch Steam and check if the sync error for the game is resolved.
Fix 2 – Repair the Steam Library Folder
1. Launch your Steam application.
Click on the Steam menu and choose the Settings option in the submenu that opens.
2. In the Settings window, select the Downloads tab.
Now, on the right side, click on Steam Library Folders under Content Libraries.
This opens up the Steam Storage Manager for you.
3. In the Storage Manager, click on the three-dot menu at the right end and choose the Repair folder option.
Click on Yes when prompted by UAC for access permissions.
Wait for some time till Steam repairs the library folders.
4. Relaunch Steam and check if the error is resolved while trying to launch the game that was raising this error.
Fix 3 – Verify Game Files Integrity
Game files can get corrupted in Steam either during the download or update process. You can use the verify game files integrity option within Steam to replace all the bad game files with new ones and resolve the error.
1. Open Steam on your PC.
Click on the Library tab to go to the Steam Library.
2. In the Games tab on the left side, right-click on the game that is causing the error in your case and choose the Properties option.
You will be seeing the Properties window for that particular game.
3. Choose the Local Files tab in the Properties window.
On the right, click on the Verify integrity of game files… button.
Wait for the validation and verification process to complete.
4. Relaunch Steam and check if the error is fixed.
Fix 4 – Delete ClientRegistry.blob
1. Make sure that all the Steam processes running on your system are closed.
Open Task Manager (Ctrl + Shift + Esc).
Locate the Steam process in the list of running processes. Select the process and click on the End task button.
2. Open File Explorer using the Windows + E key combination.
In the navigation bar, type the location of the Steam installation directory. By default, the location is C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam.
3. Now, look for a file with the name ClientRegistry.blob in the Steam folder.
Select this file and press the Delete key on your keyboard to remove this file.
Alternatively, you can cut and paste this file into some other folder on your computer.
4. Restart Steam and check if the error is resolved.
Note: You will need to log in back into your Steam account after deleting this particular file.
Fix 5 – Disable Firewall and Antivirus
There is a high possibility that the running of Steam processes is hindered by the firewall and antivirus installed on your computer. They can interfere with Steam processes and block them from performing the syncing operation.
1. Open the Run box using the Windows and R key combination.
Type firewall.cpl and hit the Enter key to open Windows Defender Firewall.
2. On this page, click on the link Turn Windows Defender Firewall on or off.
Now, choose the option Turn off Windows Defender Firewall for both the Private and Public network settings.
Once you turn it off, click on the OK button at the bottom.
Check if this helped to fix the error for you.
If the issue is resolved, then it is sure that the firewall was the reason for Steam not being able to sync files. In such cases, disabling the firewall permanently is not an option as it is a risk for your computer. However, you can allow Steam through the firewall by following the steps mentioned below.
1. Hit the Windows key and type Windows Firewall in the Windows search box.
In the search result, click on Allow an app through Windows Defender Firewall.
2. In the Allowed apps window, click on the Change settings… button to make the required changes.
3. Scroll and locate the Steam app in the list of allowed apps and features.
Once you find the Steam app, check the boxes in the Private and Public column to enable it on both the public and private networks.
Then, click on OK to save these changes.
4. If the Steam app is not there in the list then you need to click on the Allow another app… button.
In the Add an app window, click on Browse.
Then, locate the steam.exe file in the default installation folder (C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam). Click on Open to add it here.
Finally, click on the Add button.
Once Steam is added to the list, then perform Step 4 to allow it through the firewall.
Relaunch the Steam app on your PC and check if it is able to sync files without raising the error.
Similar to the firewall, the antivirus software on your system can also interfere with some Steam tasks. You can try disabling your antivirus to see if it helps fix the issue or not. If you don’t want to disable it, then try adding Steam to the exception list of your antivirus software. To add as an exception, you need to find the Exception settings specific to the antivirus software installed on your PC.
Fix 6 – Refresh Steam Files
Refreshing Steam files helps to remove all the configuration files in your Steam client and then it is forced to reinstall them again. Any bad/corrupted files are replaced in this particular process. This process safeguards all your downloaded games and user data. But you will need to log in to your Steam account using the credentials after the Steam files are refreshed.
1. Press Windows + X and click on Task Manager in the menu that pops up.
Right-click on the Steam process in the list of processes and choose End task.
Make sure that there are no Steam processes running on your system.
2. Press Windows + E to open the File Explorer.
Navigate to the Steam installation directory. This location by default is C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam.
3. Once you are inside the Steam directory, select all the files and folders here except for the steam.exe executable file and the steamapps folder.
Now, press the delete key on your keyboard to delete all the selected files and folders (except the ones mentioned above).
4. Restart your computer.
Relaunch the steam client using admin privileges and it will start refreshing/updating itself.
After the update completes, you will not see the sync error.
Thanks for reading.
We hope that Steam was unable to sync the files error has been resolved on your computer. Did you find this article informative enough in fixing this error with Steam? Please let us know your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.
A software engineer turned into an educator with vast teaching experience in universities. Currently working towards my passion for writing.