Steam Has Been Freezing and Crashing Lately…

Posted on 25 Jul 2017 by
L Coulsen

A problem that has afflicted myself and other Pixel Judge members, giving me a massive panic attack, thinking my six month old HDD was already dying and on its last leg. But fear not! Turns out something weird has gone on with Steam and it’s freezing and crashing for a lot of people. The most common complaint seeming to be that it just runs… su… per… fuck… ing… slow… ly, as if it’s running on a system from 1998.

Like, even hovering over the ‘X’ button, to close a window, will take it a good 5+ seconds to respond, before you can actually click it. Games will run fine, for most people, but the app itself is completely borked. However, there are several, very simple, fixes that have sorted these problems out for the majority of people, yours truly included.

After scanning this Reddit thread, I found the two most commonly effective solutions involve clearing your Steam Browser cache. Yes, it really does have one. For those who don’t know, open Steam Settings, go to the Browser tab and click the delete cache button. The second, and easier to enact, solution is to find the “steamwebhelper.exe” in your Task Manager (pro tip; CTRL+Shift+Esc) and close it.

Unfortunately, a lot of people are having to do this every single time they start Steam, it was fixed straight away for me though. Not sure if it makes any difference, but I did the latter first, since that was a quicker fix and all, not having to wait for Steam to get its shit together. Then, I went and cleared the cache right away too. No more problems on my end. Other people have had no luck at all, and have found themselves having to completely uninstall, including removing Windows Registry keys, and then reinstalling Steam from scratch… multiple times in some cases.

There’s no clear reason as to what is causing this, as there have been no updates recently, it just seems to have come up out of nowhere. Valve have not, at time of writing, responded to the issue either, which leaves us wondering why something so, apparently, unrelated would be causing such a huge problem. My theory is that it has something to do with an upcoming store front update. I’m guessing that Valve, in the process of loading all the new assets to the server, is confusing the client side Steam with all the unnecessary data it’s finding?

Whatever the reason, it’s rather irritating, but easily fixable in most cases, and we will, of course, keep y’all updated if anything new comes along in regards to these current Steam issues plaguing its users.

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