How to Fix Steam Missing File Privileges Error

Steam missing file privileges error is one of the most annoying issues that can frustrate you, especially if you want to enjoy your time on Steam after a long working day. However, several methods can help you resolve this issue.

We have tested and compiled different solutions on “How to fix Steam missing file privileges error?” on your PC. These methods are the easiest to follow and solve the error you face for missing privileges on the Steam client.

All these methods work fine for most situations. You can test them individually and look for what works best for you. So without any further delay, let’s jump onto these methods and try to fix the Steam missing privileges error on your computer.

Easy Fix for Steam not opening on PC

Create a new Steam Library Folder

The most obvious reason for getting the Steam missing file privileges error is the malfunctions in the Steam library folder. A modified or messed up Steam library folder can create some serious issues and raise different errors, including the Steam missing file privileges error.

To eliminate this error and make Steam work again, you need to create a new Steam library folder and abandon the old folder. For creating the new folder, you can follow these easy steps.

Open Steam client on your computer.

open steam settings

Now go to the top menu and click on “Steam.”

Inside the Steam, the menu find the “Setting” and open it.

Now a Settings windows will open up, go to the “Downloads” option.

selecting steam library folder

Find the “Steam Library Folders” button inside the Downloads options and click on it. (It is under the Content Library section)

Now a new screen will open, and from the bottom options, select the “Add Library Folder” button.

creating steam library folder

Pressing it opens a new library folder selection window.

Create a new Steam Library Folder and right-click on it to make it the default Steam Library folder.

Restart the Steam client to make the changes happen.

If the solution does not work for you, then go to the next solution.

Repair Existing Steam Library Folder

If you do not want to create a new Steam Library folder that we described in the above method, you can utilize this easy method to repair the existing Steam Library Folder. It is a straightforward process and does not require any technicalities.

You can make changes to the existing Steam Library Folder and repair it by following these easy and comprehensive steps.

repair steam library folder

Open the Steam client from the desktop or installation folder.

Now from the top menu, open “Steam” options.

A drop-down menu will open, select “Settings” from these options.

Inside the Settings, go to the “Downloads” folder.

At the top of the Downloads, click on “Steam Library Folder.”

It will open a new window; inside it, look for the Steam folder path and right-click it.

Choose the “Repair Folder” option to start the repair process.

Now restart the Steam application.

Terminating igfxEM Module from Task Manager

This is the common error with the Intel chipsets and the graphics that Intel uses on their machines. This fix works fine for those who are getting Steam missing file privileges error on their Intel-based machines. The igfxEM module is the real culprit behind these errors because it interferes with the permissions.

When it interferes with the Steam permissions, it causes users to read and write files inside the Steam directory. It does not only cause permissions issue with the Steam client but also with other applications.

This problem usually occurs after the installation or update of the Steam client. So if the problem persists, then you need to terminate the igfxEM module each time. To start with the process:

Open “Task Manager” by either right-clicking on the taskbar at the bottom of the screen or searching for it from the Windows 10 search or Cortana.

opening task manager for steam

Once the Task Manager opens up, search all the processes with “igfxEM” in their names. For Windows 10, you can find it by pressing “More Details” at the bottom of the Task Manager.

closing igfxEM for steam

Right-click on the igfxEM modules and press the “End Task” button.

Now relaunch Steam client.

Check if your Steam application is installing the game or updating it usually.

If, for some reason, you still get the error, then try restarting the Steam application with Administrator Privileges. To do it, right-click on the Steam desktop icon and choose “Run as Administrator.”

It will work fine now and update or install the game easily.

Analyzing the Background Applications

Besides the igfxEM module, specific applications can interfere with the Steam running and cause issues and errors. For solving this error, you need to check and terminate the applications manually by using Task Manager. To start with it follow these steps:

Press “Windows Key + R” to open the Run window.

Inside the Run, type “taskmgr” and then proceed with it by pressing the OK button.

It will open Windows Task Manager.

close conflicting program with steam

Go to the Task Manager’s processes tab and look for the open programs from the listed entries.

Task Manager in Windows 10 also shows the Disk, CPU, and Memory usage in detail.

Go to the CPU usage window and find the programs that are using more resources than usual.

Right-click on these programs and click “End Task” to terminate them.

You can do a similar check on the “Disk” and “Memory” tabs. Analyze and terminate the resource-hogging applications one by one.

After performing a thorough checkup, see if the issue with Steam missing file privileges exists or resolved.

By following all the steps mentioned above, you can get rid of most of the resource-intensive applications and the programs that interfere with the normal run of Steam on your computer.

Now restart your computer and see if Steam runs appropriately without errors.

If it runs perfectly normal, then other application might be the real culprit behind this error. Try re-enabling the close application one by one and check which application cause an issue with the Steam run. After you diagnose the application, keep it disable or reinstall it. Choose what suits you best and fulfils your needs.

Change settings in Properties

Steam missing file privileges error can arise from the faulty permissions of a game to the Steam users. If the permissions are on Deny for the users, then you likely to get this error on your computer. To resolve this, you have to dig into the security setting of the games and check manually for any bad permission. Follow these easy steps to resolve the missing file privileges error in Steam.

Open Steam client and rush to the installed game library.

Right-click on the game and go to the “Manage” option.

Browse for the local file on the computer and right-click on the “Game name.exe” (here the game name is the name of the game that you are looking for errors)

Now go to the “Properties.”

Once inside the Properties, go to the “Security” tab.

The security tab watch the user list and make sure that no one has a marked entry in the “Deny” checkbox.

If Deny checkbox is marked for some user, go to the “Advanced” and select the user.

Inside the View windows, make sure that all the checks are on Allow tab. If not, then mark Allow manually.

Save the settings and go back to Steam.

Resume the update and check if it is working.

Hopefully, it will resolve your Steam missing file privileges error. If not, move to the next fix.

Game Integrity Verification

As we have checked the file permission in the above method, this method involves checking the game file integrity if they are in good condition or any issue in the original file. To start the integrity verification, follow these easy steps:

  • Open the Steam application and click on the “View” on the top menu.
  • Now click the “Library” option from the drop-down menu.
  • Inside the Library, right-click on the game that is causing issues or does not run.
  • Go to the “Properties” and then click on the “Local Files.”
  • Now open the “Verify the integrity of the game cache” option by clicking it.
  • It will start the verification process of the game cache and can take up to few minutes to complete.
  • After the verification process completion, retry running or updating the game.

Run Steam with Administrator Privileges

Like every other computer application, Steam requires proper read and write permissions to work smoothly without interruptions. It may run some functions normally with Read-only permissions, but changing different games and updating and downloading games requires Writing permissions.

In this case, the Steam missing file privileges error may arise due to the insufficient write permissions to the Steam application. We can grant it administrative rights by manually enabling them. This process of granting permission does not include complexity and don’t even harm your computer integrity.

To begin with, in this process, open the Steam installation directory. The default location of the Steam installation directory is C:\ > Program File > Steam. But it may be changed if you have selected another directory when installing the Steam client. Go to the location of that directory if you have changed it.

changing steam folder permissions

You are almost halfway towards the solution once you find the Steam installation directory. Right-click on the Steam folder and go to the “Properties.”

Inside the Properties, find the “Security” tab and then go to its bottom and open the “Advanced” settings.

Edit the settings and grant Full Permissions by granting the complete folder control and checking all the options. Apply the settings after the modification and save changes.

Once you have done fixing the file permission to the Steam folder, open the Steam application with admin access and check if the problem got fixed.

Modifying the Download Region

This is the crucial setting in most of the issues related to Steam downloading and updating. Modifying the download region works most time as selecting the wrong download server can cause Steam missing file privileges error. To solve this error, follow these easy steps:

Open the Steam client and go to the top of the program and click the “Steam” menu.

change steam server region

Click on the “Settings” from the drop-down menu.

From various Settings, go to the “Downloads” tab.

Inside the Downloads, find the “Download Region” Settings and modify it to the nearest possible location.

Save settings by clicking OK and now retry downloading the game.

Clearing Steam Download Cache

The cache is the main issue with all applications that store and use the cache for internet purposes. Sometimes cache build up in a way that a bad cache can cause the Steam missing privileges error. To resolve the download cache issue, you need to go to the download cache file and clear it. To begin with this process, these are easy steps.

steam downloading slow clear cache
  • Now navigate to the “Downloads” tab given on the left side.
  • Go find the “Clear Download Cache” button and press OK.
  • Save the settings and relaunch the install or update.

Helpful guides related to Steam:

Giving Full Access to Affected Game Only

In one of the above fix, we have provided full access permission to the whole Steam installation folder. Doing so, it provided permission to all the subfolder of the directory. If you do not want to give full access permissions to the whole folder, you can try giving to the only problematic game.

Like the above methods, this is not harmful to your file system integrity and provide you with an easy fix for Steam missing file privileges error. To get started with the process, you need to pinpoint the error file and grant it full access.

  • Go to the following address C: > Program Files (x86) > Steam > steamapps > downloading > 47890 > EP11 > Game.
  • Once open the game directory, right-click on the folder and select “Properties.”
  • Inside the properties, look for the “Security” tab and then go to the “Advanced” options.
  • Give full access permissions and then launch Steam client and try updating or installing the game.
  • Check if the problem still persists.


Temporarily Disable Antivirus

Antivirus and firewall program are great tools to increase the security of the computer. Besides their countless security benefits, they are famous for interfering with the functioning of other programs. A similar situation can happen to Steam, and it shows missing file privileges steam error.

To disable the Antivirus or firewall, you can open their settings and turn off the real-time scan and monitoring. Most Antiviruses are easy to disable from their taskbar icons. Otherwise, you can temporary uninstall them.

If disabling resolve the error, then Antivirus is likely to be the cause of this error. So uninstalling the Antivirus or replacing it with another security program is a viable solution for resolving the missing file privileges error on Steam.

Boot in Safe Mode to delete the Download directory

After trying all the solutions mentioned above, you can delete the download files inside the download folder in the Steam installation directory if the problem persists. However, you need to start from scratch to download the file.

Safe mode is prevalent for diagnosis errors because it disables most of the extra running program and safety boot you in diagnostic mode. It is a great tool to identify and fix the system file without creating any complications in the file system.

In this method, you can destroy the download directory by deleting it. This does involve some precautions as deleting the wrong folder can cost your time, and Steam files vital for running the Steam client. To start the process:

Open safe mode on your computer. On Windows 7, press F8 when rebooting the PC to launch the safe mode. For Window 8 and onward, press “Shift + F8” repeatedly at reboot to get into the safe mode.

In safe mode, open the path of the file that is giving an error. Go to the following directory in safe mode. C: > Program Files (x86) > Steam > steamapps

Inside the steamapps, find and open the folder named “download” and delete all the files inside it.

Now reboot the computer in normal mode and launch the Steam client by administrative rights. Verify if the program persists or got resolved.

Restarting the computer

Restarting is the most common fix for all the problems that we face while working on the computer. These errors arise due to the complex technical issues in the computer. If you are checking for game update on your computer and experiencing Steam missing file privileges issues, restarting the computer can solve this issue.

Restarting is pretty straightforward, and you just need to press “Alt + F4” and select restart from the dialogue box options. Wait for the restart to happen and launch the Steam application to verify if it works fine again.

Uninstall SteamVR

VR is an excellent innovation in recent years. Games in VR look cooler and fun-packed. However, Steam VR application sometimes cause problems with the update and installation. To get over this, you need to uninstall the Steam VR application.

  • Press “Windows Key + I” to open Windows 10 settings.
  • Now go to the “Apps” and find Steam VR from the list of the apps installed on the computer.
  • Click on it and select uninstall to begin the removal process.
  • After successful uninstallation, reboot the computer.
  • Run Steam client and update the game now without error.

Contact Steam Support

Steam has an active support team that assists with all the queries of the users. If following all the above methods does not solve the problem, you may try to Uninstall the Steam application from the PC. But if you don’t want to uninstall the Steam them, you can contact Steam Support.


If you are looking for your query “How to fix Steam missing file privileges error”, you don’t need to worry as we have listed 15 different methods to solve the Steam missing privileges error. You can try each of these methods and analyze which method works for you. If nothing works for you or is facing difficulty following any method, you can let us know by leaving your feedback in the comment section. We will try to resolve your issues and help you overcome them.

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Muhammad Kashif

M. Kashif is a published author at Gaming He is a tech enthusiast, a passionate gamer and loves to try new gadgets and writing about games and technology events.