How to fix Steam fatal error “Failed to load Steamui.dll”?

Question

Issue: How to fix Steam fatal error “Failed to load Steamui.dll”?

Hello. Since yesterday, I can't open Steam because of “Fatal error, failed to load steamui.dll.” Is there anything that could be done about this? I can't play my games because of this. Help would be appreciated.

Solved Answer

Steam gaming platform has been around for almost two decades by now, and almost all users who play video games have it installed on their systems. This is rather unsurprising, considering that the platform hosts over 50,000 games[1] to choose from and the continuous discounts that players can get.

The Steam client, while well optimized and easy to understand, still suffers from its fair share of technical difficulties. This time, we are talking about the “Failed to load Steamui.dll” error, which users receive either when launching the app or when trying to install it on their systems for the very first time.

Steamui.dll is a Dynamic Link Library file, which is similar to an executable file and is used to execute code and elements that are required in the particular time frame. Unlike EXE[2] files, these can't be executed directly and need a host for that. There are plenty of DLL files within the Windows operating system, although there are thousands of imported ones as well.

In this case, the file is related to the Steam UI file, which ensures that the app runs smoothly and servers are executed correctly. If this element fails to load for one reason or another, the result is Failed to load Steamui.dll” error. Consequently, users can no longer launch the platform, as well as can't play games installed on it.

How to fix Steam fatal error "Failed to load Steamui.dll"?

There are many reasons which could cause the issue. For example, corrupted system files or Steam client. Below we provide several methods that should help you fix the “Failed to load Steamui.dll” error, although before you proceed, we recommend you run a scan with a PC repair software ReimageMac Washing Machine X9. It can find and replace corrupted system files automatically; the app can also be useful in the future when dealing with BSODs,[3] crashes, or similar problems.

Fix 1. Run the app as an administrator

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To repair damaged system, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage Reimage.

Let's start with simple solutions. In some cases, the app might not run correctly without sufficient rights. Thus, you should right-click the Steam EXE file (or the shortcut) and select Run as administrator. If that helped, use the following instructions to make the app run as administrator automatically every time you launch it:

  • Right-click on the Steam icon and select Properties
  • Go to the Compatibility tab
  • Mark the Run this program as an administrator option Run Steam as administrator
  • Click Apply and OK.

Fix 2. Try deleting Libswscale-X.dll and SteamUI.dll files

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To repair damaged system, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage Reimage.

Steam file corruption might be causing the launcher to crash. You can delete the files, and Steam should re-download the missing ones once you launch it:

  • Right-click on Steam shortcut and select Properties
  • At the bottom of the window, click Open File Location
  • Find the Libswscale-X.dll file (the “X” represents version number, it could be 3,4 or 5) and delete it with keyboard combination Shift + Del
  • Do the same thing with SteamUI.dll Delete DLL files
  • Try launching the client.

Fix 3. Add parameters into Steam's shortcut

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To repair damaged system, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage Reimage.

There is a way to fix this by deleting Steam files in Safe Mode, although at this point, it would be better to proceed with the step below. Instead, you could add the following parameters into Steam's shortcut:

  • Right-click on Steam shortcut or EXE file and select Properties
  • In the Shortcut tab, under Target, type in the following commands after the file's location:
    -clientbeta client_candidate
  • For example, it should look as follows:
    “C:\\Program Files (x86)\\Steam\\Steam.exe -clientbeta client_candidate” Add parameters to Steam shortcut
  • Click Apply and OK.

Fix 4. Delete package and bin folders

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To repair damaged system, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage Reimage.

Another thing you could try is deleting bin and package folders from Steam's directory.

  • Right-click on the Steam shortcut or EXE file and select Properties
  • At the bottom of the window, click Open File Location
  • Locate package folder, press Shift + Del on your keyboard
  • Do the same with the bin folder Delete bin and package folders
  • Double-click Steam.exe – it will re-download the missing files.

Fix 5. Reinstall Steam

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To repair damaged system, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage Reimage.

If none of the solutions above helped, you should reinstall the app altogether. You won't lose your games. Just be aware you'll have to log in using the correct credentials.

  • To keep your games, move the steamapps folder out of the C:\\Program Files (x86)\\Steam directory
  • Type Control Panel in Windows search and hit Enter
  • Go to Programs > Uninstall a program Reinstall Steam
  • From the list, find Steam
  • Right-click and select Uninstall
  • Wait till the process is finished
  • Re-download the app from its official website.

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About the author
Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - PC & Mac repair expert

Olivia Morelli is a young, but a perspicacious IT expert who is currently just a year away from a Bachelor’s Degree in Software Systems. Her primary passion is cyber security, however, thanks to her detailed understanding of computer networks, operating systems and hardware, she can find a fix for any PC or Mac issue...

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