How To Fix Unable To Initialize Steam API Error Quick and Easy Way

Steam is a popular online platform where you can get a digital copy of your favorite PC game. Instead of going to a store to buy a physical copy of the game you can just download it to your computer which is quite convenient for most people. Although this is a stable platform there are instances when certain issues can occur. In this latest installment of our troubleshooting series we will tackle the unable to initialize Steam API error issue.

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How To Fix Unable To Initialize Steam API Error

Before performing any of the recommended troubleshooting steps listed below it’s best to restart your computer first. This action refreshes the operating system and remove any corrupt temporary data that could be causing the problem.

There are several factors that can cause this particular problem ranging an issue with the Steam client to interference coming from the firewall or antivirus software. Listed below are the recommended troubleshooting steps that you need to do to fix this problem.

Add Steam in the firewall exception list

There’s a chance that your Firewall is blocking the Steam game from connecting to the internet which is why this issue is happening. If this is what’s causing the problem you will need to add the game in the firewall exception list.

  • Open the Control Panel by searching for this tool in the Start button.
  • Locate the Windows Firewall option.
  • Click on Windows Firewall and click on the Allow an app or feature through Windows Firewall option from the left side list of options. A list of apps should open. 
  • Locate the game entry on the list and check the boxes next to both Private and Public networks.
  • Click OK and restart your computer.

Check if the unable to initialize Steam API error issue still occurs.

Don’t use the beta version of Steam

Steam Beta usually has several new features not found in the stable version of Steam. It is also notorious for having several bugs which is most likely what’s causing this problem. To fix this you should revert back to the stable version of Steam.

  • Open the Steam PC client by double-clicking it on the Desktop.
  • Click on the Steam option at the menu at the top of the client’s screen and choose Settings.
  • From the Account tab and click the Change button under the Beta participation section.
  • A new window should open so check again under Beta participation and click to open the drop-down menu. Choose the “NOTE – Opt out of all beta programs” option and Apply the changes you have made.
  • Click the Steam option at the top left part of the Steam window and choose Exit in order to exit Steam completely .
  • Use the Ctrl + Shift + Esc key combination by pressing the keys in the same time to open the Task Manager utility.
  • Click on More details at the bottom left part of the window in order to expand Task Manager and search for any Steam-related processes such as Steam.exe, Steam Client Bootstrapper, or GameOverlayUI.exe.  Select them one by one and choose the End task option from the lower right part of the window.
  • Click Yes to the message which is going to be displayed which should warn about how ending various processes may affect your computer so make sure you just confirm it.
  • Reopen the Steam client  and launch the game from the Library tab.

Check if the unable to initialize Steam API error issue still occurs.

Try running Steam as an administrator

There are times when the Steam client will need an elevated permission to run certain processes which is why you will have to run this as an administrator.

  • Look for the Steam executable and open its properties it by right-clicking its entry.
  • Go to the Compatibility tab in the Properties window and check the box next to the Run this program as an administrator option before applying the changes.
  • Confirm any dialogs which may appear which should prompt you to confirm the choice with admin privileges and Steam should launch with admin privileges from now on. 
  • Open Steam by double-clicking its icon and try relaunching the game.

Check if the unable to initialize Steam API error issue still occurs.

Disable the Auto-Containment feature on Comodo Internet Security

If you are using the Comodo Internet Security software then there’s a possibility that the problem is caused by its auto-containment feature. You will need to disable this to check if this is what’s causing the problem.

  • Open the Comodo Internet Security user interface by double-clicking its icon on the Desktop.
  • Open the Settings window by clicking the Settings button from the home screen and make sure you navigate to the Containment tab. Click on the Auto-Containment sub-section.
  • You should see a checkbox at the top of the window saying Enable Auto-Containment. Uncheck it in order to stop using this feature which automatically blocks certain programs from running.
  • You can also locate the game’s executable from the list which will appear below and simply turn off the slider under the Enable Auto-containment option in order to stop blocking the app at hand. Confirm the changes and relaunch the game to see if the issue still appears.

Check if the unable to initialize Steam API error issue still occurs.

Uninstall then install Steam

If the above steps fails to fix the problem then your last option is to uninstall then reinstall Steam.

Backup your game

  • Open your Steam PC client by double-clicking it on the Desktop.
  • Click the Steam button at the top right part of the window and choose Settings from the dropdown menu. Navigate to the Downloads tab in the Settings window and click on Steam Library Folders.
  • Here you should see the full list of all libraries you currently use and the folders you should look for when backing up. Since the default folder is C >> Program Files (x86) >> Steam >> steamapps.
  • Go to the location above by clicking to open any folder or the File Explorer and clicking This PC or My Computer at the right pane. After that, open the location above and find the “steamapps” folder.
  • Right-click the folder and choose the Copy option from the context menu. Go to any location outside the Steam folder on your computer and paste the folder by right-clicking and choosing Paste. The best location would be your Desktop.
  • Repeat the same process for all library folders. After uninstalling Steam, you will have to add the folders again as the Steam library folders as you did the first time.

Uninstall Steam

  • Log in with an admin account on your computer.
  • Click on the Start button then on the gear icon in order to open settings if you are using Windows 10.
  • Click on Apps which should immediately open a list of all installed programs on your PC.
  • Locate the Steam entry on the list and click on it once. Click on the Uninstall button above the list and confirm any dialog boxes which may appear. Follow the instructions on-screen in order to uninstall Steam and restart your computer afterwards.
  • Open the official Steam website then download the Steam installer. Follow the instructions on how to install Steam.

Check if the unable to initialize Steam API error issue still occurs.

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