How to Fix Steamui.dll Not Found or Missing Errors

Delete the file to force Stream to replace it, or reinstall Steam altogether

Steamui.dll errors are caused by situations that lead to the removal or corruption of steamui.dll, a DLL file created and used by the Steam video game service.

In some cases, steamui.dll errors could indicate a registry problem, a virus or malware issue, or even a hardware failure.

Error messages regarding this DLL file could apply to any of Microsoft's operating systems, including Windows 11, 10, 8, etc.

Steamui.dll Errors

Screenshot of a steamui DLL error message in Windows

There are several ways this error might show up on your computer, such as:

  • Steamui.dll Not Found
  • This application failed to start because steamui.dll was not found. Re-installing the application may fix this problem.
  • Cannot find [PATH]\steamui.dll
  • Failed to load steamui.dll
  • The file steamui.dll is missing.
  • Cannot start [APPLICATION]. A required component is missing: steamui.dll. Please install [APPLICATION] again.

A steamui.dll error might appear when Windows starts, when a program is opened, when a program is running, when a program is closed, or at nearly any time during a session of Windows.

How to Fix Steamui.dll Errors

Follow these steps in the order they're listed below to try the more likely fixes first.

Do not download steamui.dll from a "DLL download" website. There are many reasons why downloading a DLL file that way is a bad idea. If you need a copy of this file, it's best to obtain it from its original, legitimate source.

  1. Restore the file from the Recycle Bin. The easiest possible cause of a "missing" steamui.dll file is that you've mistakenly deleted it.

    If you suspect this, but you've already emptied the Recycle Bin, you may be able to recover the file with a free file recovery program.

    Start Windows in Safe Mode to complete any of these steps if you're unable to access Windows normally due to the error.

  2. Delete the steamui.dll or libswscale-3.dll file to force Steam to replace it. You may instead need to remove a folder called "beta."

    If either of these DLL files is actually still present at the root of Steam's installation directory (which is normally C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\) and haven't been deleted, try deleting the steamui.dll or libswscale-3.dll file. Then, open Steam to force it to update the program and replace the DLL file with a fresh one.

    If that doesn't work or if you're using a beta version of Steam, the quickest way to resolve the DLL error may be to remove the C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\package\beta folder.

    This method of deleting a file or folder is only helpful if the DLL file isn't actually missing, but is just not communicating with Steam for one reason or another. So, it's only useful if you have an error message like "Failed to load steamui.dll," not one that indicates that the DLL file is missing.

  3. Refresh your Steam files to repair corrupt files and possibly restore the file back to working order.

  4. Clear the Steam download cache. This can solve problems with games that won't download or start.

  5. Uninstall and then reinstall Steam, using the instructions provided in that link. Sometimes, after Steam updates or due to some other problem, an error about the steamui.dll file appears and reinstalling is the best way to go.

    Try your best to complete this step. Reinstalling Steam is the most likely solution to these errors if the three ideas above don't work with your situation.

  6. Repair your installation of Windows. If the individual troubleshooting advice above is unsuccessful, performing a startup repair or repair installation should restore all Windows DLL files to their working versions. The steamui DLL file might rely on some of them in order to work properly.

  7. Run a virus/malware scan of your entire system. Some steamui.dll errors could be related to a virus or other malware infection on your computer that has damaged the DLL file.

    It's even possible that the error you're seeing is related to a hostile program that's masquerading as the file.

  8. Use System Restore to undo recent system changes. If you suspect that the DLL error was caused by a change made to an important file or configuration, System Restore could solve the problem.

  9. Update the drivers for hardware devices that might be related to the DLL file. If, for example, you're receiving a "The file steamui.dll is missing" error when you play a video game, try updating the drivers for your sound card and video card.

  10. Roll back a driver to a previously installed version if steamui.dll errors began after updating a particular hardware device's driver.

  11. Test your memory and then test your hard drive. We've left the majority of hardware troubleshooting to the last step, but your computer's memory and hard drive are easy to test and are the most likely components that might cause steamui.dll errors as they fail.

    If the hardware fails any of your tests, replace the memory or replace the hard drive.

  12. Use a free registry cleaner to repair steamui.dll related issues in the registry. A registry cleaner program may be able to help by removing invalid DLL registry entries that might be causing the error.

  13. Troubleshoot for a hardware problem if any steamui.dll errors persist. While it's possible that a clean install of Windows could help, it's unlikely. At this point, the problem is probably hardware related.

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