How to Fix Unable to Initialize Steam API Error

There are a lot of problems that a gamer can face from time to time, and the Unable to Initialize Steam API error is another addition to this broad library. Unable to Initialize Steam API error appears when you launch the game in your Steam library, and this error prevents the users from open the game in Steam.

There is no specific reason for the Unable to Initialize Steam API error to appear. It can be a problem with the Steam client, in your firewall setup, or your antivirus system. The solution to this is anonymous as the reason behind it. But, there is plenty of things that we can do, and we have described them in this article.

What are the causes of Unable to initialize Steam API?

This error comes under a broad category of reasons and causes and is differs from person to person. However, we have mentioned some of the common cause below:

  • The firewall of your system blocks your game’s executable, and that is causing the problem in connecting to the Internet.
  • Auto-Containment list of the Comodo Internet Security must have disabled your game.
  • Unfinished or bugged Steam beta clients are also known to be the cause of this issue.

3 Ways to Fix Unable to Initialize Steam API Error

1. Make an Exception for the Game’s Executable in Your Firewall

Before switching to the complicated methods to solve this error, let’s try this simpler and immediate one. As claimed by the users, it is the one who has helped most of them. This solution is based on the fact that sometimes, an active third-party firewall or the active Windows Defender Firewall blocks the game from adequately executing or properly hinders its connection from the internet.

Note: If any third-party firewall is installed in your system, then instructions for allowing a specific program differ from one firewall type to another. In this case, you can find the proper instructions to find this problem with the help of a simple Google search. But, if you are using Windows Firewall, follow the below-mentioned steps to allow this program.

Step 1: Firstly, search for the Control Panel feature in your system with the help of the Windows search bar at the lower-left corner, next to the Windows logo, and select it from the results to open.

Step 2: Once the Control Panel window opens, select the System and Security icon and then the Windows Defender Firewall option under it.

Step 3: Click on the “Allow an app or feature through Windows Defender Firewall” option from the list of options on the left side of the window.

Step 4: Now, a list of apps installed in your system will open. Choose the game app with the problematic entry on it and check both the Private and Public networks check boxes next to it.

Step 5: Click OK and reboot your system.

Now, try to open the game with the problematic start via Steam. Check if it is still displaying the “Unable to initialize Steam API” error or running without any problem. If the problem persists, switch to the next solution.

2. Opt out of Steam Beta and Restart Steam

The Steam Beta client is one of the major causes of this error. There are some advantages of being a steam beta user, like you receive the new updates before the normal steam users. But, this advantage comes with an agreement that you are going to test the new feature, which can be buggy or unfinished at times. And this drawback can ruin your gaming experience through this error as well.

At times even when you opt-out of these Steam beta projects, you can still face this problem if you just restart the Steam beta project by completely exiting and then opening it. In this case, we recommend you follow the below-mentioned steps to solve this issue.

Step 1: Firstly, search for your Steam client with the help of the Windows search bar at the lower-left corner, next to the Windows logo, and select it from the results to open.

Step 2: Select the Steam option from the menu at the upper part of the client’s screen and click on Settings.

Step 3: Now, go to the Account tab and select the Change button, which comes under the Beta participation section.

Step 4: A new window will appear named Beta participation – Steam, choose NONE – Opt-out of all beta programs from the dropdown menu and click on the OK button.

Step 5: Click on the Steam option at the top left of the window and select Exit to completely exit the Steam. Make sure you don’t click on the X button in the upper right corner of the window.

Step 6: Next, right-click on the Windows Taskbar and select Task Manager from the opened menu, or you can simultaneously press Ctrl + Alt + Del key to open it.

Step 7: Select all the Steam-related processes like Steam.exe, Steam Client Bootstrapper, or GameOverlayUI.exe, etc., from the expanded Task Manager under the Background processes.

Step 8: Select one at a time, right-click on it and choose the End task option from the extended menu at the right.

Step 9: Click on Yes from the popped up message display asking about the confirmation about how ending this process can affect other processes in your system.

Step 10: Finally, reopen the Steam client like described in the first step and launch the game through the Steam Library tab. See if the problem is fixed or not.

Note: If the above-mentioned steps didn’t help you with this issue, then there is another way to opt-out of all Steam beta projects and completely exit Steam. We have mentioned quite a few steps; follow them properly to fix this issue in your system. Perhaps, we recommend you to do further operations by opening the Steam.exe client in administrator mode, as this is helpful for some of our users as well.

Step 1: Search for the Steam executable and right-click on its entry to open its properties on the Start menu or the desktop or in the Search result window.

Step 2: Now, go to the Compatibility tab on the Properties window and check the checkbox, which is next to the Run this program as an administrator option, and then apply the new changes.

Step 3: Confirm any dialogs that will pop up at the time of applying changes to confirm that you are making these changes as an administrator.

Step 4: Steam will launch in administrator mode from now on.

Step 5: Open Steam again by double click on its icon and try to launch the game again, and see if the message Unable to initialize Steam API is still popping up or not.

This solution will probably fix your problem with the Steam opening. But if not, go ahead and try the last solution.

3. Disable Auto-Containment on Comodo Internet Security

If you are using or ever used the Comodo antivirus program on your system, you may have seen that this program sometimes entirely blocks other programs for merely no reason at all by using its Auto-Containment feature, which gets activated automatically.

In this case, you have two options, i.e., to either disable this Auto-Containment option or just look out for the game’s executables on the list of blocked programs and simply delete them to solve the problem instantly. To fix this issue by disabling the Auto-Containment option, follow these steps.

Step 1: Launch the Comodo Internet Security user interface by double-clicking on its icon on your Desktop.

Step 2: Now, click on the Settings button on the Home screen to open the Settings window and then go to the Containment tab.

Step 3: Once the Containment tab opens, select the Auto-Containment sub-section.

Step 4: When the Auto-Containment section opens, uncheck the checkbox saying Enable Auto-Containment located at the top of the window. By unchecking this feature, it will stop blocking the other programs, and this may automatically solve your problem if it due to this reason.

You can also try locating the game’s executable from the list under the Enable Auto-containment option and turn their slider off. By this, it will stop blocking the programs from your game. Confirm the new changes, and then try to launch your game again.

Final Words

We hope that the above-listed solutions helped you with this error. As we understand how annoying this problem can be for gamers. If you have any further queries, kindly mention them down in the comment box.