What is Steam.exe?

The .exe extension on a filename indicates an executable file. Executable files may, in some cases, harm your computer. Therefore, please read below to decide for yourself whether the Steam.exe on your computer is a Trojan that you should remove, or whether it is a file belonging to the Windows operating system or to a trusted application.

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Steam.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with Steam
Steam.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The process known as Steam Client Bootstrapper or Steam Client Bootstrapper (buildbot_winslave04_steam_steam_rel_client_win32@winslave04) or Steam 732897

belongs to software Steam Client Bootstrapper or Terraria or Counter-Strike or Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (version 2) or Dota 2 or Counter-Strike: Global Offensive or Fallout (version 3 - Game of the Year Edition, 4) or Half-Life (version 2, 2: Deathmatch) or The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim or Orcs Must Die or Empire: Total War or Sid Meier's Civilization V or Bastion or Torchlight II or Arma 3 or XCOM: Enemy Unknown or Neverwinter or Team Fortress (version 2) or PAYDAY 2 or Rocket League or Call of Duty: Black Ops II or Age of EmpiresĀ® III: Complete Collection or Max Payne (version 3) or Call of Duty: World at War or Audiosurf or The Witcher (version 3: Wild Hunt) or ARK: Survival Evolved or Age of Empires II: HD Edition or Shadow Warrior or Killing Floor or The Forest or Defense Grid: The Awakening or Audiosurf Demo or H1Z1: King of the Kill or Unturned or No Man's Sky or Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II or Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning or Total War: ROME II - Emperor Edition or Citadels or Microsoft Flight Simulator X: Steam or Source SDK or Warframe or PLAYERUNKNOWN'S BATTLEGROUNDS or TrackMania Nations Forever or Dead Space or PlanetSide (version 2) or The Walking Dead or Super Monday Night Combat or Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas or Portal or Loadout or APB Reloaded or Sid Meier's Civilization V SDK or ORION: Prelude or L.A. Noire or Railroad Tycoon (version 3) or Grand Theft Auto V or Tomb Raider or The Binding of Isaac or Wolfenstein: The New Order

by Valve (

Description: Steam.exe is not essential for the Windows OS and causes relatively few problems. Steam.exe is located in a subfolder of "C:\Program Files" (mostly C:\Program Files\Valve\Steam\). Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 3,077,712 bytes (6% of all occurrences), 3,019,552 bytes and 74 more variants. 
Steam.exe is not a Windows system file. The program is loaded during the Windows boot process (see Registry key: Run, MACHINE\Run, User Shell Folders, DEFAULT\Run). The Steam.exe file is certified by a trustworthy company. The program has no visible window. The process uses ports to connect to or from a LAN or the Internet. Steam.exe is able to monitor applications and record keyboard and mouse inputs. Therefore the technical security rating is 41% dangerous; however you should also read the user reviews.

Uninstalling this variant: You can uninstall Counter-Strike or Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, update it, or get help from the software vendor. Click on to update it, click on for support, or click on Counter-Strike or Call of Duty: Modern Warfare in Windows Control Panel (Software or Programs category) to uninstall it.

Recommended: Identify Steam.exe related errors

External information from Paul Collins:
There are different files with the same name:

Important: Some malware camouflages itself as Steam.exe, particularly when located in the C:\Windows or C:\Windows\System32 folder, for example Generic PUA BO (PUA) or Generic PUA ML (PUA) (detected by Sophos), and TROJ_GEN.R047C0EI215 (detected by TrendMicro). Therefore, you should check the Steam.exe process on your PC to see if it is a threat. We recommend Security Task Manager for verifying your computer's security. This was one of the Top Download Picks of The Washington Post and PC World.


User Comments

It's for games! XD
  Penguin   (further information)
Steam.exe belongs to the OnlineDistributionCenter Steam by Valve. Steam Is the New Way to buy Programmes,and to Overwatch you.If you use this,you are in Big Brothers Hands,so choose wisely
Have never installed steam or games that use steam on my computer.. computer fan was running really loud so checked it out, steam.exe was running from user AppData Roaming Identities CODExi had a .bin file inside that was called x11 modGeForce GTX 660...... (my card).. As repeated I have never installed steam or any games recently so this appears to be cloaked malware.. Zone alarm didn't pick it up but I deleted the shit out of it anyway.
Steam.exe is fine as fuck, however, if you spot a process named steam.exe (lowercase) it's a bitcoin miner which you should remove immediately!
Steam is a gaming client created by Valve Corporation. Valve is well known and has made many hit games.
  chris   (further information)
It is a part of the Steam, which is a store for games. Steam manages all games you purchased from it automatically.
  Alison   (further information)
really dangerous!! it gives your credit card info to gabenz
  Challenger-2   (further information)
Good if installed properly but it is a resource hogger
More comments can be found here:
    (further information)

Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of Steam.exe: based on 121 votes with 9 reviews. 71 users think Steam.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. 9 users think it's probably harmless. 15 users think it's neither essential nor dangerous. 9 users suspect danger. 17 users think Steam.exe is dangerous and recommend removing it. 5 users don't grade Steam.exe ("not sure about it").

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Best practices for resolving Steam issues

A clean and tidy computer is the key requirement for avoiding problems with Steam. This means running a scan for malware, cleaning your hard drive using 1cleanmgr and 2sfc /scannow, 3uninstalling programs that you no longer need, checking for Autostart programs (using 4msconfig) and enabling Windows' 5Automatic Update. Always remember to perform periodic backups, or at least to set restore points.

Should you experience an actual problem, try to recall the last thing you did, or the last thing you installed before the problem appeared for the first time. Use the 6resmon command to identify the processes that are causing your problem. Even for serious problems, rather than reinstalling Windows, you are better off repairing of your installation or, for Windows 8 and later versions, executing the 7DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth command. This allows you to repair the operating system without losing data.

To help you analyze the Steam.exe process on your computer, the following programs have proven to be helpful: ASecurity Task Manager displays all running Windows tasks, including embedded hidden processes, such as keyboard and browser monitoring or Autostart entries. A unique security risk rating indicates the likelihood of the process being potential spyware, malware or a Trojan. BMalwarebytes Anti-Malware detects and removes sleeping spyware, adware, Trojans, keyloggers, malware and trackers from your hard drive.

Other processes

Steam.exe [all]