How To Fix ‘Steam Missing File Privileges’ Error in Windows 10

Annoyed by the ‘Steam Missing File Privileges‘ error popping up every time you try to update or install your steam games? Worry not! We have a useful article just for your problem.

The ‘Steam Missing File Privileges‘ error in your windows 10 is minor. The error is usually related to the user’s hardware or software configuration. Thus, it can be fixed easily.

Steam Missing File Privileges Error

Steam, the dominant digital distribution platform for PC games, offers users a vast library of content. However, occasionally, users might encounter a perplexing error related to file privileges.

This article delves into the intricacies of Steam file privileges, the “Missing File Privileges” error, and comprehensive solutions tailored for Windows 10 users.

What is Steam File Privileges?

In the context of Steam, ‘file privileges’ refer to the permissions that Steam has to access, modify, or manipulate game files and directories on your computer. These privileges ensure that Steam can correctly install, update, or modify games and related content without hindrance.

What Causes the “Steam Missing File Privileges” Error on Windows 10?

This error pops up when Steam is unable to access game files due to permission restrictions. Various factors can trigger this:

  • Administrator Restrictions: If Steam isn’t running with adequate permissions, it can’t modify certain files.
  • Antivirus Interference: Some security software may mistakenly identify game files as threats, blocking Steam’s access.
  • Disk Write Errors: Faulty sectors on a hard drive or SSD may prevent file access.
  • Software Conflicts: Other applications might be accessing the same files as Steam, causing a conflict.

How To Fix Steam Missing File Privileges Error In Windows 10

Here are seven quick fixes worth trying for your Steam Missing File Privileges problem.

Method 1: Stopping The igfxEM (Intel Graphics Executable Main Module) Process

The Intel Graphics Executable Main Module or igfxEM.exe is one of the software components included in the Intel Common User Interface. This .exe file is from a very trustworthy site and includes a signed digital signature, thereby making it a completely safe file for your computer.

The Intel Graphics Executable Main Module software is available as a standard package along with the installation of Microsoft Windows and its graphics card drivers. The igfxEM enables users to see and change the settings and properties of the Graphic card using the provided GUI acting as a middleware between the users and the Intel graphics.

Being a non-core windows file, the igfxEm.exe file exists in a fixed location, which is (C:\\Windows\System32\igdxEm.exe). If you find the .exe file anywhere else, there is a strong possibility of the file being a harmful malware.

Thus, stopping and restarting this service may resolve the error you are facing. Follow the steps given below to stop and restart the service:

Step 1 – Press the Windows logo key and R together to open the run dialogue box. Open the task manager by typing ‘taskmgr‘ in the run command dialogue box.

Step 2 – In the task manager, the dialogue box finds the processes tab and click on it. Then find the igfxEm process.

Step 3 – Right-click on the igfxEM.exe process and choose to end the process option. Restart your Steam client using administrator.

Try downloading the game again and see if the missing file privileges error pops up again or not. If the problem still persists try the next fix.

Method 2: Changing The Download Region

Among one of the most effective solutions for the steam missing file privileges error in steam is changing the download region. The Steam content system is classified into various regions.

As a result, our steam client automatically searches and detects your region using your network. After which the steam client sets the detected region as the default region.

This default region setting by the steam client can sometimes result in errors. The errors may occur due to servers not working in a specific region because of a hardware failure or a system overload. Thus, changing the download region can solve this issue.

Follow the steps given below:

Step 1 – Open your Steam client. Find the ‘Settings‘ option from the drop-down menu in the upper left corner of the steam window and click on it.

Step 2 – Find and click on the ‘Downloads‘ option. Then go to the ‘Download Region‘ option.

Step 3 –Change’ the current default download region with any of the other regions in the list.

Step 4 – ‘Restart’ steam and check for the error again.

If the problem is still prevalent try the next fix.

Method 3: Rebooting PC

Yes, you read it right. Simply rebooting your computer may be a prominent solution for the problem. If the reason behind the steam missing file privileges error were some mere invisible technical issues, then just a restart is enough to solve the problem.

Sometimes, multiple tasks are running in the background while the steam is installing or updating a game. The overburden on the computer might be causing the error and interfering with the installation or update of the game and can be solved by rebooting your system.

The software divides the data of the games into small pieces of 1MB and then reassembles these pieces for correct performance while downloading or updating the game in steam. The steam uses this method to prevent any corrupt downloads and to save the right amount of your bandwidth.

Thus, restarting your computer is the simplest solution for the problem. If the problem is still prevalent try the next fix.

Method 4: Giving Administrator Privileges To Steam

Steam needs to read and write on your computer system to perform consistently. If your computer treats steam like a Read-Only program, this might be causing interference and causing the error in your system.

As a result, steam is not able to write on the different files and therefore, gets stuck while trying to install or update the program. The most prominent solution, in this case, is to grant steam with the Administrator Privileges.

Follow the steps given below:

Step 1 – Open your Steam Directory from its default location that is (C:\Program Files\Steam). In case you have installed steam in any other directory, then find and open it from there.

Step 2 – Right-click on the steam folder and then select Properties. Find the Security Tab in the properties window. Then find the Advanced Option and click on it.

Step 3 – Edit the first four rows in the next window by clicking on the respective row and then clicking the button named Edit. In the new window check all of the checkboxes including the Full Control option box and then click on Apply to save the changes. Follow the same process for all the four editable rows.

Step 4 – Right-clicking on steam to launch it. Then select Run as administrator and check whether the steam missing file privileges error has resolved or not.

If the problem is still prevalent try the next fix.

Method 5: Granting Full Control To The Affected File

The same error as above can occur with the affected file in the steam directory. In this case, you can grant the specific file affected by the error full access so that the error can be resolved quickly without the need of issuing the full permission to every file in the folder.

The location of the affected file will be mentioned in the error message popping up. Follow the steps given below:

Step 1 – Open the exact location of the affected file by using the Run application, or you can go to the library tab in steam and then right-click on the game showing the error and then select properties to see the file location.

Step 2 – After finding the error affected file, follow the same steps mentioned in Method 4 above to grant full administrator privileges and access to the specific file.

Step 3 – Restart Steam and check whether the steam missing file privileges error persists.

If the error is still persistent try the next fix.

Method 6: Repairing The Library Folder And Verifying Its Integrity

A corrupt Steam Library Folder can be the cause of the problem. Your missing game files can be a visible issue too. Using the verify integrity tool is a useful solution in this scenario.

Follow the steps given below to use the verify integrity tool:

Step 1 – Open your Steam client, and then click on the steam icon at the upper left corner of the window. From the drop-down menu, find the settings option and click on it.

Step 2 – Now, go to the Downloads tab. Find the Steam Library Folder and click on it.

Step  3- The list of all the locations in your system where steam has been installed will appear on your screen along with steam has used the storage space — Right-Click on it and select Repair Steam Library from the drop-down menu.

Step 4 – Move on to the Verify Integrity of the Game Files and exit the settings.

Step 5 – Go to your games library and right-click on the game, which is causing the error and then chooses Properties.

Step 6 – Find the Local Files tab in the drop-down menu and then click on the Verify Integrity of Game Files Option. Steam will then automatically start verifying all the files present for the games. It will download any missing file and replace it with the corrupted one automatically.

If the problem is still persistent try the next method.

Method 7: Deleting Files In Safe Mode

Deleting all the files related to the game and downloading the files right from the beginning, thereby avoiding errors and corruptions is the last solution to try.

Follow the steps given below to delete files in safe mode:

Step 1 – Boot your computer in the safe mode.

Step 2 – Once you enter Safe Mode, find the file location that you have noted earlier.

Step 3 – Once you reach the Steam apps list, click on the Download Folder and delete all the contents of the download folder.

Step 4 – Restart your computer again.

Step 5 – Using administrator access launch steam and follow the steps mentioned in Method 6 again to verify the Library and Integrity of the Game files before downloading again.

Why is “Content File Locked” on Steam?

“Content File Locked” is a variant of the file privilege error. It essentially means that Steam can’t write updates to a game’s file, either because it doesn’t have the necessary permissions, or because the file is being accessed by another process or software.

How to Clear Steam File Privileges Cache?

Resolving the file privilege error often requires resetting Steam’s cache. Here’s how you can clear it:

  1. Restart Steam: Start with the simplest solution. Exit Steam and restart it to see if the error persists.
  2. Run as Administrator: Right-click the Steam shortcut, select ‘Run as administrator’, and grant the necessary permissions. This step can resolve potential privilege issues.
  3. Exclude from Antivirus: Check your antivirus settings and whitelist Steam, ensuring it doesn’t block or quarantine any game files.
  4. Repair Library Folder: Navigate to Steam > Settings > Downloads > Steam Library Folders. Right-click on your library folder and select ‘Repair Library Folder’.
  5. Clear Download Cache: Within Steam, go to Settings > Downloads > Clear Download Cache. This will reset any local download data, potentially resolving any file conflicts.
  6. Check Disk for Errors: For Windows 10, open ‘This PC’, right-click on the drive where Steam is installed, select ‘Properties’, go to the ‘Tools’ tab, and click ‘Check’. This tool will scan and repair potential disk errors.


Yippee! Hopefully, we have finally resolved the steam missing file privileges error in steam. Make sure to follow the steps accordingly. Try finding out the root cause for the error first and then follow the respective method to solve the Steam Missing File Privileges Error in Steam.

While Steam offers a gateway to a world of gaming, technical glitches like the “Missing File Privileges” error can occasionally hinder the experience. By understanding the core of these issues and armed with step-by-step solutions tailored for Windows 10, users can swiftly navigate these challenges, ensuring a smooth and immersive gaming journey.