How To Fix “Missing File Privileges” Error in Steam

Missing File Privileges Steam Error. Have trouble with Steam not launching your game because of missing file privileges? Follow this guide!

It's a problem many gamers have to deal with: the dreaded "Missing file privileges" error in Steam. In this post, we'll go over how to fix this frustrating error in Steam and get you back into your games! 

Steam is an excellent gaming platform for PC gamers to play their favorite titles from all genres including RPGs, simulation games, FPSs, MOBAs, and more. It offers a huge catalog of free-to-play games as well as premium AAA developer titles. However, occasionally players will encounter a pesky issue where they can't seem to launch the game due to missing file privileges on Windows 10/8/7 operating systems.

This issue may happen for a few different reasons, but we’re here to help you resolve it no matter the cause. Let’s get started right away!

steam error missing file privileges


Table of Contents 

Solved: Steam error “Missing file privileges” on Windows

The solutions below were written for Windows 10 and Windows 11 operating systems. However, they may work on some other platforms as well, such as older Windows OS, and Steam-specific solutions work even on macOS.

Method 1. Terminate the “igfxEm Module” process

The igfxEM.exe process is the executable file and component of the Intel Graphic Executable Main Module. It shows up in the Task Manager as the “igfxEm Module” and may interfere with Steam. You can safely exit this process and see if that solves your problems with a game not launching due to missing file privileges.

  1. Right-click on an empty space in your taskbar and choose Task Manager from the context menu.
    terminate egfxem module
  2. Stay on the default Processes tab. Scroll down until you find the igfxEm Module process and select it by clicking on it once. Terminate the process by clicking on the End task button.
    task manager
  3. After terminating the process, check if you can launch the game on Steam.

Method 2. Change your download region in Steam

Steam allows you to download games from different regions, giving you the option to potentially speed up the process. According to several users, switching to a new region helps resolve the missing file privileges error as well.

  1. Open the Steam app and then use the header menu to navigate to the Steam > Settings interface.
    steam settings
  2. Using the menu on the left side, select Downloads. Here, look for the drop-down menu under Download Region. Select a different region than your current one, preferably a location close to you, and click OK.
    steam settings
  3. Check if you can launch the game now.

Method 3. Clear Steam’s download cache

Steam stores cache just like most other apps on your computer. In the case that this cache is interfering with Steam, you can clear it and check whether it resolved the problem.

  1. Open the Steam app and then use the header menu to navigate to the Steam > Settings > Downloads location. Click on the button that says Clear download cache.
    clear download acche
  2. On the confirmation window, click the OK button. Make sure you have your Steam login details ready, as you’ll be asked to sign in again!
    clear download cache
  3. After the Steam app restarts, enter your login details and try to launch the game that previously gave you the “Missing file privileges” error.

Method 4. Repair the Steam Library folder

The Steam Library is one of the vital parts of your application. It stores most, if not all of your game files. Repairing this folder has a large chance of resolving “Missing file privileges” on your computer.

  1. Open the Steam app and then use the header menu to navigate to the Steam > Settings > Downloads location. Under the Content Libraries section, click on the button that says Steam library folders.
    steam download libary
  2. Click on the three dots next to your library folder to bring up the Settings context menu. From here, click on the Repair Folder option.
    repair folder
  3. Click Yes if prompted by the User Account Control (UAC) to give Steam permissions for restoring the files. If you're using a local account that doesn't have administrator permissions, click here first.
    repiar folder
  4. Wait for Steam to repair your Steam Library folder, and then test if you’re able to launch the game.

Method 5. Verify your game files on Steam

Game files can become corrupted or missing for a variety of reasons. Luckily, there’s a built-in tool to verify file integrity and restore any game files that differ from what’s needed to launch the game properly.

  1. Open the Steam app and go to your Library. Select the game giving you trouble, and then right-click on it once to open a context menu. Here, click on the Properties option.
    verify game files in steam
  2. Using the menu on the left, click on the Local files option. On the new page, click the Verify integrity of game files button.
    verify intergrity of game files
  3. Wait for the “All files successfully validated.” message to show up in a pop-up box. Now, you can try if Steam is able to launch the game.

Method 6. Restart Steam as administrator

In some cases, Steam needs specific permissions to launch games on your computer. To make sure it has everything it needs, you can launch Steam with administrative privileges and eliminate the possible error.

  1. Exit out of Steam entirely by going to Steam > Exit. This will close the application instead of it running in the background.
    restart steam as admin
  2. Use the search interface in your taskbar (alternatively the Windows + S shortcut) to locate the Steam application. From the search results, right-click on Steam and choose Run as administrator from the context menu.
    resart steam as admin
  3. Click Yes when prompted by the User Account Control to allow Steam the necessary permissions for launch with administrator privileges. Click here if you want to learn how to convert your local Windows account into an administrator.
    restart steam as admin
  4. After Steam is open again, check whether or not you can play the game that was giving you the “Missing file privileges” error previously.

Method 7. Temporarily disable your antivirus

Antivirus software, especially third-party, may detect some files in your game as false positives. This means that the software thinks there are malicious files in your installation, which in turn get flagged and blocked. To make sure this doesn’t happen, temporarily disable your antivirus app and see if the game is able to launch.

  1. Right-click on an empty space in your taskbar and choose Task Manager from the context menu.
  2. Switch to the Start-up tab using the header menu located at the top of the window. Here, find your antivirus application from the list and select it by clicking on it once.
  3. Click on the Disable button now visible in the bottom-right of the window. This will disable the application from launching when you start your device.
    disable antivirus
  4. Restart your computer and see if you can open the game on Steam. If you’re still experiencing the same issue, we highly recommend turning your antivirus back on.

Method 8. Correct user permissions

The main cause for the “Missing file privileges” error is that your local user doesn’t have the right permissions to open the program. Fix this and you may be able to launch the game!

  1. Press the Windows + R keys on your keyboard. This is going to bring up the Run utility. Type in %ProgramFiles(x86)% and click on the OK button. This will open up a File Explorer window in the correct location.
    correct user permissions
  2. Right-click on the Steam folder, and then select Properties from the context menu. A new window should open up.
    steam folder properties
  3. Switch to the Security tab, and then click on the Advanced button.
    secueity tab
  4. Select the first option from the Permission entries. It should be named something like “Users (Your computer name\Users)”. After it’s selected, click on the Edit button.
    edit user persmissions
  5. Make sure that the Full control option is selected. This is going to give you full permission to the Steam folder. Click OK after verifying that the option is enabled.
    edit user permissions
  6. Repeat the same steps for the SYSTEM entry in your Permission entries, and then click Apply when both have Full control written in the Access column.
    allow permissions
  7. Try to launch the game on Steam now.

Method 9. Uninstall and reinstall SteamVR

This solution works for SteamVR only. Many users have confirmed that simply uninstalling SteamVR and then downloading the latest version fixes this frustrating problem.

Method 10. Reinstall the game

If nothing has helped, the last thing you can try is completely uninstalling the game that’s giving you trouble, and then reinstalling it again.

  1. Open Steam and go to your Library. Here, right-click on the game giving you the “Missing file privileges” error, and hover over Manage from the context menu.
  2. Click Uninstall from the available options.
  3. Click Uninstall again to confirm that you want to remove the game. Wait until the uninstallation process finishes.
  4. Click on the game from the sidebar, and click on the Install button. Complete the installation process and see if you can play now.

Final thoughts

There you have it — all the working solutions to fix the "Missing file privileges" error on Steam. Now, you can get back to playing your favorite games easier than ever before! If any of these methods didn't work for you or if you have additional problems, check our Help Center and Blog for more information about troubleshooting issues.

Get early access to our blog posts, promotions, and discount codes when you subscribe to our newsletter! You’ll get the best price on all products we offer at SoftwareKeep. Want more articles from us? Check out our blog page for more tech articles updated regularly!

You can also visit our Help Center where there are lots of articles about various tech topics that might interest you too. Thanks for reading!

Recommended articles

» How to access and use Steam screenshot folder on Windows 10
» How to Optimize Windows 10 For Gaming
» Solved: Windows 10 Not Detecting Second Monitor

Need help? Our team of experts is always available to answer any questions or concerns! Contact us by email, live chat, and phone every day of the week.