Steam Delete of steam.exe failed

Delete of steam.exe failed, Win32 Error 5 Access is denied (Steam Update stalls at 26 or 27%)

  • Steam fails to install or update and returns the error Steam.exe (Main Exception): ERROR: delete of steam.exe failed,Win32 Error 5 ‘Access is denied’ or Steam.exe (main exception): ERROR: deleted Steam.exe but the file is still there – what should I do?
  • Steam attempts to update but repeatedly progresses to 26 orĀ 27% then restarts the update, or stalls at 27%.

This error is caused by a lack of user permissions, having the Steam.exe file attributes set to “Read Only”, or by another program interfering with Steam’s installation process (if the Steam client application has been updated to a version which was not included with your Steam installer package, Steam will download a new copy of itself and then delete the old Steam.exe file unless another program interferes).

  1. Check your Windows user permissions

    Please ensure that you are logged in as an administrator on the machine which you are using to install Steam.

    Even if you are currently logged in as an administrator, it may be necessary to create a new administrator account to resolve the issue. Permissions issues can still occur even when logged in as the administrator.

  2. Check file attributes
    1. Right-click on the Steam.exe file which was created after running the Steam Installer and select Properties
    2. Uncheck the Read-only checkbox if it is checked and hit Apply before closing the window
    3. Try running the Steam.exe file once more


  3. Check your security software’s settings

    If you are running an antivirus program, firewall program, or any security product which may be interfering with the deletion and replacement of the Steam.exe file (some security software will check a file’s information every time it is changed and block automatic replacement of files) please check your settings for the program and make sure that you are prompted to allow activities which may trigger the security software.

  4. Disable any programs which interfere with Steam

    Please consult the topic linked below and make sure any programs on the list are either disabled or uninstalled:
    Programs Which Interfere with Steam

  5. Remove Spyware, Adware, and Viruses

    If the issue persists it is possible that a virus, adware, or spyware may be interfering with the installation process. Please see the topic linked below for instructions to remove the offending program:
    Spyware, Adware, and Viruses Interfering with Steam


Some users have reported that restarting your computer in Safe Mode allows Steam to update successfully.

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