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Old 05-07-2011, 01:24 PM   #1
DarkIce
 
 
 
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Post Slow Steam/Compatibility Mode Fix

Slow Steam/Compatibility Mode Fix:

See the Steam Guide version!

This guide explains step by step how to remove Windows Compatibility Settings that are applied without warning and don't appear in the properties window of the .exe files, often making Steam run slower, freeze or hang.

About this guide

This guide explains step by step how to remove Windows Compatibility Settings on Steam, the Steam Overlay and the Steam Service that don't appear in the properties window of the .exe files. Windows often applies settings without any warning or permission, which means that Steam will typically run slower, freeze or hang. This issue is made worse because Steam only sometimes warns for settings applied to Steam but never the Steam Overlay or Steam Service.

You might find that this fix helps prevent freezing or that Steam runs faster even if no messages have appeared and you're not having any issues, because Steam should never be run in compatibility mode.

These settings could be added by Windows again later without your knowledge, so it's useful to check again, especially if the issues reappear.

This guide is suitable for all versions of Windows that Steam supports.


How to fix the issue

This requires quick and simple editing of the registry. Make sure you only remove entries with "Steam" in their title at the locations below.

You may wish to Easily Back Up The Registry in Windows before performing the steps below.

NB: The settings may be in one or both sets of locations listed below depending on if Steam was installed and used on the same Windows account and/or was used on a different Windows account.

For example: Steam could be installed and used on Windows account X and then also used on Windows account Y.

Using more than one Steam account does not affect this and you may not have all the folders listed below.


• Press Win + R and type regedit.exe and press enter or click OK.

Run Help Image

• Navigate to the relevant section(s) of this guide.

Installed/used on one Windows account

If Steam was installed and used on the same Windows account:

• Navigate to: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\AppCompatFlags\Compatibility Assistant\Persisted\
• Remove all entries with "Steam" in their title.

• From \Compatibility Assistant\, navigate to \Store\
• Remove all entries with "Steam" in their title.

• From \AppCompatFlags\, navigate to: \Layers\
• Once more, remove all entries with "Steam" in their title.

Regedit Help Image

If Steam is still running, restart it.

Installed/used on other Windows accounts

If Steam was installed on one Windows account but used on another:

• Navigate to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\AppCompatFlags\Compatibility Assistant\Persisted\
• Remove all entries with "Steam" in their title.

• From \Compatibility Assistant\, navigate to \Store\
• Remove all entries with "Steam" in their title.

• From \AppCompatFlags\, navigate to: \Layers\
• Once more, remove all entries with "Steam" in their title.

Regedit Help Image

If Steam is still running, restart it.


More info about the issue

When the Program Compatibility Assistant message does appear, the Compatibility tab of the program reports that no settings have been applied (which is also the case if the message doesn't appear), yet in some cases, Steam complains that it shouldn't be run in compatibility mode.

Program Compatibility Assistant Image

Steam Properties Image

In my case, both Windows and Steam didn't warn that compatibly settings had been applied, which makes this issue even more problematic, especially when they can be applied to either Steam, the Overlay or the Steam Service and only a warning is displayed for Steam.

Before this fix, Steam was opening slowly, freezing frequently and hanging on "Preparing to launch..." for games. In addition, Team Fortress 2 froze for 10 seconds whenever the backpack, class loadout or server browser was opened.

After defragging, scanning for errors and scanning for viruses, the issue was still present. It was only after Windows stated that compatibility settings had been applied to "GameOverlayUI.exe" that the cause was found: In regedit under the compatibility layer keys, several items were listed with Steam, including the Steam client itself, which Windows had failed to mention before.

After removing all entries related to Steam, the client opened and logged in almost instantly. The "Preparing to launch..." window appeared for a much shorter duration before playing games too.

Later, after I bought new PC and installed a fresh copy of Windows, Steam was freezing while opening again. The cause once more was that Windows had applied compatibility settings without warning to SteamService.exe, with no warning from Steam either.

In addition, each time Steam is removed from: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\AppCompatFlags\Compatibility Assistant\Store\ and then Steam is opened, the entry is added again, although none of issues listed above reoccur after this single entry is re-added.


Rep is appreciated if this was helpful.


Some Users Helped

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobsbarricades View Post
this helped me. Steam was telling me it was running in compat mode but when I went to the .exe there wasn't anything there. Did as directed and, to my surprise, no error message AND it does indeed run faster.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Torico View Post
Ah, thanks for this, my Steam was hanging alot, even on fresh install.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Satoru View Post
I've literally linked to this thread a few dozen times last month alone.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ch£lSea View Post
Thank you for helping to fix
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slayer00 View Post
Thanks for the fix!
Quote:
Originally Posted by deathekid View Post
thanks you!

Last edited by DarkIce: 06-16-2013 at 07:42 PM. Reason: Completely refreshed and revamped guide
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Old 12-18-2011, 06:39 PM   #2
DarkIce
 
 
 
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Bumping so people can see.
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Old 12-18-2011, 10:00 PM   #3
Satoru
 
 
 
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Yeah my comment was stupid because I've literally linked to this thread a few dozen times last month alone.

Last edited by Satoru: 03-05-2012 at 10:03 AM.
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Old 12-19-2011, 10:11 AM   #4
DarkIce
 
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Satoru View Post
Bumping is against the rules so don't do it.
Maybe you should take time to read the rules yourself first before commenting:

Quote:
Do not: Bump threads unless you have a good reason.
This is useful to others so they don't make new posts and clearly explains how to solve the issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Satoru View Post
Also seems like overkill to have users to go into the registry which can be dangerous. Especially when there is an easier way to do so just by setting compatiblity mode on the exe directly through the properties menu.
Please try actually reading my post before making a comment about how to solve the issue:
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkIce View Post
Looking at the programs' "Compatibility" tab reports that no settings have been applied but in this case, Steam complains that it shouldn't be run in compatibility mode.
There is no risk if you follow the clear instructions.

Last edited by DarkIce: 01-28-2012 at 02:50 AM. Reason: Fixed mistake
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Old 12-19-2011, 11:04 AM   #5
Satoru
 
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkIce View Post

There is no risk if you follow the clear instructions.
My point was that it would be better to first outline the manual steps first by right clicking on the exe and changing the compatibility mode. Then if that didn't work, it would then be appropriate to give users the registry editing option.

While yes if you follow the directions you won't do anything wrong, but what if the user deletes the wrong tree due to a window focus issue. You'd be surprised the horrible things people will do despite straight forward instructions. Editing the registry isn't without risks so it would be better to advise the first, safer option, before opting to the more dangerous one. Not saying your tip is bad, but I just think giving the safer option first would be more prudent, then giving the second option with an appropriate "Editing the registry can do horrible things please be careful" warning.
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Old 12-19-2011, 11:29 AM   #6
DarkIce
 
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Satoru View Post
My point was that it would be better to first outline the manual steps first by right clicking on the exe and changing the compatibility mode. Then if that didn't work, it would then be appropriate to give users the registry editing option.

While yes if you follow the directions you won't do anything wrong, but what if the user deletes the wrong tree due to a window focus issue. You'd be surprised the horrible things people will do despite straight forward instructions. Editing the registry isn't without risks so it would be better to advise the first, safer option, before opting to the more dangerous one. Not saying your tip is bad, but I just think giving the safer option first would be more prudent, then giving the second option with an appropriate "Editing the registry can do horrible things please be careful" warning.
With the way compatibility settings are applied by Windows to Steam, they're never shown in the Compatibility tab but only in the registry.

I don't see a need to add "be careful" when I said that only keys with "Steam" in their title should be deleted; and regedit warns before you delete a key.

Also, there are step by step instructions - if there's a "window focus issue" then adding a warning wouldn't help with it.

Last edited by DarkIce: 02-28-2012 at 02:02 PM. Reason: Fixed mistake
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Old 12-21-2011, 08:58 PM   #7
deathekid
 
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thanks you!
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Old 12-22-2011, 09:32 AM   #8
DarkIce
 
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deathekid View Post
thanks you!
No problem.
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Old 01-05-2012, 03:01 PM   #9
Secrios
 
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I think I broke the steam warning system for compatiibility mode, how do I fix it?
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Old 01-22-2012, 08:36 PM   #10
DarkIce
 
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Secrios View Post
I think I broke the steam warning system for compatiibility mode, how do I fix it?
Follow the instructions in my original post. Remember that a warning is not always given.

Last edited by DarkIce: 01-22-2012 at 08:59 PM.
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Old 01-27-2012, 02:03 PM   #11
bobsbarricades
 
 
 
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this helped me. Steam was telling me it was running in compat mode but when I went to the .exe there wasn't anything there. Did as directed and, to my surprise, no error message AND it does indeed run faster.

+rep, stop fighting
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Old 01-28-2012, 02:35 AM   #12
DarkIce
 
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobsbarricades View Post
this helped me. Steam was telling me it was running in compat mode but when I went to the .exe there wasn't anything there. Did as directed and, to my surprise, no error message AND it does indeed run faster.

+rep, stop fighting
Thanks, glad it worked for you.

Nobody is or was fighting. If you're referring to the above messages, you're replying to conversation that finished nearly two months ago.

Last edited by DarkIce: 01-28-2012 at 02:54 AM.
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Old 01-28-2012, 09:13 AM   #13
bobsbarricades
 
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkIce View Post
Thanks, glad it worked for you.

Nobody is or was fighting. If you're referring to the above messages, you're replying to conversation that finished nearly two months ago.
haha, yea it was more a jest like comment =)
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Old 01-28-2012, 10:28 AM   #14
DarkIce
 
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobsbarricades View Post
haha, yea it was more a jest like comment =)
Didn't really appear that way though.

Last edited by DarkIce: 01-30-2012 at 10:54 AM.
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Old 02-16-2012, 04:31 AM   #15
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Thanks for the fix!
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