Many players reported that SteamVR isn’t working correctly, such as crashing or not starting, and this has completely spoiled their VR experience. If you’re one of them, don’t worry. To save your time searching, here we’ve rounded up all the common & effective fixes for the SteamVR not working issue.

Fixes to try:

Here are 7 fixes that have helped other players with SteamVR not working. We recommend you follow the solutions one by one until your issue gets fixed.

  1. Change the PC power plan
  2. Update your graphics driver
  3. Adjust the NVIDIA settings
  4. Run Steam as an administrator
  5. Disable SteamVR add-ons
  6. Opt into SteamVR beta
  7. Disable in-game overlay

If you’re using Oculus devices with SteamVR but run into some weird audio problems, follow these guide to troubleshoot your Oculus Rift S and Quest 2.

Fix 1 – Change the PC power plan

If your computer is running on the Balanced or Power saver plans as default, try switching to High Performance, as this might increase the PC performance and solve your SteamVR not working issue.

  1. On your keyboard, press the Windows logo key and R at the same time to open the Run command. Then, type powercfg.cpl and click OK.
  2. Select High performance. If you don’t see it, click the downward arrow next to Show additional plans to expand the list.

After the changes are applied, test your SteamVR. If the issue is still there, check out the second fix.

Fix 2 – Update your graphics driver

To ensure SteamVR runs properly and brings the best possible VR gameplay, it’s necessary for you to install the latest graphics driver on your PC. And there are mainly two ways for you to get the right drivers for your graphics card: manually or automatically (recommended).

Option 1 – Download and install the driver manually

GPU manufacturers keep updating their drivers for performance improvements. To update your driver manually, you need to visit the website of AMD or NVIDIA and find the drivers corresponding with your specific flavor of Windows version (for example, Windows 32 bit).

Once you’ve downloaded the correct drivers for your system, double-click on the downloaded file and follow the on-screen instructions to install the driver.

Option 2 – Automatically update your graphics driver

If you don’t have the time, patience or computer skills to update the graphics driver manually, you can do it automatically with Driver Easy.

Driver Easy will automatically recognize your system and find the correct drivers for it. You don’t need to know exactly what system your computer is running, you don’t need to risk downloading and installing the wrong driver, and you don’t need to worry about making a mistake when installing.

  1. Download and install Driver Easy.
  2. Run Driver Easy and click the Scan Now button. Driver Easy will then scan your computer and detect any problem drivers.
  3. Click Update All to automatically download and install the correct version of all the drivers that are missing or out of date on your system (this requires the Pro version – you’ll be prompted to upgrade when you click Update All).
    You can click Update to do it for free, but it’s partly manual.

Driver update is a solid fix for many types of program glitches. But if it doesn’t help your case, take a look at the following fixes.

Fix 3 – Adjust the NVIDIA settings

If you’re using an NVIDIA graphics card, you should set the power management mode correctly to avoid performance issues with SteamVR. Here’s how:

  1. Right-click any empty space on your desktop and click NVIDIA Control Panel.
  2. Select 3D settings > Manage 3D settings from the left pane.
  3. Click the Program Settings tab and click Add to select Steam to customize.
  4. In the settings list, locate Power management mode and set it to Prefer maximum performance.

Once completed, check if SteamVR returns to normal. If the problem reoccurs, there are a few more methods for you.

Fix 4 – Run SteamVR as an administrator

SteamVR won’t work properly when your Steam client fails to access the necessary permissions it requires. So to resolve this, you should run Steam as an administrator.

  1. Right-click the Steam icon on your desktop and select Properties.
  2. Navigate to the Compatibility tab. Then tick Run this program as an administrator and click OK.

Relaunch SteamVR to see if it functions well. If not, move on to the next method below.

Fix 5 – Disable SteamVR add-ons

As some players reported, when certain add-ons are enabled, SteamVR starts to malfunction. You can simply disable them all or do it one by one to identify the cause.

  1. Launch SteamVR. Then click the icon at the top left corner and select Settings.
  2. Select the Startup/Shutdown tab.
  3. Click MANAGE ADD-ONS.
  4. Disable all the add-ons or you could test each one until you find what triggers the problem.

Does SteamVR work as expected? If not, check out the next solution.

Fix 6 – Opt into SteamVR beta

If SteamVR isn’t performing the right way, then consider enrolling in the Beta version. It delivers the latest features and comes with bug fixes that may bring your SteamVR back on track.

  1. Launch the Steam client and go to the Library tab.
  2. Right-click Steam from the list and click Properties.
  3. Select the BETAS tab. Then on the right pane, choose beta – SteamVR Beta Update from the drop-down menu and close the window.

Restart SteamVR to see if it runs without trouble now. If not, revert the settings back and proceed to the last fix.

Fix 7 – Disable in-game overlay

According to other players, the in-game overlay can also be a culprit of the SteamVR not working problem. To see if that’s the cause, try to disable any overlays you’re using on Steam, NVIDIA GeForce Experience or Discord.

Below we’ll show you how to turn off the Steam overlay:

  1. Launch Steam. Then click Steam at the top left corner and click Settings.
  2. Select the In-Game tab and uncheck the boxes as the screenshot. Then click OK to save the changes.

Try SteamVR with your devices and see if everything works fine now. If all the fixes above didn’t do the trick, reinstall your SteamVR as a last resort.

Hopefully this post helped. If you have further questions or suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment below.

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