SteamVR Not Working? Here’s How To Fix It (2024)

SteamVR isn’t a virtual-reality device in and of itself. Instead, it lets users with VR headsets link up with games they have on Steam and play in the virtual environment.

Unfortunately, it can take a little elbow grease to get SteamVR working the right way unless you’re one of the players who get lucky enough to link in and start playing. There are a few different avenues to fixing SteamVR problems, depending on what issue you’re experiencing.

Table of Contents

Why Won’t SteamVR Work?

SteamVR has different problems for different users, depending on the situation. Here are some common issues and causes you might face.

  • Outdated Drivers: Your computer software and drivers are out of date. So often, problems with specific computer programs can be traced back to outdated drivers or uninstalled OS updates. Check whether you’re missing these if SteamVR won’t work with your VR headset.
  • Corrupt Software: The SteamVR software itself is corrupt or missing necessary files. Sometimes even an often-used program experiences a problem that prevents it from working until the program is repaired. Steam does offer an option to try to fix the installation, but you can also reinstall it.
  • Third-Party Application: Certain programs create conflicts that prevent SteamVR from operating the way it should. Finding and killing the conflicting programs should stop the issue from recurring.
  • Incorrect System Settings: Depending on your specific issues, settings and selections in different menus may need to be changed.
  • Device Lag: The headset can connect and work in SteamVR, but the lag can make it unplayable.

It’s impossible to narrow down the solution until you start trying a variety of fixes. Most of them should be easy enough to try so you can locate the problem, fix it, and get back to enjoying your games.

Fixing SteamVR Not Working

If SteamVR isn’t working for you at all, the following solutions might get it going again. Don’t give up on playing VR while linked into Steam when the fixes are generally super easy to perform.

Enable Unknown Sources

If your VR headset requires you to turn on unknown sources manually, you need to activate that setting before you can play SteamVR. For example, Oculus players will not be able to use the program until they do these steps in the desktop program.

  1. Launch the Oculus desktop software.
  2. Choose Settings from the left pane.
    SteamVR Not Working? Here’s How To Fix It (1)
  3. Choose General.
  4. Turn on Unknown Sources.
    SteamVR Not Working? Here’s How To Fix It (2)
  5. Close the program.
  6. Restart your headset.
  7. Restart SteamVR.

Now you can try to connect to the program again. If it still isn’t working, proceed to the next steps.

Check for Updates

Both your drivers and your operating system need to be updated. If you aren’t in the habit of keeping them current, it’s worth considering because it can cut down on issues you run into with your system.

To check for updates to Windows:

  1. Press the Windows Key + X.
  2. Choose Settings.
  3. Click Update & Security.
    SteamVR Not Working? Here’s How To Fix It (3)
  4. Click Windows Update.
  5. Click Check for Updates. Windows should start downloading and installing them if they’re available.
    SteamVR Not Working? Here’s How To Fix It (4)

Update Your Drivers

The most important drivers to update are your GPU drivers regarding issues with SteamVR. The best way to update your Graphics driver is through their respective management programs.


NVIDIA uses a program called GeForce Experience to manage its driver downloads.

  1. Launch the GeForce experience.
  2. Select the Drivers tab.
    SteamVR Not Working? Here’s How To Fix It (5)
  3. Click Download if the button is available. It will only appear if an update is available, so if you’re up to date, you can close the program without making further changes.
  4. Wait for the update to download to your PC, assuming one is available.
  5. Start the installation process. Choose Custom or Express at your preference. Custom means you can choose which elements of the update are installed.
    SteamVR Not Working? Here’s How To Fix It (6)
  6. Click Yes.
  7. Wait for the driver updates to install.
  8. Restart your computer.
  9. Restart your VR headset.


AMD uses the AMD Radeon Settings to manage its driver updates.

  1. Open AMD Radeon Settings.
  2. Choose the Updates option.
    SteamVR Not Working? Here’s How To Fix It (7)
  3. Choose Check for Updates, and then select Update Now from the menu.
    SteamVR Not Working? Here’s How To Fix It (8)
  4. Click Proceed, then click Upgrade.
  5. Wait for the driver updates to finish.
  6. Restart your computer.
  7. Restart your VR headset.

These operating system and driver updates may help SteamVR to work correctly again.

Power Cycle Your Router and Modem

Sometimes the issue with the connection isn’t the program or the headset. Sometimes it’s the connection the devices have to the internet. This is much more likely if you’re using a wireless connection between the computer and the headset.

  1. Turn off the computer and the VR headset you’re using.
    SteamVR Not Working? Here’s How To Fix It (9)
  2. Unplug both the router and the modem. If you’re using an all-in-one device, you’ll only need to do these steps once for the whole machine.
    SteamVR Not Working? Here’s How To Fix It (10)
  3. Wait a few minutes.
  4. Plug the modem back in. Watch the lights on the unit to see that they’re all lit, indicating it’s operating correctly.
  5. Plug the router back in. Watch the lights on the unit until you know it’s working.
  6. Turn on your PC and launch SteamVR.
  7. Turn on the headset and connect to the computer with SteamVR.

If that solves the problem, you’re probably good to continue using SteamVR without making any other significant changes.

Change Steam and SteamVR Settings

Sometimes running Steam as an administrator or disabling certain functions in the program settings for SteamVR can make it work again. Acting as an administrator means Steam has more access and control. Disabling settings that affect SteamVR’s performance can help fix problems running it.

  1. Find your Steam executable file. For many people, it will be in your Program Files (x86)\Steam folder on the drive where Steam is installed.
    SteamVR Not Working? Here’s How To Fix It (11)
  2. Right-click Steam.exe.
  3. Select Properties.
    SteamVR Not Working? Here’s How To Fix It (12)
  4. Click the Compatibility tab.
    SteamVR Not Working? Here’s How To Fix It (13)
  5. Click Run This Program as an Administrator.
    SteamVR Not Working? Here’s How To Fix It (14)
  6. Click OK.
  7. Launch Steam and go to your Library.
  8. Right-click SteamVR.
    SteamVR Not Working? Here’s How To Fix It (15)
  9. Choose Properties.
  10. Choose General.
  11. Uncheck Enable the Steam Overlay While In-Game.
    SteamVR Not Working? Here’s How To Fix It (16)
  12. Close the window.

Now restart your computer and try to run SteamVR again to see whether the problem is solved.

Repair SteamVR

Steam offers a process to repair software by scanning the files for missing or corrupted pieces, removing them, downloading fresh copies, and installing them. Running a repair operation on SteamVR may find no error, or it may see many. Either way, the tool can help you fix problems that keep the software from running.

  1. Open Steam and click Library to see a list of your owned games.
  2. Right-click SteamVR in the game entries. It may be under the Tools heading. You can also use the search function to find it more quickly if you own many games.
    SteamVR Not Working? Here’s How To Fix It (17)
  3. Select Properties.
  4. Click Local Files.
  5. Click Verify Integrity of Game Files. The program will begin to check the files with a percentage telling you how much has been checked. Wait for it to finish before doing anything else.
    SteamVR Not Working? Here’s How To Fix It (18)
  6. Wait for the program to reacquire and reinstall the pieces that were damaged or missing. If nothing is wrong with the SteamVR installation, it will tell you that all the files were successfully validated.

Steam returned no errors when I did this and said that 6083 files were successfully validated. If you get a message saying files couldn’t be fixed, you may need to go further.

Reinstall SteamVR

If your VR headset and SteamVR aren’t working together, consider completely reinstalling SteamVR. The repair process can fix many issues, but a complete reinstallation is a go-to solution for complex software.

Uninstalling SteamVR won’t remove it from your library. It will still be available to install and play again. The only caveat is that it’s a more than 5 GB download, so it may take some time to download it again, depending on your connection.

Fixing SteamVR Performance

If your problems with SteamVR are related to its performance, there are a few changes and tweaks you can make that might help it run better.

  • Check your PC’s parts against the required and recommended parts to run SteamVR. Sometimes the performance issues are related to a lack of power because VR programs require powerful components to run at their best. If you’re below the recommended settings, you’ll need an upgrade for smoother performance.
    SteamVR Not Working? Here’s How To Fix It (19)
  • If you’ve made many changes to your VR headset, SteamVR, or the related software for your headset, try changing everything back to default settings.
  • Try using a wired connection if you aren’t yet. Wired connections can be more stable than wireless, leading to better performance. You can also switch from Wi-Fi to Ethernet for the PC’s internet connection. That can make the performance smoother too.
    SteamVR Not Working? Here’s How To Fix It (20)
  • If you aren’t using your best GPU in a multi-GPU setup or you aren’t using a high-performance power plan, make the switch before using SteamVR again.
    SteamVR Not Working? Here’s How To Fix It (21)
  • If you can’t access SteamVR and have add-ons installed, try reinstalling the program to see whether removing those helps fix the problem. You can also remove them from the program’s menu, if you have access.
  • Close other programs that take up a lot of computer resources. You don’t want SteamVR to have to compete with others.
  • Try changing the refresh rate on your headset. Some users had luck switching to 90 Hz on their Oculus headsets when SteamVR was particularly laggy.
SteamVR Not Working? Here’s How To Fix It (2024)


SteamVR Not Working? Here’s How To Fix It? ›

Fix 1 – Restart your headset and PC

You just need to reboot your computer after shutting down SteamVR and check for the issue. But if there's no luck, also restart your headset as follows: Launch your SteamVR and right-click the headset icon. Select Devices > Reboot Headset.

Why can't I connect to steam VR? ›

Fix 1 – Restart your headset and PC

You just need to reboot your computer after shutting down SteamVR and check for the issue. But if there's no luck, also restart your headset as follows: Launch your SteamVR and right-click the headset icon. Select Devices > Reboot Headset.

Why is SteamVR not showing up in oculus link? ›

You have to run the games at least once for the Oculus software to become aware of them. Go into Steam and run one of the games. It (and only that one) should get added to the Oculus library. You'll also need to go into the settings of the Oculus PC software, go to General, and turn on Unknown Sources.

How do I restart SteamVR? ›

  1. Quit SteamVR.
  2. Unplug the Power and USB cords from the PC side of the Link Box (not the orange side)
  3. Wait a few seconds, then plug the Power and USB cords back into the Link Box.
  4. If you see more drivers install, wait for this process to finish.
  5. Launch SteamVR.

How do I use SteamVR on Oculus Quest 2? ›

Play Steam games on the Quest 2 using a cable
  1. Make sure your Quest 2 is turned on.
  2. Run the Quest desktop app and click Devices on the left pane.
  3. Click Add Headset and choose Quest 2 from the options.
  4. Choose Link (cable) and click continue.
  5. Run the Steam App.
  6. Click SteamVR and enjoy your favorite Steam games on Quest 2.
Jun 27, 2023

Why is my VR not working? ›

The VR headset displays no image

Unplug the VR headset connection cable from the VR headset and then plug it back in. Try bypassing the VR headset connection cable and plug the headset directly into the processor unit. If this corrects the problem it may be an issue with the VR headset connection cable.

Why is my VR not being detected? ›

Your VR headset might not be connected to the USB port properly. Hence, check your cable connections and make sure the headset is properly connected. You can also try some other USB port to connect the device as there might be an issue with the current USB port.

Do you need Oculus link for SteamVR? ›

Oculus Link also works with SteamVR, so make sure to download Steam and install SteamVR if you want to play any of that content.

How do I update SteamVR? ›

On the SteamVR status window, mouse over on any of the hardware icons to check if the firmware is out of date, and then select to update the firmware. On the SteamVR app, click , and then click Devices > Update Device.

Does SteamVR need oculus link? ›

Using the Oculus Link (Wired)

The first way to run SteamVR is by connecting your Oculus Quest to your PC through a USB Type-C cable. But you need to make sure you have the SteamVR app installed on your PC.

How do I manually launch SteamVR? ›

Step 3: Once SteamVR is installed, you can launch it from anywhere on Steam by pressing the small VR button in the top-right corner of your Steam window. Alternatively, you can search for it on your library page. It will be listed under the Tools menu.

How do I completely reinstall SteamVR? ›

Right click SteamVR and select Manage > Uninstall. Double click SteamVR in the tools library to reinstall.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Madonna Wisozk

Last Updated:

Views: 5918

Rating: 4.8 / 5 (48 voted)

Reviews: 95% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Madonna Wisozk

Birthday: 2001-02-23

Address: 656 Gerhold Summit, Sidneyberg, FL 78179-2512

Phone: +6742282696652

Job: Customer Banking Liaison

Hobby: Flower arranging, Yo-yoing, Tai chi, Rowing, Macrame, Urban exploration, Knife making

Introduction: My name is Madonna Wisozk, I am a attractive, healthy, thoughtful, faithful, open, vivacious, zany person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.