Steam Quit Unexpectedly on Mac: How to Fix

Troubleshooting a Mac featured

If Steam quit unexpectedly on your Mac, it could be a sign of a problem that you’ll need to troubleshoot. This guide explains what you should do next.

Steam is the ultimate PC platform for gaming, with thousands of incredible games to choose from. If you want a 1-hour indie, there’s a game for you. If you want to drop a thousand hours into an epic online battle, there’s probably a game for you, too.

What happens if Steam stops working, however? If you’re having trouble with the Steam client on your Mac, you’re going to have trouble playing the games you love.

If Steam quit unexpectedly on your Mac and you’re trying to fix it, follow the steps below.

How to Restart Your Mac (and Steam)

If Steam quit unexpectedly on your Mac, it might be a one-off. If that’s the case, it might be worth restarting your Mac.

Restarting your Mac is a good way to flush any corrupt processes running on your Mac that might interfere with Steam. Starting with a fresh slate is better than trying to run Steam on a slow Mac that’s been running for hours (or even days).

To restart your Mac, press the Apple menu > Restart and confirm the choice.

Restarting a Mac

Once it’s done, you can restart Steam and repeat your actions before the crash to see if it happens again.

How to Check for Mac Updates

An out-of-date Mac might be missing important bug and security fixes. These fixes could have an impact on how apps, including Steam, perform on your device.

If you haven’t already, check for any Mac updates before you try further fixes. To check for new Mac updates, press the Apple menu > System Preferences.
Open system preferences on Mac

In the System Preferences menu, select Software Update. macOS should automatically begin searching for new updates for your Mac, but if it doesn’t, exit the menu and return to it.

Install available updates on a Mac

If there are any updates available, download and install them when you’re prompted to do so. Allow time for this to complete, especially for major updates.

Once the updates are installed, try Steam again to see if it’s working properly.

How to Clear Steam Download Cache Files

If Steam is interrupted during a download, it might have problems trying to resolve the situation. This could cause a crash, forcing Steam to quit unexpectedly on your Mac.

If that’s the case, you can clear your Steam download cache files before you try and launch any games or updates.

To clear Steam download cache files:

  1. Open the Steam client on your Mac and sign in.
  2. From the top menu, press Steam > Preferences.
    Open Steam preferences on Mac
  3. In the Preferences menu, select the Downloads option.
  4. Press the Clear Download Cache button.
    Clear download cache for Steam on Mac
  5. Steam will ask you to confirm, so press OK to do this.
    Clear Steam download cache on Mac

Clearing your download cache will cause Steam to restart. You’ll be asked to sign in again, so follow the on-screen instructions to do this afterward.

How to Uninstall and Reinstall Steam (or Any Steam Games)

If all else fails, it’s time to consider removing Steam and reinstalling it. This will reset your Steam settings and remove any corrupt files.

As long as there isn’t a hardware issue (or a bug that hasn’t been fixed), this should stop Steam from crashing again.

To remove and reinstall Steam on a Mac:

  1. Open the Finder app and select Applications in the panel on the left.
  2. Locate the Steam app in the list.
  3. Right-click Steam and select Move to Trash (or Move to Bin in some locales).
    Delete Steam on a Mac
  4. Confirm the choice, if prompted.
  5. Empty your Trash folder by right-clicking the Trash icon on the Dock and selecting Empty Trash (or Empty Bin).
    Empty trash on Mac
  6. Next, download the latest version of Steam from the Steam website.
  7. Once the download is complete, run the installer and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process.
  8. Launch Steam once the installation is complete and sign in using your account details.

Once Steam is installed, try and repeat any steps that caused Steam to quit unexpectedly on your Mac before. For most users, the problem should be fixed.

However, if it continues, it could point to deeper issues with your Mac. You may need to consider resetting your Mac or checking with Apple to see if your device is still under warranty.

Fixing Steam on your Mac

Using the steps above, you should be able to troubleshoot the problem if Steam quit unexpectedly on your Mac. Most of the time, a quick restart is all you need to fix things. Need a more drastic option? Don’t forget to try uninstalling and reinstalling Steam (and any problematic games) first before you think about more serious Mac fixes.

If you think that a game is the problem, you might want to verify your game files on Steam to check and fix any corrupt files. If the game itself is faulty, don’t forget to leave a review on Steam for others to take notice.

Struggling with a huge Steam catalog? Consider using categories on Steam to help you organize your Steam library to help you find and play the games you love the most.