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How to Fix Steam "1 file failed to validate and will be reacquired" Error

Getting "1 file failed to validate and will be reacquired" Message in Steam? Here are 5 Ways You Can Fix That

Many Steam users are having trouble launching their games due to game file validation issues. Attempting to validate game files results in the "X file(s) failed to validate and will be reacquired" error. This troubleshooting guide includes our top picks for fixing this error.

Fix 1 file failed to validate and will be reacquired

What Causes Game Cache Verification to Fail?

Typically, Steam fails to validate game files when a game has installed mods. Mods may come into conflict with the Steam client and trigger the verification error. Secondly, Steam may fail to validate the game cache if it previously updated some files incorrectly.

Any changes made to a file will cause a change in the file's hash. The "file failed to validate and will be reacquired" error message indicates that game files on your PC don't match those stored in the Steam repository.

The "file failed to validate and will be reacquired" error often occurs in Steam's own Counter-Strike Global Offensive and many other games, most notably, PUBG, Fallout New Vegas, Fallout 76, Elder Scrolls Skyrim, Borderlands 2, Terraria, and others.

How to Fix "1 file failed to validate and will be reacquired" Error?

Before trying any of our fixes, disable or uninstall any mods that might cause file verification to fail. Also, disconnect any game controllers and close related software.

Furthermore, if you're using a third-party anti-virus program, add Steam to its exceptions list or disable it temporarily and check if the issue is fixed.

Disable other software known to interfere with Steam, including VPNs, third-party firewall programs, peer-to-peer (P2P) clients & file-sharing software, IP filtering and blocking programs, download accelerators, and download management programs. Also, update your graphics card drivers.

Video Guide on How to Fix Steam "1 file failed to validate and will be reacquired" Error

Table of Contents:

Solution 1. End All Steam Processes

1. Hold down Ctrl+Shift+Esc keys to open Task Manager.

Right-click each Steam-related process and click End task

2. While in the Processes tab, scroll through the processes list and locate all Steam processes, including Steam, Steam Client WebHelper, and Steam Client Service.

3. Select and right-click each Steam-related process and click End task. Make sure that no Steam processes are running.

4. Then, launch Steam again and validate the game files.

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Solution 2. Clean Boot Windows

1. Hold down Windows+R keys to open Run.

Type in msconfig in Run and click OK

2. In the Run dialog box, type in MSConfig and click OK.

Mark the Hide all Microsoft services checkbox and click Disable all

3. In the resulting System Configuration window, select the Services tab.

4. Then, mark the Hide all Microsoft services checkbox at the bottom left corner of the window.

5. Click Disable all.

Select the Startup tab and click Open Task Manager

6. Then, Navigate to the Startup tab.

7. Click Open Task Manager.

Right-click each startup app and click disable

8. Right-click each application, and click Disable.

9. Close the Task Manager.

Click Apply and click OK

10. In the System Configuration window, click Apply and click OK.

Click Restart when prompted

11. Click Restart when prompted.

Click Install Service

12. After the restart, Steam might throw an error and ask to install the Steam service. Click Install Service.

13. Open Steam and verify the game files. Then, Launch the game and check if the issue was fixed.

14. If you need to revert to normal boot, here's what you have to do.

15. Hold down Windows+R keys to open Run.

Type in msconfig in Run and click OK

16. In the Run dialog box, type in MSConfig and click OK.

Select Normal startup in the General tab

17. In the General tab, select Normal startup.

Make sure that all Microsoft services are unhid

18. Then, go to the Services tab and ensure that the Hide all Microsoft services option is unchecked.

Select the Startup tab and click open Task Manager

19. Lastly, go to the Startup tab and click Open Task Manager.

Enable all previously disabled startup apps

20. Select and enable the previously disabled applications.

21. Close the Task Manager.

Click Apply and click OK

22. In the System Configuration window, click Apply and click OK.

Click Restart when prompted

23. Click Restart when prompted.

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Solution 3. Run a Check Disk (CHKDSK) Scan

Before going through the steps of this solution, open Steam, right-click the game that's having validation issues and click Verify integrity of game files. Run the verification process twice.

1. Hold down Windows+R keys to open Run.

In the Run dialo type in CMD and hold down Ctrl+Shift+Enter keys to open the Command Prompt as an administrator

2. In the Run dialog box, type in CMD and hold down Ctrl+Shift+Enter keys to open the elevated Command Prompt.

Type in chkdsk C: /r and hit Enter

3. In the Command Prompt Window, type in chkdsk C: /r and hit Enter. Here, C is the system drive. If your system drive uses another letter, such as D, then type in D instead of C.

4. Type in Y or Yes if that volume is being used by another process.

5. Then, close the Command Prompt and restart your PC. The scan will begin during the restart.

6. Wait for the scan to complete.

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Solution 4. Delete the Steam Configuration File

Open the Steam menu and click Exit

1. Open Steam, open the Steam drop-down menu in the toolbar and click Exit.

Navigate to the Steam directory

2. Hold down Windows+E keys to open File Explorer.

3. Then, navigate to the Steam directory. In the File Explorer's address box, type in C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam and hit Enter.

Go to the userdata folder

4. Access the userdata folder.

Right-click your Steam ID folder and click Delete

The userdata folder contains Steam IDs. If you have only one user account, then there will only be one folder.

5. Select and right-click your Steam ID folder and click Delete.

6. Launch Steam. Steam will automatically detect that the configuration file is missing and will download a new file automatically.

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Solution 5. Turn Off Windows Defender Firewall

Note that turning off the Windows Firewall should only be done as a temporary solution because turning off the Firewall will leave your computer open to threats.

1. Hold down Windows+R keys to open the Run dialog box.

Type in firewall.cpl in Run and click OK

2. In the Run dialog box, type in firewall.cpl and click OK to open Windows Defender Firewall settings.

Click Turn Windows Defender Firewall on or off

3. Click Turn Windows Defender Firewall on or off.

Turn off Windows Defender Firewall for both Public and Private networks

4. Tick the Turn off Windows Defender Firewall checkboxes for both Private and Public networks.

5. Click OK.

Turn Windows Defender Firewall on for both Public and Private networks

6. To turn Windows Defender Firewall back on, tick the Turn on Windows Defender Firewall checkboxes for both Private and Public networks, and click OK.

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About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter to stay informed about the latest tech news or online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

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