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.

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Fortunately, there are many fixes to resolve the game file validation issue. There’s no one size fits all solution, but many solutions. And, you’ll have to try several or all of them until you successfully fix this problem. This troubleshooting guide includes our top picks for fixing Steam’s “1 file failed to validate and will be reacquired” error.

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What is Steam Game File Verification?

Steam is currently the most popular and successful game distribution platform. It allows users to purchase and download games easily. However, sometimes game files fail to download due to server issues or become corrupt. For this reason, Steam includes a file integrity verification tool.

Game file verification is beneficial if one of your games starts to crash frequently. File integrity verification identifies corrupted, altered, and missing files and reacquires them from the Steam servers.

What Causes Game Cache Verification to Fail?

Steam verifies game file integrity by comparing the manifest of your game with the manifest stored in the Steam repository. A manifest is a list of game files of a game installed on your PC. The manifest hosted on Steam’s servers contains the list of all files that are supposed to be on your PC. If the manifests don’t match, Steam will throw the “X file(s) failed to validate and will be reacquired” error message.

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.

Steam may reacquire the corrupt or missing game files from its servers, but it’s a temporary fix as you will start experiencing the same issues with your particular game as before. Users say they have to re-validate their game each time they want to play it, but even then, they can’t play it for long as the game eventually crashes again. Nevertheless, in some cases, a game might not launch at all.

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 the fixes included in this article, you should disable or uninstall any mods that might be causing the verification of your game to fail, restart Steam and rerun the verification check. You should also disconnect any game controllers and close their related software, especially if they’re officially not supported by Steam.

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. You should also try disabling 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. You should also update your graphics card drivers.

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Solution 1. End All Steam Processes

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

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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.

Solution 2. Clean Boot Windows

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

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

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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.

6. Then, Navigate to the Startup tab.

7. Click Open Task Manager.

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

9. Close the Task Manager.

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

11. Click Restart when prompted.

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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.

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

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17. In the General tab, select Normal startup.

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

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

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20. Select and enable the previously disabled applications.

21. Close the Task Manager.

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

23. Click Restart when prompted.

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.

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

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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.

Solution 4. Delete the Steam Configuration File

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

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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.

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4. Access the userdata folder.

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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.

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.

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

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3. Click Turn Windows Defender Firewall on or off.

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

5. Click OK.

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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.