Four ways to fix CSGO’s invalid app configuration error

By Nick Johnson


Jan 14, 2021

Reading time: 3 min

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s constant updates means that sometimes users get errors regarding “invalid app configurations.” This error normally means that the appinfo file that tells Steam how to start CSGO is corrupt. Now that sounds bad, but clearing up the invalid configuration issue is actually a simple fix that involves only one file inside Steam’s directory.

If that doesn’t work, there are several more options players can try before they might want to consider downloading the game over again. Luckily, Steam’s verification and settings options make troubleshooting a breeze, so players will want to try these tips before they waste their data cap.

How to fix Steam’s invalid app configuration error in CSGO

CSGO’s dreaded invalid app configuration error can pop up at any time, but while most people think it might have something to do with CSGO’s other configuration files such as autoexecs and cfg files, this error actually refers to a file that tells Steam how it should open the CSGO application. The first fix involves heading into Steam’s install directory and deleting this file.

Step 1: Delete the appinfo.vdf from Steam

The next option for players stuck with the app config error is to delete a certain file inside Steam. Users should first exit Steam before they navigate to their Steam install folder. Steam is usually located under a user’s main drive. In Windows, the full file path should look something like this:

  • C:Program Files (x86)\Steam\Steam\appcache\appinfo.vdf. 

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Once players have found the appinfo.vdf file, they can go ahead and delete it. Once players log back into Steam, the program will check for this file, notice it’s missing, and create a new one. This remade file has reportedly fixed the error for some players, as Steam’s appinfo.vdf contains app configuration file the error mentions. This won’t harm any existing installs, so players are perfectly safe as long as they only touch the file mentioned.

Step 2: Verifying CSGO’s game files

This is a tried and true method for fixing almost anything related to CSGO. If the appinfo fix doesn’t work, this should be players’ next step. The second step to fixing CSGO’s app configuration error is validating the game’s files. Players can do this by right clicking on CSGO from Steam and then selecting “Properties.” After that, users can find the “Validate Game Files” option under the “Local Files” tab.

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Step 3: Clear the Steam Download Cache

Finally, clearing Steam’s download cache has also helped for some users. Go to Steam’s client settings from the menu in the upper left corner of the Steam client, select “Settings”, “Downloads,” and finally “Clear Download Cache.” Note that this will log players out of Steam.

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Step 4: Download CSGO and reinstall to clear the invalid app configuration error

Steam’s app configuration error is typically caused by game or Steam updates, so while a full reinstall of CSGO seems like overkill, it also resets the appinfo file and clears the error.  Some players have said that a simple verify didn’t work for them, but a full reinstall of the CSGO did, so players always have this option to fall back on. 

Remember to close Steam before changing any files, and players should be back on live servers in no time.