Sometimes, when you try to launch Steam, you may be greeted with an error that says “Could Not Connect to Steam Network,” and it fails to open even when you try multiple times.
Normally, a simple restart of your PC and router will fix this issue. But if you’ve already done that and are still facing the problem, there may be something wrong with Steam or Windows itself. In that case, you may need to do a little more than just restart and change some settings to fix the error.
How to Fix “Could Not Connect to Steam Network” Error
Here are the most effective fixes for this error, as explained by the majority of the users.
You may be facing this error due to some corrupted or missing Steam files on your PC. Furthermore, this error can also occur if you’ve closed Steam by force in the past. In that case, reinstalling Steam will help you solve both missing and corrupted files and also fix this error.
To reinstall Steam, follow these steps:
- Right-click Steam shortcut icon on your desktop, then select the Open file location option.
- This will open Steam’s main directory inside File Explorer. Now, select all files and folders except ‘Steamapps‘ and ‘Steam.exe.‘
- Remove them by pressing the Delete key.
- Now, double-click on Steam.exe.
Steam will now download and install all the necessary files on your computer, getting rid of all unnecessary files while also fixing missing and corrupted files. After the reinstallation is complete, launch Steam and see if you still have the error. If you’re still seeing the error, try the next method.
Reset Winsock Configuration
If the rest of your programs are running well, and the problem only seems to be with Steam, then there is a chance that some malware is interfering with your network settings.
For that reason, Steam cannot communicate with its servers, and as a result, it fails to open on your PC. In such cases, resetting your Winsock configuration to its default might fix your problem.
To reset the Winsock configuration on your PC:
- Open the Start menu on your desktop.
- Type ‘
cmd’ on the search bar, then select Command Prompt and click on Run as administrator.
- Now, copy and paste this command, then press Enter:
netsh winsock reset‘
- Wait for this process to complete, then restart your PC.
- After restarting, launch the Steam client app.
See if you can open Steam without facing any errors. If you can still see the error, you may need to try another method.
Add ‘-tcp’ on the Target Address of Steam Properties
Changing the Internet Protocol that Steam uses can also fix your error. Steam mainly uses UDP protocol to send and receive data from its server, and while UPD ensures a faster speed of data transmission, it can be unreliable at times. In that case, switching to TCP can possibly fix the error.
To change the protocol from UDP to TCP:
- Right-click on the Steam desktop icon and select Properties.
- This will open the Steam Properties settings window. Now, click on the Shortcut tab.
- Add ‘
-tcp’ at the end of the content in the Target box. After adding that, it should look something like: ‘
“C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\Steam.exe” -tcp’
- Next, click on the Compatibility tab and check the Run this program as an administrator option.
- Click Apply, then OK.
Now, open Task Manager and close all tasks related to Steam. After doing that, launch Steam again and see if it opens without any issues.
Turn Off Windows Proxy Settings
If you’re using proxy servers to connect to the internet, they may sometimes cause errors within some programs. If the error is caused by proxy servers or settings, turning them off will fix it.
To turn off your proxy settings:
- Open the Start menu and click on the Settings icon.
- Select the Network & Internet tab from the sidebar.
- Now, click on Proxy, then click Set up next to the Use setup script option.
- Make sure it is turned off.
- Do the same for Use a proxy server option as well.
- Relaunch Steam.
See if it opens without any error. If it still shows errors, try the next method.
Allow Steam Through Windows Defender Firewall
Windows Firewall is responsible for filtering and blocking potential malware that is coming from the internet to your PC. Since Steam constantly needs to send and receive information from its servers through the internet, it cannot run if it’s blocked by your Firewall. So it is important that you allow it through your Windows Firewall.
To let Steam pass through your Windows Firewall:
- Open the Start menu and type ‘
firewall’ inside the search box.
- Now, click on Allow an app through Windows Firewall.
- This will bring up the Windows Defender Firewall window. Once the window opens, click on the Change settings option.
- Now, scroll down till you see Steam and make sure that both Private and Public boxes are checked.
- Click OK to complete the action.