Not many things are as annoying as coming home from a busy day at work to meet a Steam network error. It’s even more frustrating when you’re fairly certain that you’re connected to the internet.
So how do you fix a Could Not Connect To Steam Network Error message? The following guide will explore a few options.
How to Fix Steam’s Connection Error
Since a wide plethora of problems may cause Steam’s Connection Error, we may need to explore a wide variety of solutions and fixes. Thus, in this guide, you’ll find seven of the best solutions to fixing Steam’s Could not connect to the Steam network error.
Ensure That You’re Online
While it’s easy to assume that you’re online because your network devices seem to be fully functional or because you can load pages from your browser, you may not actually be connected to the internet. Sometimes your browser caches your most visited pages, allowing you to access them offline.
So first, we need to make doubly sure that you are connected to the internet. The easiest way to do this is by using a web application called Is My Internet Working.
The page should display a giant green “Yes!” label if you’re connected to the internet. However, if you are not connected to the internet and somehow manage to reach the page, it will display a giant red “No!” label. If your internet speeds are slow, the web page will display an orange “Maybe” label.
If your internet speeds are indeed slow, this may be why your Steam is having issues connecting to Steam’s network. You can also confirm this using the PING section of the Is My Internet Working web application.
Nevertheless, if you find that your ping is too high, you can refer to our guides on resolving high pings and slow Steam download speeds. The Is My Internet Working web page also has helpful tips to help you troubleshoot network connectivity issues.
Run The Steam Client as An Administrator
If Steam struggles to connect to its servers, it may be because the Steam client requires administrative access. Often, Steam needs to read, alter, and add files to your computer (such as its configuration files).
Depending on where these files are located and how restrictive your Windows security settings are, Steam may require administrative access to function correctly. To run Steam as an administrator:
- Open the Windows Start Menu
- Locate the Steam shortcut by scrolling through the Start Menu’s list of apps or by typing it in
- Right-click on the shortcut
- Select More
- Select Run as Administrator
- Click on the Yes button when prompted by the User Account Control dialog
Reboot Your Computer
The first solution you should attempt when you encounter any network or software-related issue is restarting your computer. Once your computer boots up again, try to sign in to Steam and see if you still encounter the could not connect to the steam network error.
Check Steam’s Server Status
Maybe the reason you’re experiencing a could not connect to the steam network error isn’t because of a fault in your equipment. Perhaps Steam’s servers are offline. You can determine if Steam is experiencing company-wide network issues using this unofficial Steam status website.
While Steam’s official stats page may be good enough to determine if the servers are online based on how many users are logged in, the unofficial status site gives you more detailed information about Steam’s various services.
Check Your Firewall
Your Windows firewall settings may be another potential culprit behind the “Could Not Connect To The Steam Network” error message. To check that The Windows Firewall doesn’t block Steam’s Web Helper, do the following:
- Open the Windows Run Dialog (Winkey + R)
- Type Control Panel into the text field
- Click on the OK button
- Make sure you’re viewing the Control Panel’s items as large or small icons
- Click on Windows Defender Firewall
- Select Allow an app or feature through Windows Defender Firewall
- Click on the Change Settings button
- Scroll down the list of Allowed apps and features until you find Steam and Steam Web Helper
- Make sure that both the private and public checkboxes are ticked for Steam and the Steam Web Helper
- Click on the OK button
If you can’t find Steam or the Steam Helper in the app list, you’ll need to add them manually. While you’re still in the Allowed Apps screen for the Windows Firewall, do the following:
- Click on the Allow another app… button
- Click on the Browse button next to the Path field
- Navigate to where the Steam client application is. By default, it should be located in:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\Steam.exe
- Click on the Network types button and ensure that both the Public and Private checkboxes are ticked, then click on OK
- Click on the Add button
- Follow the process again for the Steam Web Helper – by default; it’s located in this directory:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\bin\cef\cef.win7x64\steamwebhelper.exe
- Click on the OK button in the Allowed Apps window
- Restart Steam and check if it still gives you the same error
Note: If you’re running a third-party application to manage your firewall, you’ll need to add an exception for Steam on it.
Force the Steam Client to Use TCP
By default, the Steam client uses the Users Datagram Protocol (UDP) to communicate over your network. This may be at the root of the Steam Network error. Changing what protocol the Steam client uses to connect to servers may remedy this. To force Steam to use TCP, do the following:
- Open the Windows Start Menu
- Look for Steam in the app list
- Right-click on it and select More
- Click on Open file location
- Right-click on the Steam shortcut in the file list
- Select Properties from the context menu
-tcpto the text list in the Target text field
- Click on the OK button
Once you’re done adding the TCP flag, you can try running the Steam client to see if you still encounter the Steam Network error.
Close Applications That May Be Interfering With Steam
Some applications may interfere with the Steam client and cause connectivity issues. They may be blocking access to ports that Steam requires to function correctly. You’ll need to do a bit of hunting and experimentation to find the application that’s responsible for your Steam woes. Here are program and app types that you should temporarily disable:
- Virtual Private Network (VPN) Software
- Antivirus and Antispyware Software
- Peer-to-Peer (P2P) clients (such as BitTorrent clients)
- Download managers and accelerator program
You will need to close and restart Steam every time you complete each one to find the culprit. It may take a bit of time, so be patient.
What Other Fixes Can You Attempt?
Now that we’ve covered the most common solutions, what can you do if Steam still gives you the could not connect to the steam network message? In this section, we’ll quickly give you a rundown of other fixes you can try.
Update Network Drivers
Your network drivers may be outdated. This can cause your network connections to be slow or dysfunctional. Manually updating your network device drivers may remedy your Steam network issues.
Update the Steam Client
It’s not uncommon for Valve to release a buggy Steam update. Or maybe you’re running an outdated version of the Steam client, and it’s somehow incompatible with Steam’s servers. You can manually update the Steam client by downloading the latest version and installing it on your computer to fix this.
Contact Your ISP
If you’re experiencing network issues and your router or modem isn’t the cause, then maybe there’s a service-wide issue with your ISP. Even if you can connect to the internet, your ISP may be blocking access to certain ports or IP addresses. Either way, you need to contact your ISP to ensure that everything is working as it should.
You can reference this list of required ports for Steam when you initiate correspondence with your ISP.
Initiate a Clean Installation of Steam
Steam may be giving you a could not connect to the steam network error because of a misconfiguration in the client. It may be hard to pinpoint which setting or configuration file is causing the issue.
The easiest way to fix this is by completely uninstalling Steam and reinstalling it again. You can uninstall Steam by running the uninstall.exe located in the Steams directory (
C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\uninststall.exe by default). Once that’s done, you can download and install the latest version of Steam from the official website.
We hope that at least one of these solutions worked for you. If you have any comments, critiques, or corrections, please leave a comment down below. Which fix worked for you? We’d love to hear from you. As always, thank you for reading.