Steam processes your transactions in the order you put them through, so each one clears before the next is processed. If you have a pending transaction, one of the purchases hasn’t cleared. It’s still in the queue, and nothing else will go through until it does.
If you make frequent steam purchases, knowing how to fix a Steam pending transaction error is valuable knowledge, whether you need to change payment methods or simply push a new acquisition to the front of the line.
What Does a Pending Transaction Mean on Steam?
When you get an error message about a pending transaction, it means a previous purchase you made on the platform didn’t go through. As a result, you’re waiting for that to clear before you can access the content you purchased.
You also can’t make other transactions while waiting for one to clear. If one of your transactions held up and didn’t finish, then you can’t buy anything else until that transaction goes through or is canceled.
Can I Fix a Pending Transaction?
You can’t make a pending transaction go through more quickly – only Steam and your payment processor have control over that. However, there are a few things you can do to start the purchase again or cancel the pending transaction so that you can make another purchase.
How to Fix: Steam Pending Transaction
We all want our purchases to go through immediately to start enjoying what we’ve purchased. However, things don’t always work quickly right away.
Before you fix the pending transaction, you need to choose whether you want to have the current pending transaction restart and complete or whether you want it out of the way to make space for a new purchase to go through.
Cancel Your Pending Transaction
One of the easiest ways to clear the pending transaction error is to cancel the transaction holding things up. Once you have that out of the way, new purchases will be processed as usual.
- Open the Steam desktop app.
- Click your username near the top right.
- Click Account Details.
- Click View Purchase History.
- Click on a pending purchase.
- Click Cancel This Transaction.
- Confirm your choice by clicking Cancel My Purchase.
Now the purchase will be removed from your queue. If more than one purchase is in line at this point, then you need to go into each transaction and cancel it as well.
When the purchases are removed from the queue, you can try to put through another purchase to see whether it completes.
Check Steam Support
Sometimes a network error or program issue blocks your purchase from completing. If that happens, you might be able to cancel it another way to complete the purchase again.
- Open Steam on your PC.
- Click Help.
- Click Steam Support.
- Click the game or item you tried to purchase if it appears in Recent Products.
- Look for an option that references Pending Transactions or Cancelled Transactions and click it.
- Follow the prompts to cancel the transaction.
- Try your original purchase again.
Sometimes this works for users instead of using the other method. It’s worth checking out in case it fixes the issue for you.
Use the Website or App Instead of Your Original Platform
Sometimes the website or the Steam app has an issue processing payments for whatever reason. Using a different portal can help your purchases go through.
Cancel any pending payments before you try to repeat purchases or make a new purchase on a different platform.
Turn Off Your Vpn and Reset Your Network
You want a clean connection before you make purchases on Steam. To prevent another pending transaction error, turn off your VPN and reset your Internet before trying to make the purchase again.
- Set your VPN so it doesn’t start automatically when you turn on your PC. Turn off your VPN and shut down your computer when you’re done.
- Unplug your router and modem from the wall. Wait for two minutes with them unplugged before you turn them back on.
- Plug in the modem and turn it on, if necessary. Not all models have a power button. Wait until it has a signal and all the lights are correctly lit before continuing.
- Plug in and turn on the router, if necessary. Wait until all the lights are in their proper configuration before continuing.
- Power on your computer.
- Sign in to Steam.
- Try to complete your previous transaction or a new transaction.
If it still doesn’t work and your network is functioning normally, it isn’t a network issue, and you’ll have to explore other avenues.
Try a Different Payment Method
Sometimes the issue is a problem with your credit card or other payment methods. After canceling the pending transaction, switching to a different payment method may help your purchases go through.
Steam accepts a variety of payment methods, depending on where you live. For example, in the US, you can use Steam cards, credit cards, certain debit cards, PayPal, and others. If you tried to use a credit card, use another card, PayPal, or purchase a Steam card.
If you find that your personal payment methods are creating an issue, try purchasing a Steam card at the store. They’re available at lots of locations. Then you can add funds to your Steam Wallet, and purchases should go through immediately with those funds.
Ask a Friend to Gift You the Item
Sometimes if your account won’t process the purchase, you can still receive it from a friend. You can send them a Steam card so that the funds don’t come from them. Steam even offers online cards with money you can send to friends without leaving the house.
Once your friend has the money on their account, they can choose to add a game to their cart. When it’s in the cart, they select to send the game as a gift and choose you from a list of friends.
Contact Your Payment Processor
If you’re having an issue with a credit card or PayPal and they’re your only Steam payment method, talk to them. This is especially helpful if you have multiple or frequent denied payments.
Explain the issue to them, referencing the failed payments. It is helpful to have the dates, times, and purchases that you made readily available.
If you see a pending payment in your payment account, but the payment has gone through on Steam, that only means that your bank hasn’t processed it yet. It has gone through on Steam if it shows that it’s complete on Steam.
Once you know everything is working with your payment processing company, talk to Steam. You can reach out to Steam Support and discuss the pending transaction issue with them.
If you cannot clear the error any other way, contacting them is your best bet to get your transactions moving again.