Unable to connect to the Steam network


Few things are as boring as coming home after a busy day at work to encounter a Steam network error. It’s even more frustrating when you’re pretty sure you’re connected to the internet.

So, how to fix Unable to connect to Steam network error a message? The following guide will explore a few options.

How to fix Steam connection error

Since a plethora of issues can cause Steam to log in error, we may need to explore a wide variety of solutions and fixes. So, in this guide, you will find seven of the best solutions to fix the Unable to connect to Steam error from Steam.

Make sure you are online

While it’s easy to assume you’re online because your network devices seem to be fully functional, or because you can load pages from your browser, you might 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 sure that you are well connected to the internet. The easiest way to do this is to use a web application called Is My Internet Working.

The page should display a giant green “Yes!”If you are connected to the Internet. However, if you are not connected to the internet and somehow manage to get to the page, it will display a “No!” ”Giant red. 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 the reason your Steam is having trouble connecting to the Steam network. You can also confirm this using the PING section of the Is My Internet Working web application.


Nonetheless, if you find that your ping is too high, you can refer to our guides on resolving high pings and slow download speeds in Steam. The Is My Internet Working web page also contains helpful tips to help you troubleshoot network connectivity issues.

Run the Steam client as administrator

If Steam is having trouble connecting to its servers, it may be because the Steam client requires administrator access. Often times, Steam has to read, edit, and add files to your computer (like its config files).

Depending on the location of these files and how restricted your Windows security settings are, Steam may require administrative access to function properly. To run Steam as an administrator:

  • Open the Windows Start menu
  • Locate the Steam shortcut by scrolling through the list of apps on the Start menu or typing it
  • Right click on the shortcut
  • To select Following
  • To select Execute as administrator
    execute as administrator
  • Click on the Yes button when prompted by the User Account Control dialog box

Restart your computer

The first solution that you should try when you have a network or software issue is to restart your computer. Once your computer has restarted, try logging into Steam and see if you still cannot log into the Steam network. Fault.

Check the status of the Steam server

Maybe the reason you are having an issue was not being able to connect to the Steam network the error is not due to a defect in your equipment. Maybe the Steam servers are offline. You can determine if Steam is having company-wide network issues by using this unofficial Steam Status website.

While the official Steam statistics page can be good enough to determine if the servers are online based on the number of logged in users, the unofficial status site gives you more detailed information about the various services of Steam.

steam online

Check your firewall

Your Windows Firewall settings may be another potential culprit behind “Unable to connect to Steam network” Error message. To verify that Windows Firewall is not blocking Steam’s Web Helper, follow these steps:

If you can’t find Steam or Steam Helper in the list of applications, you will have to add them manually. While you are still in the Authorized applications for Windows Firewall, do the following:

  • Click on the Authorize another application button
  • Click on the Browse button next to the Path field
  • Navigate to the location of the Steam client application. By default, it should be located in:
    C:Program Files (x86)SteamSteam.exe
  • Click on the Network types and make sure the Public and Private boxes are checked, then click OK
  • Click on the Add button
  • Follow the process again for Steam Web Helper – default; it is in this directory: C:Program Files (x86)Steambincefcef.win7x64steamwebhelper.exe
  • Click on the Okay button in the Allowed Applications window
  • Restart Steam and check if it still gives you the same error

Note: If you are running a third-party application to manage your firewall, you will need to add an exception for Steam to it.

Force the Steam client to use TCP

By default, the Steam client uses the User Datagram Protocol (UDP) to communicate on your network. This can be the cause of the Steam network error. Changing the protocol used by the Steam client to connect to servers can remedy this. To force Steam to use TCP, follow these steps:

  • Open the Windows Start menu
  • Look for Steam in the list of apps
  • Right click on it and select Following
  • Click on Open file location
  • Right click on the Steam shortcut in the file list
  • To select Properties from the context menu
  • Add -tcp to the list of texts in the Target text field
  • Click on the Okay button

Once you are done adding the TCP flag, you can try running the Steam client to see if you are still experiencing the Steam network error.

Close any apps that may be interfering with Steam

Some apps can interfere with the Steam client and cause connectivity issues. They can block access to ports that Steam needs to function properly. You will need to do a bit of research and experimentation to find the app responsible for your Steam issues. Here are the types of programs and applications 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 acceleration program

You will have to close and restart Steam each time you complete each of them to find the culprit. It may take a little while, so please be patient.

What other solutions can you try?

Now that we’ve covered the most common solutions, what can you do if Steam is still giving you the “Unable to connect to the Steam network” message? In this section, we’ll give you a quick rundown of other fixes you can try.

Update network drivers

Your network drivers may be out of date. This can make your network connections slow or dysfunctional. Manually updating your network device drivers may resolve 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 resolve this issue.

Contact your ISP

If you are having network problems and your router or modem is not the cause, there may be a service-wide problem with your ISP. Even though you can connect to the Internet, your ISP can block access to certain ports or IP addresses. Either way, you need to contact your ISP to make sure everything is working as it should.

You can reference this list of required ports for Steam when initiating a correspondence with your ISP.

Launch a clean install of Steam

Steam may give you an error connecting to the Steam network due to a misconfiguration in the client. It can be difficult to determine which setting or configuration file is causing the problem.

The easiest way to fix this is to completely uninstall Steam and reinstall it again. You can uninstall Steam by running the uninstall.exe file located in the Steams directory (C:Program Files (x86)Steamuninststall.exe by default). Once done, you can download and install the latest version of Steam from the official website.

We hope that at least one of these solutions has worked for you. If you have any comments, reviews, or corrections, please leave a comment below. Which fix worked for you? We would love to hear from you. As always, thanks for reading.

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