Fix: Could Not Connect to Steam Network

Fix: Could Not Connect to Steam Network

/ Shayne Sherman

One of the worst things a gamer that you can experience are connection errors. Unfortunately, this is the case for Steam, a top-rated cloud-based gaming service that has tons of popular titles from various game developers.

Steam users have had a hard time accessing their accounts and are greeted by a ‘Could not connect to Steam network’ error message. Users would be locked out of their Steam accounts with no games to play when this error message occurs.

Connection Error

Usually, this problem is caused by a slow internet connection, but it’s also possible that Steam’s servers are currently down.

Corrupted files and outdated versions of Steam could also be the reason behind this error message.

Today, we’re going to show you how to fix the ‘Could not connect to Steam network’ error on Steam and get you back to gaming in no time.

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Let’s jump right in!

Fix 1: Check Your Network Connection

The first thing you should do when you encounter connection errors on Steam is checking your internet connection. Your network may be unstable, causing Steam to fail when it tries to connect with the servers.

You can run a speed test on your network to verify if your internet is indeed the problem.

Speed Test

Restart your router to refresh the connection with your ISP if the speed test confirms that your network is unstable.

Go back to Steam afterwards and check if the error message would still occur.

Fix 2: Restart Your Computer

If you encounter any type of error on Steam or other applications, try restarting your computer to ensure that all its resources are loaded correctly. Restarting your computer will also allow your operating system to reboot, which can eliminate any temporary bugs that may have occurred during use.

To restart your computer, follow the guide below:

  1. Press the Windows Key on your keyboard.
  2. Click on the Power button to access the Power Options screen.
  3. Select Restart and wait for your system to reboot.
Restart your computer

Once done, go back to Steam and check if the problem is solved.

Fix 3: Run Steam As Administrator

Steam may be lacking some system permissions like access to your network, which causes the ‘Could not connect to Steam network’ error message. To fix this, run Steam as an Administrator to bypass any restrictions on the program.

  1. First, find Steam from your desktop and right-click on its icon.
  2. Select Properties and go to the Compatibility tab.
  3. Lastly, click on the checkbox beside ‘Run this Program as an Administrator’ and hit the Apply button.
Run this program as an administrator

Go back to Steam and see if you can now log in to your account.

Fix 4: Allow Steam on Your Firewall

Your Firewall might be preventing Steam from accessing your internet connection, causing the program to run into errors since it cannot connect to the servers.

To fix this, follow the steps below to allow Steam on Windows Firewall:

  1. Press Windows Key + S on your keyboard and search for ‘Control Panel’.
  2. Click on Open to launch the Control Panel.
  3. Inside the Control Panel, click on the Search bar at the top right portion of the screen and search for ‘Windows Defender Firewall’.
Windows Defender Firewall

4. Now, click on ‘Allow an App or Feature through Windows Defender Firewall’.

Allow an App or Feature through Windows Defender Firewall

5. Locate Steam from the list and make sure that the checkboxes beside it are marked checked.

6. Click on OK afterwards to save the changes and close the Control Panel.

Steam checkboxes marked check

Run Steam again on your computer to check if you can now access your account.

Fix 5: Add TCP Launch Option to Steam

While this following method doesn’t seem to make significant changes to your system, adding a TCP option to Steam would force it to use the TCP protocol instead of UDP. Many users found this method helpful in fixing the ‘Could not connect to Steam network’ error message.

Follow the steps below to guide you on the process:

  1. Right-click on Steam from your desktop and select Properties.
  2. Now, under the Target tab, add ‘-tcp’ at the end of the line.
Add "-tcp" on Target tab

3. Click on Apply to save the changes and close down the window.

Open Steam on your computer again and check if the ‘Could not connect to Steam network’ error message would still occur.

Fix 6: Reconfigure Your Network

Network configurations on your computer may not be set correctly, causing programs like Steam to run into error messages. It is also possible that your device was not assigned by your router a proper IP address.

To fix this, follow the steps below to reconfigure your IP address:

  1. First, press on the Windows Key + X on your keyboard to access the Quick Menu.
  2. Select Command Prompt (Admin) to run the Command Prompt with Administrative Privileges.
Command Prompt (Admin)

3. Inside the Command Prompt, enter the following commands one by one:

ipconfig /release

ipconfig /all

ipconfig /flushdns

ipconfig /renew

netsh int ip set dns

netsh winsock reset

ipconfig /release

Go back to Steam afterwards to check if the problem is solved.

On the other hand, proceed to the following method below if you still can’t access your Steam account.

Fix 7: Update Your Network Drivers

Outdated network drivers could also be the reason why you are experiencing connection errors on Steam. To rule this out, try to check if there are any available updates for your network drivers using the Device Manager.

  1. First, press the Windows Key + X on your keyboard and click on Device Manager.
Device Manager

2. Click on Network Adapters and select your current Network Driver.

3. Right-click on your Network Driver and select Update Driver.

4. Follow the on-screen prompts to install the latest drivers for your device and restart your system.

Update driver

Re-launch Steam afterwards to check if you can now access your account.

Fix 8: Disable Third-Party Antivirus

Antivirus software works great for keeping your system safe from malware and other viruses. However, they can get overprotective at times, flagging down any application as suspicious and restricts its access to your computer’s resources.

If you cannot connect to the Steam network, try disabling your Antivirus in the meantime and see if the problem goes away.

Fix 9: Reinstall Steam

If none of the methods above worked, try reinstalling Steam on your device. Some of its installation files may have gotten severely corrupted and are no longer fixable. This will also ensure that you have a working and updated copy of Steam installed on your system.

Follow the steps below to reinstall Steam on your computer:

  1. Open the Start Menu and search for the Control Panel.
  2. Launch the Control Panel and click on Uninstall a Program.
Uninstall a Program

3. Find Steam from the list of installed programs on your computer and right-click on it.

4. Select Uninstall and follow the on-screen prompts to delete Steam on your computer.

Uninstall Steam

5. Go to Steam’s Official Website afterwards and reinstall Steam from there.

Once done, try re-accessing your Steam account to check if the problem is solved.

Shayne Sherman
Meet the author

Shayne is an expert at all things Microsoft Windows and computer security. As a Windows user of over 30 years, he has been featured on Business Insider, Yahoo, Tech Republic, Hacker Noon, Techopedia, and many other publications. He also enjoys spending time with his family, including his English bulldog, Fergie as well as entertaining at his home theater.