Are you having trouble resolving the “could not connect to the Steam network” connection error on Steam? The fact that you cannot play games as usual is a major annoyance. There are a few troubleshooting techniques you can use if you’re having network connection issues with Steam. For help getting online and enjoying your favorite Steam games again, see the tips and tactics listed below.
Network errors on Steam: Their causes
You’re most likely dealing with a network or software issue if you see the error message below. Anything from a Steam update to a network outage to corrupt Winsock entries could be the cause.
The least likely reason for being unable to connect to Steam is a poor password. When a password is entered incorrectly, the Steam application displays a different error, as demonstrated below:
How to Fix Network Connection Issues with Steam
Most network problems are global. Many of these tips ought to work whether you’re using Windows 10, Windows Vista, Windows 8, or Windows 7.
- Restart the connection to Steam. You might need to restart Steam if you have a network connection error. To do so, go to Steam > Go Online > Connect to the Internet > Restart Steam. You have the choice to start in offline mode or try again after receiving the “Can’t connect to Steam” error. Before attempting to re-join, you can view your Steam interface and check any settings if you choose to start in offline mode.
- Verify the Steam server’s performance. Customers of Steam have access to a useful website that tracks server traffic. You may find out if Steam is experiencing any network or server disruptions by visiting the Steam Status page.
- Check the status of your internet connection. Your internet connection can be one of the first things you check. If you are not connected to the network, Windows gives you a brief visual. Searching for a disconnected network sign or a notice indicating that the network cable is unplugged in your taskbar is the simplest approach to determining the state of your connection. Depending on your version of Windows, the sign may appear slightly differently, but the fundamental concept is the same. It may appear as an alert, an exclamation point, or even a red circle with a line through it. All of these are signs that your internet connection is down. Unfortunately, it doesn’t offer much more information than that, so to remedy the problem, you’ll need to look at more network troubleshooting procedures.
- Reboot your computer. Rebooting your computer can fix any driver problems, software crashes, or frozen apps, even though it can seem like an unlikely fix. Your network settings can also be easily reset using this method.
- Close or turn off background programs. According to Steam, some programs, such as anti-virus software, anti-spyware software, P2P apps, and even some VPN programs, can interfere with your network connection. Disable Windows Defender and other security program for a while to test this theory, then try connecting to Steam once more.
- Run Steam with administrative privileges. Running as an administrator may seem like a weird workaround, but applications frequently need elevated capabilities to function properly. Even if you’ve run Steam hundreds of times on a regular basis, many customers claim that this simple update resolved their network issues.
- Check your modem and router for issues. Everybody has experienced times when their internet service appears to be failing or simply not functioning. Rebooting the network and modem can immediately fix router or modem difficulties, whether they are just frozen or lack DHCP lease updates.
- Turn off the Windows Firewall. Despite being an excellent way to protect your computer and network from malware and potential hackers, Windows Firewall may be to blame for your Steam connection issue. Its primary goal is to prevent any threats from entering your system. However, it lacks the intelligence to distinguish between good and harmful traffic. The port that Steam needs to use to operate could be blocked by the firewall.
- Verify the actual network connection. Checking the actual Ethernet connection is a simple and quick step in the troubleshooting process for Steam network difficulties. Ensure that it is firmly connected to both your PC and your modem (or router).
- Verify your ISP. Your ISP’s (Internet Service Provider) technical troubles are another aspect of your internet connection. On their websites, most providers feature status pages that you can access on your smartphone.
- Get a fresh driver. Patches and updates are needed. The same holds true for your network card. It’s possible that your network card driver needs to be updated if you’re having problems connecting to Steam. Updated drivers are typically available on the websites of manufacturers.
- Steam client update. Updating your Steam client is another typical cause and remedy for network connectivity issues. After logging in, Steam usually checks for updates, but in case it doesn’t, manually updating is a simple and quick process. Choose Steam > Check for Steam Client Updates to do this.
- Test a different protocol. Typically, User Datagram Protocol (UDP) is used to run Steam (UDP) is used to run Steam. You can change the Steam client to use TCP instead for troubleshooting. It’s a terrific technique to get rid of any protocol problems. Right-click the Steam shortcut on your desktop and choose Properties to do this. Put -tcp at the end of the path in the Target field, then click OK or Apply. This flag makes Steam use TCP in its place.
- Resolve Winsock.dll. Software can connect to the network thanks to Winsock. You might have a corrupt Winsock if you discover that Steam isn’t connecting correctly. To fix Winsock.dll, you can attempt several third-party applications or follow additional troubleshooting procedures.
- Set your TCP/IP stack to zero. You could also wish to reset your TCP/IP stack if changing your Winsock settings doesn’t work. Frequently, resetting both will solve any network problems you might be experiencing.
- Check the ports that Steam needs. Several ports on your firewall and/or router are needed for Steam. Verify that the ports are opened. If not, open the network ports and relaunch the application.
- Update Steam. If all else fails, reinstalling the Steam application may be able to resolve any corrupted files that are preventing you from connecting. It’s crucial to keep in mind that any games installed in the Steam apps folder will also be removed. Thus, you must relocate the Sitemaps folder if you don’t want to lose your game data and progress. This folder is in C: Program Files (Steam). Simply copy the folder to a different location, remove Steam, and then reinstall it.