FIX: Could not connect to Steam network error [6 methods]

Vlad Constantinescu
by Vlad Constantinescu
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Vlad might have a degree in Animal Husbandry and Livestock Management, but he's currently rocking anything software related, ranging from testing programs to writing in-depth reviews about them. He spent 3-4 years as a... Read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • Many Steam users have reported the Could not connect to Steam network error message appearing when they try to log in to Steam.
  • Fortunately, we have a list of tested methods that could help you bypass this issue without breaking a sweat.
  • Visit our dedicated Steam Troubleshooting page to discover more fixes and guides.
  • Check out our Gaming Hub for more gaming-related news, guides, and reviews.
Could not connect to Steam network
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Many Steam users have reported the Could not connect to Steam network error message.

This can be a big problem if you usually play multiplayer games.

However, it can also affect single-player games as well because you won’t be able to update them with the latest patches.

How can I fix the Could not connect to Steam network error?

Troubleshoot your network connection

  1. Test if your network connection is working
  2. Restart your router (make sure you unplug the power cord and leave it for 30 seconds switched off)
  3. Right-click the network icon in the Taskbar and select Troubleshoot problems
  4. Open a Command Prompt and type the following commands (one by one):
    • ipconfig/release
    • ipconfig/all
    • ipconfig/flushdns
    • ipconfig/renew
    • netsh winsock reset
  5. Try to run Steam again

Ensure that your network driver is up to date

  1. Right-click your Start Menu
  2. Select Device Manager
  3. Expand the Network adapters category
  4. Right-click your network adapter
  5. Select the Update driver option from the context menu
  6. Restart your computer

Alternatively, you could head to your network adapter’s official website and try to find the latest drivers for your device.

Once you’ve updated your drivers, check to see if you have any pending Windows updates. If so, let them download and apply them.

If your system is up to date, then there is a high likelihood that the Could not connect to Steam network error message will disappear.

Reinstall Steam

  1. Back up the Steamapps directory if you want to save all your installed games
  2. Open Control Panel
  3. Select Programs
  4. Go to the Programs and Features section
    programs and features Your computer is currently unable to reach the Steam servers
  5. Locate Steam on the list and double-click it to uninstall it
  6. Download the latest Steam client
  7. Move back the Steamapps folder you have backed up to the Steam directory
  8. Run the Steam client
  9. Check to see if the error still persists

Check your firewall

TinyWall firewall
  1. Open Windows Security
  2. Go to Firewall & network protection
  3. Select the Allow an app through the firewall option
  4. Find Steam in the list and make sure the box next to it is ticked
  5. Optional Steps:
    1. Go to Virus & threat protection
    2. Select Manage Ransomware protection
    3. Click on Allow an app through controlled folder access
    4. Select Add an allowed app
    5. Add Steam to the list.

Disable VPN / use split tunneling

If you are running with a VPN, pause it and try starting Steam again.

If your VPN caused a conflict with Steam, it could be the very cause for the Could not connect to the Steam network error.

In this case, you can either pause the VPN and check if Steam behaves normally, or use split tunneling.

Split tunneling is an awesome VPN feature that allows you to exclude certain apps or services on your PC from the VPN tunnel.

Therefore, if you add Steam to the exclusion list and the VPN is indeed causing the error, you might even get away with not disabling your VPN.

A good example of a split-tunneling-ready VPN service is Private Internet Access.

Check out the screenshot below if you want to learn how to use PIA’s split tunneling with Steam:

set up split tunneling for Steam in PIA

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  • More than 22,000 servers world-wide
  • Zero-logging to protect your data
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  • 24/7 live chat support
  • Accepts crypto, PayPal, and credit card payments
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Start Steam using TCP

  1. Use Task Manager to close all Steam processes which are currently running
  2. Create a desktop shortcut to the Steam client
  3. Right-click the shortcut and select Properties
  4. In the Target field, add -tcp at the end, after the quotation marks
  5. Start Steam and log in
change protocol on steam

Conclusion

The solutions provided above should fix the Could not connect to Steam network error without too much effort.

Let us know in the comments section below which method worked best for you and how easy was it to apply it.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Change the connection type as shown in the guide above. This should allow you to connect.

  • Open a Command Prompt and type the commands shown at step 1 of this guide. Then open Steam as an administrator.

  • Reset your router (unplug the power plug and leave it for 30 seconds), then renew your DNS as shown in our dedicated guide.

  • You will have check if the Steam servers are down. If you determine it is your Steam client which is having a problem, then disable your VPN (if you are using one) and then go through the troubleshooting steps listed above.

  • To fix Steam error 118, you can have a look at our guide which goes through the simple steps you will need to take.

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