Complete guide to fixing Could not connect to Steam network

Madalina Dinita
by Madalina Dinita
Former Managing Editor
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  • Many Steam users have reported the Could not connect to Steam network error message appearing when they try to log in to Steam.
  • If you determine it is your Steam client which is having a problem, then disable your VPN, add Steam to the firewall exceptions list, reset Winsock and start Steam as an administrator.
  • It seems that Steam is always having some issues, and for more fixes and guides, visit our comprehensive Steam Troubleshooting page.
  • The Gaming Hub covers a wide variety of problems with both games and game launchers, so be sure to bookmark it in case you run into trouble.
Your computer is currently unable to reach the Steam servers

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, but it can affect single-player games as well because you will not be able to update games with the latest patches.

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

1. Troubleshoot your network connectiontroubleshoot problems Your computer is currently unable to reach the Steam servers

  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 click on Troubleshoot problems
  4. Open a Command Prompt and type the following commands (one by one):
    1. ipconfig/release
    2. ipconfig/all
    3. ipconfig/flushdns
    4. ipconfig/renew
    5. netsh winsock reset
  5. try to run Steam again

Your Taskbar is not working? Luckily, we know how to fix it. Have a look at our guide and you’ll know too.


2. Ensure that your network driver is up to date

tweakbit driver updater Your computer is currently unable to reach the Steam servers

  1. Download the TweakBit Driver Updater application.
  2. Install it and run it.
  3. The application will scan your PC and let you know which drivers are out of date.
  4. Choose the drivers you want to update and the application will automatically update them.

Once you’ve updated your drivers, check to see if you have any pending Windows updates. 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.


3. Reinstall Steam

programs Your computer is currently unable to reach the Steam servers

  1. Back up Steamapps directory if you want to save all your installed games.
  2. Open Control Panel.
  3. Select Programs.
  4. Click on Programs and Features option.
    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 from the official website
  7. Move back the Steamapps folder you have backed up to the Steam directory and then run the Steam client
  8. Check to see if the error still persists

Control Panel not opening on your computer? Check out this article to see how to fix it


4. Verify that your firewall / VPN is not blocking Steam

allow steam through firewall

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

If you are running with a VPN, pause it and try starting Steam again. If there was a conflict here, it could be the cause for why you could not connect to the Steam network.


5. Start Steam using TCP

change protocol on steam

  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 > Properties
  4. In the Target field, add -tcp at the end, after the quotation marks
  5. Start Steam and log in

The solutions provided above should fix the Could not connect to Steam network error. Let us know in comments section below how easy you found our guide.


FAQ: Steam connection errors

  • Can not connect to Steam Network?

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

  • How do you fix Steam is having trouble connecting to Steam servers?

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

  • How do I fix Steam not going online?

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

  • Why is Steam not connecting to servers?

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.

  • How do I fix error code 118 on Steam?

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


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in June 2019 and has been since revamped and updated in March 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published in June 2019 and was revamped and updated in August 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.