How to fix Steam access denied error (6 tested methods)

Vlad Constantinescu
by Vlad Constantinescu
VPN Expert & Privacy Advocate
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
  • Steam is a popular service among gamers, but this doesn't mean that it's free of issues.
  • One of the most common issues is the Steam access denied error, which can spring out of the blue. Fortunately, we can tell you how you could fix it.
  • Visit our dedicated Steam section for more news, games, and guides.
  • Check out our Troubleshooting Hub to discover more easy-to-follow tech guides.
Steam Access denied error
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Although Steam is a popular service among gamers, it still has its fair share of issues every now and then.

One of the most frequent issues that still takes us by surprise is the Steam access is denied error.

It can happen all of a sudden and most of the time it goes away after simply refreshing the page or restarting the app.

However, sometimes this error might linger and can be a pain to get rid of, no matter what you try.

Therefore, we compiled a list of the most effective (tested) methods you could apply to get rid of this error.

How can I fix the Steam access denied on this server error?

Use a VPN

  1. Purchase a premium VPN subscription (we recommend PIA)
  2. Download and install the VPN on your PC
  3. Launch the VPN client
  4. Log in to your account
  5. Connect to the server of your choice
  6. Launch Steam
  7. See if you’re still getting the error

It’s not unheard of that sometimes, Steam might temporarily restrict access from certain IP addresses.

This is exactly why an issue such as the Steam access denied error exists, to begin with. Maybe there were too many requests from your IP address, who knows?


Steam not working on your PC while using a VPN? Check out our guide and learn how you can fix it.


To rule an IP block, even a temporary one, you can try changing your IP address and see if you’re still getting the error message.

VPNs such as PIA are one of the most effective ways to change your IP address since they also encrypt traffic and spoof your location.

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Flush your DNS

  1. Launch CMD with administrator rights
  2. Type the following commands:
    • ipconfig /flushdns
    • ipconfig /registerdns
    • ipconfig /release
    • ipconfig /renew
    • netsh winsock reset
  3. Restart your computer

Cached data build-ups can sometimes be confusing for your connection and could even render some addresses unreachable.

Clearing your DNS cache (also called flushing your DNS) might seem complicated, but it’s really not.

Just follow the steps above and the Steam access denied error may vanish for good. Don’t forget to restart your PC after running the last command.

Change your DNS

A limited DNS server can cause various connectivity issues or conflicts with the Steam client.

With that in mind, you may want to try to switch to a better DNS alternative other than your ISP-assigned one.

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There are various free public DNS servers you can use, and we’ll teach you how to perform this configuration safely.

  1. Press the Win key on your keyboard
  2. Type control and press Enter to open the Control Panel
  3. Select Network and Internet
    network and internet cpl
  4. Go to the Network and Sharing Center
  5. Select the Change adapter settings option
    Change adapter Settings - Network and sharing center - Network and internet - Windows 10
  6. Right-click your active network and select Properties
    Network Card Properties - Network and Sharing Center - Change Adapater Setting
  7. Locate and select “Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)
    Internet Protocol Version 4 TCP-IPv4 - Properties
  8. Click on the Properties button
    Custom DNS Server
  9. Select the Use the following DNS server addresses option
  10. Type the following values in the appropriate fields:
    • Preferred DNS Server: 8.8.8.8
    • Alternate DNS Server: 8.8.4.4
  11. Click OK to save the changes

Keep in mind that you can use any third-party DNS server you prefer. The one we used in our example is Google’s public DNS, and it works great.

Verify Integrity of Files

If the error is occurring while accessing a specific game, you may want to verify the integrity of files to check if the files are installed correctly. Steam offers a built-in solution to do the same. Here is how to do it.

  1. Launch Steam and sign into your account
  2. Click on Library
    Steam - Libraries - Games - Properties
  3. Right-click the affected game and select Properties
  4. Go to the Local Files tab
    Steam - Game Properties - Local Files - Verify Integrity of game files
  5. Click the Verify Integrity of Game Files button
    Validating Steam Files - Success
  6. Wait for the file validation to come to an end

Steam will scan the files for the game you selected and will try to validate them.

If you receive a success message at the end of the scan, your game files are correctly installed. Thus, the issue was not caused by the game files.

Manage antivirus/firewall rules

Firewall offers protection against malware

Checking security software on your computer for rules against certain services is always a good start when encountering connection issues.

For instance, if your firewall blocks traffic to and from specific apps, such as Steam, they might not work as intended.

In turn, you may encounter error messages such as the Steam access denied one.

The same goes for antivirus/antimalware software that you installed on your PC.

If security software has decided that Steam or some of its services are bad for your PC and should be blocked, you may encounter connectivity issues.

Be patient

If it’s a service-wide error that affects all Steam users, you can be sure that Valve already knows about it and is doing the best to solve it quickly.

We’ve briefly mentioned at the beginning of our guide that most of the times the Steam access denied error seems to sort itself out.

Therefore, if you’ve already tried all of our suggested fixes and nothing seems to work, the problem may be on Steam’s side.

In this case, your best course of action is to simply wait for Valve to take care of this situation.

Conclusion

All things considered, if you’ve experienced the dreaded Steam access denied error, there are some ways that you could fix it.

However, sometimes the issue may be on Steam’s side, in which case you should just wait for Valve to sort things out.

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