Steam update stuck or not downloading [Fixed]

Matthew Adams
by Matthew Adams
Windows & Software Expert
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  • Valve Corporation, the genius company behind the Steam platform, releases fixes and updates for the client very often. 
  • If the Steam client is stuck during an update, try again. Otherwise, clear the cache, open as administrator or check the firewall. More details in the article.
  • Check out other similar articles in the Steam guides section
  • For various tutorials and troubleshooting guides, as well as game recommendations, visit the Steam Gaming Hub
steam update stuck
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The Steam client software for games gets regular updates. However, Steam updates might hang, or get stuck, for a few users. Then the installing update window will hang indefinitely when updates get stuck.

Consequently, Steam doesn’t get updated. Here are some resolutions for users who need to fix Steam update getting stuck.

Steam stuck on checking for available updates, how to fix it?

  1. Open Steam as Administrator
  2. Clear the Download Cache
  3. Edit the Host File
  4. Delete the Package Folder
  5. Turn Off Windows Defender Firewall
  6. Clean Boot Windows

We’ve written extensively about Steam update issues before. Bookmark this page in case you need it later.

1. Open Steam as Administrator

  1. Press the Windows key + E hotkey.
  2. Open the Steam folder in File Explorer.
  3. Right-click Steam.exe within the software’s folder and select Properties.
  4. Click the Compatibility shown directly below.
    steam update stuck compatibility
  5. Select the Run as an administrator setting.
  6. Press the Apply button.
  7. Click OK to close the window.

First, make sure that Steam has admin privileges. Without admin rights, Steam might get stuck updating at some point.

Users can configure to run that game client software as an administrator using the steps from above.

2. Clear the Download Cache

  1. Click Steam and select Settings.
  2. Click Downloads on the left of the window.
  3. Press the Clear Download Cache button.
  4. Click OK on the Clear Download Cache dialog box that opens.
  5. Thereafter, log back into Steam.

Clearing the download cache can resolve some Steam update issues. Clearing that cache will clear out cached data. Follow the guidelines above to clear the download cache.

3. Edit the Host File

  1. Press the Windows key + Q hotkey.
  2. Enter Notepad in the search box.
  3. Right-click Notepad and select the Run as administrator option.
  4. Then click File and select Open.
    hosts steam update stuck
  5. Browse to C: > Windows > System32 > drivers > etc in the Open window. Then select the hosts.txt file, and press the Open button.
  6. Next, enter the following three lines at the bottom of the hosts file:
  7. Click File > Save to save the changes.
    steam update stuck hosts file
  8. Close the Notepad window.
  9. Thereafter, open the Run window by right-clicking the Start button and selecting Run.
  10. Input the Run command ipconfig /flushdns and click OK.

ipconfig steam update stuck

Changing Steam’s content server might fix stuck Steam updates for some users. Users can do that by editing the hosts file just like we’ve shown.

Check out this guide to edit the host file like a real technician!

4. Delete the Package Folder

  1. First, make sure that Steam isn’t running.
  2. Next, press the Windows key + E to open File Explorer.
  3. Open the Steam directory in File Explorer.
  4. First, back up the Package folder by selecting it and pressing the Copy to button. Select another folder to copy the subfolder to.
  5. Then right-click the Package subfolder in the Steam folder and select Delete.
  6. Launch Steam after erasing the Package folder. Steam will then download a few files and open.

Steam update might hang when update package files get corrupted.

Erasing the Package folder will enable Steam to download again and might resolve the issue. Users can delete Steam’s Package folder as instructed above.

5. Turn Off Windows Defender Firewall

  1. Open Cortana’s search box.
  2. Input firewall in the search box and select Windows Defender Firewall to open the window in the snapshot directly below.
    steam update stuck windows firewall
  3. Click Turn Windows Defender Firewall on or off on left of the WDF Control Panel applet.
    steam update stuck disable windows firewall
  4. Now select both the Turn off Windows Defender Firewall radio buttons, and press the OK button.
  5. If turning WDF off fixes the issue, users will need to add Steam to Windows Defender Firewall’s allowed applications. To do that, click Allow an app or feature through Windows Defender Firewall on the left of WDF’s Control Panel applet.
    allow an app steam update stuck
  6. Click the Change settings button.
    allowed application steam update stuck
  7. Then press the Allow another app button to open the window in the shot directly below.
    add an app steam update stuck
  8. Click Browse and open the Bin subfolder in the Steam folder within the Browse window that opens. Then select SteamService, and click the OK button.
  9. Thereafter, select Steam Client Service on the Add a Program window.
  10. Press the Add button.
  11. Select both the check boxes for the Steam Client Service, and click the OK button.

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It might be the case that Windows Defender Firewall is blocking Steam updating. In which case, turning WDF off might fix stuck updates.

Firewall disabled but still blocking apps? Here is how you can solve the problem quickly!

6. Clean Boot Windows

  1. To clean boot Windows, open the System Configuration window by entering msconfig in Run.
    typing lag/slow keyboard response in Windows 10
  2. Select the Selective startup radio button.
  3. Then select the Load system services and Use original boot configuration check boxes under Selective startup.
  4. Uncheck the checkbox for the Load startup items option.
  5. Select the Services tab shown directly below.
    services steam update stuck
  6. Select the Hide all Microsoft services option first.
  7. Then select the Disable all option.
  8. Select the Apply option.
  9. Click OK to close the System Configuration window.
  10. Thereafter, a dialog box window opens from which users can select to restart. Select the Restart option on that window.

Improve performance by disabling Windows services

Some third-party antivirus software, firewalls, recording software, and other system utilities can also conflict with Steam and generate update errors.

Clean-booting Windows will ensure there aren’t any conflicting third-party programs or services when Steam updates. So, a clean boot can be counted as another potential resolution.

Some of the above resolutions might fix Steam updates. Then users can launch Steam and enjoy the very best Windows games once again.

Related issues such as the ones below can also be fixed with at least one of the solutions from this article:

  • Steam update stuck at 100 – This can happen from time to time but you shouldn’t worry. Restarting or clearing the download cache usually does the trick.
  • Steam update stuck on preallocating – Preallocating means that Steam tries to make sure there’s enough space to download and install. Increase the available free space if necessary.
  • Steam stuck on updating steam information – A common moment when the process gets stuck that can be fixed by applying the solutions from this article.
  • Steam stuck in update loop – Break the loop by removing Steam and performing a clean install with the latest version.
  • Steam download stuck – Check your Internet connection. Then turn off the firewall.
  • Updating steam extracting package – Once the update is downloaded, the next step in the process is to extract the files from the package and apply them. If it’s stuck, try loading with administrator rights.
  • Steam update problem – This is one of the common Steam errors that users face.

FAQ: Learn more about Steam getting stuck

  • Why is my Steam update stuck?

During the download process, an error occurred. Perhaps a Steam server was unable to complete the request or your Internet connection dropped. Not having proper rights might also be a cause.

  • Does Steam have to update every time?

Valve releases security and small Steam client improvements all the time. There is a way to disable the client from updating but it’s not recommended. See how to disable Steam automatic updates.

  • How do I clear my Steam download cache?

The specific steps to successfully clear the download cache from Steam are described in this article.

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

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

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