Steam won’t go online / stuck in offline mode [Fixed]

by Madalina Dinita
Madalina Dinita
Madalina Dinita
Windows & Software Expert
Madalina has been a Windows fan ever since she got her hands on her first Windows XP computer. She is interested in all things technology, especially emerging technologies... read more
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  • A lot of users have complained about Steam being stuck in offline mode or not being able to go online.
  • The app's cache might be some of the causes for this issue, so you might need to clear them.
  • If Steam won't go online try changing some of your Internet settings.
  • Reinstalling Steam altogether is a last resort, and hopefully, you won't get to that part.
steam won't go online

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It is a fantastic app, popular among worldwide users, but many people reported that Steam wouldn’t go online or get stuck in the Steam offline mode.

As a result, Steam will inform your friends that you’re offline, which can cause a wide range of complications, especially if you’re playing professionally.

In some extreme cases, users complained about Steam going into offline mode randomly, which can be highly frustrating for avid users. A variation of this issue includes users not being able to go into the offline mode at all.

Fortunately for you, this guide will cover the entire situation and will allow you to take advantage and play Control while in offline mode.

It seems like it is pretty standard, so we’ve compiled a list of the best solutions to try in this situation.

As a bonus, you can also prevent the Internet from disconnecting Steam while playing a game. This information will come in extremely handy, especially for professionals.

Keep in mind that there are many causes for this problem, and in today’s article, we’ll show you how to fix it once and for all.

What are the reasons why Steam won’t go online?

  • Internet settings – One of the most common causes that explain why you’re unable to go online on Steam is related to your Internet settings. In this case, you’ll probably need to adjust some security options, or you can use an efficient VPN. In some situations, you will be encountering a no Internet connection Error.
  • Cache – As browsers have their cookies and caches, the Steam app also keeps temporary downloads and other files in a specific location. However, if you’re a daily Steam user, a cache might become oversized, leading to several problems, such as the one presented today.
  • Winsock – For those of you who don’t know, Windows Socket API (Winsock) is a type of app programming interface (API) dedicated to communication between Windows network software and network services. If Steam doesn’t go online, we suggest resetting Winsock. This process will undo configurations made to the Winsock Catalog in Windows.
  • Random bugs and glitches – Steam might run into unexpected and temporary troubles like any other app or software. As an example, some users have experienced Steam windows going black. In this case, it is best to uninstall it, then perform a clean reinstallation.

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Fortunately, you do not have to panic in any of the above cases. Instead, we’ve compiled a series of steps to help you solve each described problem.

What can I do if Steam won’t go online?

1. Clear your download cache

  1. Hit the Windows key, type Steam, then open the app.
  2. From the top-left corner of the window, click on Steam.
  3. Navigate to Settings.
  4. Select the Downloads tab.
  5. Click on Clear Download Cache.
  6. Next, click OK to confirm your choice. Steam will ask for your login details afterward.
  7. After logging in again, Steam will start as expected.

2. Change your Internet settings

  1. Use the following hotkey: Windows + S.
  2. Type Control Panel, then open the first result.
  3. Navigate to Network and Internet.
  4. Go to Network and Sharing Center.
  5. From the bottom left corner of the window, click on Internet Options.
  6. Select the Advanced tab and scroll down the Security listings.
  7. Uncheck Enable Enhanced Protected Mode.
  8. Restart your machine and launch Steam.

If you’ve changed location recently, make sure that your access to Steam isn’t geo-restricted.

On this note, we recommend using a VPN to protect your online privacy while you surf the Internet or play online games and to access gaming content from anywhere in the world.

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3. Modify your shortcut

  1. Locate your Steam client.
  2. Create a shortcut to Steam in the same directory.
  3. Right-click on Properties.
  4. Now, head over to the Shortcut tab, then in the Target dialogue box, add -tcp in the end.
  5. Click on Apply, then on OK.
  6. Use this shortcut to launch Steam.

4. Reset Winsock

  1. Press on the Windows key, type cmd, then open the first result.
  2. Type the following command; then press Enter: netsh winsock reset catalog
  3. Now copy and paste the command below, then press Enter: netsh int ip reset reset.log
  4. Restart your PC and try starting Steam again.

5. Reinstall Steam

  1. Hit the Windows key, type Apps and Features, then open the first result.
  2. In the right window pane, search for Steam, click on it, select Uninstall, then confirm it by clicking again on Uninstall.
  3. After the process completes, navigate to the Steam download page.
  4. From the window’s top-right corner, click on the Install Steam green button.
  5. Open the downloaded file, then follow the on-screen instructions to reinstall the app.

Restart your PC and launch the app with administrative privileges. Steam will start updating itself and try to replace the missing files. Hopefully, it will work as expected.

If all other solutions fail and Steam still can’t go online, you can try reinstalling the app. If you’re not sure about cleaning all the related folders, check how to remove software leftovers on Windows 10/11.

What other Steam problems should I be aware of?

  • Steam goes offline randomly – As the title says, this problem can appear randomly but keep in mind that different connectivity factors or system conflicts could cause it. If you ever encounter this issue, make sure you check some dedicated fixes.
  • Steam goes offline – This will determine your Internet to disconnect Steam while playing a game. Fortunately, we’ve also compiled a list of solutions to use in case you face it.

There you go. These are just a few solutions that you can try if Steam won’t go online on your PC. Feel free to try them all and let us know if they worked for you by leaving a comment in the section below.

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