How to fix could not connect to Steam Network Error [6 Ways]

Steam is a great and popular store that lets you purchase a ton of games and even lets you add your friends to it. Steam has been around for quite a long time since 2003. The Steam client is used for purchasing, downloading, and even updating games. While there are other game launchers and clients for uses to choose from, Steam will always be the preferred one. However, like all programs, there can be issues and Steam has one such issue when at times it refuses to connect to the network. If you have experienced Steam having this kind of an issue, you can read on to know more.

Steam at times might be under maintenance which is why during certain times of the week, This usually lasts for half an hour or so. If you have a spotty internet connection, there can be times when Steam might not function its best. Sometimes, it could also be the fault of Steam that prevents itself from connecting to the internet. So, if you have ever had issues with your Steam program not connecting to the internet, here are a few troubleshooting methods you can follow.

Fixed: Could Not Connect to Steam Network Issue

Check Internet Connection

Like I said earlier, if you have a spotty internet connection, chances are high that Steam might fail to connect and go online. It will simply enter itself in offline mode and you can only play games that you have installed on your PC. So, check and see if other programs are being able to connect to the internet. If they can’t, it could be possible that your internet connection might be creating some issues. In this case, you can simply restart your router and see if it solves the issue.

However, if you see that the other programs can connect to the internet, then its something wrong with Steam. You can follow the other troubleshooting steps mentioned below,

Run Steam as Admin

Yes, this is one thing that many forget. Try to see if running Steam as an Administrator works fine. Generally, it should be able to connect to the internet and let you go online right away. It could be that running the program as it is without any admin privileges might prevent it from connecting to the internet. To start Steam as Administrator, simply right-click the Steam icon on the desktop and select Run as Administrator. The system will ask if you wish to run the program as an administrator. Select Yes and it should now open up Steam. This is a solution that works well for a lot of people.

could not connect to steam network

Change Steam Protocol

Steam by default uses UDP (User Datagram Protocol) for its connection to the internet. However if your steam application seems to be having issues with connecting to the Steam Network, the best you can do is change it from UDP to the more reliable TCP protocol. Here is how you can change it.

  1. First things first, make sure that Steam is not running on your computer. You can use the Task Manager to forcefully end Steam services.
  2. Now, right-click the Steam desktop shortcut and select Properties.
    could not connect to steam network
  3. Click on the Shortcuts tab of the Steam Properties window.
  4. At the textbox where it says Target, simply type in -tcp at the end of the file path.
    could not connect to steam network
  5. Now, click on the Apply button and then click on OK to apply these changes to the Steam executable file.
  6. When you now open Steam as an Administrator or directly open it, Steam should now be able to connect to the Steam network right away.

Check Network Driver Updates

Sometimes, your programs might just be running fine and even your internet could be working just fine. So what could be the problem you ask> Well, the network drivers on your system could sometimes be the culprit. Having the latest version of the network drivers will help fix and sort this issue out. Normally, the network drivers if they ever have an update, will show up in the Windows Update section for you to download. But, if you still want to ensure that it is updated to the latest version and not missing any update you can do the following.

  1. Open the Start menu and type in Device Manager.
    could not connect to steam network
  2. Once the device manager opens you will see a list of various hardware devices that are connected to your system. From the list select Network Adaptors.
  3. Now, select the network adaptor you wish to update. It can be the wifi adaptor or the ethernet adaptor. Right-click the adaptor and select properties.
    could not connect to steam network
  4. Now, click on the Driver tab and select the Update button.
    could not connect to steam network
  5. It will now begin to check for updates and download them if any update is available.
    could not connect to steam network

Clear Steam Cache

This is one of the main reasons at times when Steam will refuse to connect to the Steam Network. You might have everything working and up to date, but Steam still refuses to connect. Clearing the cache files for Steam helps to resolve such issues. And, this method has worked many times personally for me. Here is how you can clear off the Steam Cache.

  1. First, end all Steam services, You can do that by opening the Task Manager and ending the Steam task.
  2. Now, open up the directory to where Steam has been installed.
    could not connect to steam network
  3. Look for the folder called appcache. Open the folder.
    could not connect to steam network
  4. Simply select all contents within the folder by pressing the Control Key and A keys.
    could not connect to steam network
  5. With all contents selected, simply press the Delete key to delete all the contents.
  6. Once all the contents have been deleted, close the folder and launch Steam.
  7. Steam will now check for updates, build the Steam cache and you should be able to connect back to the Steam Network right away.

Reinstall Steam

If for some reason, none of the above methods helped fix this issue the last and final option is to uninstall and reinstall the application. This should technically fix all of the issues that you might be facing with the Steam client.

  1. Open the Start menu and type in Control Panel.
  2. Open the Control Panel app from the search results.
  3. Now, under Programs, click on Uninstall a Program.
    could not connect to steam network
  4. It will show you a list of all your installed programs. 
  5. Scroll through and select the Steam application. Right-click it and select Uninstall.
    could not connect to steam network
  6. Once the program has been uninstalled, head over to the official Steam website and download the latest version of the client.


These are the many troubleshooting methods you can follow to fix the Couldn’t connect to Steam Network error. While most of the solutions do work, clearing the cache is one troubleshooting method I would recommend trying anytime you face an error with the Steam client.

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If you have any other methods that you would like to share with us that we haven’t mentioned you can simply share them in the comments section below.

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Joshua D'souza

Enjoy games, 90's hip-hop, and tech. Loves exploring the infinite world of laptops and food. Every ready to provide assistance in anything that rocks his boat. Will gladly enjoy capturing memories through various lenses. Worked previously at PiunikaWeb as an author and researcher.

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