Steam is a video game service, which provides a range of games available for purchase. The service also possesses its own games launcher, which allows users to play the games they buy on the platform.
Browsing and purchasing games require you to connect to Steam Network, in order to work properly.
Steam also offers online/social services that require you to their network (Steam’s servers). Without Steam’s servers, many of its features are unable to function.
Can’t connect to Steam Network – Here’s what to do
If you’re getting a Steam connection error, there’s a good chance there’s an issue with their servers.
If not, it could be your internet that’s preventing your Steam client from working properly. It could also be an issue with the software on your computer.
Whilst connecting to the Steam Network usually shouldn’t be an issue, there can be times where you’re unable to do so. There are a few things that could be causing such an issue.
We’ll cover those things in more detail, which should help you to solve this connection error. Then, you can return to using Steam’s multitude of online features to your heart’s content.
Check Steam Server Status
Firstly, check whether Steam’s servers are down. If they’re down, it means that their Network is experiencing issues. You won’t be able to connect to Steam Network if Steam’s servers are down.
You can check Steam’s server status by going to https://www.issteamdown.com/. The site should state whether Steam’s servers are up.
If this is what’s causing a network error, then there’s not much you can do but wait. Fortunately, it’s pretty rare that this occurs.
Check Internet Connection
If you’re unable to connect to Steam Network, there may be an issue with your internet connection.
Check your internet router to see if any of the indicators are red. If so, you’re router isn’t functioning properly. In this case, try restarting your router.
Alternatively, try making sure your internet is working by using another service that requires the internet. For example, go on YouTube or TikTok.
If those services don’t work, there’s probably a problem with your internet. You can check whether there’s an issue with your internet provider by going to https://downdetector.co.uk/.
Find your broadband and click on it. The site should tell you if there’s been any recent outage reports.
Usually, if you have a poor internet connection, this will just result in Steam running slowly. Though if you have no connection at all, this can result in the Steam network error message appearing.
Switching to using a wired ethernet connection is the easiest way to improve your connection. You can also check your network settings to see if they’re causing a network error too.
Your device could be experiencing some issues, which may be preventing you from connecting to the Network. If so, try restarting your device.
Go to Start menu > Power Button > Restart.
Then, try opening Steam again to see if you can connect – Steam may start automatically on some devices, though you can turn this off.
Related: How to Stop Steam Opening on Startup
If restarting your device completely doesn’t resolve the issue, then you may want to check that all of your software is up to date.
Your device could be using outdated drivers, which may be preventing you from successfully connecting to the network.
You can check whether this is the case by checking for driver updates. These can usually be found on the relevant provider’s website.
You can find out which provider to look into by going on the Task Manager. Press Windows-Key + ‘x’ and select ‘Task Manager’.
Next, click the ‘more details’ option. This should expand the window. Click ‘performance’, and select ‘GPU 0’. This the name of your graphics card should be shown in the top right.
The provider for your graphics card should be stated in its name. In the example above, the provider is Intel. Find your provider’s website, and search for your graphics card.
Look for any available updates, and download them if possible. Afterwards, try connecting to Steam Network again.
Turn Off Firewall
Your Windows Defender Firewall could be interfering with your connection to Steam Network. The Firewall is meant to protect you from potential threats, and it does so by blocking certain programs or functions.
The program can sometimes end up blocking something non-harmful, which can result in programs failing to work properly.
Your inability to connect to Steam Network could be due to Windows Defender Firewall blocking something vital.
If so, try disabling Windows Defender Firewall before attempting to connect to Steam Network once more.
To disable Windows Defender Firewall, open the program. You can search for it in the Start Menu.
Next, click ‘turn windows defender firewall on or off’ in the left side tab.
Finally, check the circles next to ‘turn off windows defender firewall’. When you’re done, click ‘ok’ to confirm the changes.
Reboot Steam Network Connection
Try restarting your Steam Network connection.
Open the Steam app and go to Steam > Go Offline. This will disconnect you from Steam Network.
Then, reconnect to Steam Network by going to Steam > Go Online.
Run Steam as Administrator
Steam may require admin privileges in order to work properly. If so, try running Steam as an administrator. This should grant Steam all the privileges it requires.
Right-click the Steam shortcut. This is usually found on your desktop. If it’s not there, you can find the Steam app in File Explorer.
Go to This PC > Windows (C:) > Programs (x86) > Steam. After right-clicking on the shortcut/file, click ‘properties’.
Click ‘compatibility’. Check the box for ‘run this program as an administrator’. Once you’re finished, click ‘ok’.
Now, try connecting to Steam Network once more. When you launch Steam whilst having admin privileges, this should resolve any network errors.
You can also try signing in with a different Steam username if you have another account to use.
Read: Changing Steam Usernames
You can also try and delete then re-install Steam to see if this helps too, as this works the majority of the time for most errors.
In conclusion, there are few things that could be preventing you from connecting to Steam Network. Ensure that Steam’s servers are up and working properly before you attempt to troubleshoot the issue.
If Steam is down, you won’t be able to connect to Steam Network. If the servers are up, the issue likely lies in either your device or your internet connection – updating your Steam client