Steam has tons of games for every age and mood. You can buy new ones, play with old ones, create some, or discuss them with the community. In addition, it has thousands of items, downloadable content, and user-generated mods from small and big developers. Almost every new game is supported on Steam, and even old ones are making their way into the Steam library. And many people are using Steam nowadays.
However, at times, even an industry giant like Steam can run into issues, and the most common is not being able to connect to the network. But don’t worry; we are here to save your day. Check out these fixes below to resolve the issue of Steam not connecting to the internet.
1. Upgrade Your Internet Connection
If you see an error message from Steam saying you couldn’t connect to the Steam network, you are suffering from connectivity issues. So, what you have to do first, is evaluate your internet. Most applications, services, and games demand an internet connection of 5–10 Mbps or above. So, if you don’t have a decent connection, you will occasionally get this message. For that, getting a high-speed connection like the Xtream Internet service is better to avoid network problems.
2. Check the Server Status
If you already have a reliable and consistent internet connection, then the Steam servers will likely be facing issues. Unofficial Steam Stats displays valuable information about Steam servers. From there, you can check the connection status with respect to a game or country. If the servers for any game are down, your hands are bound, and you can only wait patiently for them to return to normal.
3. Troubleshoot the Internet Connection
If nothing is wrong with the Steam servers, the problem is likely from your end. Therefore, one of the first things you should do is check your internet connection, whether you are connected or not. If you are not connected, clicking on the internet icon will tell you that you need to troubleshoot your network. You can also check by accessing any website in your internet browser.
4. Restart Your Computer
Even though it doesn’t sound like much of a troubleshooting tip, restarting your computer can solve numerous issues, for example, it can help clear out driver-related problems, crashing or stuck applications and software, and network settings.
5. Check Background Activities
Many applications like anti-virus software, peer-to-peer apps, VPN applications, and others can interfere with your internet. Also, they can affect Steam connection to the network. The most effective way of testing it is to disable these types of software and try connecting again.
6. Start Steam As an Administrator
Another unusual fix for Steam network troubles is running the client as an administrator. This is because some applications, clients, or software sometimes need additional permissions or higher privileges to run optimally. Doing so may solve your problem.
7. Resolve Your Router or Modem Issues
Let’s admit that we all have faced internet connectivity issues at some point when network service seems sluggish or doesn’t work. But it can be due to an issue with the router or modem, and one simple restart or reset can resolve the issue. To do that, disconnect the power cord to your router, wait for a few minutes, and plug it back in.
8. Disable Windows Security
Although windows security can keep you safe from a range of malware, spyware, viruses, and other threats, it can also block some applications or software from accessing the internet. This security protocol is Windows Firewall, which can interfere with the Steam connection.
To disable your firewall on Windows 10, 8, or 7: Search Control Panel and open it > System and Security > Windows Firewall > Turn off.
To disable firewall on Mac PC: Open Apple menu > System Preferences > click View > Security > Firewall tab > click Stop to disable Firewall.
9. Check the Physical Connection
If you are facing network connectivity issues, check your network status. A common problem is a faulty Ethernet plug or loose cable that causes a loss of internet or limited access. So, makes sure to check your cables from the router and modem, or if you have any Wi-Fi boosters or extenders, check them as well.
10. Update Steam
Another common thing that can prevent Steam from connecting to the internet is if the client has pending update(s). Usually, Steam checks that on its own during startup or mid-session, but if it doesn’t, you can manually check for updates by clicking Steam in the top right corner, then Check for Steam Client Updates.
11. Use Another Protocol
Usually, Steam uses User Datagram Protocol or UDP to run. To try to fix any network issues, you can switch the standard protocol to Transmission Control Protocol or TCP. To do this, close Steam, then right-click the Steam shortcut and open properties. Head over to the Shortcut tab (automatically selected) and add –TCP at the end of the Target field, click apply, and ok. This will ensure Steam uses TCP protocol. However, it may cause some latency issues.
12. Fix Winsock.dll
Steam connects to the internet through the Winsock file. The Winsock file may be corrupted, deleted, or misplaced if it faces network issues. You can try different methods to fix the winsock.dll problems and attempt connecting to Steam again.
13. Reinstall the Steam Client
If nothing seems to work, reinstalling the Steam client may be the only solution. It can fix corrupted files, protocols, permission settings, and internet issues. However, it may also delete your Steam apps and games, so make sure to copy your Steamapps folder, found under the Steam folder.
Mostly Steam’s internet-related issues are resolved through one of the above methods. However, in many cases, slow internet is the root cause of many problems. If you have a limited budget and cannot afford a fiber optic connection, you can use another high-speed internet connection to get the best bang for your buck. It will help you to have a decent internet connection. So forget your worries. Go extreme.