If Steam does not open with an error message, you need to check all possible reasons for connection failure in order to solve this problem. Here in a couple of minutes you will learn about the main solutions of this problem.
Steam doesn't open on Windows
If you play video games on PC, chances are you are one of the over 100 million users who purchase games from this largest online gaming service and have the Steam app on your computer. This is a very powerful platform that provides an amazing gaming experience, however, sometimes you may encounter the problem of losing connection to the service. The reason may be an Internet or network failure, software problem, or another bug. We will analyze each separately and give tips on how to solve them.
Network connection error
Most often, when the connection is lost, you get a network connection error message. In this case, you need to restart the Steam connection.
- Go to the Steam menu and select Go online
- Click on Connect to the Internet > Restart Steam.
Checking if you have lost your Internet connection is the first and most obvious thing to do if you cannot connect to Steam.
- Check the cable. Check your modem and router. You will find more detailed tips on the Steam Router Troubleshooting page.
- It is possible that some ports on your router and/or firewall are closed. Check if they are open.
- You can try changing the data transferring protocol from UDP to TCP.Also, a simple reset of the TCP/IP stack can sometimes help.
Software failure on your computer
No matter how powerful a computer is, no one is immune from failures in programs or drivers, which can cause the connection to Steam to be lost.
- The easiest way to fix this kind of failure is to simply restart your device.
- If this does not help, you can reinstall your Steam app. In order not to loose progress in your games, copy the Steam app folder to a safe place. You can find instructions on how to reinstall your app on a Steam support page.
- Also, if you are using Windows 10/11 check if Winsock.dll file is corrupted and reset it. This file implements the API and coordinates Windows programs and TCP/IP connections. In order to reset it, follow these steps:
Right-click on Start > Command Prompt (Admin) and type netsh winsock reset > Enter. To generate a log file as well, use netsh winsock reset c:\winsocklog.txt instead. When it's done, restart your PC.
Outdated network card driver
This can also be the cause of the connection failure with Steam. You can find the latest drivers on your card's brand website.
Steam server outages
Very rarely, but still, the Steam server itself may fail, in which case it will be necessary to wait for its resumption. You can check the status of the platform server on a special page.
Conflict with other programs
If you have a VPN running during a session with Steam, then this program may interfere with the connection to the gaming platform. Try to deactivate as many programs as you can do without for now, including Windows firewall.
Check your computer for viruses, spyware and trojans. They can be a reason of the connection failure.
Fix Steam connection error on Mac
If you are a Mac user, most of the solutions above apply to you. However, also note the following tricks, which may help you re-establish a connection to the service:
- Reinstalling Steam without loosing games
If you decide to try and fix the connection error by reinstalling the Steam app, you can do it without loosing your games in a couple of easy steps. Go to Finder and open the location
~/Application Support/Library/Steam in order to open the Steam folder. Here find the Steam.AppBundle and delete it. Launch Steam app again.
- Deleting cache files
If the previous method did not help and you have ruled out all other possible causes, it is worth trying to delete the Steam cache files that may be causing the connection to fail. To do this, go to Finder, open Library > Application Support, and here you will find the Steam folder. To delete cache files, press Shift + ⌘ + G on your keyboard. Go to ~/Library/Preferences and ~/Library/Logs, and delete all Steam files. After that, reinstall Steam again. A detailed guide to reinstalling Steam on a Mac can be found here.