Could Not Connect To Steam Network [SOLVED]

Get back into the famous PC gaming launcher pronto with the solutions ahead

Sometimes when you try to use Steam, you might bump into a problem where it can’t connect to its network. It’s frustrating because it happens suddenly without warning. This issue stops you from logging in and playing your games. When you open Steam, you might see a message telling you to check your connection and try again or start Steam in Offline Mode. Clicking “Retry” doesn’t usually fix it. It leaves you stuck and unable to access your games unless you do something about it.

Key Highlights

These are all the possible solutions to tackle this issue:

  • Check the Steam server status.
  • Restart the Steam Client Bootstrapper.
  • Modify the target address of the Steam app (-tcp).
  • Run Steam with admin privileges.
  • Temporarily disable antivirus.
  • Reset IP using Command Prompt.
  • Update network drivers.
  • Use an alternative DNS server.
  • Perform a network reset (Windows 11).
  • Reinstall the desktop Steam launcher.
steam could not connect to steam network
Could Not Connect to the Steam Network Error

Also, Check Out: Minecraft Realms Internal Server Error

Check Steam Server Status

It’s not set in stone that we’re the ones at fault here when the “could not connect to the Steam network” pops up. Chances are that Steam might be suffering from an issue from the back end, which happens to be the side of the people up high in control of moderating the diverse services of the Steam software. Given its online-only nature, the launcher heavily depends on its servers running optimally. 

In the case where that isn’t a possibility at a specific time, you’ll definitely face problems with running Steam, such as not being able to connect right from the get-go. The quickest way to ensure that your device or internet connection isn’t the culprit to blame is to authenticate Steam’s server status. A fan-curated website called Steam Status is your best bet regarding the matter at hand.

could not connect to the steam network fix
Steam Status

Restart The Steam Client Bootstrapper Service

A working method that has prevailed for a ton of players pertains to restarting the Steam Client Bootstrapper process on your Windows PC. This is a part of the mainline Steam app that’s running in the background on the device you have.

Several people have gone forth with the restart only to discover that it finally got the application working again. Therefore, in the case that there’s a chance that the method has potential, you have to go for it without a second opinion. 

We’re going to follow a step-by-step process and carry out a working fix to the issue in question. Shouldn’t be too hard to follow. 

  1. The first step is to completely shut down the Steam Launcher. Make sure you top it off from the Task Manager as well. 
  2. Secondly, restart the Steam Client Bootstrapper process. This will also be done from the Task Manager as you can comprehend from the screenshot below.
    steam could not connect to steam network
    The Steam Client Bootstrapper Process
  3. Launch Steam and see whether you can finally start it up. 

Modify The Target Address Of The Steam App

There’s one more trick that has been working like a charm for those who cannot get the Steam launcher to work on their end. It pertains to modifying the “Target” address of the Steam application. By incorporating another protocol in the mix, it is very much possible to get through this annoying error code that we’re up against.

All you have to do, therefore, is fire up the “Properties” of the Steam application, locate the “Target” section and add another entry at its far end. In case you’re not well-versed with processes such as these, the following steps are going to take it from here.

  1. Get started by right-clicking on the Steam shortcut icon on your desktop and then clicking on “Properties.”
  2. Right after that, a small-scale window will surface on your screen. Select the “Shortcut” tab to continue from here.
  3. Once done, click on the box beside “Target,” move the cursor to the end of the text, press the space bar once, and add “-tcp” to it, similar to how it is shown in the screenshot below.
    Modifying the Target Address of the Steam App
    Modifying the Target Address of the Steam App
  4. Finally, click on “Apply” and press the “OK” button. You should be done in a moment’s time. 

That’s all about modifying the “Target” address of the Steam app. Try starting the launcher now and see whether it starts up. You should be able to get going with the program now but if things still do not go your way, try what we’ve curated for you ahead. 

Run Steam With Administrator Privileges

Giving Steam administrator rights is the ideal solution to ensure you have unlimited access to the renowned desktop launcher. When you’re not using the application as an administrator there is a myriad of issues that can be discovered accidentally which can turn into an unavoidable catastrophe. This is an ad-hoc jab on this ” could not connect to Steam network” issue.

It is the reason why it is recommended to operate Steam with the help of an administrator in order to make the best possible performance, no matter what. There are a few ways to complete the goal however let’s look at the easiest for you to understand. 

Disable Your Antivirus Temporarily

Some users across community forums seem to claim that the antivirus software of their Windows PC is hindering Steam’s ability to run.

This, of course, is definitely not set in stone, so we have to test the theory out and confirm its genuineness ourselves. If you’ve got the Windows Defender Firewall software up and running, toggle it off for a moment to potentially resolve the “could not connect to the Steam network” error.

The following steps are going to clarify the exact process you can use to disable Windows Defender temporarily. That way, you’ll be able to launch Steam to see whether it works normally now. 

  1. Get started by searching for “Windows Security” in the Windows Search bar. Click on the application when it pops up to get to the next step.
    connection error could not connect to the steam network
    Opening Windows Security
  2. Right after that, select the “Virus and threat protection” section to move forward. In the final step, you should be able to disable your Windows antivirus software.
    could not connect to steam network but internet is fine
    Selecting the Virus and Threat Protection Settings
  3. In the final step, simply turn off the following features in the “Virus and threat protection settings” section. All you have to do is click on the respective toggle underneath each setting to disable it. This should be fairly simple to complete.
Disabling All of the Virus and Threat Protection Settings
Disabling All of the Virus and Threat Protection Settings

Great going so far! You’ve now properly disabled your operating system’s in-built antivirus. Try whether Steam can benefit from it or not. Try firing up the launcher to confirm the culprit of the issue in question. If you still haven’t been able to alleviate the situation, keep on reading to try a bevy of other fixes.

Use The Command Prompt To Reset Your IP

Next up, we’ll be utilizing the Command Prompt to tweak some of our IP-related settings on the Windows PC. It appears that renewing your IP address through this high-end system utility potentially resolves Steam’s network-centric issue.

Many players were able to get the app working by implementing a series of commands in the Command Prompt and rendering their internet connection more profound. 

Update Your Network Driver

We’ve all been through the pangs of not having up-to-date graphics drivers, but it’s high time that we shed some light on your device’s network drivers as well. It is possible that an outdated version of the latter might be preventing you from running the Steam launcher appropriately, causing a girth of network issues. Authenticate by going into the “Device Manager” system app and taking a look at your “Network adapters.” 

As soon as you click on the drop-down menu, all of the installed “Network drivers” will appear in a list form. From there, right-click on the relevant driver and select “Update driver.” Lastly, you will be prompted to look for drivers either manually or automatically. Choose the latter as shown in the screenshot below to get the job done.

could not connect to steam network 2021
Searching Automatically to Update the Network Driver

Oh, and do consider something like Avast Driver Updater that takes care of your driver updating needs on the fly. Software such as the latter automates the whole drive updating procedure, so you don’t have to indulge into this laborious endeavor yourself. 

Even in the case that you have fully updated network drivers and the Steam launcher still isn’t budging from its position, try what we have prepared for you ahead.

Use An Alternative DNS

One of the best ways to start is changing your DNS settings to another one on the Windows PC. DNS is an abbreviation to mean Doman Name System and is an essential component of computer devices that can connect using the internet. DNS makes access to a variety of IP addresses feasible and allows connections with web servers an actual possibility. In a more informal sense, DNS is also known as the internet’s phonebook.

You’ll likely find that the answer to the nagging Warzone issue lies in making changes to your DNS configurations. This is what we’re going to do for the solution we’re looking to solve. 

Perform A Network Reset

A “Network Reset” is an exclusive Windows 11 feature that can help you refresh your device’s connectivity. Let’s cut to the chase and talk about how to perform one without any further delay. 

  1. The first step is to fire up the “Settings” system app on your Windows PC. Feel free to use the Windows Search bar to get that done. 
  2. As soon as you’re in, click on “Network and Internet” on the panel to the left. Doing so should switch up the contents of the screen for you. The next task in line is to click on “Advanced network settings” as you can see in the screenshot below.
    could not connect to the steam network fix
    Clicking on “Advanced Network Settings”
  3.  You now have to select “Network reset” under the “More settings” subsection.
    steam could not connect to steam network
    Selecting “Network Reset”
  4. The final step is to click on the “Reset” button right beside “Network reset.” Once you click on the button, things should roll into motion for you.
    connection error could not connect to the steam network
    Resetting the Network

That’s about it! Restart your PC and launch Steam as soon as it boots back on. There’s a high chance you’ll be able to play your games swimmingly from here on out. In the case that you still can’t, we’re afraid there’s only one more potential fix left to shoot your shot at. 

My Thoughts

The “Can’t connect to Steam network” problem is causing trouble for lots of people trying to play games. It stops you from logging in and accessing your games.

There are some ways to fix it, like checking Steam’s server status, restarting parts of Steam, and changing some computer settings. People on forums and Twitter are frustrated and trying different solutions, but there’s no surefire fix.

The company hasn’t said much about it, and it seems to affect users everywhere, not just in one place. It’s not clear if recent updates are causing this problem, but trying different fixes might help, even if it’s not guaranteed.

Other Steam Error Guides That We’ve Covered on Exputer:

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Saqib is a Senior Guides writer at eXputer with multiple years of writing experience. His love for RPGs, Roblox, and mobile games knows no bounds. In his free time, Saqib is on yet another adventure with Roblox or free roaming in RPG. Saqib has completed a Journalism degree and worked for notable gaming sites including DualShockers and Gamepur. You can follow Saqib's gaming activity on his Steam profile.
Experience: 3+ Years || Education: Bachelor's in Accounting || Previously Worked for DualShockers & Gamepur|| Published 200+ Guides

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