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How to Fix Steam Could Not Connect to Steam Network Error: Possible Solutions and Troubleshooting

In the time it took you to watch that YouTube video that didn't help you, you could've beaten like two levels in Super Mario Land

Steam works most of the time, some of the time. It’s actually pretty stable thanks to the piles of money holding it up, but every now and then you can run into trouble. One such trouble is the “Steam Could Not Connect to Steam Network” error, which is exactly what it sounds like. It’s an internet connection issue, meaning something got in between your ISP and Valve’s Steam Network shaking their proverbial hands. It’s probably an issue on your side, unless it isn’t. We have some suggestions on how to fix it. Or at least attempt to.

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Steam Could Not Connect to Steam Network Error Troubleshooting Tips

First you need to do the same crap you need to do every time there’s an internet-adjacent error message. Get offa the search engine and just turn all your stuff off. Imagine how much time you could save if you just did that first! Reboot your modem, restart Steam, turn your whole damn computer off, so on and so forth. If that doesn’t work, then you can move on to the weird stuff. Emphasis on can.

Other possible answers include:

  • Run Steam in Administrator Mode
  • Uninstall Steam entirely and reinstall
  • Direct Steam to use TCP (right-click the exe, properties, shortcut, add “-tcp” to the text already there
  • Keep reading frustrating dead end support threads ten pages into your search results
  • Drink some water and maybe get some sunlight
  • Check the Steam Status tool on the off-chance it actually is a Steam problem
  • Use Task Manager to close the Steam Bootstrapper, then restart Steam
  • Badger your ISP in support chat
  • Turn it off and on again, again
  • Play something on the Epic Games Store instead (gottem) and come back later

Related: Tower of Fantasy: How to Fix Disk Space Error

Most of these are legitimate troubleshooting steps you can use to try to “fix” this Steam Network connection error, but we are looking at, again, an internet connection issue. You don’t just fix those; you nudge it a little bit then either give up and come back later, or magically get your service back. Tinkering in Command Prompt will not save you. Turning your firewalls off will not save you. Only the sweet embrace of offline games can bring you back from the edge of despair.

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Lucas White
Lucas plays a lot of videogames. Sometimes he enjoys one. His favs include Dragon Quest, SaGa and Mystery Dungeon. You can find him on Twitter @HokutoNoLucas. Wanna send an email? Shoot it to [email protected].