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FIX: Could not connect to Steam network error [6 methods]

TinyWall firewall
  1. Open Windows Security
  2. Go to Firewall & network protection
  3. Select the Allow an app through the firewall option
  4. Find Steam in the list and make sure the box next to it is ticked
  5. Optional Steps:
    1. Go to Virus & threat protection
    2. Select Manage Ransomware protection
    3. Click on Allow an app through controlled folder access
    4. Select Add an allowed app
    5. Add Steam to the list.

If you are running with a VPN, pause it and try starting Steam again.

If your VPN caused a conflict with Steam, it could be the very cause for the Could not connect to the Steam network error.

In this case, you can either pause the VPN and check if Steam behaves normally, or use split tunneling.

Split tunneling is an awesome VPN feature that allows you to exclude certain apps or services on your PC from the VPN tunnel.

Therefore, if you add Steam to the exclusion list and the VPN is indeed causing the error, you might even get away with not disabling your VPN.

A good example of a split-tunneling-ready VPN service is Private Internet Access.

Check out the screenshot below if you want to learn how to use PIA’s split tunneling with Steam:

set up split tunneling for Steam in PIA

Here are some of Private Internet Access’ top features:

  • More than 22,000 servers world-wide
  • Zero-logging to protect your data
  • Supports OpenVPN and WireGuard protocols
  • Can unblock Netflix, HBO GO, and other services
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • 24/7 live chat support
  • Accepts crypto, PayPal, and credit card payments
Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access

Your VPN interferes with Steam usage? Try Private Internet Access and its split tunneling feature.

  1. Use Task Manager to close all Steam processes which are currently running
  2. Create a desktop shortcut to the Steam client
  3. Right-click the shortcut and select Properties
  4. In the Target field, add -tcp at the end, after the quotation marks
  5. Start Steam and log in
change protocol on steam


The solutions provided above should fix the Could not connect to Steam network error without too much effort.

Let us know in the comments section below which method worked best for you and how easy was it to apply it.

FAQ: Steam connection errors

  • Can not connect to Steam Network?

Change the connection type as shown in the guide above. This should allow you to connect.

  • How do you fix Steam is having trouble connecting to Steam servers?

Open a Command Prompt and type the commands shown at step 1 of this guide. Then open Steam as an administrator.

  • How do I fix Steam not going online?

Reset your router (unplug the power plug and leave it for 30 seconds), then renew your DNS as shown in our dedicated guide.

  • Why is Steam not connecting to servers?

You will have check if the Steam servers are down. If you determine it is your Steam client which is having a problem, then disable your VPN (if you are using one) and then go through the troubleshooting steps listed above.

  • How do I fix error code 118 on Steam?

To fix Steam error 118, you can have a look at our guide which goes through the simple steps you will need to take.

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Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in June 2019 and was revamped and updated in December 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

This post was written by Vlad Constantinescu and was first posted to WindowsReport

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