Recently, a large number of Steam gamers have reported that they are seeing the Steam Fatal Error message prompt that says “Steam needs to be online to update. Please confirm your network connection and try again”. Generally, this error is seen when you open the Steam application and it starts updating itself. The potential causes for this error message on the Steam app are system proxy settings, administrative access not enabled, DNS setting issues, installed antivirus or firewall, or Steam files have gone corrupt.
In this article, we have discussed the troubleshooting strategies which can be used to resolve this particular error in Steam. Before performing the fixes, we recommend you restart your system and check if it helps to clear the issue. Also, try to disable the antivirus you are currently using and see if it resolves the error.
Fix 1 – Change Steam Compatibility Settings
1. Locate the Steam shortcut on your desktop.
2. Right-click on the shortcut and select Properties.
3. Go to the Compatibility tab.
4. Under Compatibility mode, check the box next to Run this program in compatibility mode for: and select Windows 7 from the drop-down box below.
5. Also check the box next to Run this program as an administrator.
6. Click on Apply and then OK to save the settings.
Open Steam and check if the application works without any error.
Fix 2 – Turn Off Windows Firewall
1. Press Windows + S and type Windows Firewall in the search box.
2. Select Firewall and Network Protection.
3. Here you can see Domain, Public, and Private network settings for Firewall.
4. Click on Public network.
5. Toggle off the option under Microsoft Defender Firewall. Click on Yes when prompted by UAC.
6. Perform Steps 4 and 5 for both domain and private networks.
Launch Steam and check if this fixes the error. Once you have updated Steam, turn on the firewall for the above networks as it is not recommended to keep the firewall off.
Fix 3 – Delete Steam Files
1. Locate your Steam installation folder. By default, the location is C:\Program Files\Steam or C:\Program Files(x86)\Steam.
2. Inside the Steam folder, select all files except the steam.exe file and Steamapps folder.
3. Press Delete to remove the selected Steam files from your PC.
4. Reboot your PC.
5. Once the reboot is complete, go to the Steam installation directory and double-click on steam.exe to start the application. It starts updating and downloading the files required for the Steam application.
Fix 4 – Changes in Registry
1. Press Windows + R to open Run. Type regedit to open Registry Editor.
2. If prompted by UAC, click on Yes.
3. Go to the following location in Registry or copy and paste the below location in the navigation bar.
4. Double-click on the Offline DWORD on the right side.
5. Set the Value Data to 0 if it is set to 1. Then click on OK.
6. Close the Registry Editor.
7. Restart your system and check if the problem with Steam is resolved.
Fix 5 – Add -tcp parameter to Steam Shortcut
1. Go to Steam shortcut and right-click on it.
2. Select Properties from the context menu.
3. Click on the Shortcut tab.
4. In the box next to Target, add -tcp after the quotation marks.
5. Click on Continue if asked for administrator rights.
6. Click on Apply and OK to save the settings.
7. Launch Steam using the shortcut and check if the issue is resolved.
Fix 6 – Turn Off Proxy
1. To open the Run box hold Windows and R keys together.
2. Type inetcpl.cpl to open Internet Options.
3. Go to the Connections tab.
4. Click on the LAN settings button at the bottom.
5. Uncheck the box next to Use a proxy server for your LAN.
6. Click on OK to save the changes.
Launch Steam and check if the update issue is fixed.
Fix 7 – Change the DNS Settings
1. Open Run by pressing the Windows and R keys together.
2. Type ncpa.cpl to open Network Connections in your system.
3. Right-click on the network adapter currently being used and select Properties.
4. Select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) in the list. Click on the Properties button.
5. In the General tab, click on the Advanced button at the bottom.
6. In the Advanced TCP/IP Settings window, go to the DNS tab.
7. Click on the Add… button and enter the Google DNS 22.214.171.124 or 126.96.36.199.
8. Click on Add and then save the changes.
9. Open Run (Windows + R). Type cmd and press Ctrl + Shift +Enter to open the command prompt with administrator privileges.
10. Type the following command one after another:
ipconfig /flushdns ipconfig /registerdns
11. Relaunch Steam and check if it updates and starts without any error.
Fix 8 – Set Automatic Startup for Steam Client Service
1. Press Windows + R keys together to open the Run dialog.
2. Type services.msc to open the Windows Services.
3. Look for Steam Client Service in the list of services.
4. Double-click on Steam Client Service to open its Properties.
5. In the dropdown box next to Startup type: select the option Automatic.
6. Click on Apply and then OK to confirm the changes.
Check if Steam updates without any update error.
Fix 9 – Reset Network Configurations
1. Open Run (Windows + R).
2. Type cmd and press Ctrl + Shift +Enter to open the command prompt as an administrator.
3. Type the commands below and hit Enter after each.
netsh winsock reset netsh int ip reset ipconfig /release ipconfig /renew netsh interface ipv4 reset netsh interface ipv6 reset
4. Restart your computer and check if the error message is resolved while updating Steam.
Fix 10 – Edit Hosts File
Steam makes use of multiple CDNs (Content Delivery Network) to serve and deliver to the users in a fast and efficient manner. The server hostname is
cdn-01-origin.steampowered.com or cdn-01.steampowered.com
If we ping the hostname using the command prompt you get the IP address like 188.8.131.52. This IP can be used to set the CDNs to which Steam connects while updating.
1. Press Windows + S and type Notepad in the search box.
2. Right-click on Notepad and select Run as administrator.
3. In Notepad, press Ctrl + O to open a file in notepad.
4. Browse to the folder below:
5. Select the hosts file and click on Open.
6. If you are not able to see any files, change Text documents to All Files in the bottom right.
7. Add the following lines at the end of the hosts file:
8. Press Ctrl + S to save the changes. Close Notepad.
9. Press Windows + R and type cmd to open Command Prompt.
10. Type the following command and press Enter.
11. Close Command Prompt and launch Steam again to check if the error is fixed.
Fix 11 – Reinstall Steam
1. Press Windows + R and type appwiz.cpl to open Programs and Features.
2. Locate Steam app.
3. Right-click on it and click on Uninstall.
4. On the confirmation prompt, click on Uninstall. Wait for the uninstallation process to complete.
5. Restart your computer.
6. Go to the steam download website once the system reboots.
7. Download the latest version of Steam.
8. Double-click on the installer to complete the installation process.
9. Check if Steam runs without any error message after installing.
Thanks for reading.
We hope this article has helped you resolve the update error in Steam. Comment and let us know the fix that worked for you.
A software engineer turned into an educator with vast teaching experience in universities. Currently working towards my passion for writing.