By far the easiest fix, restarting Steam can provide the client with a much-needed refresh and eradicate server connection issues.
Wait It Out
Steam is generally a pretty stable platform, with problems few and far between. If the ‘’Error communicating with Steam servers’’ error has appeared out of nowhere, chances are the Steam servers may be having issues or experiencing a traffic spike they are struggling to handle. It’s also worth noting that Valve schedules Steam maintenance on Tuesdays which can cause temporary outages and connection issues.
When first encountering the error, we recommend waiting it out for 30 minutes, then trying again. In most cases, server connections are re-established quickly with running smoothly once again.
Change Internet Options
An odd fix, but one that appears to work for a portion of users. Here’s how it’s done;
- To begin, right-click the Windows Start menu, and click on ”Search”.
- In the search field type in ‘’Internet Options’’ and click on the first result with the same name.
- In the Internet Options window, navigate to the ”Connections” tab.
- Under ”LAN Settings” untick the ”Autodetect settings” option.
- Click ”OK”.
- Click ”Apply” below, then ”OK”.
- Open up Steam to see if this rids the client of the server connection error message.
Although the Steam client is generally responsible for server issues, once in awhile the problem may originate from one’s own ISP or router. We highly recommend restarting your router as a cursory measure, let it reboot, and then attempt to connect to Steam once again.
Switch Download Region
- Open up Steam.
- Click on the ‘’View’’ button that runs along the top of the screen.
- Select ‘’Settings’’ from the drop-down menu.
- Select ‘’Downloads’’ in the left-hand menu.
- Expand the drop-down menu in the ‘’Download Region’’ section on the right.
- Select a region other than your own, ideally in relative physical proximity to your own. The idea is to check that the server you usually connect to isn’t down.
- Click ‘’OK’’ below.
Run Steam As Administrator
- To start, close Steam, including the system tray icon.
- Right-click on the Windows Start menu and select ‘’Run’’.
- Type the location of the Steam directory (usually – C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam) and hit ‘’Run’’.
- Once the Steam directory is open, locate the ‘’Steam.exe’’ executable and right-click on it.
- In the contextual list that appears, click on ‘’Run as administrator’’.
- Open Steam and check to see if this has resolved the problem.
The Steam client struggles with any form of proxy or VPN. Disable a VPN if you are using one and check to see if the error persists.
Create Antivirus Exception/Disable Antivirus Temporarily
Steam and antivirus software are notoriously at odds. A fresh update to the antivirus may be causing the error message in Steam. To bypass this, we need to either disable the antivirus or enter Steam as an exception. For the sake of example, we’ll be using Avast in this instance.
- Right-click on the Avast icon in the system tray, then click on ”Open Avast user interface” from the drop-down menu that appears.
- Click on the ”Menu” icon in the top right corner of the Avast window and select ”Settings”.
- Click on the ”General” tab running along the left of the Settings window, then click on ”Exceptions” on the right.
- Click on the green ”Add Exception” button.
- In the field, type the location of the Steam executable file (more than likely – C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam) and click ”Add Exception”.
- Close and relaunch the Steam client.
The UK-based journalist and gamer, Thomas, describes himself as a man of few words with an unhealthy obsession for everything wonderful about the world of gaming. Thanks to his experience in the gaming industry, he brings a wealth of talent into GamingScan.