How to fix Steam connection timeout error

Steam always seems to have issues, from basic connection and server issues to problems with games not downloading. While it seemingly occurs for no reason, it usually isn’t your fault and is a problem from Steam. This error seems to be caused by Steam having trouble when you try to update a game.

While there isn’t a specific answer to Steam connection timeout errors, there are several methods you can try that can potentially improve your internet connection. These range from resetting your internet to running the app as an administrator; this article will cover five ways to fix this issue.

How to run Steam as an administrator

  • Make sure you’re connected to the internet
  • Find the Steam app icon
  • Right-click on the app
  • The press “Run as administrator.”

Many things could potentially fix this issue other than waiting for Steam to fix it. These are listed in the content list below; please click through these and let us know if any work for you.

Content list

What is the Steam “connection timeout” error

One of Steam’s most known traits is how many random errors you can get. The problems range from downloads not starting or freezing to Steam being slow, to the topic of this article, the Steam “connection timeout” error. The leading cause of this issue should be a network or software issue caused by Steam, not your device. Otherwise, this can be caused by internet problems or the need to update your driver. This occurs when you try to update a game, and Steam gives you the connection error.

Source – tosiek

I will discuss several things that may fix this issue, involving updating drivers to checking download settings. It may be as simple as using an ethernet cable or resetting your internet. You can also try running Steam as an administrator.

Make sure you are connected to the internet

If you get the Steam connection timeout error, the first move to make is to reset your internet. This is quick, and if it works, you will be able to get back to download your updates. It would be the easiest method to try as it involves checking your connection on your device and reconnecting to it. This solution would be better than resorting to uninstalling Steam and reinstalling it.

The internet connection can be found on your device’s taskbar on Windows and Apple bar on a Mac. If your device is a wired connection, you need to reset your router; otherwise, click it and disconnect it.

Wireless Connection

Local Wired Connection

After refreshing your internet, go back to the game and try updating it again.

Run Steam as an administrator

Next, I will show how to run Steam as an administrator. This is done by right-clicking an app on your desktop and pressing “Run as administrator.” All apps on Windows have this feature; if they don’t show the option, then you will need to check if Windows or the apps need an update.

Running as an administrator allows you to run an app like you have most of the privileges available, so running Steam as an admin should let you access it without restriction.

How to run as an administrator

  • Find the Steam app icon.
  • Press it once to highlight it, then right-click the app and press “Run as administrator.”
  • Unless Steam asks you to sign in, it should run as usual.

You may need to run as admin if your operating system doesn’t give the app the correct permissions.

Check for network driver updates

The next step is something that people often forget they can check. This is checking for driver updates on their computer. Like how Windows needs updates, so you do your drivers; if you fail to update your drivers regularly, then some app functions may fail. You can use the device manager on Windows to check for network driver updates.

Check for network driver updates

  • Use the Windows search bar to find “Device Manager.”
  • Press “Network adapters” to find any drivers that need to update.
  • You will likely see more than one adapter, and you must click them all and press the black icon at the top. This will save “Update device driver;” click this for all options.
  • Pressing this option will show a new window showing two options; the first is to search for driver updates automatically, and the second is to look for them manually.
  • Choose the “automatic” option and follow the instructions given. It should tell you that you have the best one installed; if not, follow the instructions. Otherwise, click “Search for updated drivers” on the box.
  • This will show you the “WIndows update” page on the Windows settings. This is where you go if you want to find updates for Windows. If there is an update, it should show “View optional updates.”
  • This is where most driver updates can be found. Unless your drivers update automatically, you need to go here.

After downloading updates, you should restart your device and try Steam again.

Check for Steam client updates

The last method to try other than uninstalling Steam is checking if the Steam client has any updates. This could be why you’re getting connection errors, as Steam will not function correctly if an update is available.

Check for updates

  • Revisit the Steam app.
  • Click “Steam” on the navigation menu.
  • This will open a drop-down menu, then press “Check for Steam client updates.”
  • Steam will then download any updates; otherwise, it will be up to date.

Uninstall and reinstall Steam

Finally, if these methods haven’t worked, you should consider uninstalling and reinstalling Steam. You can do this by finding a list of programs on Steam in the Windows settings. This can be time-consuming, but it may be worth it.

  • Search “Add or remove programs.”
  • This will open the Windows settings, then search “Steam” under apps and features.
  • Click “Steam” and press “Uninstall.”
  • After doing this, find the download for Steam online or click this link.


The Steam connection timeout occurs when Steam has an error when trying to update or download a game. Most of the time, the error is due to an issue with Steam, but there are some things you can do to try to fix it.

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