Main Menu

Using a Firewall with Steam (Unable to load library Steam.dll)

How should I set my firewall to work with Steam?

Error Messages
  • Crash: Steam.exe (main exception): Unable to load library Steam.dll
  • Crash: SteamProcessCall(Login) failed with error 200: Connection Reset, WinSock error 10054 Connection Reset by Peer
  • Crash: SteamStartEngine(0x12e88c) failed with error 201: Cannot perform this operation while offline
  • Error: Steam Servers Busy or Servers are Busy
  • Error: Steam is temporarily unavailable
  • Error: Secure Connection Failed
  • Error: Could not connect to Steam Network
  • Error: Could not connect to Master Game Server to Retrieve Server List


If you are installing Steam for the first time or if there has been a recent Steam update, a firewall may be preventing Steam from connecting to the Steam Network.

Please remember to update your firewall permission settings for Steam with every Steam update and for Steam games every time a game update is released. Steam updates and game updates are announced on the Steam News page.

Troubleshooting Steps


  1. Before trying anything else, try bypassing your router by connecting your computer directly to your modem.

    If the issue disappears after bypassing your router, please refer to the Using a Router with Steam topic for instructions on configuring your router.

    Note: running your router in DMZ mode is not supported by Steam and may result in connection issues.

  2. To ensure reliability, make sure you are using a wired connection to the internet. Close the Steam client application and remove all instances of the following executables from your firewall's permissions list:


    Permissions for these executables will need to be re-learned by your firewall.

  3. Open Steam to allow your firewall to re-learn permissions for the Steam executables. If your firewall does not prompt you to set new permissions, the security settings may be too strict - you will need to change these settings so you will be prompted to set permissions.

    Give the Steam executables permission for all TCP and UDP ports when prompted.

  4. Restart your computer and load Steam.

  5. If the issue persists, please see the Troubleshooting Network Connectivity topic for further troubleshooting recommendations

Firewall Provider Resources

If you are using a firewall program listed above and have questions about setting permissions, please take the opportunity to open the program and use its Help feature or review the support site for the software:

  • Microsoft provides support for the Windows XP firewall (included with Windows XP Service Pack 2, enabled by default)
  • Norton provides support for Norton Personal Firewall
  • McAfee provides support for McAfee Personal Firewall and the McAfee Internet Security Suite
  • Zone Labs provides support for ZoneAlarm
  • nVidia - nVidia's Network Access Manager is bundled with some nVidia products. Unfortunately, this product is not compatible with Steam - please see the Nothing appears on the Storefront screen in Steam topic for more information.

If allowing permissions does not seem to affect the connection to Steam, please try disabling your firewall completely before launching Steam to test this issue.


Problem with Steam?

Contact Steam Support
Related Articles
Using a Firewall with Steam (Unable to load library Steam.dll) Troubleshooting Network Connectivity
Using a Firewall with Steam (Unable to load library Steam.dll) Programs Which May Interfere with Steam
Using a Firewall with Steam (Unable to load library Steam.dll) Using a Router with Steam (Unable to connect to Steam Network)
Using a Firewall with Steam (Unable to load library Steam.dll) Disabling Background Applications