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Steam.exe (main exception): To run Steam, you must first connect to the internet

Steam is failing to launch with the error message "Steam.exe (main exception): To run Steam, you must first connect to the internet." How can I resolve this issue?

Refreshing your Steam configuration files

This can resolve issues with corrupted configuration files that can result from Steam crashing or being forced to close.

Exit the Steam application completely.

Open Internet Explorer, Safari or Firefox and type steam://flushconfig into the web address bar and press Enter. (If asked to allow this website to open a program, please click 'Allow' or 'OK')

When prompted by Steam to reset your configuration, click 'OK.'

Once done, log in to Steam and test the issue again.

If you have multiple installation folders for your Steam games, performing this process will remove them. You will need to add the folders again before your games will appear as installed.

In order to add the folders to Steam, do the following:

  1. Open Steam
  2. Click Steam > Settings (Preferences on Mac)
  3. Navigate to the 'Downloads' tab
  4. Click the 'Steam Library Folders' button
  5. Click on 'Add Library Folder' and add the directory that contains your games
  6. Click 'OK'
  7. Restart Steam

 

Troubleshooting Network Connectivity

If you still encounter this issue after refreshing your Steam configuration files, ensure that there is nothing on your computer that could be preventing Steam from accessing the internet.

Important:

Applications such as software firewalls, antivirus or security applications, VPN or IP proxies, or anything else that could modify a program's access to the internet should be temporarily removed from your computer while you are troubleshooting this issue.

If you still encounter the issue after completing all possible steps in the article linked above, ensure that your internet hardware and connection are configured for use with Steam.

 

Further troubleshooting

Test the issue on a different computer on the same network and internet connection.

If the issue is resolved on another computer:

  • There is likely software or an operating system configuration issue on your primary computer that is blocking Steam's access to the internet.

If the issue persists on another computer:

  • The issue is likely caused by your network hardware (router, modem, etc.), a hardware firewall, or an issue with your ISP. This does not rule out configuration/application issues that are uniform across both computers, such as an antivirus application that you use on all of your home computers.

 

Submitting a Steam Support ticket

If you cannot resolve the issue with the information provided on this page or the linked articles, open a ticket with Steam Support.

Always provide as much information as you can regarding the troubleshooting steps that you have already completed, screenshots (Windows) (Mac) of error messages or other relevant information, and an Msinfo (Windows) or System Profiler (Mac) report with your technical support ticket.

Problem with Steam?

Contact Steam Support
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