How to Fix: “Steam Needs to Be Online to Update”

Written by | Categories: Computers - Fix Errors - Computers - Software

Steam is the number one software to distribute games around the globe made by Valve Corporation.

It was launched in 2003 and since made gaming much easier since all games are delivered without the need or waiting for CDs/DVDs to arrive. Each time you want to reinstall a game, just login, click a button and bingo! The game is being downloaded and installed in a couple of minutes (or hours). Lot of companies tried to copy this ecosystem like Windows Store and EA’s Origin Store, but never could they compete with Steam.

Running Steam for the first time will start the download of necessary files for it to run. Those files are around 113MB in size. Yet the “SteamSetup.exe” file is only at 1.4MB.

Keep in mind that sometimes Steam may do weird things, and the error “Steam needs to be online to update. Please confirm your network connection and try again.” may appear at any time either because of some conflict.

In order to fix this error on your own you will be shown different methods that you can try.

Please make sure you follow the steps according to what feels right for your case. Sometimes you may know what caused the issue, if it occured because of a Steam crash then maybe some of the files got damaged. In this case please don’t remove all folders, backup your C:\Program Files\Steam\Steamapps for it contains all your downloaded library.

In fact, if Steam doesn’t update you can’t run nor play any games that you have purchased. In this tutorial we will show you the right ways to repair your Steam installation, changing hosts file and checking your internet probable issues.

1. Run Steam as Administrator

Right-click on the Steam shortcut on your Desktop and choose “Run as administrator“.

Now if Steam worked successfully please open the shortcut’s Properties and open “Compatibility” tab. Check “Run this program as an administrator“.

If the error persists, please follow the steps below. If at any step you solved the issue, leave a comment below. Thanks a lot!

2. Disable the “Windows Firewall”

Sometimes the Windows Firewall starts to block programs that are safe. We will temporarily disable the Firewall in order for Steam to download the update, then we can re-enable the Firewall again.

Open Control Panel, change the “View by:” to “Large icons” and click on “Windows Defender Firewall“.

In the left menu choose “Turn Windows Firewall on or off“.

Check “Turn off Windows Firewall (not recommended)” for Private and Public network settings. Click “OK” to save settings.

Try to launch Steam, if the update works then congratulation. Else keep reading.

Please don’t forget to turn your Firewall back on afterwards. Just to make sure your PC is safe from network attacks that may occur.

3. Restart the Service “Steam Client Services”

Open Run (Win+R) and type in “services.msc“. Click “OK“.

Look for “Steam Client Services” and select it. Click on “Start” in the left side of the list. If the service is already started try to “Restart” it.

This will refresh the Steam service in case something went wrong during the last use of your Steam service.

4. Re-install Steam

Open the “Control Panel(Win+X, then P or use the command control in Run) and go to “Programs and features(you can also use Win+X, and F).

Choose “Steam” from the list of installed programs and click “Uninstall“.

After Steam is uninstalled from your PC try downloading and installing it back again.

Go to and click “Install Steam” on the top right corner. This will download the Steam installation file, all you have to do now is install it and find out if

5. Copy Steam Folder from Another Computer

If you have Steam installed on another computer, you can try copying the entire folder inside Program Files except Steamapps which contains your Library.

You can either use a USB Drive or an External Drive to transfer Steam files from the other computer to your own.

Copy everything in the folder C:\Program Files\Steam (except Steamapps) and paste them on your Drive.

Now all you have to do is paste and replace the “working” Steam files on your current computer. Run Steam and see if the update runs smoothly or the error is still persisting.

6. Use Registry Editor to Fix Steam Update

The Registry Editor is a classic fix, also for this Steam error!

To fix the error “Steam needs to be online to update” on Windows 10, open Run and type regedit. Click “OK” to open the Registry Editor.

Follow this path in the left side:


Then find the string value “AlreadyRetriedOfflineMode” in the right site and double-click on it. Set the value to “0” and click “OK“.

Close the Registry Editor and Restart your computer. Try relaunching the Steam update again.

7. Add “-tcp” Parameter to Steam Shortcut

Right-click on the Steam shortcut on your Desktop and choose “Properties“.

If you don’t have a shortcut create it by going to the Steam installation path and right-click on [c]Steam.exe[/c] and go to “Send to” > “Desktop (create shortcut)“.

Go to the “Shortcut” tab and add -tcp in the “Target:” section. Click “Apply” and “OK” to save changes.

Try updating Steam now.

8. Turn off Proxy settings in Internet Explorer

Open Control Panel and choose “Internet Options“.

Click on the “Connections” tab and click “LAN settings“.

Check “Automatically detect settings” is checked and un-check “Use a proxy server for your LAN“. Click “OK“.

Restart your computer and try to update Steam.

9. Change the DNS Servers

Open the “Control Panel(Win+X, then P), change the View: to Large icons and go to “Network and Sharing Center“.

Click “Change adapter settings” in the left side of the window.

Find your internet adapter, in my case I’m using Wi-Fi to connect to internet. All I have to do is right-click on my Linksys adapter and choose “Properties“.

Select “Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)” and click “Properties“.

Click “Use the following DNS server addresses:” and put in and (below are other DNS servers you may give a try if you don’t want to use Google’s).

Click “OK“.

Here is a table containing other DNS servers you may want to use:

DNS Provider Primary DNS Server Secondary DNS Server
Comodo Secure DNS
OpenDNS Home
Norton ConnectSafe
Alternate DNS

Try Steam now.

10. Edit “hosts” File

As you may know Steam uses multiple CDNs (Content Delivery Network) to deliver and serve users the most fast and efficient way.

The original server has the hostname of:

Now if you ping to the hostname in the command prompt you will likely get the IP address

We will need to use this IP to set the CDNs that Steam connect to during the update.

Open Start menu and launch Notepad as administrator.

Once Notepad is open, go to “File” > “Open“.

Go to the following path and highlight the file hosts, then click “Open“.


When hosts file is opened add the following lines at the end:

Save changes (CTRL+S) and close Notepad.

Open the Command Prompt (CMD) and run the following command:

ipconfig /flushdns

Try running Steam now.

Please feel to share this article with your friends and family and don’t forget to leave a comment.

If Steam worked for you leave a comment below!

The author:

Soufiane is a young computer scientist and specialist in web design, knows a lot of things in the computer world. This enthusiast enjoys helping people innovate and learn more about the IT world...

  • Coxy says:


    I have sat for 5 hours working through every suggested fix, nothing works. Steam just stopped working for no reason. I was playing Sniper Elite 4, took a break and exited the game. Came back to Steam needing to update, which it failed to do. I have no way of getting to my games or library.
    Steam Client Service fails to start and I get the fatal error. I have tried moving the files from another PC that updated before and it worked, not this time. Please help.


  • Rupa Rai97 says:

    i hve tried all this method but none of this worked
    please help me regarding this issue

    • Tanmane says:


      I as well tried all of these methods but yet everytime I try to open steam the same Fatal Error: steam needs to be online to update. Please confirm your network connection and try again. Message pops up but I can’t do anything about it. I also know I have internet because I have three bars also it has connected and secure. If anyone can help that would be great.

  • Write a comment:

    xD oO ^_^ =] =) ;-( ;) :| :woot: :whistle: :sleep: :sick: :police: :p :o :ninja: :mm: :love: :lol: :kiss: :hmm: :evil: :bandit: :angel: :alien: :D :) :( 8)