Fix: Steam Error Code 118 in 2021 – Easy solutions

Have you been facing error code: 118 “Unable to connect to the server” when you try to open the Seam store or the library in Steam? And want to know how to fix it, then you have come to the right place.

In this article we will see:

  • what is error code: 118 in steam
  • What are the causes for this error
  • How we can fix the steam error code 118 

Before we get started let us see what is steam

Introduction to steam:

Steam is a digital video game distribution platform that allows you to play, download and buy games from it. It was launched in September 2003 by Valve.

The features that Steam provides include server hosting, video streaming, social networking, digital rights management(DRM), etc. It is available in 28 different languages and is compatible with Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, etc. operating systems. It was first launched as software to provide automatic updates to its games but later it started to include games from third-party publishers.

Steam controls almost 75% PC gaming market and has more than 95 million active users. According to, It had more than 21 million active users in September 2020. The Steam store has a collection of more than 37000 games.

Steam for School is a feature of Steam that it provides for free to schools to upgrade the teaching style. Steam is a great gaming platform but sometimes users face annoying errors like the Steam error 118, content file locked, disk write error, etc. 

What is error 118 on steam?

Many Steam users, when they try to open the store or library on Steam get Error code: 118 which states “Unable to connect to the server. Server may be offline or you may not be connected to the internet”.

This error is shown when Steam is not able to access the Internet. This gets irritating when you are very tired working/studying all day and you open Steam to have some fun time and you find this error.

But what if you fix the internet connectivity but still it shows the same error again. Let us see the possible causes of this error and how to fix it.

What causes the Error118 on the Steam client?

The possible causes for Error code: 118 are:

Internet connectivity:

Internet connectivity issue is one of the causes of this error. The Steam would show this error if you have poor internet connectivity.

Third-party applications:

There can be some third party applications interfering/conflicting with the Steam application due to which it shows Error code: 118

Windows Defender firewall:

Sometimes windows defender firewall restricts/blocks Steam and does not allocate Steam the required resources. This also may be the reason why it shows the error


Also, viruses in your computer can cause Steam to malfunction and show the error code: 118 when you try to do anything on Steam.

How to fix Error code: 118 on Steam:

There are five methods through which you can fix the error code: 118 on Steam. They are:

  1. Modifying the host files(Windows)
  2. Restart the router
  3. Stop the third-party applications
  4. Check if windows defender is blocking Steam
  5. Scan for viruses

Modifying the host files:

If you are a windows user then you can try to modify the hosts files to solve the steam error code 118 issue. Many windows users reported that the issue disappeared after they deleted the hosts file. To do it follow the below steps:

  1. Go to start and open File Explorer.
  2. Now Go to This PC >> Windows C: >> Windows >> System 32 >>drivers >>etc. or just copy this “C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc” in the search box to locate the file.
  3. After you click on the etc. folder search for hosts file and click on it to open it.
  4. Except localhost delete every item from it.
  5. This must resolve the error code: 118 issues on your computer.

steam error code 118

 Also read: Steam Content File Locked Error 

Restart the router:

One of the methods that you can try to fix the error code 118 on Steam is to restart the router. As we know Steam shows this error if it faces internet connectivity issues. To restart your router:

By unplugging the router:

  1. Disconnect the power plug of the router
  2. Wait for a few minutes
  3. Plug it again to restart.

By logging in to your routers admin page:

  1. Log in to your router admin page
  2. To go to your admin page open your browser (make sure the device is connected to the router) and enter the router IP address (for eg: For TP-LINK enter
  3. Enter your username and password (by default username and password is set to admin)
  4. After you log in you will reach the dashboard. Now click on the system tools
  5. In that click on Reboot and then click on the reboot button to restart your router.

Disable the third-party applications:

We can also solve the error code 118 on steam by disabling the third-party applications running in the background that are conflicting with Steam. To disable those apps that interfere with the Steam application follow the below steps:

  1. Open the Run prompt by pressing the keyword combination Windows + R. In the prompt type msconfig  and hit enter to open System Configuration
  2. If you are a Windows 10 user just click on the search icon and type system configuration and press enter.
  3. Click on the Services menu. Check-in Hide all Microsoft Services option and click on Disable all button
  4. Now click on the startup menu and click on the Open Task Manager link to open the Task Manager.
  5. Tap on the startup tab and disable all the applications that are enabled. Finally, restart your computer.
  6. After the system reboots open the Steam client application it must not show the error.

Check if windows defender is blocking Steam:

Steam can also display Error code 118 if it fails to make contact with its server. One of the reasons why Steam fails to make contact with its server is because the windows defender firewall is blocking it. To allow Steam through the firewall follow the below steps:

  1. Click on the search icon in the Taskbar or press Windows + Q keyword combination and type Windows security and press enter.
  2. Tap on the Firewall & network protection option in the Side navigation bar and then click on Allow an app through firewall
  3. A popup window will appear, in that click on change settings.
  4. Now search for Steam Client and Tick both the public and private checkbox and click on Ok to save it
  5. Finally, open the Steam Client application and check if the error persists. 

Scan for viruses:

A virus can also make Steam display code 118 by disturbing the functionality of Steam. So make sure your computer does not have viruses.

You can do a full scan of your computer to eliminate the viruses and protect your computer using the best Antivirus tools available on the internet like McAfee, Avast, Malware Bytes, etc.

However, if you don’t have any of the tools installed on your computer you can use the Windows default Antivirus to scan and eliminate the viruses. To scan for viruses via Windows Antivirus follow the below steps:

  1. Go to the taskbar >>click on the search icon and type Windows Security and hit enter to open the Windows Security window.
  2. Tap on the Virus & Threat protection option in the side navigation bar
  3. You will get the option to do a Quick Scan
  4. However, if you want to do a Full ScanCustom Scan, etc. click on the Scan options just below the Quick scan button.
  5. If the Windows viruses find any viruses it will eliminate those viruses and the Steam client will stop displaying the error code 118.

Temporarily disable windows firewall:

The Windows Firewall sometimes considers the game files as a threat to the system because of which it blocks the services to the Steam client application. This affects the proper functioning of the application and may be the reason why steam fails to load the webpage and throws the error code – 118. You can disable the firewall easily and it is highly recommended to turn on the firewall as soon as you are done with the task. Also, here are the steps to do it:

  1. Open the Control panel application.
  2. Click on the option System and Security
  3. Then, click on the Windows Defender Firewall option
  4. Next, click on the Turn Windows Defender Firewall on or off option on the left side
  5. Here, click on Turn off Windows Defender Firewall for both public and private networks and click on OK
  6. Lastly, open Steam and check if the error persists.

Detailed steps to temporarily disable windows firewall


Q. What is Steam error code – 21?
A. Steam error code -21 is a runtime error and it is caused when Steam fails to load or it crashes while running.

Q. What is steam error code 101?
A. Steam error code 101 is faced when the users try to access the Steam store. It is caused due to network connection error or if the Steam server is down. So, you must make sure that your internet connection is proper to avoid this error. If you have a stable connection and still face the error then check if the Steam servers are not down.

Final Words:

In the above article, I have explained how to fix the steam error code: 118 on your computer by modifying the host files, restarting the router, Disabling third-party applications, Allowing Steam through windows firewall, Scanning for viruses. If you are facing the same error when you try to open the Steam store or Library then please read the above article for solutions.
Let me know in the comment box if the article helped you solve the steam error code 118 on your computer

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