It’s almost impossible to roam the world of gaming without coming across the name “Steam”. The client happens to be the most popular gaming platform for PC. It has a lot of exclusive popular titles from ARPGs to Massively Multiplayer Online games. To keep the gaming experience as seamless as possible, Steam developers always make sure the servers are running and the app is properly optimized.
However, being a Windows application, problems inevitably occur from time to time. Steam servers are not immune to breakdowns, which happen on very rare occasions. Also, local system glitches could mess things up.
One of the many issues that gamers encounter on the Steam client is the Error Code 101. This particular error tends to come up when gamers attempt to use the Steam store, open their profile page, update a game or even download a new one. In some cases, it comes with the error message that reads, “Could not connect to the Steam network”.
Normally, you would think that your Internet connection is bad or Steam’s servers are currently down. However, many users have found that the issue might be stemming from other underlying causes, including bad cached data, firewall interference, network restrictions, or corrupted Steam installation. Other issues like malware infection could also be responsible.
If you’re going through this problem, there are different ways to go about fixing it, and we will be showing you what to do in detailed steps.
First Solution: Check for Steam Server Issues
The first thing you should do before embarking on different troubleshooting processes is to confirm whether Steam servers are down. You can go to their social media handles or check fan community pages to know if other people are having the same problems as you. Once you get this out of the way, you can go ahead and apply the fixes that follow.
Second Solution: Clear the Web Browser Cache
Steam’s browser cache contains a lot of information that make things easier for you. It allows the application to apply certain choices automatically or make suggestions such as helping you access previously viewed web pages and apply settings you’ve used on multiple occasions.
That said, the cache might accumulate wrong preferences and settings or might become corrupt over time. Corruption or issues with wrong data could trigger the Error Code 101 on Steam.
To resolve the problem, in this case, you have to clear the browser’s cache. Although you will no longer get to see suggestions and automatic application of different preferences that were used multiple times, it will be a welcome sacrifice. When you clear the browser’s cache, a new one will be created, and the app will begin to collect new, correct data.
This particular fix helped a lot of gamers resolve the issue.
If you don’t know how to apply it, the steps below will walk you through the entire process:
- Go to the Start menu, search for Steam, and then launch the client. If you have a desktop shortcut, double-click it.
- After the Steam client appears, go to the title bar, click on Steam, and then click on Settings.
- Once you see the Settings interface, go to the left pane and click on Web Browser.
- Navigate to the Web Browser tab on the right side of the window and click on the button that reads, “Delete Web Browser Cache”.
- Once the process is complete, try performing the action to check if the error code shows up again.
If the error no longer appears, then you just confirmed that the cache is responsible. On its own, the Steam client never clears the cache of its web browser automatically. So, this means you have to manually clear the cache, using the steps above. However, you can take further steps to make the Steam client clear the cache automatically from time to time. To do that, you have to create a script and a task schedule. The process is quite simple and straightforward and won’t take more than ten minutes of your time.
The steps below will show you what to do:
- Go to the Start menu, search for Notepad, and then launch the application once it shows up in the search results.
- After Notepad opens, copy and paste the following into the new note:
@echo off TITLE CLEAR STEAM WEB CACHE BEFORE LAUNCHING rmdir /s /q “%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Steam\htmlcache” mkdir “%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Steam\htmlcache”
- Press the Ctrl and S keys together or go to the top of the Window and select File >> Save.
- In the Save dialog box, enter a name that you’ll remember, then save the file with the .BAT extension.
- Click on the OK button.
- Now, follow these steps to create a scheduled task:
- Right-click the Start button and select Run in the Quick Access menu. You can also press the Windows and R keys together to launch the Run dialog box.
- After Run opens, type “taskschd.msc” (without the quotes) and click on the OK button.
- After the Task Scheduler opens, go to the top-left corner of the window, click on Actions, then click on Create Task (don’t click on Create Basic Task).
- Once the Create Task dialog window appears, add a name you want for the task, then switch to the Actions tab.
- Click on the New button in the Actions tab.
- Go the Program/Script box once you see the New Action dialog window and click on the Browse button. Next, navigate to the BAT file you created earlier and select it.
- Next, click on the New button again.
- This time, select the Steam.exe file in the installation folder of the client.
- Now, you have to create a short it on your desktop that you’ll use to launch the Steam client and automatically clear its cache.
- Right-click your desktop’s empty surface and select New >> Shortcut.
- After the Create Shortcut dialog appears, enter the following text into the text box provided for entering the location of the shortcut:
C:\Windows\System32\Schtasks.exe /run /tn “Task name”
- Note that “Task Name” is a placeholder for the name of the task you created earlier.
- After creating the shortcut, make sure you always use it to launch it Steam whenever you want to clear the cache.
Third Solution: Prevent Your Antivirus Program from Blocking the Steam Client
It’s possible that your system protection program is considering seem to be a security threat. Even if the exe file is free from the scrutiny program, some of Steam’s installation files might fall victim. You will have to add the client’s installation folder as an exclusion or exception in your antivirus program.
If you don’t know how to add Steam as an exclusion or exception, go to the website of your application’s developer to find a guide that will walk you through the process. Do note that your antivirus program might be using another name to point to the feature where you can add Steam’s installation folder to the “do-not-scan” list. In some programs, you have to go for the whitelist, safelist, or exemptions.
If you use Windows Defender as your main antivirus program, then you would have to go through the Virus & Threat Protection tool to add the application as an exclusion.
The steps below will show you how to do that:
- Go to the Start menu and click on the cogwheel next to your username to launch the Settings application. To summon the app, using your keyboard, press the Windows logo and I keys simultaneously.
- Once the home screen of the Settings app shows up, go to the bottom of the window and click on the Update & Security icon.
- After the Update & Security page appears, navigate to the left pane and click on Windows Security.
- Switch over to the right pane and click on Virus & Threat Protection under Protection Areas.
- The Virus & Threat Protection page of the Windows Security suite will now appear.
- Scroll down to Virus & Threat Protection Settings and click on the Manage Settings link.
- After the Virus & Threat Protection Settings interface shows up, go to the Exclusions section and click on “Add or remove exclusions.”
- Click on “Add an exclusion” once the Exclusions window opens, then choose Folder from the context menu.
- Once the Browse dialog window appears, navigate to Steam’s installation folder and select it.
- Now, check if the game can run again.
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Fourth Solution: Allow the Steam Client Through Your Firewall
Since the problem is connected to a network issue, it is possible that the client does not have access to your network infrastructure. As you know, your computer’s network is overseen by the firewall. If it doesn’t trust a certain application, it will block it from accessing the Internet. In this case, it could be that the Steam client is one of those entrusted programs.
Now, to resolve the problem, allow your firewall program to grant Steam access to your computer’s network. To do that, you would have to go to the Firewall & Network Protection tool in Windows Security and allow the Steam client through it. If you use a third-party firewall application, then you can go to the website of your app’s developer to find out how to unlock the client through the security program.
The steps below will show you how to allow the client through Windows Security firewall:
- Click on the Start button and click on the gear icon in the Start menu to launch the Settings application. You can also use the Windows + I hotkey to summon the app.
- Click on Update & Security once you get to the Settings home page.
- After the Update & Security screen shows up, switch to the Windows Security tab, and then click on the Open Windows Security button.
- Once Windows Security (Windows Defender Security Center in older versions) opens, click on Firewall & Network Protection.
- Under Firewall & Network Protection, click on the “Allow an app through firewall” option.
- The Allowed Apps window will now come up.
- Click on the Change Settings button (you need administrative privileges to do this).
- Now, locate Steam under the “Allowed apps and features:” list.
- If you don’t see the client, click on the Allow Another App button towards the bottom-left of the dialog window.
- Click on the Browse button in the Add an App dialog that shows up, then navigate to Steam’s installation folder and double-click its EXE file.
- Click on the Add button once the client’s icon shows up in the Add an App dialog.
- Now, tick the box to its left and the two boxes to its right under Private and Public.
- Click on OK to save your changes, and then launch Steam to check if the problem persists.
If the app still shows the error, disable Windows Defender Firewall and check again. Here’s how to disable the firewall:
- Open Windows Security: You can do this by clicking on the shield icon at the far right of your taskbar (click on the arrow in the taskbar if you can’t see the icon).
- Open Firewall & Network Protection once Windows Security opens.
- Click on Domain Network once the Firewall & Network Protection tab opens, and then toggle off the Windows Defender Firewall. Go back to the Firewall & Network Protection page and repeat this step for Public Network and Private Network.
- You can now run the client and check if the problem you’re facing has been resolved.
If the connection issue continues, then move on to the next solution.
Fifth Solution: Make Sure Windows Recognizes Steam’s Certificate
- Open a File Explorer Window by right-clicking on the Start button and selecting File Explorer from the Quick Access menu. If you want to launch the program faster, click on the folder icon in the taskbar or tap the Windows and E keyboard keys simultaneously.
- After File Explorer shows up, navigate to Steam’s installation folder. The default path is C >> Program Files (x86) >> Steam. If you installed the app in a different directory, you can easily summon the folder by right-clicking its desktop shortcut and selecting Open File Location.
- Once Steam’s installation folder opens, locate Steamservice.exe, right-click it, and then click on Properties in the context menu.
- After the context menu shows up, go to the Digital Signatures tab.
- Click on Value from the Signatures list, and then click on the “Details box”.
- Once you see the Digital Signature Details interface, switch to the General tab and click on “View Certificate”.
- After that, go to the Certificate menu and click on Install Certificate.
- Once the Certificate Windows Wizard appears, choose Local Machine under Store Location.
- Click on the Next button.
- Switch on the toggle next to “Automatically select the certificate store based on the type of certificate”.
- Click on the Next button.
- Click on the Finish button once you get to the final page of the wizard.
- You can now restart the Steam client and check if the issue has been resolved.
Sixth Solution: Reinstall the Steam Client
Corrupt installation files could also produce the error. If you want to make sure this isn’t the problem, you would have to go ahead and reinstall Steam. However, before you do that, you have to back up the Steamapps folder, where your game is files are stored. The following guides will walk you through the entire process:
Creating a backup of your game files:
- Launch a File Explorer window by clicking on the folder icon in the taskbar or by double-clicking on any folder on your desktop. You can easily summon the program by tapping the Windows and E keys simultaneously.
- Once the File Explorer window opens, go to the left pane and click on This PC.
- Navigate to the right pane and double-click the Local Disk C under Devices and Drives.
- After the volume opens, go to the Program Files (x86) folder and double-click it.
- Next, open the Steam folder once the Program Files (x86) folder shows up.
- Now, copy the Steamapps folder to another directory.
- Right-click the Start button and click on Run in the Quick Access menu or use the Windows + R keyboard combo to launch the Run dialog box.
- After Run appears, type “control panel” (no quotes) into the text box and click on the OK button.
- Once Control Panel opens, click on Uninstall a Program under Programs.
- After the Programs and Features window shows up, locate Steam, select it, and then click on Uninstall.
- Click Yes once the User Account Control dialog box appears.
- Now, follow the subsequent prompts to remove the program.
- Restart your system after the process completes.
After your computer comes up, go to the Steam website, download the installation package, and then run it. After installing the application, copy and paste the folder you backed up earlier into its installation folder. You can now launch Steam and open the to check for the Error Code 101.
Seventh Solution: Perform a Clean Boot
The Clean Boot process is one that has helped many Windows users to resolve a lot of issues. It deals with application conflicts where background programs cause problems in other applications. It could very well be that a program that starts up whenever your computer boots is preventing the Steam client from accessing your computer’s network infrastructure. Now, to find out this program, you would have to go to the System Configuration window and disable all the startup services and startup programs, then restart your system and check if the problem comes up again. This is known as the Clean Boot process.
The steps below will show you how to use the Clean Boot technique to fish out the culprit:
- Summon the Run dialog box by right-clicking the Start button and clicking on Run. Punching the Windows and R keys simultaneously will also launch the dialog box.
- Once Run appears, type “msconfig” (without the quotes) into the text field and hit the Enter key or click on OK.
- After you see the System Configuration dialog window, move over to the Services tab.
- Once you get to the Services tab, tick the box next to “Hide all Microsoft services.”
- Now, click on the Disable All button.
- Every startup service under the tab will now be prevented from loading after your system’s next boot sequence except Microsoft’s services.
- Next, switch to the Startup tab.
- Click on the Open Task Manager link once you get to the Startup tab in System Configuration.
- When the Startup tab of Task Manager opens, disable every startup program you see. To disable a program, right-click it, then click on Disable.
- Exit the Task Manager and return to the System Configuration dialog.
- Click on the OK button, then reboot your PC.
Once you restart your system, run Steam and check for the Error Code 101. If it doesn’t show up, then one of the startup items you disabled is the culprit. What you have to do, in this case, is to check the them one after the other for the error.
If going through the startup programs one-by-one sounds too tasking, you can follow the steps below:
- Open the System Configuration dialog window and head to the Services tab.
- Next, enable half of the services that you disabled, then reboot your PC.
- If the error appears, this means one of the services you enabled is responsible. In this case, you no longer need to check other services. Just check the set of services you enabled one after the other until you isolate the culprit.
- If the client doesn’t produce the error, however, then you have to move on to the other half of the startup services and check if any of them is responsible.
- Do the same for the startup programs in Task Manager.
- Once you find out which program is causing the problem, keep it closed whenever you launch the Steam client. You can consider changing or uninstalling it.
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You should now be able to perform Internet-based actions on your Steam client without encountering the Error Code 101. You can further boost your system’s performance and get rid of different unfavorable entities by installing Auslogics BoostSpeed. If you have questions or thoughts that you’d like to share, do well to use the comments section below.