How to Fix Steam Error Code 118

Having trouble trying to fix Steam error code 118?

Steam is one of the most well-known gaming distribution platforms out there. The famous and iconic video game distribution service is also reputable for being extremely generous with sales, especially during the summer and winter months.

However, while logging in, you’re greeted by a Steam error code 118. What is this, and how can you fix this issue? Chances are that either your firewall, internet, or third-party application is hindering the connection between Steam and your computer.

In this article, we’ll be going over why this happens as well as guide you through a list of effective methods to help you fix your problem. Additionally, we’ll also teach you how to backup and preserve your games in case you need to reinstall Steam. Here’s how you can fix Steam error code 118.

Let’s get started.


1. Add Steam To Your Firewall.

While most people may make fun of Windows Firewall, it’s not as useless as the majority of people think it is. There’s a really common misconception that your firewall is responsible for any viruses or malware attacks on your computer.

This is somewhat true, however, that only applies to malicious attacks that were made over the internet. See, the firewall acts like a security guard for any suspicious network activity, which in this case might be Steam. To fix this issue, we’ll be whitelisting Steam to your firewall.

Before you proceed, make sure that you have admin powers on your computer.

Here’s how you can add Steam to your firewall’s whitelist:

  1. First, open up the Start menu by either pressing on the Windows key or clicking on the Windows icon at the bottom-left corner of your screen.
  2. Once you bring that up, type in ‘firewall’ and click on Firewall & network protection.
  3. Select Allow an app through firewall.

  1. A window of your firewall’s whitelist should appear on your screen. Click on the Change settings button at the top-right corner of your screen.
  2. Finally, look for Steam. You can easily do this by left-clicking on any app and typing in ‘Steam’ as this will automatically highlight the Steam program for you. Check the boxes for both the Private and Public setting to finish this process.

Click on OK, and that should exit the firewall whitelist. Adding Steam to your firewall will allow the program to make changes or access features on your computer without being restrained by your firewall. Feel free to restart your computer for the full effect.


2. Restart Your Modem.

If you’re the type to have an internet connection that unfortunately stutters or cuts off in random intervals, you may have to restart your modem. Your modem or router may have been compromised while it was trying to reconnect to Steams servers.

Giving your modem a restart will allow it to terminate all internet connections and reconnect with a more authentic and stable connection. This age-old fix can really come in clutch when you least expect it, so it’s best to try it now before you continue with our other solutions.

Unfortunately, modems and routers come in all shapes and sizes. We will be unable to give you a specific list of steps since each network device is different. Despite that, you should be able to find a little button on the back of your router, that’s where it’s usually placed. Here’s a general step-by-step guide for this step.

Tap or press the button to try and restart your router. We understand if you don’t feel confident about doing this, so if you’re at home with your family, then it might be better to ask for supervision before performing this step.


3. Initiate A Full System Scan.

It’s not uncommon for malware and other malicious software to completely mess up your gaming experience. Additionally, running a full system scan every so often is pretty healthy for your computer anyway.

A full system scan can take between 10 minutes to an hour, depending on the speed of your hardware. Furthermore, if you have a lot of files, then the scan will inevitably take a little bit longer.

Feel free to do this step with any third-party antivirus that you currently use. For this method, we’ll be using Windows defender since it’s the default antivirus for Windows.

Here’s how you can initiate a full system scan:

  1. Bring up the Start menu and search for ‘security’ then click on Windows security.
  2. From there, go to Virus & threat protection and navigate to Scan options.

  1. A list of different scanning options should be on your screen, select Full scan and scroll down so you can click on Scan now.

Your full system scan should now be initialized. Once that’s done, you’ll receive a report if any malware activity or malicious programs were found and removed from your computer. Restart your computer when you’re done and check to see if the issue persists.


4. Disable Third-Party Antivirus Programs.

This might seem counterintuitive, but sometimes third-party antivirus programs will incorrectly mark Steam as malicious. Steam requires a lot of permissions from your computer to act properly and function as intended.

These permissions can mean connecting to your network, altering some settings, creating servers, and so on. It’s not totally unreasonable for your antivirus to feel threatened by Steam, but we’ll have to disable your antivirus program to see if it is the source of your problems.

fix steam error code 118

Once again, third-party apps are all configured and laid out differently. We’ll be unable to provide a general list of steps to help you disable your third-party antivirus, so you’ll have to rely on Google for this step.

Anyway, once you’ve disabled your antivirus, feel free to run Steam so you can check if the error persists. If the issue is gone, then you’ll probably have to whitelist Steam on your antivirus software. This way, Steam will no longer be hindered by your third-party antivirus software. Hopefully, this should fix Steam error code 118.


5. Reboot Your Computer With Services Off.

Finally, we’ll have to try restarting your computer with all your third-party services off. This way, Steam will be the only third-party app that’s running on your computer. You’ll be able to troubleshoot your problem this way if other third-party apps are indeed the problem.

Turning off your services won’t delete or disable any of your personal files, but it will disable all your third-party applications from running on startup. There are two ways that we can do this, so first, we’ll start with turning services off through MSConfig.

Here’s how you disable MSConfig services:

  1. We’ll need the Run dialog box for this step, so press on your Windows key + R to bring up the dialog box.
  2. Now, type in ‘msconfig’ and head to the Services tab.

fix steam error code 118

  1. On the lower-right corner of your screen, click on Disable all.
  2. Finally, click on OK.

Now before you restart your computer, let’s go to the next step and disable more third-party applications. Here’s how you can disable startup processes.

  1. First, open the Task Manager by pressing on the CTRL + SHIFT + ESC keys on your keyboard. If that’s too much for you, then feel free to just search for ‘Task Manager’ in the Start menu.

fix steam error code 118

  1. With the Task Manager up and running, go to the Startup tab and click on Status. This will arrange the list to display what programs are enabled and disabled.
  2. Finally, right-click all the enabled programs and select Disable. Doing this will disable these applications from running and opening on startup. This way, only Steam will run without any third-party obstructions.

With that out of the way, restart your computer and run Steam. Hopefully, that should fix your issue. We intentionally left this method as the last one since it’s the most grueling method on this list.

If Steam did work after this step, you’ll have to manually enable your programs one by one through MSConfig and Task Manager until you find what’s bothering you. Personally, we just keep them disabled, run Steam, and enable everything again.

Exhausted all the methods above only to still have the issue? Reinstalling Steam might be a good idea. Here’s how you can reinstall Steam on your computer. To safeguard your game files, learn to backup and restore your games so you won’t have to download them again.

Now that you’ve reached the end of this article, we hope to have helped your fix Steam error code 118. If you have any questions, feel free to leave us a message in the comments down below.

If this guide helped you, please share it. 🙂


  • Mako Young

    Mako is a staff writer at Saint. He's been writing about tech for more than a decade. When he isn't reading about the latest news on Apple, he's busy studying cybersecurity, cryptocurrency, cloud computing, and other IT-related sectors. His exceptional work graces technology and Apple-related blogs like How-To Geek,, Macgasm, onMac, PhotoWorkout, GameRant, and many more. He also has a Bachelors in Computer Science and has been writing since 2018, with over 400 posts published. LinkedIn X (Twitter)

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