How to Fix Steam Disconnected by VAC “You cannot play on secure servers.”

Got disconnected from a Steam game with the message “disconnected by VAC: You cannot play on secure servers”?

Well, at least you didn’t get mistakenly banned. Running into this problem, chances are VAC has kicked you from the server because it mistakenly detected a hacking client on your computer.

Thankfully, while VAC might seem intimidating, the problem isn’t too complicated and should be easy to fix. This is most likely caused either by a software issue with your game files or a network problem from your internet.

Whichever the case, there’s a solution for you waiting down below. Before you fiddle with your settings, try to disable or terminate any of these programs through your Task Manager.

  • CCleaner
  • Powershell
  • Sandboxie
  • Cheat Engine
  • IObit Start Menu 8
  • Process Hacker
  • DLL Injectors
  • Hypervisors
  • Steam Idlers

With that being said, here’s how you can fix your ‘disconnected by VAC: You cannot play on secure servers’ issue.

Let’s get started!


1. Verify Your Game Cache Files.

First off, this is the method that works for most people. There’s a big chance that your game files are either corrupted or don’t have the complete set of files necessary to run the game.

Although your game might open up completely, any missing network files will make VAC think that you have modified your game with hacks. Verifying the integrity of your game files will compare your local files to the official ones in Steam’s servers.

If Steam finds any missing or corrupted files, they will download and replace these files with the proper ones stored in the cloud.

Here’s how you can verify your game files:

  1. First, open up the Steam app and navigate to the Library section. You should find all your currently installed games here.
  2. On the left-hand side, look for the game that you’re having a problem with and right-click the title. Move your mouse down and select Properties.
  3. From there, go to the Local Files tab and select Verify Integrity Of Game Files.

The process from here on out is pretty much automatic. Steam will download any necessary game files that are missing or corrupted so it can fix the game installed on your computer. After that, run the game and try to see if VAC still disconnects you.


2. Update Your Steam Client.

Running an outdated version of Steam will not help you connect to online servers. Considering that Steam is largely an online platform, it’s crucial that you’re always running the latest version of it to avoid network problems like this.

Although Steam always updates by default, there’s a chance that your client has either missed an update or that the auto-update feature is disabled for your computer. In this method, we’ll be manually updating Steam to try and fix your issue.

Here’s how you can update your Steam client:

  1. Start by opening up the Steam app on your computer.
  2. Now, click on the Steam button at the top-left corner of your screen.
  3. From there, select Check For Steam Client Updates.

Steam will automatically update to the latest version if you have an update pending or available. Additionally, this will also restart the Steam client, which should help iron out any software errors that were currently running alongside the process.


3. Restart Steam.

If you don’t have an update available, it’s still a good idea to restart your Steam client. This will terminate the entire process, which will get rid of compromised and dysfunctional processes that could be causing this problem.

While the steps for this are pretty simple, we’ll be using a more advanced method of closing Steam to make sure it’s properly rebooted.

Here’s how you can restart Steam thoroughly:

  1. Go ahead and press the Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys simultaneously. This should open up the Task Manager. If that’s too complicated for you, open up the Start menu with the Windows key and search for ‘Task Manager’.
  2. A window should open up on your screen, go to the Processes tab and look for Steam.
  3. Now, right-click the Steam process and select End Task. That will completely erase Steam’s processes from your computer’s memory.

  1. Finally, just open up the Start menu with the Windows key and open up ‘Steam’.

Alternatively, you can also open Steam through your preferred method. The important thing here is that Steam’s tasks are completely terminated before being rebooted.


4. Add Steam To Your Firewall’s Whitelist.

Moving on, your firewall might restrict some features from Steam. This can cause the VAC to think that Steam has been compromised, which effectively gets you kicked from the gaming server you were trying to play on.

fix steam disconnected by vac

Your firewall’s primary job is to protect you from malicious network activities. Since Steam is essentially an online-gaming platform, it’s only natural that such network issues are bound to come up.

By adding Steam to your firewall’s whitelist, your firewall will refrain from restricting the online-gaming platform. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you add Steam to your firewall’s whitelist.


5. Whitelist Steam To Your Antivirus.

Similar to the method above, your antivirus could also block some of Steam’s features from fully functioning. While most antivirus programs are meant to protect the software of your operating system, they can also monitor network connections.

fix steam disconnected by vac

Unfortunately, since every third-party antivirus is coded and configured differently, we cannot provide a specific list of steps to help you with this method. Try to search for the steps about how to add a program to your antivirus’ whitelist on your own.

A quick Google search should be more than enough, since every reputable antivirus program will have all their guides on their website.


6. Flush Your DNS.

A very underrated but crucial invention that helps us navigate through the internet, DNS servers translate IP addresses so you don’t have to. Websites are basically just IP addresses that we connect to.

Instead of memorizing these IP addresses, DNS servers translate ‘’ into the actual IP so we can connect to it. Unfortunately, these DNS servers can sometimes run into software issues and will also require resets.

Here’s how you can reset and flush your DNS cache:

  1. First, open up the Start menu by pressing on the Windows key and search for ‘Command Prompt’.

fix steam disconnected by vac

  1. Once you’ve opened that, copy-paste or write down the commands provided below. Press the Enter key to run the command.

ipconfig /flushdns

  1. After that, wait for a couple of seconds and then copy-paste or write down this command. Press Enter to initiate the command.

ipconfig /renew

Doing this will restart your browser history, but that’s about it. Other than that, your DNS server will run optimally once it resets.


7. Restart Your Computer.

A quick but simple fix, restarting your computer is a great way to iron out software issues that are running on your device. By rebooting your laptop or desktop, your operating system will also shut down and restart.

Here’s a quick and easy way to restart your computer:

  1. Click on the Windows icon at the bottom-left corner of your screen.
  2. Now, select the Power icon. This will be directly above the Windows icon.
  3. From the list of options present, click on Restart.

We specifically wanted you to try restarting your computer after doing all those steps, so Steam and your computer settings can update and hopefully run properly.


8. Check Steam’s Servers.

Alternatively, perhaps the problem isn’t on your end at all. Steam already has a history of malfunctioning servers where multiple users suffered the same problem for VAC-related reasons. In your case, it could be possible that this is happening to you as well.

fix steam disconnected by vac

While you can check for the status of Steam’s servers in many different ways, we recommend looking at Downdetector for the latest updates. Downdetector works by accumulating multiple reports from users who are also having a problem with Steam.

This way, you should be able to find out if other gamers are also kicked or having a problem with VAC. If the servers are acting weird, you may have to sit this one out since there’s nothing you can do to fix this problem.


9. Repair Steam With Run.

On the off-chance that Steam itself is the culprit here, we can either try to reinstall Steam or repair it with the Run Dialog Box. Thankfully, the process behind this is pretty simple.

Windows will go through your Steam files and look for any errors, compromises, and so on that are out of the ordinary. Any problematic files and sectors will be immediately fixed, which will hopefully resolve the VAC error you’re having.

Here’s how you can repair Steam with Run:

  1. First off, you’re going to want to exit Steam completely. You can either do the Task Manager trick or simply right-click Steam from your System Tray and select Exit.
  2. After that, press the Windows + R keys simultaneously to bring out the Run Dialog Box.

fix steam disconnected by vac

  1. You can either type in or copy-paste the command below. After that, press Enter to run the command.

“C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\bin\SteamService.exe” /repair

When you’re done with all of that, go ahead and run Steam to see if the issue is still there. Hopefully, this will fix your disconnected by VAC: “you cannot play on secure servers” Steam issue.

If none of these methods worked for you, it might be in your best interest to try to reinstall Steam on your computer. The guide we have provided offers a much more thorough reinstallation of Steam.

With that out of the way, hopefully we’ve helped you fix the Steam disconnected by VAC: “You cannot play on secure servers” problem you were facing. If you have any questions, leave us a comment down below or engage with our other readers.

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)

    View all posts
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *