How to Fix Steam Has Failed to Add Firewall Exception

Trying to fix the “Steam has failed to add firewall exception,” error?

While Steam might be the biggest online video game distributor in the industry, it still runs into bugs. Of course, this isn’t a surprise. Even the best apps in the world encounter software errors from time to time.

In your case, you may have run into the “Steam has failed to add firewall exception” error. This is usually caused by a malfunction with your default Windows Firewall. Moreover, the problem can also arise from third-party firewall programs.

Whatever the case, we’ve listed below multiple methods that you can do to try and fix this problem. Here’s how you can fix the “Steam has failed to add firewall exception” error in your computer.

Let’s get started!


1. Copy steamwebhelper.exe To A Different Directory.

A common fix that other Steam users stand by is to simply copy an .exe file from Steam to a different directory. This is because Steam usually tries to run that .exe file from the wrong folder.

Since the file is missing, this results in an error like the “failed to add firewall exception” issue. In this method, we’ll be using the default directory where Steam is usually installed. If you have moved your Steam folder elsewhere, navigate there instead.

Before you proceed, make sure that Steam has been closed. You cannot effectively alter Steam’s local files while the application is open. Refer to our guide on how to terminate Spotify. Follow the same steps, but terminate Steam instead.

Here’s how you can copy steamwebhelper.exe to a different directory:

  1. First, navigate to the file directory of Steam. This will be different if you have a custom installation folder, but the default location should be the one linked below.

C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\bin\cef\cef.win7x64

  1. Scroll down until you find the steamwebhelper application. You can either right-click the app and select Copy or simply left-click then press Ctrl + C.

  1. Now, go back a couple of folders until you reach the directory referred below.

C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\bin\

  1. Once you’re there, simply right-click and select Paste or press Ctrl + V. This will paste a copy of the steamwebhelper application to the Bin folder.

Now, you can go ahead and reboot the Steam client to see if your issue has been fixed. Let us know in the comments below if this fixed your “Steam has failed to add firewall exception” error.


2. Repair SteamService.exe.

A useful command that Microsoft added to Windows 10 is being able to repair file directories through Run. Doing so will let Windows look through your local files and repair any corrupted sectors.

By repairing your Steam folder, this should iron out any problems that are originating from your operating system. Before you proceed with this method, make sure that you’ve terminated and ended all of Steam’s processes first.

Here’s how you can repair SteamService.exe:

  1. Start by opening up the Run dialog box by pressing down the Windows + R keys simultaneously.

steam has failed to add firewall exception

  1. In the text field that appears on your screen, you can either write or copy-paste the text below.

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

  1. If you have a custom installation folder, use that directory instead. Make sure that the directory or file path is correct before pressing Enter.

Although no visual indication will appear on your screen, you can give this a couple of minutes to sort itself out. After waiting, go ahead and open up the Steam program to see if the issue persists.


3. Whitelist Steam To Your Firewall.

Moving on, this is arguably the crux of the entire situation. Your firewall is most likely hindering Steam from operating properly. This can be due to many reasons, but primarily being that Steam requires a lot of network permissions.

Steam and its games do all sorts of things like host games, join servers, create public servers, and so on. These server-based operations are considered negative or potentially bad behavior by your firewall.

By whitelisting Steam to your firewall, we’ll be giving Steam the green light to do whatever it needs to do to function properly.

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

  1. Go ahead and bring out the Start menu by clicking on the Windows icon. You’ll find this at the bottom-left corner of your screen. Alternatively, you can also just press the Windows key.
  2. From there, type in ‘firewall’ and click on Firewall & Network Protection.
  3. You should be redirected to a new window. Search for and select Allow an app through firewall.

steam has failed to add firewall exception

  1. Once again, a new window will pop up on your screen. All currently installed apps on your computer will be displayed in that window. Before you proceed, click on the Change settings button at the top-right corner of the window.
  2. Finally, you should now be able to make changes. Look for the Steam and Steam Web Helper apps. Check the boxes for the Private and Public options.

With all of that done, Steam should now be completely whitelisted with your firewall. This way, your firewall will no longer restrict Steam from functioning as intended.


4. Disable Windows Firewall Completely.

Now, if the previous method didn’t work, you can try disabling your firewall completely. Although this seems like a brute force method, it’s merely another way of making sure you thoroughly eliminate the problem.

By disabling your firewall, there should no longer be any interference from it to Steam and any of your programs. With that in mind, we don’t recommend that you disable this all the time.

Here’s how you can disable Windows Firewall:

  1. First, press the Windows key to bring up the Start menu and look for ‘firewall’. Open up the Firewall & network protection that’s returned from your search.
  2. A new window should open up on your screen. Labeled here will be the Domain, Private, and Public network. For now, click on Domain network.

  1. From there, under Windows Defender Firewall, disable the feature by toggling the On button. You’ll be asked as an administrator to confirm this decision.
  2. After that, repeat the process with the Private and Public networks.

Go ahead and terminate Steam completely before rebooting it. Hopefully, this fixed your “Steam has failed to add firewall exception” error. Let us know in the comments down below if this was the magic fix for your issue!


5. Reinstall Steam.

Finally, if you’ve exhausted all of the fixes above with no luck, then try to reinstall Steam. Although Steam is a very delicate program, we’ve already published a detailed guide to help you reinstall Steam completely.

Included in that guide is how to uninstall Steam and completely erase all residual files. This way, you’ll be able to do a clean installation of Steam. At the same time, we’ve also provided a guide on how to back up and restore games on Steam so you don’t have to re-download them.

steam has failed to add firewall exception

Hopefully, reinstalling Steam completely will finally fix your issue. That about wraps up this article. Let us know if we’ve helped you fix the “Steam has failed to add firewall exception” error you’ve been facing.

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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