13 Fixes: Steam Not Downloading Games Error

Steam is the most popular video game and digital collectible platform with over 50,000 video games available for purchase. 

Main page of the Steam application for Windows

However, there can be minor issues when Steam users try downloading the game or even updates. You might not be able to download them. What’s the point in buying a new game but not being able to play it or updating games to their latest version? We got your back, and by the end of this article, you will be able to start downloading your Steam games without any issues. 

Factors That Cause The Steam Not Downloading Error On Your Computer

These are the five aspects of a computer that can be responsible for this Steam issue on your computer. 

  • Bugs and Game Glitches

If the game has glitches or some unfixed bug, it might not be available for download on your computer. Even if you can download it, the game may not be accessible. You might also be able to notice that properly running games can also stop downloading their updates. 

  • Outdated Steam client

An old Steam application does not have the same number of features or the same interface. This might prevent you from downloading a game or game updates. However, Steam applications update automatically when they connect with a network with access to the internet.

  • Damaged game files

If the game is at fault, it can be because the files required to run it or retain configurations are missing or corrupt. This situation is most likely to be caused by a virus.

  • Incompatibility with the game

This is a very obvious reason. If your computer cannot run the game as it does not meet the technical requirements, Steam will not allow the game to be downloaded. This is also the same with inadequate storage. 

  • Network issues

A good network is one of the most important elements required to download anything from the internet. If the network is having issues, the download will not commence or can be interrupted. 

Solutions For The Steam Not Downloading Issue On Your Pc

The following solution to download games on your Steam client can be applied to Steam clients on any Operating System (OS). 

  1. Restart Steam Client On Your System
  2. Check If Your Steam Client Is Online
  3. Check If There Is Sufficient Storage On Your Hard Disk
  4. Reboot Your System And Download The Game
  5. Provide Administrator Privileges For Steam
  6. Repair The Steam Library Folders
  7. Clear The Steam Download Cache Memory
  8. Switch To A Different Download Region
  9. Kill All The Processes That Hog The Internet Bandwidth
  10. Update Your Steam Client
  11. Remove And Reinstall Steam Client On Your PC
  12. Temporarily, Turn Off Your Antivirus Program
  13. Check The Steam Local Files

Fixing The Steam Not Downloading Games & Updates

Restart Steam Client On Your System

  1. Close the Steam window if it is open on your computer.
  2. Open the Windows Task Tray and right-click on the Steam option in it. 
  3. Select the Exit option from the context menu.
Exit option in the task tray Steam shortcut
  1. After you close the application, launch it again and try to download the game. 

Check If Your Steam Client Is Online

  1. Launch the Steam application on your system.
  2. Click on the Steam menu at the upper-left corner of the Steam window. 
  3. If you see the Go Online option, check if you have a proper internet connection and click on it. 
Go Online option in the Steam menu

If you see the Go Offline option, your Steam application has network access. 

Check If There Is Sufficient Storage On Your Hard Disk

A minimum free storage limit is usually required on your computer when downloading a game. It will be displayed to you when you start downloading the game. 

Open This PC and look at the free space available on the drive that contains the Steam downloads folder on your PC. 

Free Space for the C: drive

The Steam game download will not begin if it is less than the required space. 

Reboot Your System And Download The Game

If your computer has some configurations that do not support downloading games through Steam, you will have to hope they are temporary. This is because it is a herculean task to determine which aspect of the computer is responsible for this. 

These issues can be fixed by simply restarting your computer. A reboot can force the temporary configurations back to the default system states and allow you to download games from Steam like before. 

Provide Administrator Privileges For Steam

  1. Right-click on the Steam shortcut on your desktop. 
  2. Select the Properties option from this pop-up menu. 
  3. Go into the Compatibility tab and locate the Settings section in the Properties window. 
  4. Here, check the Run this program as a system administrator checkbox and close the window. 
Compatibility tab in the Steam Properties window

The next time you launch Steam, a prompt will ask you if you want to launch this application. This means that your Steam client is elevated. 

Repair The Steam Library Folders

  1. Open Steam on your computer and select Settings, which is present inside the Steam menu.
  2. Click on the Downloads option in the left panel.
  3. Press the Steam Library folders option in the Content Libraries section, at the top of the window. 
STEAM LIBRARY FOLDERS option in the Downloads settings
  1. In the list of library directories, right-click on a Steam library folder and choose the Repair Library folder option. 

Clear The Steam Download Cache Memory

  1. Open Steam and open the Steam settings menu.
  2. Click on the Downloads tab.
  3. Locate the CLEAR DOWNLOAD CACHE button at the bottom of the page and click it. 
CLEAR DOWNLOAD CACHE button in the Downloads settings

Switch To A Different Download Region

  1. Launch Steam on your computer and go to the Steam settings.
  2. Select Downloads from the left panel of settings categories.
  3. Click on the Download Region drop-down menu.
Download Region drop-down menu in the Downloads Settings
  1. You will see a list of many Download Regions, which are Steam servers for certain download regions. Select the one closest to your download region and then, try downloading the game or update. 

Note: The game or update may not download at optimal speeds. 

Kill All The Processes That Hog The Internet Bandwidth

  1. Open the Windows Task Manager through the Task Termination window (Ctrl + Alt + Del) or with the help of the keyboard shortcut (Ctrl + Shift + Esc).
  2. Take a look at the Network column and observe the network usage. If it is high, make a note of the processes that spike up your internet usage. 
  3. Then, select the processes, one at a time, and click on the End task button.
Task Manager window

Ensure you are not ending important system processes like System updates or other processes running in the foreground. This action will immediately kill the process and there are no assurances that the latest changes you made in that process will be saved.  

Update Your Steam Client

  1. Open the Steam client on your computer and remove the Steam drop-down menu.
  2. Select the Check for Steam Client updates option, from this menu. 
Check for Steam Client updates option in the Steam menu

If there are updates, they will be downloaded. If you already have a downloaded update, you can use this option to install it. 

Steam updates are usually downloaded when you open Steam client on your PC. If an update is not downloaded, you may not be able to download applications. 

Remove And Reinstall Steam On Your PC

  1. Open the Add or Remove Programs window in the Windows Settings application. 
  2. Scroll down to the Steam application section and expand it, by clicking on it.
Steam section with the Uninstall button, in the Add or Remove programs window
  1. Select the Uninstall option. This will make the Steam uninstallation wizard appear.
  2. Do as the Steam Uninstaller instructs you to so that this platform is removed from your computer completely, except for temporary files.
  3. Then, open a browser window and go to the Steam website
  4. Press the Install Steam option on the top-right part of the main page. 
Install Steam option in the Steam site main page
  1. On the next web page, you will be given options for downloading the Steam application setup to your Windows or macOS. You will have to install Steam again in the same location to connect with the previously saved data.
  2. Once the download process completes, install it on your computer and log into your Steam account.

This is how you can perform a clean install of the Steam application. 

Temporarily, Turn Off Your Antivirus Program

Your antivirus program or the Windows Defender Firewall can also be responsible for preventing you from downloading games through Steam, as they can stop the system from allowing Steam access to the internet.

They can block the app from getting an internet connection and not downloading data. So you will have to disable them or exclude Steam from their blacklist. 

For third-party antivirus users, you can disable your subscription temporarily through the program shortcut in the task tray. If you want to turn off the Windows Defender Firewall, users must do it through the Windows Security settings or Control Panel. 

  1. Start the Control Panel window and set the View mode to Large icons.
  2. Select Windows Defender Firewall from this page and choose the Allow an app or feature through Windows Defender Firewall link.
  3. Click on the Change Settings and check the Private and Public checkboxes

Check The Steam Local Files

  1. Launch the Steam window and go to the Library. You’ll see all the installed games you have on your account.
Steam library with added games on a Windows 10 PC
  1. Go to the need-to-update game, right-click on the game title and select the Browse local files option. 
  2. Right-click on the game executable file and select Properties
  3. Go to the Compatibility tab > check the Run this program in compatibility mode for checkbox > choose an OS from the drop-down menu.

These methods should help you overcome the Steam download issues on your computer. If it doesn’t work, you will have to take this issue to Steam support on your client or website.