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How to fix Steam error 16?

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Steam is by far one of the most popular PC gaming platforms in the world. Valve has put considerable effort into making the platform a breeze to use with social features that make it easy to play games with friends. However, Steam isn’t perfect and runs into the occasional bug or glitch from time to time. 

In this article, we’re talking about what causes Steam error 16 and what you can do to fix the problem.


What causes Steam error 16?

Steam error 16 is a timeout error that indicates that Steam has stopped working and several features would be unavailable. There are several reasons why you’d see this error:

  • Internet connectivity issues
  • Outdated GPU drivers
  • Steam servers are down
  • Low system memory

Also read: How to fix Steam error code 105?


Fixing Steam error 16

Here are nine fixes you can try out.

Restart your PC

Restarting your PC is one of the most simple and effective solutions to any problem you face while using Windows. Graphics issues, network problems, update glitches and rebooting got you covered.


Power cycle your router

Restarting your router can fix a bunch of seemingly random issues with your network, which could, in turn, be causing problems with Steam. If you don’t have internet connectivity or an active connection, you’re going to get such issues on Steam. So try restarting your router to rule out any network issues that may be causing problems.


Check Steam servers

Another thing you should do is check whether or not the service itself is working or not. Steam is used by millions across the globe, and the occasional outage here and there isn’t anything surprising.

You can use this page to check Steam’s server status

Check the Windows Firewall

At this point, it’s also a good idea to check whether your Windows Firewall is blocking Steam’s connection to its servers. If your firewall is improperly set up or has blocked Steam, it won’t be able to connect giving you this error. 

Check out our detailed guide to know how to unblock programs from the Windows Firewall

Check the .NET framework

Issues with your .NET framework’s installation or functioning can also trigger the issue. Here’s how to check if it’s running fine. 

Step 1: Press the Windows key + R to open the Run prompt. Type in appwiz.cpl and press enter.

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Step 2: Click on Turn Windows features on or off in the left pane.

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Step 3: Check any boxes related to the .NET framework and click OK.

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Now restart your PC and try again. 


Run the Check Disk utility

The error can also indicate problems with your storage drives. Try running the check disk utility to check whether or not your storage drives are, in fact, functional. 

You can refer to our detailed guide here on how to run the check disk utility


Reinstall the graphics driver

If updating didn’t work, try reinstalling the driver from scratch

Step 1: Right-click Start and select Device Manager from the menu.

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Step 2: Under Display Adaptors, find your graphics card’s name, right-click it, and click on Update Drivers.

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Step 3: Click on Search automatically for drivers. Windows will automatically look for and download the latest drivers for your particular GPU.

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While this should help resolve the error, if it doesn’t, click Uninstall device in step two and restart your PC to force Windows to install the required drivers. You can then update them later. 


Reinstall Steam

Reinstalling Steam from scratch can also help fix the problem. This will get rid of any corrupt, damaged or missing system files that Steam needs to run properly, which might be triggering the issue for you. 


Update your OS

Ensuring your OS is up to date can go a long way in resolving uncalled-for errors in third-party programs, including Steam. Developers usually diagnose these issues based on insider reports or customer feedback and issue fixes or patches in the form of updates. Check to ensure you’ve got the latest update installed on your system.

You can check out our detailed guide on how to update Windows here

Also read: How to fix Steam error reference: library_7728431_88af7cf66459d659?

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Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here: [email protected]

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