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FIX: Steam Friends Network Unreachable

How to Fix the Steam "Friends Network Unreachable" Error in Windows 11

Sometimes, Steam's Friends & Chat feature doesn't load and throws the "Friends Network Unreachable" error. If you're experiencing this error, check out the guide below to fix this problem.

The full error message reads as follows:

FRIENDS NETWORK UNREACHABLE

This failure may indicate that your local network is offline or that the Steam Friends servers are currently offline.

Steam Friends Network Unreachable

What Causes This Error

This error may occur due to a poor Internet connection, corrupted cached data, a glitch in Steam, or a problem with the Steam Friends servers.

Another common cause for this error is an expired CA root certificate that expired on 1 October 2021. Usually, the certificate is updated automatically, but in some cases, it wasn't. Solution 5 found below, will walk you through the certificate update process. This solution was confirmed as working on Windows 7 and Windows 10.

Note: Before trying any of our solutions, try restarting Steam and your computer. Also, power cycle or reset your router. If performing these actions doesn't fix the "Friends Network Unreachable" error, try the solutions provided below.

Video Guide on How to Fix the Steam "Friends Network Unreachable" Error

Table of Contents:

Solution 1. Delete the Steam Web Browser's Cookies and Cache

1. Open Steam.

Open the Steam menu and click Settings

2. Open the Steam drop-down menu and select Settings.

Click the Delete Web Browser Cache button

3. In the Settings window, select Web Browser.

4. Click the Delete Web Browser Cache button.

Click OK to delete the Steam web browser cache

5. Click OK to confirm the action.

Click Delete All Browser Cookies

6. Then, click the Delete All Browser Cookies button.

Click OK to Delete Steam web browser cookies

7. Click OK to confirm the action.

Click OK to close the Settings window

8. Click OK to close the Settings window.

Open the Steam menu and click Exit

9. Exit Steam and relaunch it.

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Solution 2. Opt-out of the Steam Beta

1. Open Steam.

Open the Steam menu and click Settings

2. Open the Steam drop-down menu and select Settings.

Click Change

3. In the Account panel, under the Beta participation section, click Change.

In the drop-down menu, click None - Opt out of all beta programs

4. Open the Beta participation drop-down menu and select None - Opt out of all beta programs.

5. Then, click OK.

Click Restart Steam

6. Click Restart Steam when prompted.

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Solution 3. Revert Steam to an Older Version

Right-click the Steam shortcut and click Properties

1. Right-click the Steam shortcut and click Properties.

Append the Target line with -nofriendsui and click OK

2. In the Steam Properties window, select the Shortcut tab.

3. Append the Target line with -nofriendsui. Remember to leave a space between the target and -nofriendsui.

4. Click Apply and click OK.

Append the target line with -nofriendsui -nochatui and click OK

5. If adding -nofriendsui doesn't work, add -nofriendsui -nochatui instead.

6. Click Apply and click OK.

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Solution 4. Update the Network Adapter Driver

Right-click Start and click Device Manager

1. Right-click the Start button and click Device Manager.

Right-click the network adapter and click Update driver

2. Expand the Network adapters list.

3. Right-click the network adapter and click Update driver.

Click Search automatically for drivers

4. Select Search automatically for drivers. Windows will download and install the latest available drivers for your device.

5. Alternatively, you can select Browse my computer for drivers and install the drivers downloaded from the manufacturer's website.

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Solution 5. Change the Public DNS Server Address

1. Hold down Windows+R keys to open Run.

Type in cnpa.cpl and click OK

2. In the Run dialog box, type in ncpa.cpl and click OK.

Right-click the network adapter and click Properties

3. Right-click your network adapter and click Properties.

Select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and click Properties

4. Select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and click Properties.

Enter preferred and alternate DNS server addresses

5. Tick the Use the following DNS server addresses option.

6. Enter the following addresses (or your preferred DNS addresses):

  • In the Preferred DNS server, type in 1.1.1.1
  • In the Alternate DNS server, type in 1.0.0.1

7. Click OK to save settings.

8. Restart your PC for the changes to take effect.

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Solution 6. Update the ISRG Root X1 Root Certificate

Visit the Let's Encrypt website

1. Open your web browser and go to the Let's Encrypt website.

Download isrgrootx1.der

2. Scroll down and download the ISRG Root X1 root certificate as a self-signed Der file.

3. Then, hold down Windows+R keys to open Run.

Type in inetcpl.cpl and click OK

4. In the Run dialog box, type in inetcpl.cpl and click OK.

select the Contet tab and select Certificates

5. In the resulting Internet Options window, select the Content tab.

6. Select Certificates.

Select Trusted Root Certification Authorities

7. In the resulting Certificates window, select Trusted Root Certification Authorities.

8. Click Import.

Click Next

9. Click Next.

Click Browse

10. Click Browse, and navigate to the location where you downloaded the isrgrootx1.der file.

Select All files

11. Change selection to All files to see it.

Select isrgrootx1.der and click Open

12. Select the isrgrootx1.der file and click Open.

Click Next

13. Click Next.

Click Next again

14. Click Next again.

Click Finish

15. Click Finish.

Click OK

16. Click OK once the file was imported successfully.

Close the Certificates window

17. Close the Certificates window.

Click Clear SSL state and click OK

18. In the Content tab, click Clear SSL state, and click OK.

19. Close the Internet Properties window.

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About the author:

Rimvydas Iliavicius

Rimvydas is a researcher with over four years of experience in the cybersecurity industry. He attended Kaunas University of Technology and graduated with a Master's degree in Translation and Localization of Technical texts in 2017. His interests in computers and technology led him to become a versatile author in the IT industry. At PCrisk, he's responsible for writing in-depth how-to articles for Microsoft Windows. Contact Rimvydas Iliavicius.

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