6 Fixes for Steam Broadcast Not Working

Having trouble going live on Steam? Try these fixes!

The Steam overlay showing Steam Broadcast not working on a computer monitor.

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Steam Broadcasting is a Steam feature that allows you to broadcast your gameplay without installing any additional software. It requires a computer that's powerful enough to encode video in real-time and a high-speed internet connection. When a Steam Broadcast doesn't work, it's usually because of a computer or network hardware problem, Steam settings, or an issue with the Steam software itself.

Causes for Steam Broadcasting to Not Work

There are a handful of problems that can prevent Steam Broadcasting from working including computer and network hardware issues, Internet connection problems, and anti-virus and firewall blocks.

Also, there might be issues with Steam Broadcast settings or with Steam itself. Finally, it could be an issue on the viewer's end such as using an incompatible web browser.

How to Fix Computer, Network, and Internet Problems With Steam Broadcasting

When Steam Broadcasting doesn't work, it's usually due to a problem with your computer, software, network, or internet connection. The best way to get to the bottom of the problem is to start with the easiest fix and work your way down from there.

To get your Steam Broadcast working again, follow each of these steps in order. After each step, check to see if Steam Broadcasting works.

  1. Shut down and restart your computer. Doing this will not only force Steam to reboot, but it can also effectively clear out a lot of underlying issues that can prevent the Steam Broadcasting feature from working.

  2. Power cycle your modem and router. If you have access to your modem and router, unplug them, which will clear them out, and force them to establish new connections. After about 30 seconds, plug them back in.

  3. If you're using Wi-Fi, switch to a wired ethernet connection. Wi-Fi is convenient, but ethernet is faster and also more reliable. If connecting via ethernet would be difficult or impossible, you can try putting your computer closer to your wireless router, and moving any obstructions out of the way can also help. However, a wired ethernet connection is best for streaming due to its reliability and speed.

  4. Check your internet connection speed. Streaming takes a lot of bandwidth, so it won't work right if you have a slow internet connection or your internet connection is experiencing problems. Steam doesn't provide a minimum required upload speed, but you'll probably have trouble streaming in high quality if your upload speed is slower than 5 Mbps.

  5. Switch to a different internet connection. If you have access to a different internet connection, switch to it and check to see if Steam Broadcasting works. If you're trying to use Steam Broadcasting on a cellular data connection, this is especially important because mobile data usually doesn't provide high enough upload speeds to stream.

  6. Check your anti-virus software. In some cases, anti-virus software can interfere with the operation of applications like Steam. Make sure that your anti-virus hasn't accidentally identified Steam as a threat. You can also try disabling your anti-virus software temporarily to see if Steam Broadcasting works. If it does, try a different free anti-virus program instead.

  7. Check your firewall. Firewall software is designed to prevent unauthorized software from accessing your computer, and it can also prevent applications on your computer from connecting to the internet. Check to make sure that your firewall isn't set to block Steam. You may have to create a specific exception for Steam.

    The other option is to temporarily disable your firewall, and check to see if Steam Broadcasting works. You'll need to turn the firewall back on regardless of whether that fixes the problem, but it is an easy way to see if the firewall is your problem.

    We have a guide to disabling the Firewall in Windows, and a specific guide for the Windows 10 firewall if you're using the default firewall in Windows. If you use third-party firewall software, contact the developer for information about how to stop blocking Steam.

  8. If your Steam Broadcast still doesn't work, it's time to check its settings.

How to Fix Steam Broadcast Settings and Other Steam Problems

If your computer, network, and internet aren't at fault, then there may be a problem with your Steam Broadcasting settings or with Steam itself. Follow each of these steps, and check to see if Steam Broadcasting works after you complete each one.

  1. Make sure Steam Broadcasting is turned on.

    A screenshot of Steam Broadcasting settings.

    Navigate to Steam > Settings > Broadcasting and check your Privacy setting. Select Anyone can watch my games if you want your Steam Broadcast to be available to the public.

  2. Turn on your broadcasting status indicator.

    A screenshot of Steam broadcasting settings.

    It's possible that you are broadcasting, but can't see the indicator. Navigate to Steam > Settings > Broadcasting, and make sure you've checked the Always show Live status option. This option will provide you with a Live indicator in the upper right corner of your screen whenever you're broadcasting.

  3. Lower your video dimensions, bitrate, or encoding quality.

    A screenshot of the Steam Broadcasting quality settings.

    If your internet connection doesn't provide high enough upload bandwidth, lowering the stream quality settings can help. The video dimensions setting changes the resolution of your stream, bitrate changes the quality, and the optimize encoding setting is a toggle that allows you to choose between high performance and high quality.

    If your computer hardware is having trouble encoding video while also playing a game, try selecting Best Performance.

  4. Reinstall Steam. If Steam Broadcast still doesn't work, you may have a problem with your Steam client itself. The best way to fix this is to uninstall Steam, download the installer, and reinstall.

    Uninstalling Steam will also uninstall all of your games. If you want to avoid this, move your Steam games to a different folder or drive before uninstalling Steam.

  5. If Steam Broadcast still doesn't work, there may be a bug or the system may be down. Contact Steam support to report your problem and for more troubleshooting information.

Can't Watch Steam Broadcasts?

You can watch Steam Broadcasts through your web browser, but it doesn't work in every browser. If you normally use an unsupported web browser, you'll need to install one of the following browsers to watch Steam Broadcasts:

  • Built-in Steam web browser
  • Google Chrome (version 39+)
  • Apple Safari (version 8+ on OSX)
  • Internet Explorer (version 11)
  • Mozilla Firefox (version 42+)

Most web browsers are designed to download updates as soon as they're available. If your browser is not set to update automatically, or you haven't closed your browser in a very long time, it may be out of date. In that case, simply updating the browser may fix your problem.

You can only watch Steam Broadcasts in Internet Explorer if you have Windows 8. If you have Windows 10, you'll need to try a different browser.