How to Fix Steam Broadcast Not Working

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The Broadcast feature on Steam allows you to stream your gameplay without installing any additional software. When Steam Broadcast is not working, you can't watch friends game on Steam, and they can't watch you.

Instructions in this article apply to the Steam client for Windows, macOS, and Linux.

The Steam overlay showing Steam Broadcast not working on a computer monitor.
imran kadir photography / Moment / Getty

Causes of Steam Broadcasting Not Working

The Broadcast feature requires a computer that's powerful enough to encode video in real time and a high-speed internet connection. If you're sure that hardware limitations aren't causing the problem, there could be other issues affecting your computer and network hardware. Antivirus and firewall software can also interfere with Steam Broadcast. Alternatively, you might need to adjust your Steam settings.

If you can't watch your friends game on Steam, make sure your browser is compatible with Steam Broadcast.

How to Fix Problems With Steam Broadcast

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

  1. Make sure Steam Broadcast is turned on. Navigate to Steam > Settings > Broadcasting and check the Privacy setting. Select Anyone can watch my games if you want to make your Steam Broadcast available to the public.

  2. Turn on the broadcasting status indicator. It's possible to broadcast without seeing the indicator. Navigate to Steam > Settings > Broadcasting, and select the Always show Live status option. This option displays a Live indicator in the upper-right corner of the screen when you're broadcasting.

  3. Change the streaming settings. If your internet connection doesn't provide high enough upload bandwidth, lowering the video dimensions, bitrate, or encoding quality might help. If your computer hardware has trouble encoding video while playing a game, select Best Performance under Optimize encoding for.

  4. Restart the computer. Doing this forces Steam to reboot, and clears many underlying issues that prevent the Steam Broadcast feature from working.

  5. Power cycle the modem and router. If you have access to the modem and router, unplug both devices, then plug each in after about 30 seconds. This clears out the devices and forces each to establish a new connection.

  6. Use a wired Ethernet connection. While Wi-Fi is convenient, Ethernet is faster and more reliable. If connecting with Ethernet is difficult or impossible, place the computer closer to the wireless router and move obstructions out of the way.

  7. Check the internet connection speed. Streaming takes a lot of bandwidth, so it won't work if you have a slow internet connection. Steam doesn't provide a minimum required upload speed, but you may have trouble streaming in high quality if the upload speed is slower than 5 Mbps.

  8. Switch to a different Wi-Fi network. If you have access to a different internet connection, switch to it and check to see if Steam Broadcasting works.

    Mobile data usually doesn't provide high enough upload speeds to stream games on Steam, so don't use a phone as a hotspot.

  9. Disable antivirus software. In some cases, antivirus software can interfere with the operation of applications like Steam. If your antivirus identified Steam as a threat, exclude the program from antivirus scans or try a different free antivirus program.

  10. Disable the firewall. Firewalls prevent unauthorized software from accessing a computer and prevent applications from connecting to the internet. If your firewall is set to block Steam, create a specific exception.

  11. Reinstall Steam. If Steam Broadcast still doesn't work, there may be a problem with the Steam client. The best way to fix this is to uninstall Steam, download the installer, and reinstall it.

    Uninstalling Steam also uninstalls your games. To avoid this, move your Steam games to a different folder or drive before uninstalling Steam.

  12. Visit the Steam Broadcasting support page. If Steam Broadcast still doesn't work, the system may be down. Check the forums to see if other people reported problems. If all else fails, contact Steam for help