How to Fix Steam Error Code 118 [Quickly]

Are you getting Steam error code 118? Steam is a popular online gaming store and service where you can buy, save, and play games. Steam users come across a number of errors from time to time. Error code 118, for instance, is increasingly common among Windows 10 users. You may get Steam error code 118 as you try to access the store or library.

Error 118 essentially means that you are having a problem with the values on the switch parameter of the exchange Shell. A switch parameter is required whenever an application is executing a command. If the syntax of this parameter is incorrect the command will not run. Instead, you will get a Steam error code 118. To resolve this issue, you will need to correct the switch parameter values.

The first step in fixing this Steam error code is to power cycle your router. If that does not help, you may want to check your firewall and make sure Steam is on the allowed list. Also, you should check for conflicting applications and prevent programs from starting up with Windows.

In this article, we will discuss the most common reasons for getting this annoying error. We will also go over all the simple ways that you can resolve and even prevent this issue from even happening.

What Causes Steam Error Code 118?

Steam error code 118 is mainly caused by incorrect switch parameter syntax. The switch parameter may be in the wrong caption simply because the command you are trying to execute is case sensitive. The inability if your computer to contact Steam servers may be as a result of different things. 

If you are getting an error code 118, here are some of the possible caused:

Internet Problems – a slow connection or internet outage can cause error code 118. In such a case, the Steam client will have problems whenever it tries to contact its database. If the internet is the problem, you may need to contact your internet service provider (ISP).

FirewallWindows Firewall may be blocking the Steam software from contacting its servers, which will also result in error code 118. This happens when the Firewall detects the Steam software as a threat, when it is not, hence blocking it automatically. 

Virus – a virus attack or malware in your computer can also prevent the Steam client from accessing its servers. Viruses and malware have been proven to cause Steam error code 118 as well

Background Applications – in some cases, a third-party application running in the background may interfere with some elements of Steam Client. Such interference may also result in error code 118.

How To Fix Steam Error Code 118 

Depending on what is causing Steam error code 118 in your case, there are a number of ways you can solve these issues. Having ascertained that the internet is not the problem, here are some of the methods you can resolve Steam error code 118:

Method 1 : Power Cycling The Router 

If you are having internet connection issues and the ISP is not the problem, you should reboot the internet router. The best way to reset the router is power cycling. Power cycling an internet router will reinitialize its configurations to resolve any connection issues you may be having.

To achieve this, you need to disconnect its power cable from the wall socket. Allow the router to remain disconnected for about five minutes before trying to reconnect.

After the five minutes, connect the power cord to the power switch and press the power button on the router. Allow the router ample time to start up. Once internet access is granted, try launching Steam to check whether the error has been fixed. 

Method 2 : Allow Steam Through Firewall 

As mentioned earlier, the Firewall may detect Steam as malicious and automatically block it. If this happens, you may also get an error code 118. If firewall is the problem, allowing Steam through will resolve the problem. In order to allow Steam through Firewall, here are the steps you should follow:

Press the Windows and S keys simultaneously to open a dialog box. Type “Firewall” into the search box and press enter. Click on the first option of the results and then select the “Allow an app or feature through Firewall” option.

Now select the “Change Settings” option. While scrolling down the list, be sure to check the “private”, and “public” options for the Steam Client. Once you are done, click on “Apply” and try launching the Steam Client again. 

Method 3 : Disable Conflicting Applications 

Interference by third-party applications running at the background of your computer may also result in error code 118. If this is the problem, you need to disable the third-party applications to prevent them from running in the background. 

To do this, you should press the Windows and R keys simultaneously to open the Run dialog box. In this box, you should type “msconfig” and press Enter. Click on the “services” tab to reveal all the applications that are running in the background.

To avoid stopping important processes, you should select the “Hide all Microsoft Services” option. Now you may disable any of the running applications that remain. To stop all the background applications, check the “Disable all” option. 

Method 4 : Stopping Startup Programs 

Having stopped all background processes, select the “Startup” tab to disable unnecessary startup programs. On the startup menu, select the “Open Task Manager” option to reveal startup applications.

Select any of the displayed applications and select disable. This will prevent the application from running automatically at startup. 

Repeat this procedure to disable all startup applications you deem unnecessary or those suspected to be interfering with your Steam Client.

If the Steam error code 118 has cleared, you may need to know which application was causing the problem. To do this, you should enable each of the disabled applications one at a time and try launching Steam Client. 

Method 5 : Scan for Viruses 

If the above-discussed methods do not work, you probably have a virus or malware problem. In this regard, you will need to carry out a deep scan for viruses and malware using York preferred antivirus program. 


Error 118 basically means that there are issues with a switch parameter of the exchange Shell. 

You may want to power cycle your router if this keeps happening. If that does no good, make sure your firewall is properly set up and any third-party anti-viruses you have are turned off. Make sure no conflicting applications are causing any problems and make sure to disable startup programs. 

We hope this articled helped you get Steam running again. Thanks for reading!

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