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How to Fix Steam Not Updating on a Mac

If you’re frustrated when Steam won’t update on the Mac, we’ve got some potential solutions you can try to troubleshoot the issue.

What Causes Steam to Fail to Update on Mac?

If you can’t update Steam on Mac, this can be for a number of reasons with some being easier to fix than others. Here’s a quick overview of why Steam might not be updating.

  • The Steam servers are down. Sometimes, Steam’s servers can be down, so it’s a good idea to check if the issue is on your end or theirs first before doing anything else.
  • A VPN or firewall is blocking access to Steam. If your VPN or firewall is set up to block a lot of activity, you may find it impossible to update Steam while it’s active.
  • Your Mac isn’t compatible with Steam. Got an aging Mac? A recent update may mean you can no longer play Steam on that Mac.
  • Your Steam install is corrupt. Sometimes, the Steam files can fail so you’ll need to uninstall and reinstall it or opt to run Steam via your browser.

Note: When Steam won’t update, you won’t lose any files or progress as Steam data is stored on the cloud. You simply won’t be able to access it.

How to Fix the Steam Update Error on Mac

Follow the steps below to fix the Steam update error you may be seeing when trying to update it on Mac. Not all of these may apply to your situation but follow them in order and skip any that aren’t relevant. 

1. Check your Mac is online. Check you’re currently online and have a strong internet connection. If you aren’t online, you can’t update Steam.

2. Restart your Mac. It’s a simple solution but restarting your Mac often fixes many issues and that can include problems updating Steam.

3. Launch Steam from your browser. If you keep seeing an “upgrade failed” message, try playing Steam via your web browser instead of using the app. By doing so, the latest version of Steam player will be installed so you can continue playing.

4. Try using a different web browser. If you also can’t get Steam to launch from your browser, try using a different one. Steam recommends using Google Chrome or Firefox rather than Safari.

5. Uninstall and reinstall Steam. Uninstall the Steam app from your Mac and try reinstalling it. This can fix issues with corrupt files.

Note: Make sure to download Steam from a reputable source.

6. Update your Mac. Sometimes updating your Mac can fix many common issues, including running Steam successfully.

7. Disable your VPN or firewall. If you use either a VPN or a firewall, the update may fail due to network issues. Disable them temporarily to update Steam.

8. Reset Steam settings. If you’re willing to delve into some settings on your Mac, navigate to Library > Preferences then delete everything in the Steam folder.

Note: To access the Library folder, with either the desktop or a Finder window as the frontmost application, hold down the Option key and select the Go menu. The Library folder appears as one of the items in the Go menu.

9. Download Steam to a USB flash drive on another Mac. If you’ve tried removing all traces of Steam on your current Mac, try downloading a new version of it via a different Mac. It requires you to have another Mac available (or from a friend), but it may fix the issue.

10. Contact Steam support. If you’ve tried all these steps and Steam still won’t work, contact Steam customer support with your Steam username, any error messages you’ve received, the model name of your Mac, and which version of macOS your Mac is running.


How do I delete Steam from my Mac?

If you decide you don’t want to use Steam anymore, you can permanently delete it from your system. First, make sure you’ve quit and completely closed down the Steam application. Locate the Steam application icon in your Mac’s Applications folder, then drag and drop Steam into the Trash and Empty it. Note that this removes Steam from your system, but does not get rid of your Steam account.

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