Steam Error Code E20 can pop up from time to time. But what causes it, and is there a fix?

How to Fix Steam Error Code E20

Steam Error Code E20 can pop up from time to time. But what causes it, and is there a fix?

Steam Error Code E20 appears to affect users when they try to log into Steam, telling them “something went wrong while attempting to sign you in.” Some have also encountered it when trying to access the Store.

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It can be a frustrating roadblock if you’re trying to hop on the client to browse titles, play the latest release, or squad up with your friends in Destiny 2 or Counter Strike: GO. If you’ve run into Error Code E20, you’re wondering if there’s a fix. 

Related: Is Steam Down Right Now? 

What is Steam Error Code E20?

Steam Error Code E20 seems to be either an authentication error or a network error due to an unstable Internet connection or timeout. As with any issue of this nature, it could be a server-side error from maintenance or Steam server issues. If that’s the case, there’s not much to be done other than wait it out. 

Is There a Fix for Steam Error Code E20?

Of course, there’s always the chance that there’s an issue on your end, as well. It’s best to try some troubleshooting to make sure that it’s Steam, not your setup. It’s important to note that there seem to be various ways to “fix” this error code, and some users have better success than others. 

Check Your Internet Connection Status

This is the go-to troubleshooting method when you can’t connect to any service, including Steam. It’s possible there was a momentary dip in your connection, that it cut out entirely, or that your ISP is currently experiencing issues. 

Go to your Control Panel (PC) or Settings (Mac) to check your Network connections. You can also look at your Task Bar on PC or the Menu Bar on Mac. Lastly, you can also check with your ISP to see if there are any outages in your area. 

Check Your Firewall and Anti-Virus Settings

It’s always possible that your firewall or anti-virus settings are keeping you from accessing Steam and giving the E20 error code. Firewall settings can be found in the System and Security menu on PC and the Network section of the Settings menu on Mac. 

These issues can arise if you’ve recently updated Steam, which seems to happen all the time these days. So it’s worth checking out if you run into the E20 error. Valve has complete troubleshooting guidelines for tweaking firewall permissions worth reading over. 

Excluding Steam from your anti-virus software can be a little more complicated, depending on which program you’re using. You’ll need to consult your specific program’s troubleshooting FAQ to find out more. 

However, if you’re simply using Windows Defender, do the following:

  • Go to Virus & Threat Protection
  • Then go down the page and click “Virus & Threat Protection”
  • Click “Manage Settings”
  • Click “Exclusions” (near the bottom of the page)
  • Choose “Add or Remove Exclusions”
  • Choose “Yes” when the pop-up appears
  • Click “Add an Exclusion”
  • Choose “File”
  • Choose “Steam.exe.” 
Other Potential Fixes for Error Code E20

There are a few other methods to try if the above didn’t work.

  • Clear your Steam cache
  • Make sure Steam is up to date
  • Restart Steam
  • Close Steam completely
  • Restart/unplug your router
  • Switch IP addresses
  • Try a different VPN or turn off your VPN
  • Restart your computer

Running into Steam Error E20 can be a real pain in the neck, but hopefully, one of those fixes above solved the issue, letting you back into the client. 

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Jonathan Moore
Jonathan Moore is the Editor-in-Chief of GameSkinny and has been writing about games since 2010. With over 1,200 published articles, he's written about almost every genre, from city builders and ARPGs to third-person shooters and sports titles. While patiently awaiting anything Dino Crisis, he consumes all things Star Wars. He has a BFA in Creative Writing and an MFA in Creative Writing focused on games writing and narrative design. He's previously been a newspaper copy editor, ad writer, and book editor. In his spare time, he enjoys playing music, watching football, and walking his three dogs. He lives on Earth and believes in aliens, thanks to Fox Mulder.