A manifest is a file listing which includes the order of files and folders. Steam has a manifest which is downloaded prior to downloading any files while updating or downloading games. The game files are divided into small chunks. The manifest contains the order and the type of files needed for any game you wish to download. First, the manifest is downloaded and through the manifest, other files are obtained through Steam. If your Steam client fails to access/find the manifest, it gets stuck; hence the error.
Same is the case while updating. When there is a new update available, Steam downloads a new manifest and compares the old one with it. It highlights the changes and alters the files accordingly. If the client fails to access the old or new manifest, it generates the error.
There are many reasons why this could happen. It entirely depends on the user’s software and hardware configuration and may vary accordingly. We have listed down all the possible solutions. Go through them one by one and avoid skipping any.
Solution 1: Changing the Download Region
One of the basic fixes includes changing the download region. Sometimes, some servers may have the content manifest unavailable due to some technical error or it may be going through the scheduled maintenance.
The Steam content system is divided into different regions. The client automatically detects your region through your network and sets it as default. Sometimes, servers in a specific region may be overloaded or may be going through a hardware failure. Therefore changing the download region may solve the problem in question. It is not necessary to change the download only one time, you should try changing it to a couple of different locations. Also, try setting the download region to some place either in your nearby region or someplace far away.
- Open Steam and click ‘Settings’ on the drop down menu in the upper left corner of the window.
- Select ‘Downloads’ and navigate to ‘Download Region’.
- Select other regions other than your own and restart Steam.
Solution 2: Flushing Steam config and DNS
We can try resetting your internet settings and config to see if the problem gets resolved. Flushconfig flushes and reloads the configurations for each of the applications/games installed in your PC.
Most operating systems are designed to cache the DNS records. It is generally a good practice as it allows an application to process faster requests/data transfer to a website. However, if the DNS frequently changed, it is necessary to flush it so the new DNS can be retrieved and you can resume the data transfer you were doing. It removes the local cache from your computer and obtains the most recent cache that your Internet Service Provider is using.
- Press Windows + R to bring up the run application.
- In the dialogue box type “steam://flushconfig”.
- Steam will pop up a small window to confirm your action. Press Ok. No note that after this action, Steam will ask you to log in again using your credentials. Don’t follow this method if you don’t have access to your login details.
- After performing the above actions, press Windows + R button to pop up the Run window again. In the dialogue box type “cmd” to bring up the command prompt.
- Once in the command prompt, type “ipconfig /flushdns”. Press Enter.
- Restart your PC and relaunch Steam to see if the problem is resolved.
Solution 3: Checking your Firewall and Antivirus
It is a very common reality that your firewall and antivirus software conflicts with Steam. Steam has a lot of processes going on at once to ensure that your gaming experience is nothing but the best. However, many antivirus software mark these processes as potential threats and quarantine them resulting in some processes/applications not working. We have put together a guide on how to put steam as an exception in antivirus. Follow the steps here.
For disabling the Windows Firewall, follow the steps listed below.
- Press Windows + R button to bring up the Run application. In the dialogue box type “control”. This will open your computer’s control panel in front of you.
- On the top right there will be a dialogue box to search. Write firewall and click on the first option that comes as a result.
- Now at the left side, click the option which says “Turn Windows firewall on or off”. Through this, you can turn your firewall off easily.
- Select the option of “Turn off Windows Firewall” on both the tabs, Public and Private Networks. Save changes and exit. Restart Steam and launch it using the option Run as administrator.
Solution 4: Disabling VPN and Proxy tunnels
If you are using a proxy tunnel or VPN services, you should disable them and try again. Steam has anti-Ddos guard active in all of their servers. When you use VPN or tunneling, the guard may flag you as a potential threat and deny you downloading items for your Steam game client. It is a common procedure the guard flags all the IP’s and addresses which are new/suspicious and deny them access.
- You can either close those applications yourself from their respective options or you can press Windows + R to bring up the Run application.
- In the dialogue box type “taskmgr” to bring up the task manager.
- Now from the list of processes, delete all third party applications running and close it. Launch Steam again and check if the error still persists.
Final Solution: Refreshing Steam files
If the error still persists at this stage, we have no choice but to refresh Steam files. Refreshing Steam files will reinstall Steam on your computer again. We will delete some of the configuration folders to ensure that they get renewed upon the installation and all the bad files get removed.
Please note that any interruption during the copy process will corrupt the files and you will have to re-download the entire content over again. Only proceed with this solution if you are sure that your computer won’t be interrupted.
- Navigate to your Steam directory. The default location for your directory is
C:/Program Files (x86)/Steam.
- Locate the following files and folders:
Steamapps (folder- only preserve the files of other games in it)
The userdata folder contains all the data of your gameplay. We don’t need to delete it. Furthermore, inside Steamapps, you will have to search for the game that is giving you problem and only delete that folder. The other files located contain the installation and game files of other games you have installed.
However, if there all the games are giving you problems, we suggest that you skip deleting Steamapps folder and proceed with the following step.
- Delete all other files/folders (except the ones mentioned above) and restart your computer.
- Re-launch Steam using administrator privileges and hopefully, it will start updating itself. After the update is complete, it will run as expected.
Note: After following all the solutions, your Steam still gives up an error, it may be the case that Steam servers are down or are not fulfilling their function. Please refer to Steam support/internet and check if the servers are working. If they are not, then the problem isn’t on your side and you can wait till they get fixed.