Some Steam users are getting the ‘Error Code 2‘ when trying to launch a particular game or when attempting to upload user-created content to the platform. This problem appears to be more frequent with beta game versions or with games with mods support.
As it turns out, there are several different causes that might end up producing this particular error code. Here’s a list of potential culprits that might be responsible for the apparition of this error code:
- Steam server issue – Before you start to troubleshoot for a local issue, the ideal place to start is to check whether Steam is currently experiencing server issues in your area. This problem was reported to occur in the past and while the outage period lasted, this was one of the error codes reported by affected users.
- Steam Family Library Sharing restriction – If you have Steam Family Sharing on this particular computer and you’re seeing this error while attempting to upload Workshop content, this is occurring due to a restriction imposed by Steam. If this s scenario is applicable, you should be able to fix the problem by disabling Steam Family Sharing for this computer from your Steam’s settings.
- Integrity issue with the game – In case you’re only encountering this problem with a game title, you should start considering the fact that a system file corruption is actually causing this error code. In this case, your best hope at fixing the problem without having to reinstall the game is to initiate an integrity check on the game’s files.
- Users group is missing from the Permission tab of common – It’s been confirmed that this problem can also be caused by insufficient permissions of the common folder (the folder that stores every game file from your Steam library). In this case, you can resolve the problem manually by ensuring that the user group is added to the permission tab.
- Improper download server – This error code can also occur due to an issue with the download server that is used by default. Several affected users that faced the same problem have managed to fix this problem by changing the default Download server to a different location.
- Interfering 3rd party AV – Under certain circumstances, you can expect to see this error occur due to interference caused by your 3rd party security suite. This problem is most commonly reported with McAffee antivirus, but there might be other security suites with similar behavior. In this case, you should be able to fix the problem either by disabling real-time protection or by uninstalling the problematic 3rd party AV.
- Windows Infrastructure update is not installed – As it turns out, you can expect to see the error code 2 if you don’t have the Windows infrastructure update that Steam needs to establish reliable connections with its a download server. To fix this problem, all you need to do is to install every pending Windows update until you bring your Windows build up to date.
- File Corruption in the Steam installation – File corruption in your Steam installation can also be responsible for this problem. This is most commonly reported to occur in instances where a security scan ended up quarantining some files belonging to Steam. If this scenario is applicable, you should be able to fix this problem by reinstalling Steam along with the problematic application.
Method 1: Checking for Server Issues
Before you go for any of the other potential fixes presented below, you should start by making sure that Steam is not currently dealing with a server issue that ends up affecting your connection to the game server.
In this case, you should start by verifying the current status of Steam. There are a couple of ways that will allow you to do this, but the most efficient one is to use a 3rd party website like SteamStat.us to see whether there are currently any server issues.
This service will let you know if there are any sub-functions or region-specific servers that are currently experiencing issues.
If the investigations you just did didn’t reveal any underlying server issues with Steam, you can conclude that the problem is occurring due to something that’s occurring locally.
In case you’ve just ruled out a server problem, move down to the next potential fix below.
Method 2: Disabling Steam Family Sharing
According to some affected users, this problem will occur if you’re actively using Steam Family Sharing and you’re trying to upload stuff to the Workshop server. This operation will end up failing with the error code 2 because the Steam Family Sharing check doesn’t recognize that content as being part of the game.
A lot of people have complained about this system, but as of now, there is no other way to get past the error in this case other than disabling Steam Family Library Sharing altogether before repeating the procedure.
If you don’t know how to do this, follow the instructions below:
- Open Steam and login with the account that you’re actively using.
- Move your cursor to the upper left corner and click on Steam.
- Next, from the newly appeared context menu, choose Settings.
- Inside the Settings menu, select the Family tab, then deselect the box next to the user you wish to remove from the sharing feature.
- Save the changes by clicking Ok, then restart Steam and repeat the action that was previously triggering the error code -2.
If the same problem is still appearing, move down to the next potential fix below.
Method 3: Verifying Game Files and Steam Files
In case you previously made sure that you’re not dealing with a server issue and you don’t have family sharing enabling for this computer, you should start to consider the fact that you might be dealing with some kind of file corruption related to a particular game.
This is way more likely if you see the error code 2 only with one game title when performing a certain action. If this scenario is applicable, follow the instructions below to initiate an integrity check via the Steam menu:
- Open Steam and select the Library tab from the horizontal menu at the top.
- Next, with the Library tab selected, scroll down through the library items and right-click on the entry associated with the game that’s causing you issues. Once you do this, choose Properties from the newly appeared context menu.
- Once you’re inside the Properties screen of the game that’s causing you issues, select the Local Files tab, then click on Verify Integrity of the Game Files.
- Once you get to the confirmation prompt, click Yes to start the operation, then wait for the procedure to complete.
- After the integrity scan is finished, repeat the action that was previously causing the error code 2 and see if the problem is now resolved.
If this fix didn’t fix the problem for you, move down to the next method below.
Method 4: Adding Users to Permission tab
According to some affected users and a few involved developers, you can expect to see this issue to occur due to a permission issue
- Open File Explorer and navigate to the location of the Steam Install directory. Unless you choose a custom location, you’ll find this folder here:
C:\Program Files\Steam (x86)\SteamApps\Common
- Once you get to the correct location, right-click on the common folder and choose Properties from the newly appeared context menu.
- Once you’re inside the Properties screen of the common folder, choose the Security tab from the horizontal menu at the top.
- Next, scroll down through the list of entries under Group or User names and see if you can find a group called Users.
Note: If you can already see the Users group inside the Group or user names entry, skip the steps below and move directly to the next method.
- In case you were unable to find the Users group, click on the Edit button (under the Group or user names List).
- Then, from the next menu, click the Add button, type ‘Users’, and press the Check Names button before clicking Ok to save the changes.
- Save the changes, then restart your computer and repeat the same action that was triggering 2 error code once the next startup is complete.
If the same problem is still occurring, move down to the next potential fix below.
Method 5: Changing the Download Server
As it turns out, this problem can also occur due to an issue with the default download server. Some affected users that had to deal with the same problem have confirmed that they’ve been able to fix this problem by modifying the default Download Region from Steam’s settings.
If you’re unsure on how to do this, follow the instructions below:
- Open your Steam client and log in with your account.
- Next, use move to the left-hand section of the screen, click on Steam then click on Settings from the context menu.
- Once you’re inside the Settings menu, select the Downloads tab from the vertical menu on the right. Next, move over to the right-hand pane and change the Download Region to the appropriate Country using the drop-down menu below.
- Click Ok to save the changes, then repeat the action that was previously causing the error and see if the problem is now resolved.
If the same problem is still occurring (error code 2), move down to the next potential fix below.
Method 6: Disabling / Uninstalling 3rd party AV (if applicable)
According to some affected users, this problem can also occur due to an overprotective 3rd party antivirus suite that ends up blocking the local Steam installation’s connection with the download folder.
The majority of affected users have reported that this problem was caused in their cases by the Real-time scanning feature of McAffee. However, there might be other similar 3rd party suites with similar behavior on Windows 10.
If you think this scenario might be applicable as you’re using a 3rd party security suite, you should start by disabling the real-time protection of your AV and see if this solves the problem. In most cases, you can do this by right-clicking the tray-bar icon of your antivirus.
However, if you’re using a 3rd party firewall (or a security suite with a firewall feature), you’ll likely need to uninstall the 3rd party suite altogether since the same security rules will remain firmly in place even if the real-time protection feature is disabled.
Here’s a quick guide on uninstalling an overprotective 3rd party security suite:
- Open a Run dialog box by pressing Windows key + R. Next, type ‘appwiz.cpl’ inside the text box and press Enter to open up the Programs and Files menu.
- Once you’re inside the Programs and Features menu, scroll down through the list of installed applications and locate the antivirus that you want to uninstall.
- Inside the uninstallation screen, follow the on-screen prompts to complete the uninstallation, then restart your computer and wait for the next startup to complete.
- Once the operation is complete, repeat the action that was previously causing the problem and see if the error code 2 is now resolved.
In case the same issue is persisting, move down to the next potential fix below.
Method 7: Install every Pending Windows Update
This might seem like an unlikely fix, but some affected users have confirmed that the error code 2 was no longer occurring in Steam after they installed every pending Windows update.
As it turns out, this problem can occur if your computer doesn’t have the infrastructure update that Steam requires. if this scenario is applicable, you will not be able to exchange data with the Steam download server until you bring your Windows build up to date.
If you don’t have the latest Windows build yet, follow the instructions below to install every pending Windows update:
- Press Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box. Next, type ‘‘ms-settings:windowsupdate” and press Enter to open up the Windows Update tab of the Settings app.
Note: In case you’re encountering the issue on Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, use the ‘wuapp’ command instead to open up the Windows Update menu.
- Once you’re inside the Windows Update screen, click on Check for Update. Next, start by following the on-screen prompts to complete the installation of every Windows update.
Note: While at this step, it’s important to ensure that you end up installing every pending update including cumulative and security patches that aren’t mandatory.
- Keep in mind that if you have a lot of updates to catch up to, you might be asked to restart before the WU component gets the chance to install every update iteration. If this happens, restart as instructed but make sure to return to the Windows Update screen once the next startup is complete and install the remaining updates.
- Once every available Windows Update is installed, restart your computer once again, open Steam, and see if the problem is now resolved.
In case you are still encountering the error code 2 when attempting to perform a certain action i Steam, move down to the next potential fix below.
Method 8: Reinstalling Steam
As some users have reported, this problem can occur due to a case of file corruption located in the Steam folder. Several affected users have confirmed that they manage to fix the problem by reinstalling Steam completely along with the application that’s causing the problem.
This operation will end up resolving every instance where the problem originates from a corrupted local item. If you suspect that this scenario might be applicable, follow the instructions below to reinstall Steam along with the game that’s causing the problem:
- Press Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box. Next, type ‘ appwiz.cpl’ and press Enter to open up the Programs and Features window.
- Once you’re inside the Programs and Features screen, scroll down through the list of applications and locate the Steam installation.
- After you manage to locate the Steam installation, right-click on it, then choose Uninstall from the context menu. When you are prompted by the UAC (User Account Control), click Yes to grant administrative privileges.
- Once the uninstallation is complete, repeat the uninstallation process with the game that’s causing the error code 2.
- After both Steam and the game that’s causing the problem are uninstalled, restart your computer and wait for ht next startup to complete.
- Next, visit the official download page of Steam and install the latest available build.
- Once you manage to install the latest version of Steam, open it, log in with your account and download the game that was previously triggering the error code.