If you’re a PC gamer, you’re almost certain to have a Steam account. Beginner Steam users and professional gamers can take advantage of the thousands of easily accessible games to download on Steam, from simple puzzle games to intense first-person shooters.
While you can preview paid Steam games for free or, in fact, play many free games, many of the best Steam games available on the platform require you to purchase them. Unfortunately, a pending Steam transaction error can stop you. If you notice this error, this is what you need to do to fix the problem.
Check for steam cuts
A pending transaction issue on Steam is no cause for alarm and you can usually resolve it by following a few simple steps (or allowing the purchase to be fully processed, which can take a few minutes). Before trying another purchase, however, you may want to check that the Steam platform is fully operational.
If Steam’s servers don’t work, your purchase may be at a limit, waiting for Steam to process it completely. You can quickly check if this is the case by uploading the Steam website or using certain third-party services such as unofficial Steam status site.
Even if the Steam website is loaded, there may be underlying issues with the Steam API or other internal systems, including the Steam transaction processor. If the Steam Status website information points to normal traffic and the transaction has been pending for several minutes, you can cancel it by following the steps below.
Keep in mind, however, that the Steam website will serve for large traffic loads during certain times of the year when Steam sales are running. These popular sales can lead to delays in payment processing. So if you see a pending transaction error from Steam during a sale, wait 10 or 20 minutes before trying anything else.
View your purchase history and cancel additional transactions
While a pending transaction on Steam is usually resolved, this is not always the case. If you are unable to download or play your games after 10 or 20 minutes, you should check your Steam shopping history and cancel the transaction if necessary. You may need to do this if the payment card you used is not up to date, for example.
- To do this, go to Steam website in the web browser and log in. Select the account name at the top right, then select Account Details from the drop-down menu.
- A la Account Details , select the menu View your purchase history , which appears in the section History of shops and purchases section.
- In yours Purchase history , select the pending transaction from the list. Purchased items that are pending will be displayed as Pending purchase at the Type category.
- On the pending transaction support page, select the file Cancel this transaction option. This will cancel the purchase and, depending on the current stage of your transaction, a refund will be issued. Follow any additional instructions on the screen to confirm the cancellation of your purchase.
Disable any VPN or proxy connection
If you are confident that the Steam website is fully operational, you may want to check your connection if there are issues that could block transactions. For example, if you use a virtual private network or proxy connection to hide your identity, Steam may mark your purchase as potentially fraudulent and pause it to make additional checks.
VPN connections, especially from major VPN providers, typically use a number of well-known, easily identifiable, and often abused IP addresses. Instead of risking a possible fraudulent game purchase, Steam may stop or block the transaction on a VPN or proxy connection to limit the risks to you (and to Steam itself).
This is less likely on a corporate network or VPN, where IP addresses are unlikely to be closed. However, there may be other issues with corporate networks (such as blocking traffic that is not suitable for a work environment), so you may want to talk to your network administrator before making a purchase.
If the VPN or proxy server isn’t the problem, but you still think your connection is faulty, we recommend switching to a secondary connection to make the transaction, such as a mobile data connection using your smartphone.
Use another payment method
Once you have canceled a pending transaction, the next step is to try again. Before doing so, however, we recommend that you use another form of payment. If your previous form of payment is blocked, limited, or if your data is out of date, the transaction may not be completed.
This is especially true if you use a form of payment that does not match your name or nationality on Steam. Steam supports several payment methods, such as credit or debit cards and PayPal.
If that doesn’t work, you might also see if another Steam account holder will buy your item as a gift if their payments are processed smoothly. This purchase option allows Steam account owners to purchase games and give them away directly to others.
Contact Steam support (and your payment provider)
If these methods don’t fix a pending Steam transaction error, it’s time to do so contact the Steam support team. Steam may be able to provide more information about why a transaction is pending and not processed.
For example, Steam should be able to confirm if your payment method is blocked or if payment has not been accepted. Steam support agents may be able to identify other issues with your Steam account that are preventing the transaction and identify possible solutions, such as confirming your email account.
You may also need to talk to your bank provider if your payments are blocked, but especially if your Steam purchases are delayed or regularly blocked.
You may need to authorize the transaction in person for it to take place if this happens or if you are considering other methods for purchasing long-term Steam games, such as gift cards or gift purchases.
Enjoy games on Steam
Once you’ve resolved a pending transaction error on Steam in your account, you should be able to enjoy your purchased games as you wish. You can stream Steam games to Android devices, for example, which allows you to play them on your mobile. You may want to set up a Steam link to stream to other types of devices.
However, if you still have issues with Steam itself, you may need to run the client in Administrator mode. Once Steam works, we recommend that you use Steam Broadcasting to share your game with the world at large. Although you may find a larger audience streaming on Twitch or a Twitch alternative.