How to: Fix Steam Needs to be Online to Update pop up [UPDATED]

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SteamPhoto credit: lydiaisthebombdig (Flickr)

You’ve fired up Steam on your Mac and you get a pop up message telling you that, “Steam Needs to be Online to Update”. You click ok, the message goes away but Steam closes. Annoying isn’t it? Thankfully there’s a simple fix:

  • Browse to <user>/Library/Application Support/Steam
  • Delete the file registry.vdf
  • Open Steam – it should now work.

Enjoy your gaming once more.


For those unable to see the path, here’s a screenshot from my Mac of my path:

Click the image it to see it bigger!


If you’ve installed Mac OS X Lion then Apple have kindly hidden your Library folder.

Open terminal (under Utilities) and run the following command:

chflags nohidden ~/Library

If you now browse to your user folder you’ll find the library folder is visible again.

  • Mcpenis

    There is no Steam folder in that location??

  • Ali_3ds

    Me to There is no Steam folder in Application Support folder ??

  • Rob

    I’ve checked my path on my MacBook and can verify that the path exists as specified in the guide above. Can only assume you are either looking in the wrong place or have a different problem with your Steam client.

  • kmos

    THANKYOU!!!! 😀

  • Steam

    No Steam folder in Application Support folder for me either…

  • SirCalderon

    Hi there!!

    Try: (username)/Library/Application Support/Steam/…. and not HD/Library/Application Support…

    (I’m not sure whether that helps or not, but I cannot explain it any better since I barely know anything about computers… xD)

  • Fuckyou

    doesnt fucking work

  • anonymous

    can you post an image or something? because steam doesnt show up in app support

  • Rob

    Here you go, as requested, the screenshot with path visible:

  • Dariuskhambata

    Thanks guys worked a treat, very easy to follow

  • Rob

    You’re most welcome!

  • Adrian Champion

    Found this via Google, worked a treat so thank you very much.

  • Rob

    You are more than welcome. Thank you for the feedback.

  • Jarhead Cook922

    thanks so helpful!

  • Jhnsmith834

    steam wont show up in application support!

  • Dyguren

    Hi i tried  and i am in application support folder, and there is no
    steam folder in it after i downloaded steam, and lots of people are
    still having the same problem, any idea of how to actually fix it?…no matter how many times i download steam, the folder never appears there…

  • Rob

    I haven’t been able to recreate that problem yet but have been looking into it.

  • Cashel111

    thank you 🙂

  • Harrysmithy

    No steam folder in application support 🙁

  • Rob

    You are going to the following location aren’t you?Mac HD / Users / YOURACCOUNTNAME / Library / Application Support

  • Pivot101

    i dotn have the file 🙁

  • Eddie

    THAnk you!

  • Romanicampbell

    thanks much finallt did it

  • matt

    FOR LION USERS: do chflags nohidden ~Library 

  • Mark Emblau

    SO THATS WHERE IT IS! Thanks a looooot dude!

  • clplye

    thanks bro.

  • Bmm712


  • jakkyjack

    if you look under “places” then follow the path it works. so places>library>application support>steam.
    its the same with a lot of apps, such as minecraft. so be sure to check both if your looking for something in application support.

  • Rob

    One more outburst from you and you’ll be banned. Not acceptable.

  • Rob

    Excellent advice. Thank you for contributing.

  • Michaelwang07

    I dont have a steam folder in /Library/Application Support/… HELP!!!!

  • Rob

    I’m on a mobile handset at the moment but have a look in the comments and I’m sure someone has already supplied something that will answer your problem.

  • Rob

    Here’s a direct link to the comment made by another which may help you:

  • Remmelt

    So, for all the people who can’t find the folder:

    Open a terminal and run the this: “chflags nohidden ~/Library”

    Now go to your user-folder and there your library is again. I think apple hide it in Lion. So after that follow the path to the steam folder and open the file. It works; maybe an update in the artikel. 

  • Axel

    Hi, I just got Lion and things look a little bit different, mainly the fact that the library folder is gone! What do i do?

  • Rob

    Open a terminal and run the this: “chflags nohidden ~/Library”Now go to your user-folder and there your library is again.

  • Rob

    Absolutely right – Apple did hide it in Lion. Thanks for sharing – I’ve amended the above post with an update to reflect the required change under Lion.

  • Twr97

    I deleted steam and my steam folder a month ago i downloaded steam today and don’t have a steam folder.
    Please help !

  • Izac01

    I am getting this same issue. I AM going to user/Library/Application Support/… I have NO steam folder… I have looked in both the HD library and user library. 

  • Izac01

    Any ideas on how to fix this would be great! Cheers

  • Rob

    Running Lion?

  • Hello, I have been having all the same problems as these people… I use Bootcamp (Windows 7 Ultimate) and I have steam on there and it works perfectly so I took the case of the router being my problem out and I have been seeing the same instructions over and over… go to username/library/application support/steam and then delete certain files… but I am having the same problem as everyone else… I cannot see the steam folder… I have tried using the app Houdini alright I ran the terminal and tried typing in chflags nohidden ~/Library then looking at the application folder again and still nothings changed… Can you please help me?? I have also included a screenshot of everything… I should also mention I am running Mac OS X Lion 10.7…

  • Cheezits

    Ok Rob, I found steam under users, app support, etc, but it did not have the file registry.vdf in the first place. I did have com.valvesoftware.steam.ipctool.plist, so I deleted this. I have yet to see if it works, but if it doesn’t, how do I get registry.vdf to appear? (I already tried chflags nohide) I really want TF2 LOL…

  • Cheezits

    Ok Rob, I found steam under users, app support, etc, but it did not have the file registry.vdf in the first place. I did have com.valvesoftware.steam.ipctool.plist, so I deleted this. I have yet to see if it works, but if it doesn’t, how do I get registry.vdf to appear? (I already tried chflags nohide) I really want TF2 LOL… I might be double posting and if I am, sorry, didn’t mean to but I wasn’t sure if you would see my comment where it is.

  • Cheezits

    Oh by the way I am NOT running Lion. I have Snow Leopard.

  • Cheezits

    Yep, still did not work. PLEASE HELP.

  • PlzHelp

    Plz help I really want Tf2 i cant find my steam folder

  • Twr97


  • Twr97

    I  installed lion after I deleted steam and before i downloaded it again

  • guest

    i couldnt find the folder as well but i had steam before and i had to delete the old games that were still on my comp for me to update.

  • guest

    i couldnt find the folder as well but i had steam before and i had to delete the old games that were still on my comp for me to update.

  • Clock004

    32mb out of 37.. everytime i get the that error message.. i deleted the file.. sux!

  • Frederik

    when i type “chflags nohidden ~/Library” in Terminal it says -bash: chflags nohidden ~/Library: No such file or directory

  • Cr7mufcr

    yesss ohh yeahhhhh thanx guys you guys are the best the best i mean there besttttt unbeatable the world is a great area to live in thaxxxxxx you guys helped me aa lloottt

  • She works!

  • filip

    this was awesome. very helpful. thanks!

  • yay! thanks a bunch! 

  • Hiiyujin88

    problem is, there isnt any steam folder on my mac, i understand the directory but the whole steam folder just wasnt thr.

  • Hiiyujin88

    it’s just wasnt there, same goes with the shared user

  • Hiiyujin88

    hope you can help up 🙂 cheers!

  • Paintball_punkchs

    I found out the problem to “no steam in application support”. I’ll walk you through it, go to finder, click on Macintosh HD. Then click on Users, it should open to what ever you named your computer and Shared, click on your name. Find Library, then follow the instructions above.

  • steeve

    The strangest part of this is, if the folder isn’t there, you have to make it.

    Go to [user]/Library/Application Support.  If there is no folder Steam under there, create a new folder Steam.

    It may seem inconceivable that the Steam developers wrote a program that needs your help making its own folder, but that’s how bad they suck.  This also shows that they never tested their own product once on a clean machine before taking money for it.

  • Uvedkomnemails

    If you don’t see a Steam folder it’s because you aren’t in the the users library.

    1. Open the finder.
    2. Hold the ‘alt’ key and click on ‘go’ int top of the screen. Keep holding ‘alt’.
    3. If you are holding ‘alt’ you will see the users library shortcut. Click on library.
    4. Now go to the steam folder and delete the registry file. 

  • Leo

    Great!! really thx!!!

  • Stephen Berlyant

    OMG Thank you!!!

  • Rob

    Most welcome.

  • Mailymail

    Fantastic – thanks!

  • Hussein 97

    You are best ths !!!!!!!!

  • Aangel

    I too did not see the .vdf file but saw a plist file instead. Deleting that enabled me to continue.

  • Guest

    i deleted the file, but when i open steam, it just reappears

  • eK

    at last!!!! thank you … !!!

  • Anonymous

    simply didn’t work for me 🙁 The file is gone but it still wont update

  • Thanks. Worked like a champ.

  • Ed

    after i deleted the registry.vdf, i launched steam, but the file’s now back again..?!

  • somebody

    How do you do it for macbook pro?

  • Rob

    The exact same way as described in the article.

  • Cayce

    Thank you so much! And also if you guys have lion you do not have to do the terminal cmd all you have to do is open finder hold the option key and click go in the task bar it will then add library to the menu.

  • Cayce

    Here is an image!

  • Sadclown


  • Zaned70

    there is no steam in the applications support and no “places” whatsoever also no user in macintosh hd

  • Rob

    User is your username.

  • Zaned70

    i know

  • Zaned70


  • Your4218

    I love you so much

  • Babs_barbella

    Ok, here’s my problem, not that different from the others… I know how to get to applications support, but… The Steam Folder was never created, even applying on terminal the nohidden command… No folder yet. So I created one as I read in a comment, but still nothing happens, I’ve checked package folder, the .vdf nor the cdf… whatever it is, is not there, and all the things I’ve put on finder to look up (steam related) neither, so… What do I do?… I’ve checked on my Console… But I cannot do the download links from safari to a folder in my computer… Nothing, I’ve tried everything… I’ve checked about maybe 13 forums to fix this problem but nothing… This sucks. 

  • Jppasa

    I created the Steam folder… what do I do after that? I tried opening Steam again but got the same problem, the .vdf file does not appear (or any other file/folder)

  • Rob

    You don’t create a steam folder. The one you need is already there with the file within. If you can’t find the folder read the comments and additional notes to the post.

  • Pinkie Pie

    I just try to lunch Steam again and again even in the problem, and I success to update completely…

  • VitorFromBrazil


  • Icalasari

    Ok, this is nice and all

    Now tell me where this stupid file is on Windows 7 >.< Everybody keeps saying registry.vdf is what I need to alter, even if on a Windows 7. However, everybody gives the Mac path (and going to the Steam folder doesn't turn up anything)

  • Michaelgirgis


  • thanks 🙂

  • Hope

    Hi it didn’t work. Same thing again. any idea? Thanks!

  • Lclauss2

    So the steam folder isn’t in application support. I’ve tried everything listed here and nothing seems to be working. I am absolutely in the users library. Any ideas?

  • me too …

  • the file’s now back again ……………………………… 


  • Lukelukelolz


  • Ryloekito

    same goes here, i deleted the file, but when i open steam it’s just reappeared

  • Talecrone96


  • Golfboy197


  • Carterdutton

    Thank you so much works perfectly

  •  You need to delete the file completely. Look in your Trash box.

  • teaman

    installing steam for the first time on my mbp.
    The Steam folder is present under Application Support. after unhiding ~/library
    Deleted registry.vdf from the folder and from the trash but it reappears once I run steam.
    So i deleted it again, WHILE steam was updating, from the folder and from the trash but the error remains. the fuck do i do?

  • Jcftoficial

    Thanks !!!!! U really save me 😀

  • S Grimshaw60

    Thanks, especially for the Lion solution!

  • gestur

    It’s actually ridiculos! I have tried everything, and then… I opened applications, chooses Steam, and then it opened!! It did not work to download it or anything.. i’m more confused now than before, but it works!!!! 


  • Procopiolcr

    Thank you so much!!

  • Allison

    I have done everything you said and it still will not work. Any suggestions?

  • 8DFacesD8

    This didn’t work, my registy.vdf is just respawning every time I delete it, HELP

  • I deleted rigistry.vdf but when I open Steam the file appears again

  • Somebody

    Still get the error, even after deleting the file.  I deleted it, emptied it from the recycle bin, and it just keeps coming back.  I deleted it as soon as I opened Steam, and it still gave me the error message.  I’m on Mac OSX Lion.  This fix did not work for me at all.  Anybody else have any solutions?


    or you could just go to help and type in library, thats what I do.

  • yesman

    Just comes back. This is really annoying 🙁

  • Spencer

    open the file with some sort of text editor, and the file will be full of a bunch of code.

    highlight that sucker, and go ahead and delete it all.

    Fixes it perfectly, doesn’t reappear because it never goes anywhere!

  • THANK YOU! 🙂 Such an easy fix 🙂

  • someone


  • Bloody hell, please help. It is 1AM and I have spent the last few hours trying to fix this killing the battery on my MacBook Pro. I deleted the file ad now their is a ? on the app which prevents me from launching it!

  • Shadowomar

    Use this. Make sure steam is on the Applications folder. Then delete the registry.vdf file and then delete the Steam folder in Application Support. Open steam. MAKE SURE: It’s the one in your Applications Folder.

  • lopez

    i dont have any steam folder!!!! heeelp! 🙁

  • F the registry.vdf file.

    The registry.vdf file reappears when i open Steam. Even after i empty the trash. Its whack and Im starting to thing there is no solution.

  • none of your buinssness

    i deleted the whole folder thinking that would help how do i get it back cuz if you change login something or other to 0 it will work

  • Nalasleafheart

    Weridly enough, opening it in the applications folder gets rid of it.

  • book_of_level

    i did what you say above , but after I open steam again the registry.vdf just come back though .

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