I was recently playing DotA 2 with some friends on Steam. We has a short interval between matches, in which I closed the game. Upon my return I noticed that DotA 2 was trying to update, and failing. “Alright” I thought, “I will just restart steam”. This was followed by ” I will just restart my machine”. Neither of these attempts to get steam to straighten up and fly right worked. To make matters worse, Steam was now refusing to start at all, getting stuck on a ‘searching for updates’ notification.
So I began to go through my usual method when Steam has a hiccup, called a ‘regeneration’. This involves deleting your entire Steam install, except for your SteamApps folder and the Steam.exe. Launching Steam again seemed to be proving fruitful, as it downloaded all the necessary files, and updated. Only it got stuck on the same ‘searching for updates’ followed by ‘Steam must be connected to the internet’ blah blah blah.
By this point I had spent 2 evenings and a good few hours trying to fix the situation.
The fix came completely by accident. Whilst trying to replace files from my working version from my laptop, I right clicked on the Steam.exe file, and was heading down the context menu to select cut to put it somewhere safe while I continued with my experimental fixes. I missed cut, and hit ‘Run as Administrator’.
I wasted hours, when a right click and run as admin would have fixed it.
TLDR – If Steam is refusing to update, try right click – run as admin first!