How To Fix a Steam Pending Purchase Error

Have you tried to buy a game on Steam and received a pending purchase error? You’re not the only one. Although uncommon, others have gotten this unpleasant and confusing message after trying to make a purchase. This issue could be caused by a myriad of reasons. In this article, we’ll discuss this unfortunate error message, why it might have happened, and what you can do to resolve the issue.

How To Fix a Steam Pending Purchase Error

Steam Pending Purchase Length of Time

A pending purchase on Steam could take a matter of moments or much longer. Typically, how long a pending purchase will take to clear depends upon your banking institution. According to Steam, it could take up to 10 days for your transaction to clear. Thankfully, a pending purchase error means that the funds have not yet been taken from your financial institution, so you haven’t paid for something that you didn’t get.

Steam Pending Purchase Error

If you’ve received a pending purchase error, there are several reasons why this could have happened. Sometimes the easiest solution is to reboot your computer or laptop and try the transaction again. If that fails to rectify the problem, take a look at these common pending purchase reasons and fixes.

  • Connectivity issues

Your Steam pending purchase error could be due to a connectivity issue. The issue could be on your end, and a quick solution is to reboot your Wi-Fi or router. If Steam’s servers were experiencing problems when you tried to pay for your purchase, this could be the reason why your purchase hasn’t been completed. Wait for a short period and try your purchase again.

  • VPN

Are you using a VPN (virtual private network)? Although a VPN is a great way to add a level of protection and security to your online purchases, it can sometimes result in a transaction being listed as pending.

Before making a purchase on Steam, you could try disabling your VPN, which could solve the problem. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Right-click the “Start” button and locate and select “Task Manager.”
  2. From the “Processes” tab, select your VPN software.
  3. Tap the “End Task” button.
  4. Click the “Startup” tab.
  5. Find your VPN and right-click on it.
  6. From the drop-down menu, tap “Disable.”

Disabling your VPN could prevent future issues with the Steam pending purchase error.

  • Prior pending payments

If you have a prior pending payment, then no further transactions will be completed until its resolved. The best course of action is the cancel all pending payments and try to make your purchase again. We’ll cover how to cancel a Steam purchase later in this article.

  • Site traffic

It’s possible that Steam’s website was experiencing a high volume of active users and was unable to process your payment for this reason. Although rare, it’s possible their servers may be down in your region. To check if the Steam servers are down, you can go to Downdetector to check for outages.

Steam Pending Purchase Cancel

There are several actions you can take if you have a purchase that seems to be stuck on pending. The most obvious solution is to cancel the transaction. To learn how to do this, do the following:

  1. Launch Steam and tap on your “User account name.”
  2. From the drop-down menu, select “Account Details.”
  3. Locate and click on “View purchase history” to see a list of your Steam transactions.
  4. Click on the pending transaction.
  5. Choose “Cancel this transaction.”
  6. Tap “Cancel my purchase” to confirm your choice.

If the transaction you canceled was a prior one, then the most recent pending purchase should be free to proceed. If not, follow the above steps and cancel it. If your pending purchase was placed using the Steam app, try making the purchase again using the Steam website.

Other Options After Canceling Purchase

There are several options you have after you’ve canceled a pending purchase. If you’d like to continue and attempt your purchase again, here are some things that you can try.

  • Change your payment method

Steam offers numerous different payment methods. If your preferred method of payment is causing a pending purchase error, you have the option of changing your method of payment. You can try selecting a different payment method to see if it has any effect on your purchase. Here’s how to do it.

  1. Launch the Steam app and tap on your “Account name.”
  2. From the drop-down menu, select “Account Details.”
  3. Locate the card you are using to make purchases and click on “Edit.”
  4. Fill in the appropriate information for your banking institution and press “Save.”

Now attempt to make your purchase again using your updated payment method.

  • Check your download region

It’s possible that your download region has defaulted to one that isn’t yours and this could be the cause of your payment hanging in limbo. To learn how to check your download region, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Steam app and select the “Steam Menu” in the top-left corner of the screen.
  2. Click on “Settings.”
  3. From the menu on the left, tap “Downloads.”
  4. Ensure that the download region is the one in which you reside. If it’s correct, try toggling it off and on by selecting a different region and then back to the one that’s yours.
  5. Press the “OK” button.

If your download region was correct, sometimes toggling it and resaving your selection will eliminate the pending purchase error. Try making your purchase again after following these steps.

  • Check your payment currency

Just as your download region could have somehow defaulted to an incorrect region, the same could have happened with your payment currency. It’s possible that if you’ve changed server locations it also affected your default payment currency. To check your payment currency, follow these steps:

  1. Launch Steam and click on your “Account name.”
  2. Choose “Account Details” from the drop-down menu.
  3. Tap on “Store & Purchase history” and “Update store country link.”
  4. Ensure that your currency is correct.
  5. Click “OK.”

If your currency selection was correct, try choosing a different one and then again select your correct currency. Sometimes toggling this selection off and on will help to end the pending purchase issue. Try making your purchase again.

  • Contact the Steam support team

If your purchase is stuck in pending limbo, reach out to the support team at Steam. Perhaps there is an issue with your account that you’re unaware of. Here’s how to contact them:

  1. Go to the Steam Support page and log into your account.
  2. From the drop-down menu, tap “Purchases.”
  3. Click on “I can’t complete my purchase on the Steam Store.”
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions until you get to the option to contact Steam Support.

Steam Pending Purchase Error Solutions Made Easy

It’s frustrating when you’re ready to buy and play a new game, yet your payment is stuck in pending purchase limbo. The best course of action is to cancel the transaction and try it again after disabling your VPN and checking to ensure that Steam’s servers are up and running. Sometimes using a different payment method is all that’s needed.

Have you gotten a pending purchase error on Steam? Did you use any of the methods outlined in this article to fix it? Let us know in the comments section below.

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