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EnCoRe May 1, 2013 @ 6:32pm
steam is time limited to two weeks in offline mode...this fix helps
First off, apologies this might sound trivial to some people, but I quite like (some) video games and DRM gets right up my nose. Currently you're unable to put Steam into offline mode to play the games you've already downloaded without first connecting to the Internet, and that isn't right.

I've currently found myself between homes and do not have a stable Internet connection. I can get some limited access via my mobile phone but some ports are blocked (including the ones that steam uses).

I anticipated this and put Steam into offline mode using these instructions ( before my connection to the Internet was cut. Fine. Everything worked in offline mode for about two weeks (because I was previously connected to the Internet).

When offline mode stopped working and Steam would complain that it was "Unable to connect to the Steam network..." I sent Steam a support ticket asking "How do I get steam into offline mode without first connecting to the Internet?"

Their solution was to reinstall Steam. Obviously that didn't work. Then I was asked to send them a MSINFO32 report which would obviously be no use so I took my PC to a friends house instead and connected to his Internet, connected to Steam, put steam back into offline mode, and came home again.

Crucially I took a backup of the Steam files after I put it into offline mode for the second time.

After about another 2 weeks of using Steam in offline mode the same thing happened again. But this time I was on the case. But after restoring the backup it still didn't work, so I thought I'd try changing the date on my PC. I flicked the date down a couple of days and et voilà! Offline mode is back up.

So there is some sort of time limited DRM on steam offline mode, and it will stop working after about 2 weeks. You have been warned. DRM sucks. Etc.
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Showing 1-15 of 87 comments
Vitdom May 1, 2013 @ 8:20pm 
Holy♥♥♥♥♥♥ I never thought there was a time limiter in Steam.

Really awful.
Silicon Vampire May 1, 2013 @ 10:12pm 
System Requirements
Windows XP, Vista, or 7
512 MB RAM
1 Ghz or faster processor

Intel Mac, OS X version Leopard 10.5.8, Snow Leopard 10.6.3, or later.
Two-button mouse strongly recommended

1GB HD space (recommended)
Internet connection (broadband recommended)

Offline mode was never designed or intended to be used permanently.
Last edited by Silicon Vampire; May 1, 2013 @ 10:12pm
ONe_mOMENT May 2, 2013 @ 1:41am 
Originally posted by Silicon Vampire:
Offline mode was never designed or intended to be used permanently.

If this is indeed ture, then why isn't it clearly stated in the "What is offline mode" support artical? The artical implys that Offline mode is a way to play your games without the need to connect to a network. Not just a way to avoid logging in for 2 weeks.

Also why is it not stated anywhere on retail boxes (Or even when buying an item on steam) that a connection is required at least once every 2 weeks if you wish to maintain access to your product.

Like the OP I was under the impression that offline mode ment I had access to my bought products indefinitly, if I where ever to, for whatever reason be unable to connect to the internet. Not have 2 weeks to find a connection or lose that access.

Again this is if it's true. I did: start steam in offline mode > close it > disconnect my internet > launch it again in offline mode (worked fine) > close it again > change date (5/2/2013 - 5/17/2013) > open it again to find an error saying no log-in information was saved etc. locking me out of my account

Could be a bug, could be intentional. Either way it should be addressed.

Edit:- I don't have a problem if Valves intention is for Steam to need a connection at least once every 2 weeks. I couldn't care less. I would however like clear, and easily accessible information for people about this DRM.
Last edited by ONe_mOMENT; May 2, 2013 @ 1:50am
 KARR™ May 2, 2013 @ 4:34am 
Fairly sure i used offline mode on my netbook for more than 2 weeks when my GF had no broadband at her house....
Spawn of Totoro May 2, 2013 @ 6:44am 
My father-in-law has been i off-line mode for 6 months at a time...they think they save money by not connecting to the internet, despite the fact they pay for it in their cable bill...I enable the wi-fi on the laptop for them every 6 months to do updates, the turn it back off.
Last edited by Spawn of Totoro; May 2, 2013 @ 6:45am
warnes1000 May 2, 2013 @ 9:16am 
Well I tried it but didn't work for me. Still no login - no play...
jjb-54 May 2, 2013 @ 1:34pm 
IT works fine for me and I crash/lock a whole whole lot less - Has nothing to do with $$/Time - just I noticed a 60% drop in my Lock/CTDs with offline.

ADDED - Before someone suggests that it's my Carrier or such - I have no similar issues w/any other Game Host Sight. So if it is "me" - then it is STEAM specific.
Last edited by jjb-54; May 2, 2013 @ 1:43pm
Wh1ppet May 2, 2013 @ 1:54pm 
I am guessing this is a case of user error... Someone tried to log Steam back in for some reason, possibly by accident, and now it is no longer in Offline mode and can't go back to offline mode until it's been logged in... A few things other than intentionally changing mode can cause it to try to reboot into online mode... Like trying to play a game that is not currently installed, because Steam will then try to log in and download it.

Once back in Online mode, it must be logged in to swtich back to Offline mode, but I have not ever heard of Offline mode being limited in time and if it is, that is a very very recent change... I had a friend that inherited a computer from his uncle with all the steam games installed and it in offline mode, and he's had it for years and it's still in offline mode with those games playable.

PS: It may be DRM on a particular game you play that is causing there to be a time limit on your offline mode, but I don't know of any.

I've done offline for 2 months straight before with no probs, though.
Last edited by Wh1ppet; May 2, 2013 @ 2:09pm
ONe_mOMENT May 2, 2013 @ 4:41pm 
Originally posted by vizhon:
I am guessing this is a case of user error...

I thought so to. But after putting steam into offline mode and closing it correctly, pulling my connection, restarting it and it working. closing it, changing the date forward 3 days, it working again, closing it, changing date 5 days ahead, it working again, closing, another 5 days ahead, fine. But as soon as it it 15 days it came up with there is no log in information etc.

Give it a try. See what happens.

Originally posted by vizhon:
I've done offline for 2 months straight before with no probs, though.

I've also had offline mode working for an extended period in the past. But that was years ago, and things change. Also makes me think its a bug with one of the new updates, or been added.
bucrepus May 3, 2013 @ 12:37pm 
Same problem here, It does not seem to be limited to any particular game, as I have 3 I play offline. It sure forces a reconnect after a period of time in offline mode. Very frustrating...
Globalist Elite May 12, 2013 @ 2:52pm 
Hey guys, I have been experiencing this issue for awhile. I just moved into a new place and my Steam was working alright in offline mode for a few days when suddenly, it stops! This also happened to me last December when I went through another moving process. Atm I am on my laptop using my neighbors wifi (my PC has no wireless adapter) so I have searched the internet for solutions to this problem.
Since I have Steam on my laptop i decided to run it in offline mode and transfer relevant files to my desktop PC to see if anything changes. Well I did that for a couple of files but to no avail. Then I found something about the ClientRegistry.blob file. (This ile is found in your Steam installation folder)

I looked it up and apparently this file stores user information for the Steam client. So what I did was copy the ClientRegistry.blob file from my laptop (which had a working Steam offline mode) and pasted it in to the Steam directory on my desktop PC and it worked!

I guess after a certain time period Steam deletes the information on this file? I am not sure. Also I read a fix somewhere where you could renamed the ClientRegistry.blob file as ClientRegistryOld.blob and have the Steam client create a new ClientRegistry but I am not sure if this works or not.

Anyways I hope this helps!
Blunt_Zephyr May 21, 2013 @ 7:06pm 
Originally posted by Silicon Vampire:
System Requirements
Windows XP, Vista, or 7
512 MB RAM
1 Ghz or faster processor

Intel Mac, OS X version Leopard 10.5.8, Snow Leopard 10.6.3, or later.
Two-button mouse strongly recommended

1GB HD space (recommended)
Internet connection (broadband recommended)

Offline mode was never designed or intended to be used permanently.

Then why isn't there a warning stating Interent Connection REQUIRED?! Walmart dosen't demand my stats every two-weeks.. Having same issue, will try changing the date next-time..That is, if Steam Support makes it so it wont work -.-

dapake. ClientRegistry.blob. Ace tip. Sounds legit :)

Copy&Paste from my support question. For the love of lulz.

Please. Allow me a way to save my credentials [and please do not 'troll'
me, giving basic-tips about making sure your games are 100% updated and
show "Play". No one-liners about going to Steam<Settings and verify that
do not save credentials is NOT checked.] Wasn't going to add this but
thought if I didn't, this would be the response.

Message by you on Mon, 8th Apr 2013 3:16 pm

Would saving my web browsers cache (cookies) help?

Message by Support Tech on Sat, 20th Apr 2013 3:52 pm

Hello Daniel,

Thank you for contacting Steam Support.

Please follow the link below for instructions on using Steam's Offline Mode:

Title: Offline Mode

The Steam client application's files and the game files for games you
wish to play offline must be updated to enable Offline mode - this means
that you must allow Steam to complete necessary updates in order to
enable Offline mode (you must establish a temporary connection to the
internet for this reason).

It is also necessary to launch the game at least once while online
before attempting to use Offline mode.

If a game that has previously worked in Offline mode is now having
issues, you may need to connect to the internet and attempt to launch
the game again, in case necessary files are missing or corrupt.

Please let us know if you encounter any difficulties after the necessary
updates have completed.

Message by you on Fri, 10th May 2013 4:14 am

:| I wish I could say you've tried,even after asking "not to be trolled
with 'basic-tips'.
Last edited by Blunt_Zephyr; May 21, 2013 @ 7:24pm
Bardouv May 21, 2013 @ 7:14pm 
People are required to connet every so often so that they aren't able to share their games with friends by logging in once and staying offline on multiple computers right? Maybe I sucked at explaining that but the idea is fine with me and makes a lot of sense. I mean I'd love to do that with my girlfriends laptop so she can play a couple of games this summer but I can understand how that would be cheating the system. It sucks for people who don't have access to internet long term but it's just the way the world works now.
Bardouv May 21, 2013 @ 7:16pm 
And walmart doesn't bother having you log in every couple of weeks because unless you do some tech wizardry you need the physical discs to play the games which would of course prohibit multiple copies of the game files from being accessed at once.
<Ni>GroK May 21, 2013 @ 7:17pm 
I hope they change this.
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Date Posted: May 1, 2013 @ 6:32pm
Posts: 87