Fixed “Disconnected by VAC: You Cannot Play on Secure Servers” error in Windows

  • There is a good chance that ACC kicked you off the server because they detected a hacker client on your computer by mistake.
  • The problem is not too complicated and should be easy to fix, even though ACC may seem daunting.
  • The cause is likely either software problems with the game files or network problems.
  • Even Steam support claims that PowerShell running at the same time as the game can negate VAC and that you can only try to kill the. process while playing.

Steam Vac System

It was first released in 2002 as a part of Counter-Strike with Valve anti-cheat software named Valve Anti-Cheat (VAC).

Have you been disconnected from the game through Steam after receiving a message that says “Disconnected by VAC: You cannot play on secure servers”? Fortunately, the ACC did not ban you by mistake if you experience this problem. If it happens, it is likely that the ACC has mistakenly detected a hacker client on your computer.

Vac Block

The VAC engine is used in a number of games, such as DOTA 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. That’s because if you’re using a cheat to play a game using the VAC engine, you’ll be prompted that you cannot access secure servers.

In the event of game files being modified or becoming corrupted, Steam disconnects you from secure servers.

However, even though ACC is daunting, the problem is relatively simple and should be easy to fix. It’s likely that either the game files are corrupted or a server problem is causing the problem.


What causes the “Disconnected by VAC: You Cannot Play on Secure Servers” error in Windows?

What causes the "Disconnected by VAC: You Cannot Play on Secure Servers" error in Windows?

Users who do not cheat during VAC-protected games also experience this error. We wanted to share these reasons for users who do not cheat.

Some game files are missing or corrupt: if something went wrong with your game files, the problem is inevitable, but you can always check their integrity with the helpful Steam feature.

The Steam Service can be repaired if you are disconnected by VAC; it prevents your Steam account from connecting to secure servers. To repair the Steam Service, follow these steps:

Your antivirus or firewall may be blocking Steam or the game: Antivirus and firewall have been known to block harmless applications, so you may need to add an exception for Steam to your antivirus and Windows firewall.

Old or faulty network adapter driver: Users report that this problem disappears after installing the latest network driver. On the other hand, other users have noticed this error only after installing the latest driver.

PowerShell works: Even Steam support claims that PowerShell running at the same time as the game can negate VAC and that you can only try to kill the PowerShell process while playing.

The most simple thing you can do to fix the problem is to restart your computer, just in case something went wrong with Windows.

Data execution prevention: If your motherboard supports DEP, you should enable it on your computer to prevent disconnection from ACC.

Steam should be exited from the computer and run by clicking Start > Run (Windows Key + R). Type the following string: “C:/Program Files (x86)/Steam/bin/SteamService.exe” /repair. Restart Steam and see if the issue persists.

Using this batch file, you can fix a Valve Anti-Cheat error message that says, “Disconnected by VAC: You cannot play on secured servers”. In some cases, it may be a bug within the updated version of the game. At times, it may even be a problem with the anti-virus/malware software, corrupted files, using software that modifies the game files.


How do I fix the “Disconnected by VAC: You Cannot Play on Secure Servers” error in Windows?

How do I fix the "Disconnected by VAC: You Cannot Play on Secure Servers" error in Windows?

Close all steam processes and restart

Steam may disconnect you due to VAC: You cannot play on secure servers. You can fix this problem by following these steps:

  1. Choose Task Manager from the context menu of the taskbar.
  2. Select each running Steam process in the Task Manager’s Processes tab, click Finish Task for each of them, and then select the next one.
  3. The Start tab should be displayed, click on Steam and then click on the X to remove it.
  4. The computer needs to be rebooted now.
  5. It might be worth checking if the problem persists once Steam has been restarted after the procedure has been completed.

Repairing Steam Service

Steam service can also be repaired if it has been disabled by CAV. The steps to do this are:

  1. Drop Steam.
  2. Press R (or click Start – > Run) while holding down the Windows key.
  3. C: Program Files (x86)SteaminSteamService is the path to the steam service.
  4. If the connection isn’t established, try reopening steam.

Note: Replace the above directory with the Steam service installation location.

Recovering system files

The following steps will help you reverse a CAV disruption in your Steam connection: if your system files are affected, you may not be able to connect to protected servers.

  1. Drop Steam.
  2. You will be prompted to click Start.
  3. Select Run as administrator from the right-click menu of the command line.
  4. SFC / scan now should be entered at the command prompt.
  5. Steam should run again after the process is complete.

Reboot your computer

You can check the Steam error by logging out and restarting your computer, then logging in and checking the issue. Your Steam account should be logged out prior to restarting.


Frequently Asked Questions

VAC bans are permanent, non-negotiable, and cannot be removed by Steam Support. If it is determined that an ACC ban has not been issued correctly, it will automatically be lifted. If you would like to discuss anti-banning with the community, you can do so here.

  1. Start a dedicated Steam server on the Steam Tools tab.
  2. Make sure the Secure box (anti-heat valve) is checked.
  3. Start the server.

If the VAC can't check your game session, but you haven't changed the game files in any way, it means that something is wrong with the file configuration. Sometimes the VAC can also generate a false positive error and display the message "Game session could not be verified".

VAC stands for Valve Anti-Cheat, an automated system designed to detect cheaters installed on users' computers. If a user connects to a secure VAC server from a computer with cheaters installed, the VAC system will prohibit the user from playing the game on secure VAC servers in the future.

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Mark Ginter is a tech blogger with a passion for all things gadgets and gizmos. A self-proclaimed "geek", Mark has been blogging about technology for over 15 years. His blog,, covers a wide range of topics including new product releases, industry news, and tips and tricks for getting the most out of your devices. If you're looking for someone who can keep you up-to-date with all the latest tech news and developments, then be sure to follow him over at Microsoft.