When attempting to purchase a game on Steam, some customers are seeing the notice ‘There seems to have been an error initializing or updating your transaction.’ Affected users claim that the same problem code appears regardless of the payment method used — credit cards, debit cards, PayPal, and any other possible payment method all result in the same error code.
As it turns out, multiple other causes have been identified as contributing to this issue. The following is a list of all the possible suspects that we were able to identify:
- The Steam account is part of the Beta program – It turns out that the majority of users who encountered this issue were Beta program participants. If this scenario applies to you, opting out of the Steam Beta program should solve the problem.
- Corrupted Steam installation – Another scenario that has been confirmed to cause this issue is the presence of corrupted files in your Steam installation that prevent your purchases from being validated. In this instance, forcing Steam to regenerate itself may be able to resolve the issue (by deleting every unnecessary file).
- Corrupted data inside the Download cache – This problem could also be caused by corruption in your Steam installation‘s Download cache. Cleaning the Download cache will solve the problem in this scenario.
- A temporary issue with the desktop app – As in the past, this issue could be caused by a problem with the Steam store’s desktop version. If the online infrastructure remains unaffected, you may be able to finish the procedure by using the store’s web browser version.
- The account is locked – If you tried to retry the failed purchase several times, there’s a good probability your account has been blocked for security reasons. In this instance, you can either wait for the lock to expire or create a Steam support ticket to speed up the procedure.
Now that you’re aware of every possible scenario that could result in this error code, here’s how to resolve each one:
Method 1: Opt-out of Steam Beta (if applicable)
The bulk of customers who experienced this issue were Steam Beta insiders, as it turned out. Fortunately, this problem may be readily resolved by opting out of Steam Beta participation.
We’ve received a number of reports from users who were able to bypass the ‘There seems to have been an error initializing or updating your transaction‘ error shortly after opting out of the beta program.
If this scenario applies to you and you’re currently enrolled in Steam’s Beta program, take the steps below to opt out:
1. First, launch the Steam client. After that, go to the top ribbon bar and click on Steam, then Settings from the context menu.
2. Click the Account tab once you’re in the Settings menu, then scroll over to the left-hand side and click the Change button next to Beta Participation.
3. Change the current status to None – Opt out of all beta programs using the drop-down menu of Beta Participation.
4. Next, restart Steam and clear your cart before attempting to repurchase the item that was failing with the ‘There seems to have been an error initializing or updating your transaction‘ error message.
If this scenario doesn’t apply to you, or if you’re still getting the same error number after opting out of the Beta program, continue to the next possible solution below.
Method 2: ‘Cleaning’ your Steam installation
If the first solution doesn’t work, you can check to see if the problem isn’t caused by your Steam installation. Fortunately, there is one way that Steam’s support team commonly recommends in this situation.
As it turns out, many of the impacted users were able to resolve the issue by going to Steam’s install directory and deleting all files and folders except Steam.exe, \Steamapps\, and \Userdata\. Because the Steam client has regenerative properties, this will not break the installation, but it will successfully clean any corruption instances that may be causing the issue.
To fix the problem, here’s a fast step-by-step approach to cleaning your Steam installation:
1. Go to the default location of your Steam installation in File Explorer (My Computer). Unless you installed it in a special area, you’ll discover the following at the end of the path:
2. When you arrive at the correct location, choose all files and folders except the following:
3. After you’ve selected all of the essential files, right-click on one of them and pick Delete from the context menu that appears.
4. Restart your computer once all necessary files have been resolved, and then open Steam once the next startup is complete to allow the software to relaunch.
5. Check if the problem has been resolved by repeating the transaction after clearing your cart.
If the ‘There seems to have been an error initializing or updating your transaction‘ error persists, scroll down to the next possible solution below.
Method 3: Cleaning the Download cache
If none of the suggested solutions above have worked for you, another option is to clear Steam’s Download cache. Several impacted users claimed that the issue was finally rectified after clearing the download cache – this procedure would erase most irregularities associated with a glitched download.
If you haven’t already tried clearing the Download cache to fix the ‘There seems to have been an error initializing or updating your transaction‘ error, do so now:
1. Open your Steam client and delete any items that are currently in your shopping cart.
2. Then, using the ribbon bar at the top, navigate to the Steam menu.
3. When you see the context menu appear, select Settings.
4. Using the vertical menu on the left, go to the Settings menu and select the Downloads tab.
5. After that, go to the right-hand pane and click Clear Download Cache (near the bottom of the screen).
6. When the confirmation prompt appears, select Yes to clear the locally stored cache.
7. Wait until the operation is complete before logging back into your Steam account and attempting the purchase again.
If the error code remains the same, proceed to the next possible solution below.
Method 4: Using the Web Browser instead
If none of the preceding solutions have worked for you, you may be able to completely avoid the ‘There seems to have been an error initializing or updating your transaction‘ error by utilizing the Steam store’s web version rather than the one included in the app.
We were able to locate a large number of users who confirmed that using this workaround allowed them to complete a purchase that was otherwise failing within the Steam application.
To complete the process using the web browser version of the Steam shop, follow the steps below:
1. Open your default browser and go to the web version of the Steam store.
2. Once you’ve arrived at the correct web page, click the Login button (located in the top-right corner of the screen) and sign in using the same Steam credentials as the desktop app.
3. Once you’ve successfully signed in with your account, use the search option to identify the game you were unable to purchase on the desktop version, then add it to your card and finish the purchase by following the on-screen instructions.
4. After you’ve successfully finished the transaction, select Remotely Install, and the download should begin instantly on your PC.
5. After the download is finished, go back to the Steam desktop application and start the game.
If this workaround didn’t help you avoid the ‘There seems to have been an error initializing or updating your transaction‘ error, scroll down to the last possible solution below.
Method 5: Contacting Steam Support
Keep in mind that if you get the message many times after failing to purchase an item, Steam bots will most likely freeze your account for security grounds – this has been reported by many impacted customers.
If you retry the failed purchase a few times, your account is most likely on alert owing to a high number of failed purchases. Your account will either be automatically removed from the alert list after a period of time or will remain in this state until you contact a support person, depending on the number of tries.
If you don’t want to wait for the lock cooldown to expire, you can speed things up by submitting a Steam support ticket. To do so, simply follow the steps below:
1. Go to the official Steam support page using your regular browser.
2. Once you’ve arrived at the correct page, go to the right-hand side of the screen and select Help me with My Issue.
3. To finish the sign-up procedure, click Sign in to Steam and enter your account credentials.
4. Insert your Steam account name and password on the next login screen, then click Sign-in to begin signing in with your account.
5. To open a support ticket, follow the on-screen instructions after you’ve successfully logged in.
6. Explain the problem to a support representative when one becomes available, and ask them to remove the temporary lock imposed following the failed purchases.
If you’ve any queries, check this video:
That’s about it.