Steam “Too many Activation Attempts” error: How to fix, possible reasons, and more

Fixing the “Too many Activation Attempts” error on Steam (Image via Valve)
Fixing the “Too many Activation Attempts” error on Steam (Image via Valve)

Steam users often run into various issues, especially when redeeming a free game using a code. Humble Bundle giveaways usually allow players to access a lot of popular tiles for free or at a heavily discounted rate, and players usually face an error when trying to redeem their codes in bulk on Steam.

One of the most common errors on the platform is the “Too many Activation Attempts” error which has been one of the bigger age-old problems that Steam faces. It occurs specifically when a user is trying to redeem a code and has become of the harder issues to deal with as there is no permanent fix to it.

However, the community has found workarounds that can temporarily help solve this issue on the platform. Hence, the following guide will go over steps you can employ to deal with the “Too many Activation Attempts” error on Steam.

Fixing the “Too many Activation Attempts” error on Steam


As mentioned, game distribution platforms like the Humble Bundle offer players a great many numbers of game keys at the same time. Hence, players often try to redeem the codes all at once, which often leads to an issue on the platform.

As the platform releases game keys almost at regular intervals, errors like “Too many Activation Attempts” are one of the most common issues that Steam users run into.

The error primarily occurs when you enter more than 20 game codes into the Steam game redemption section. This will often crash the platform before redeeming all the games for whose code you have entered.

Hence, to be able to fix the issue, you will need to:

  • Wait for the cooldown before the platform allows you to enter game codes again. The period is exactly 1 hour, and you can start redeeming codes again once that period is up.
  • The cooldown occurs because you have been attempting to download too many codes simultaneously. Hence, if you are getting the error message, you will be required to wait for an hour until the cooldown period is up before you can put in the codes again.
  • If the error persists even after the 1 hour cooldown period, you might want to restart the Steam client. By closing the platform and then re-opening it, you might be able to deal with the error code and help the cooldown reset after the one hour is up.
  • You can even re-install the client on your system as a drastic step. While it may not look like it will solve the issue, many in the community have stated that re-installing the platform seems to have worked for them.

If you want to redeem all the games simultaneously, you can try and limit the number of codes you redeem on one account so you don't encounter the cooldown period. You can split up and distribute the multiple codes that you get from the Bundle and split it up across multiple accounts.