A complex system with connections going in and out of servers is going to fall over from time to time, especially when multiple online credentials are needed to access and communicate.
A stream key is one of those credentials which can sometimes fail – when this happens you will get an error message which states “could not access the specified channel or stream key”.
Here’s we’re going to talk about what causes this and how to fix it so you can go back to your stream!
What causes this error?
Think about a Twitch stream key as the key to the door between you and Twitch – sometimes Twitch will change the locks without telling you to keep their house secure, but they expect you to go and get a new key cut for the new locks.
You have to have this new key, there is no other way in.
This is the main cause of this error and the fix is pretty easy and quick. Before you start, refresh your memory on where to find your Twitch stream key here.
It is here inside your creator dashboard:
How to fix “could not access the specified channel or stream key” error on Twitch
Re-enter stream key
Re-entering your stream key is the easiest and most common fix for this error, in case it has been entered incorrectly or incompletely. It’s easy to do this by copy and pasting without ensuring you’ve copied the whole stream key. Press the copy button, paste it in the software which asks for it and then try again.
You reset your password
Reseting your Twitch password also resets your stream key, which instantly means Twitch won’t be able to access your specific channel, like the error says. Twitch do state this in red on the reset password pop up – if you didn’t read it in full you may not have know.
Changing passwords regularly is good practice but always remember to put your new stream key into your broadcast software.
Stream key is being used twice
Your Twitch stream key is attached to an account and can be used any device, however it can’t be used on multiple devices at the same time. For example, if your PC is currently being used to stream and then you hop on to your PS4 to stream there, too, then one of the devices will get this error, most likely the second device.
To fix this, stop streaming on one of your devices and then log out and in again.
The stream key expired
Stream keys just like cookies and caches, can expire. It would useful if Twitch simply told you this instead of the could not access the specified channel or stream key message but ho hum.
If you’ve already tried the above steps then you can try manually resetting your stream key to refresh the expiration date. This is a rare occurrence, however, if someone for some reason has simply never changed their password for years.
Your firewall can interfere with the connection from your PC to Twitch, essentially stopping Twitch from reading your key in the first place. Open up your firewall and ensure it has access to the .exe file of the broadcast software you’re using!
You’ve been banned by Twitch
Finally, if you’ve been banned by Twitch then it instantly invalidates your stream key and channel therefore ending the connection there and then. It’s hard to imagine getting all the way to the stage of starting a stream without knowing you’ve been banned one way or another (check your emails). If in doubt, go to Twitch Insights and put your user name to see if you have been suspended.