How to stop Steam from opening on startup

Teodor Nechita
by Teodor Nechita
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  • Having the Steam client start with Windows can have an impact on your system.
  • In order to improve your startup time, you can disable the client's auto-start from the settings or Task Manager.
  • To learn more about optimising Steam and fixing issues with the client, visit our comprehensive Steam Troubleshooting Page.
  • We cover a variety of topics such as Steam hardware, games and deals on the Steam Section. Be sure to check it out.
how to disable steam from windows startup

There are few PC gamers out there that have never heard of Steam.

Steam is a video game digital distribution platform developed by Valve Corporation, and it is arguably the biggest one on the market today.

Obviously, the program is made to be run on gaming PCs with a CPU footprint that tries to be unnoticeable.

However, when your PC isn’t all that great, you’d want to prevent any unnecessary programs from starting up at all.

Such would be the example with Steam‘s ability to launch on system startup.

While this feature can indeed be turned off, the fact that it comes activated by default can be annoying.

If your PC seems to be lagging, you should look over this list of the best PC optimizers for Windows 10.

How to stop Steam from opening on startup

1. From within Steam’s interface

  1. Open Steam
  2. Click the Steam menu
  3. Select Settings
  4. Go to the Interface tab
  5. Uncheck the box that says Run Steam when my computer starts

2. Disable Steam’s auto-startup from the Task Manager

  1. Press Ctrl + Alt + Del
  2. Select Task Manager
  3. Go to the Startup tab
  4. Right-click Steam Client Bootstrapper
  5. Select Disable

If Steam still manages somehow to startup by itself, you should consider reinstalling it

  1. Press Ctrl + R
  2. Type in control.exe in the box
  3. Select Uninstall a program
  4. Locate Steam in the list and right-click it
  5. Select Uninstall


Now you can visit Steam official web-page and download the Steam client again.

By following these steps, Steam will no longer run automatically upon system startup.

However, if PC performance is concerned, keep in mind that launching a game from the Steam Library will automatically launch Steam too.

More so, once Steam is open, it will stay as such until you either:

  • Restart your system
  • Manually close it from the system tray

The fact that Steam is set to launch by itself by default is more of a nuisance rather than a bug.

However, those of you that probably already have a lot of programs auto-starting would love to free up some space.

As such, while not exactly a system breaker, turning off this feature could benefit those with already crowded PC.

More so, it could lead to slightly faster boot-up speeds for older PCs, which is great for gaming on a budget.

FAQ: Steam Launching on Startup

  • How do I stop Steam from opening on startup?
  1. Open Steam
  2. Go to Settings > Interface
  3. Untick the box next to Run Steam when my computer starts
  • Should I disable Steam Client Bootstrapper?

If you want to block Steam from starting when your computer boots, then you can disable this service.

  • How do I stop Steam from auto updating?
  1. To stop games from updating, you can set them to update only when you start a game, as detailed in our guide.
  2. If you wish to stop the Steam client from updating (not recommended), you can add these startup options to the Steam shortcut: noverifyfiles -nobootstrapupdate -skipinitialbootstrap -norepairfiles -overridepackageurl.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in September 2019 and has been since revamped and updated in April 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.