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How to Disable Steam Auto Updates

Steam, by default, has the configuration where it automatically updates your game whenever it has a network connection. Although this technique is very effective as Steam gets updated in the background while the user performs his tasks in the computer, it can also prove to be a nuisance for people who have metered/limited connections. Although there is no specific way yet to turn off all global automatic updates by a button, there are alternatives present. Take a look at the methods listed below.

Solution 1: Disabling automatic update for a game

There is an option where you can disable all the automatic updates for a single game. This method is very effective and easy as you can toggle this through your Steam client without any hassle. However, if you have a lot of Steam games installed, this can prove to be a tedious task.

  1. Open your Steam client.
  2. Head over to the Library tab present at the top of the screen. Now all your games will be listed in the left column of the screen.
  3. Right click on the game you want to change the settings of and select Properties.

  1. Once Properties is opened, head to the Updates tab located on the top of the window. Now you will see an option regarding automatic updates. After you click Automatic Updates, a drop down menu will appear and you will be able to choose from three options available.

Always keep this game up-to date: This is the default option and in this, Steam will update your game whenever it has a network connection.

Only update this game when I launch it: This option disables all the automatic updates of the game and forces the game to update only when you want to play it.

High Priority: Always auto-update this game before others: This option will automatically give your game priority as compared to others when updating. This is a useful option when you play a game very frequently.

You can choose from these options whatever that seems fit to you.

Solution 2: Setting auto-update time restrictions

If you are experiencing a slow internet connection in your working hours because of Steam updating the games, you can set auto-update time restrictions. This configuration will force Steam to only update your games on that specific time. This is particularly useful because you can always set a time when you aren’t using your computer such as the time you sleep. Steam can also update and you also won’t get disturbed. It’s a win win.

  1. Open your Steam client.
  2. On the top left corner, you will find an option named Steam. Click it and from the drop down box, select Settings.
  3. Head over to the Downloads tab present on the left side. In the Downloads settings, you will see an area which states “Download Restrictions”. Here you can set the time when you want Steam to update itself. Through this, Steam will pause the download if the time window you have runs up and will queue the download again when the time comes.

Solution 3: Limiting bandwidth

There is also another solution by which you won’t get “a lot” of data usage in the background. You leave all the Steam settings like they are and limit the bandwidth of Downloads. This will ensure that Steam doesn’t consume speed greater than the one you specified and you will be able to perform other actions on the internet without any lag or delay.

  1. Open your Steam client.
  2. On the top left corner, you will find an option named Steam. Click it and from the drop down box, select Settings.
  3. Head over to the Downloads tab present on the left side. In the section of Download Restrictions, you will see an option of Limit Bandwidth. Click it and you will be able to access a drop-down menu consisting of different speeds. Chose the one that suits your internet connection. Save changes and exit.

Solution 4: Disabling Auto-update by editing Appmanifest

Although this method attempts to disable global auto-updates by editing the Appmanifest configuration, it is highly not recommended as you can accidentally change any setting you may not know about and it can cause problems later on. Be very diligent when performing this solution.

Furthermore, we have no affiliations with the third party software involved in this method, please follow and download it at your own risk.

  1. Go to Notepad ++ official website from here. Click on the Download button present in the bottom left side of the screen.

  1. Click Next through all the stages and Install the application to any location. After installing, launch the application and click File (present on the top left). From the drop down menu select Open.
  2. Now navigate to your Steam directory and into the folder of Steamapps. The default location for your steam folder should be “C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam”. Once in the Steamapps folder, look for a file named “appmanifest.acf”. The name may not exactly be the same but not to worry. If there are more than one files named appmanifest, you need to make changes in all of them. Select OK and Notepad ++ should open the file in front of you.
  3. Browse for the line which says “ “Autoupdatebehavior” “0” “. Change the value of 0 to 1. Save changes and exit. Launch your Steam client again and hopefully, the global auto-updates will be turned off.

Solution 5: Disabling Steam to start at startup

Another remedy is to disable Steam from starting up automatically when you turn on your computer. As you may have noticed, Steam tends to start up whenever you turn on your computer. Since Steam cannot update unless it is open, this method also addresses the issue very efficiently.

  1. Open your Steam client.
  2. Navigate to Settings after clicking Steam present on the top right corner of the window.
  3. Now click on the Interface tab present in the left column of the Settings and uncheck the box which says “Run Steam when my computer starts”. Save changes and exit.

Now Steam will only open when you open it yourself using the Steam client or by clicking any game. This is by far the most effective method to stop automatic downloads from happening in the background when you are using your PC.


  1. urgh, I found this article because I was trying to do the opposite of what’s outlined here.. I’m trying to GET my game to update in the background so it’s ready when I go to play it. It’s already set to ‘always keep this game up to date’ but when I go to play there are often MASSIVE updates that don’t start loading until I’ve hit ‘launch’, then I have to wait an hour (sometimes even longer) before I can play. I’m super busy and don’t game often, so it’s really annoying that the times I do go to game, half the time I’ve set aside for it is taken up with updates >:c wish I knew how to fix this.

  2. Is your steam always signed in and running in the background? If it’s not you wont get updates. Try setting the game to high priority. Good luck.

  3. Thanks! Yes steam is usually on in the background as I like to play Path of Exile for a bit in the night before bed and never remember to close steam when I’m finished :p However sometimes I’ll go to play it and it’ll take over 20 minutes to launch because of updates! I’ve set the game to high priority so we’ll see if it updates itself in the background next time there’s a patch or expansion 😀

  4. Great info. I play Skyrim SE (with a heavy mod load), and it gets so frustrating when Bethesda’s Creation Club releases some inane mod (that most of the modding community doesn’t want)… which causes an “update” to the base game, which messes with many of the community mods and SKSE.

  5. For the estimated 100 million XP users out there, the only way to keep using Steam into 2019 is to
    1) ensure you’re not connected to the net when Steam is running
    2) ditto for any games that require Steam
    3) you don’t reconnect to the net until you’ve quit the game and also
    4) quit Steam entirely
    Not pretty but your games will run as long as you’re disciplined on keeping Steam in off-line mode

  6. AND absolutely don’t overlook…
    5) make sure the system clock of your PC is set to the date of your last Steam Update. When you finish retro gaming, reset your system clock to normal to avoid Google nags.

  7. I don’t have any appmanifest.acf files at all… 🙁

    Edit: The author of this article seems to have left something out; mine are not in the ‘Steam’ folder, they’re past that, into the ‘steamapps’ folder.

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How to Disable Steam Auto Updates

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