How to Stop Steam from Running at Startup on a Mac and Windows?

When you install the Steam client on your system, whether it’s Windows or macOS, one of the default settings is to automatically launch during startup. For some users, this feature is convenient, while others find it to be a hassle. More services running at startup can extend your computer’s boot time. In essence, more startup services equate to a longer boot time.


What happens is when you boot your computer, the Steam Client Bootstrapper starts automatically as a startup service would. It saves the user the effort of opening it up manually. However, some users prefer not to have it automatically start. In this article, we will show you how to prevent Steam from running at startup.

Stopping Steam from Running via the Steam Settings

The first step would be to uncheck the automatic startup option within the Steam settings. This option is named “Run Steam when my computer starts” and is checked by default upon installation.

  1. Open the Steam client.
  2. After the client performs its regular updates, you will see the main Steam window.
  3. In the top-left corner, click on the Steam menu.
  4. From the drop-down menu, select Settings.
  5. In the Settings window, navigate to the Interface section on the left-hand side.
  6. Find the ‘Run Steam when my computer starts’ option and uncheck it by clicking the checkbox.
  7. Click OK to close the Settings window and apply the changes.

Following these steps, Steam will no longer run automatically at startup.

Disabling Steam from Running at Startup via Task Manager

An alternative method for Windows users is to disable the automatic launch of Steam via Task Manager.

  1. Right-click on the taskbar and select Task Manager from the context menu, or press Ctrl + Alt + Delete and then select Task Manager from the displayed options.
  2. In Task Manager, navigate to the Startup tab.
  3. Right-click on the Steam Client Bootstrapper entry and select Disable from the context menu.
    Disabling Steam during Startup
  4. Alternatively, click to highlight the Steam Client Bootstrapper entry and press the Disable button located at the bottom right.

With this approach, Steam will no longer start with your system.

Stopping Steam from Running at Startup on a macOS

For macOS users, the process involves System Preferences.

  1. Click on the Apple logo in the top-left corner of your screen.
  2. Select System Preferences.
    macOS System Preferences
  3. When the System Preferences window appears, click on Users & Groups at the bottom.
  4. Click on the lock icon at the bottom-left of the window and enter your password to allow changes.
  5. Navigate to the Login Items tab at the top.
  6. Select the Steam entry from the list and then click the ‘‘ button at the bottom left to remove it from the startup items.
    Stopping Steam From Startup

By completing these steps, you have successfully prevented Steam from running during startup.


Kevin Arrows

Kevin Arrows is a highly experienced and knowledgeable technology specialist with over a decade of industry experience. He holds a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification and has a deep passion for staying up-to-date on the latest tech developments. Kevin has written extensively on a wide range of tech-related topics, showcasing his expertise and knowledge in areas such as software development, cybersecurity, and cloud computing. His contributions to the tech field have been widely recognized and respected by his peers, and he is highly regarded for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and concise manner.