Why Does Steam Update Every Time I Open It?

GigabyteKingdom is audience-supported. When you purchase through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.
Why Does Steam Update Every Time I Open It

Steam updates games as soon as an internet connection is detected. Like most systems, Steam needs updates to keep humming along. There’s usually an update for either the client or multiple games. But this can sometimes be an imposition. For example, if you have limited connections and you’re working on other projects. You may not have the bandwidth to spare. While you can turn off auto updates for most apps, Steam doesn’t provide an option to fully stop updates. Which means, things can slow down significantly. Updating software is good practice. But if constant updates have you on the ropes, you can disable Steam’s automatic updates.

How to Stop Steam from Updating on Startup

Steam update downloads in the background by default. This ensures that Steam games are always up to date that way you don’t have to check for updates manually.

Updates are necessary for fixing bugs and adding new features. Nevertheless, here are some methods to deactivate automatic updates on Steam:

METHOD 1: Disable Auto Updates for One Game

  1. In Windows, type Steam in the Cortana search box. (Or click the Start menu in the bottom right corner of your screen and click on Steam.)
  2. Under Best Match, select Steam.
  3. Click Library between the Store and Community links.
  4. Right click the game you for which you no longer want auto-updates.
  5. On the bottom of the list, click Properties.
  6. From the top menu, click Updates.
  7. Under Automatic updates, open the dropdown menu.
  8. Select, “Only update this game when I launch it”.
  9. Then, click Close.

METHOD 2: Change Auto Update Schedule

  1. Launch Steam.
  2. In the top menu, choose Steam/View, then Settings.
  3. In the left side panel, click Downloads.
  4. On the right, under Download Restrictions, click, “Only auto-update games between”.
  5. Now, insert the best time for auto updates.
  6. Or, next to Download Restrictions, use the Limit bandwidth to drop down menu and choose the lowest bandwidth possible (16kb/s).

NOTE: If a game is already scheduled for an update, you won’t be able to play it until the update is completed.

METHOD 3: Disable Steam’s Startup Process

  1. Launch Steam.
  2. In the top menu, choose Steam/View, then Settings.
  3. In the left panel, choose Interface.
  4. Click, Run Steam when my computer starts to uncheck the option.
  5. Save and Exit.

By doing this, Steam’s automatic updating process won’t start every time you open Windows. You’ll have the option of doing an update when you open Steam or a Steam game.

METHOD 4: Disable Automatic Updates from the Steam Client

There are three ways to do this:

Add start attributes to the Steam shortcut

  1. Right-click on the Steam desktop icon.
  2. Go to Properties.
  3. Go to the Target field.
  4. Add the following after the path: -noverifyfiles -nobootstrapupdate -skipinitialbootstrap -norepairfiles -overridepackageurl

Block the Steam client from updating

  1. Open Notepad.
  2. Type: BootStrapperInhibitAll=Enable
  3. Save the file in the Steam installation folder as Steam.cfg

Enable Hibernation

  1. Go to Power Options.
  2. Enable Hibernation.
  3. Select Hibernate instead of shutting down your laptop.

Hibernation mode is a fantastic alternative to shutting down your machine, especially if you’re in the middle of downloading a huge game. It’ll keep the current state of your system unlike a shutdown, which will likely result in lost files.

METHOD 5: Choose Just the Games You Want Automatic Updates

  1. In your Steam library, right-click the game for which you want automatic updates on launch.
  2. Go to Properties, select Updates.
  3. On the dropdown menu, click Automatic Updates.
  4. Select, “Only update this when I launch it”.

METHOD 6: Opt Out of Beta

  1. Launch Steam.
  2. Navigate to Settings, then Account.
  3. In the Beta participation section, click Change.
  4. Choose “None-Opt out of beta programs”and click OK.
  5. Click Restart Steam to accept the changes.

Using the beta version of Steam could be the reason why you’re receiving so many updates. While it allows you to experience various new features, it’ll push updates to you more frequently.

While you can turn off updates. We highly discourage it. Automatic updates can be annoying. But turning them off means you need to remember to update Steam manually. Failing to do so opens you to the risk of crashes, loss of data and run the risk of a compromised account due to outdated security.

How Many Times Does Steam Update?

Steam updates occur one to four times a month.

Again, receiving so many updates from Steam can be annoying, especially if you’re internet connection is slow. Developed and launched by Valve in 2003, Steam is the most popular gaming platform. It’s the world’s largest distributor of PC games with over 34,000 games and over 95 million active, monthly users.

One of the ways Steam maintains its status as the world’s largest distributor of PC games is by constantly improving its services by adding new features, bug fixes and security updates. See the Steam update log.

Why Does Steam’s Verification Installation Take So Long?

Steam’s verification installation takes as long as it does because it’s a DRM system. It checks to ensure that the Steam installation is up to date on startup. Unfortunately, the verification is done game by game as Steam doesn’t provide a way to check the integrity of all your games at once. It normally only takes a few seconds unless it’s applying an update. If this is severely impacting your system’s start up time, however, disable the client’s auto-start from the settings or Task Manager.