Take the 2-minute tour ×
Arqade is a question and answer site for passionate videogamers on all platforms. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I recently find myself needing to start Steam in offline mode rather frequently (my wife is hogging my account to play Plants Vs. Zombies, and most of what I play doesn't really need to be online).

I was wondering if there is some way to launch Steam in offline mode without first logging in (and selecting it from the menu), since that usually beats the purpose.

While I know that killing my network connection before launching Steam is an option, I am looking for a more "civilized" way, such as a command line switch or something of the sort.

share|improve this question
Hm, this would have been useful to know when Steam went down worldwide for three hours yesterday, preventing everyone everywhere from playing any of their steam games! –  BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft Jan 6 '12 at 20:24
Steam now supports Offline mode via simple command line parameter: Steam.exe -offline –  DiGi Jul 21 '13 at 23:29

1 Answer 1

up vote 24 down vote accepted

I can confirm that creating/editing steam.cfg (in the same directory as the Steam executable) with the following lines works, as long as you've set Steam to remember your password (thanks DarkAnime):


If you want to manage this with a command-line parameter, you could create a script to do something like the following (Windows .bat file):

IF "%1"=="offline" (
    IF EXIST steam.cfgx (
        rename steam.cfgx steam.cfg
    IF EXIST steam.cfg (
        rename steam.cfg steam.cfgx
start steam.exe

It used to be that you could hit "Cancel" while Steam was starting up and it would allow you to start offline mode from there, but that no longer works.

share|improve this answer
Either I didn't really understand your instructions, or this method doesn't work anymore. –  Aubergine Mar 30 '11 at 21:40
@Matthew: When I tried to press cancel then steam simply shut itself down. Regarding the .cfg method, I am a little reluctant on following the unconfirmed advice of a banned steam forum member. –  Aubergine Mar 30 '11 at 21:52
I am neither a banned steam member, nor do I know the poster, but I can confirm that the 2 edits he is suggesting are not in any way dangerous to you, your computer or your livelihood, nor is the simple copy and replace batch file he posted. –  horatio Mar 31 '11 at 16:34
i can confirm that this works.. just create a steam.cfg and put: BootStrapperInhibitAll=enable ForceOfflineMode=enable but you need to have checked: remember my password first. then this works great :) thnx for the info mate ^_^ –  user11785 Aug 17 '11 at 15:24
@chris, that file isn't there by default, you have to create it. I don't know that it ever was there by default, in fact. –  goldfire Dec 16 '11 at 21:21

protected by Community Dec 16 '11 at 20:45

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality answers, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site.

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.