Every time I boot into OSX or Windows, Steam automatically starts.

Is there a way to stop Steam starting whenever I boot up my computer?

  • Have you tried unchecking "Run Steam when my computer starts." under the Interface tab in your Steam Preferences?
    – Krazer
    Jan 28, 2013 at 11:49
  • 1
    This is confusing, do you want Steam to not download stuff automatically or to not start on every boot?
    – kotekzot
    Jan 28, 2013 at 12:06
  • 2
    @kotekzot Not start on every boot
    – Michel
    Jan 29, 2013 at 18:01
  • 3
    for me setting steam prefs didn't help so issue open /Users/yourname/Library/LaunchAgents command and remove valve related plist file.
    – zsitro
    May 2, 2016 at 8:26
  • 3
    FOUND IT: tekrevue.com/tip/stop-apps-launching-mac I would have posted a correct answer, but I don't have enough points. (none of the other answers will work on MacOS)
    – tmarois
    Aug 7, 2018 at 12:01

5 Answers 5


This can be done from within the Steam client

There is an option within Steam that toggles whether or not Steam starts with your computer. To change it, open up the main Steam window and select 'Preferences' from the 'Steam' menu, followed by selecting the 'Interface' tab, which brings up the following screen;

enter image description here

Simply uncheck 'Run Steam when my computer starts' to prevent Steam from starting with your computer. (Obviously if you wanted to Steam to start with your PC, you'd check this box instead of unchecking it!)


If, on macOS, this doesn't work for you, check for Steam in "System Preferences" > "Users & Groups" > [Your user] > "Login Items", and remove it via the '-' sign.

macOS login items

  • 9
    Does not work for OSX sadly. PS: Greetings from the vault! :P
    – codepleb
    Apr 3, 2018 at 20:52
  • 3
    Does not work in macOS
    – tmarois
    Aug 7, 2018 at 11:55
  • 6
    If unchecking the setting in Steam doesn't work for you on macOS you should check for Steam in "System Preferences" > "Users & Groups" > [Your user] > "Login Items". Oct 14, 2018 at 10:52
  • 1
    @EvilOatmeal I added this suggestion as an edit.
    – opyate
    Dec 12, 2018 at 14:17
  • learned something about macos
    – JJS
    Apr 17, 2021 at 12:44

An alternative solution on Windows (starting from 8) is to open task manager and disable Steam Client Bootstrapper from the Start-up tab.

Task Manager, Start-up, Steam Client Bootstrapper, Dropdown menu, Disable

Note: This is an override switch to Steam's setting. You cannot re-enable it from Steam settings after disabling it here.


In Windows 7 click the Start menu and type msconfig in the Search box. In the System Configuration program that opens, click the Startup tab, and then uncheck Steam. This does pretty much same thing as the Windows 8 tip.

  • The usage of pictures are great. but +1 anyway
    – Michel
    Sep 17, 2013 at 11:09

OSX = open steam then next to apple icon in top left corner steam > preferences > interface then uncheck - 'run steam when my computer starts'

  • 8
    This seems like the right answer but Steam is starting at login on mine and this box is not checked. I've also confirmed it's not set to "Open at Login" in the dock. I'm going to try checking this box, clicking OK, and then unchecking it again to see if that helps.
    – KC Baltz
    Mar 16, 2017 at 20:46
  • 1
    @KCBaltz Can confirm... wtf
    – codepleb
    Apr 3, 2018 at 20:48
  • TrudleR's comment brought me back here. I don't have this problem with Steam anymore, so checking and unchecking must have fixed it.
    – KC Baltz
    Apr 5, 2018 at 1:06
  • Does not work in macOS
    – tmarois
    Aug 7, 2018 at 11:56

For Mac users:

  1. Go to the  Apple menu and choose “System Preferences”, then go to “Users & Groups”
  2. Select the user that is active in OS X, then choose the “Login Items” tab
  3. Select “Steam” from this list and then hit the Delete key on the keyboard to remove steam from the automatic launch on login list
  4. Close out of System Preferences
  • Hello darkness my old friend Aug 30, 2020 at 16:01

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