I'm 'away' for a week and would like some friends not to know I'm playing games. What does blocking a friend actually do?

I'm just looking for it to show me as offline and not show what game I'm playing or if I'm online or not.

  • 5
    I think you could can just put your friends list in off-line mode.
    – MBraedley
    Mar 10, 2013 at 21:36
  • I don't want to do that as I still have some friends I wanna play with
    – Jamie
    Mar 10, 2013 at 21:38
  • I thought a similar question had already been asked, but I can't find it now...
    – Kareen
    Mar 10, 2013 at 22:26
  • @Kareen, maybe you saw this question?
    – Hashbrown
    Mar 23, 2014 at 5:24

3 Answers 3


To specifically answer your question at hand, blocking someone will make it so you appear offline to them. No notifications are sent regarding your status or game-playing. They WILL still be on your friends list (and you'll be on their list), so you have easy access to unblock them at any time. Blocked players who are unfriended are still blocked, and they cannot send you another friend request.

I have personally used 'blocking' to temporarily set myself as offline to a specific individual or small group of people while being online to everyone else. I have also personally verified this through my wife's steam account too.

Just keep in mind your steamcommunity profile is public, so if anyone happens to visit your browser profile (e.g. steamcommunity.com/id/yourprofileid) while playing a game , it will say you're in-game. I don't think that will really be a problem, as I'm assuming there's not really a reason for the people you're blocking to visit your browser profile. Setting your status to 'Appear Offline' DOES make you offline across the board, including steamcommunity.com.

Additional note: The other answers here spurred me to do some additional testing with this. If the person you're blocking is online when you block them. You will permanently be 'Online' to them until they close or restart Steam. If you want to covertly block someone, do so while they're offline so when they log in next you will appear offline to them.

If you're not patient enough to wait for someone to go offline, you can do the following:

  1. In your friends list, click the dropdown of the player you want to block and select 'Send message'
  2. A chat window pops up between you and the other player.
  3. Back in your friends list, click the dropdown next to your profile and go offline. When you do your entire friends list is replaced by a sign in button.
  4. Go back to the chat window you opened with this player. Click the dropdown next to their name and click 'Block all communication', then block them.

This effectively allows you to block players while you appear to be offline.

  • 4
    Thank you very much. Didn't seem to work though as I was questioned as to why "I was playing random games all night". Just said my brother was playing on my account :P
    – Jamie
    Mar 12, 2013 at 19:50
  • Would appearing offline and then blocking solve the "still online" problem?
    – Gwen
    Nov 7, 2013 at 8:38
  • You don't have access to your friends list when you appear offline. In theory that would work, but impossible to execute.
    – Gigazelle
    Nov 7, 2013 at 18:08
  • 1
    Is this still valid for the new Steam chat client & system?
    – Redmega
    Sep 10, 2018 at 4:20

I tested this a few months ago and unless it has been patched what you have written is incorrect.

I blocked my friend whilst on skype with him. He could see I was online and he could open up the instant message box and appear to send me messages but I didn't get them and he got no indication they were not sent.

  • "I blocked my friend whilst on skype with him." Wait, what?
    – BoltClock
    May 22, 2013 at 11:13
  • 6
    @TheAnnoyingPyro He means he tried blocking him through Steam while in a Skype conversation so that he could ask his friend what was happening on his end.
    – GnomeSlice
    May 22, 2013 at 12:50
  • @GnomeSlice: Ah, OK.
    – BoltClock
    May 22, 2013 at 12:52

I blocked this guy I only keep on my friends list and be civil to so as to stop him bullying me. I thought he couldn't see me. He saw exactly what games I was playing and sent me loads of messages asking me to play Terraria.

All that happened was I didn't receive the messages but he saw I was online, so he thought I was ignoring him (which in all honesty I was) and started swearing at me. :/

  • Hey, welcome to Arqade. What you've posted isn't really a direct answer to this question, and we don't operate like a forum. If you familiarise yourself with the site (gaming.stackexchange.com/about) you'll get a lot more out of it.
    – shanodin
    Jul 30, 2013 at 20:45

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