I am in the process of building myself a Steam Box - a PC running Windows 8 and Steam that is going to be plugged into my TV without a keyboard and mouse attached. The only form of input plugged into this machine is going to be a wireless XBox 360 controller, which supports XInput.

I want to make it so that when my PC starts up, it will start Steam (which is already covered in many questions on this site) - but I would like Steam to start in Big Picture mode straight away, essentially skipping the need to click on the 'Big Picture' link to start it.

How can I make Steam launch in Big Picture mode?

1 Answer 1


It should suffice to launch Steam with the -bigpicture switch.

C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steam.exe -bigpicture

Windows 8 boots to Metro, of course, so you may want to either use one of the Windows 8 "backwards compatibility tools" like Start8, or to run a very little script in AHK at boot time:

Send #D

...or you can use Windows 7 instead (Windows 8 SP1 might also let you skip to Metro)

  • 5
    There's also a property in the Interface tab of Settings.
    – Tim Stone
    Commented May 8, 2013 at 16:43
  • Neither of these suggestions work, as upon PC boot, in both instances Metro is shown instead of Steam, and after passing Metro, Steam hasn't started in big picture mode.
    – kalina
    Commented May 8, 2013 at 17:27
  • @kalina How about now? I think the switch should work...
    – badp
    Commented May 8, 2013 at 17:43
  • @badp Pressing the Left Windows Key while on the Metro screen after first boot doesn't appear to do anything. Once I've visited the desktop, pressing the Left Windows Key does exactly what you'd expect it to do (show and hide the start screen) but until you've been to the desktop after first boot, it doesn't seem to do anything
    – kalina
    Commented May 8, 2013 at 17:46
  • @kalina then a Win-D will do. I think that's just #D in AHK.
    – badp
    Commented May 8, 2013 at 19:06

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .