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For a short period of time, I need to make it so some of my friends can't see what games I'm playing on Steam. I've seen some threads about this "Block all communications" feature and while some say it only makes it so you don't receive messages you get from them, others say it also makes you appear offline to blocked users, thus they're not able to see you playing. So I have a few questions.

Does it really make you appear offline so that friends can't see these pop-ups whenever I start playing a game? Also, is there a notification that tells them I have blocked them?

  • Just press offline mode when going into friends list, and what kind of games are you playing that you don't want your friends to see ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) – Bucky Mar 3 '17 at 16:51
  • As a parent, I'm really glad that Steam let me see what my friends are playing. I can check at the account my kid uses anytime when she is sleeping over on her best friend house and have a little peek on what they are doing over there. Yes, I'm that paranoid. – T. Sar Mar 3 '17 at 19:12
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You can change your status on chat to appear offline, so you'll appear offline and no notification will show to your friends. Although your profile will show the games you played recently and I think sometimes store pages show your true status, but it won't show on friends list nor pop-up. Also you won't be able to use your chat.

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Certain games can be launched without Steam. If you don't want the game to show in your play history or whatever, you might check if it works.

  1. Locate the game's install directory, usually in C:\Program Files\Steam\SteamApps\Common.
  2. Look for the game executable in the game's folders (usually .exe or .bat)
    • If you aren't sure which one it is, you can Google it or randomly run them, trying the most likely ones first.
  3. Without Steam running, run the game's executable.

This will only work for certain games. If the game requires Steam to run, it won't work. If the game is multiplayer, it is less likely to work. I have done this for games that are very RAM intensive where I didn't want Steam taking up resources. I think I did it for Planetside 2, but I don't remember.

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(Using this for reference)

If you go under your friends list, you can set your account status to "Offline" mode, which will make you appear to be offline to your friends. I believe that people won't be able to send you invites and messages as well.

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I've tested this recently myself and my learnings are:

Set your account for "friends only", so it will be private for everyone else but to your friends.

You can block all communication with a person without them being removed from your friend list. You will appear offline to "blocked" friend. Also, friend can't see you profile no more, and it will appear private to them (they can't send you a message through steam messenger, they can't see your profile or comment on it, and they can't see if you're on game or not since you appear offline to them)

Even, being in a same group with this friend who you "blocked", and you being online, you will appear as offline to them. I am not sure how it will appear if you are on game.

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