I'd like to switch between two Steam accounts (from the same windows user account) without having to re-enter their passwords. So basically I am trying to write a batchfile which takes care of the relevant files and/or registry settings, but for that I need to know

Which files and registry settings change when logging in as another user?

Obvious bonus points for providing a batch file for that task.

  • Complete shot in the dark: Have you tried having 2 different steam installations?
    – CruelCow
    Commented Oct 9, 2011 at 16:52
  • @CruelCow No, though I don't think that would work without using two different windows accounts as well. Also it'd waste the space of multiple installations of games common between the steam accounts
    – Zommuter
    Commented Oct 9, 2011 at 16:54
  • Here you go. I realize this isn't a 100% complete answer, but there's really no way to string those together with just a batch file. As far as I know, you can't wait for the main Steam process to exit with a batch file, and Steam doesn't respond to kill signals either. You'd probably have to get your hands dirty with shudder PowerShell.
    – a cat
    Commented Oct 9, 2011 at 17:07
  • This has stopped working for me since the recent Steam UI updates. Very annoying.
    – pbhj
    Commented Jun 23, 2023 at 19:56

2 Answers 2


The Steam executable (Steam.exe on Windows) accepts a number of command line parameters; you could try taking advantage of those.

Specifically, this one, which starts Steam and immediately attempts to log in with the given credentials:

-login %u %p

This logs into Steam with the specified Username and Password combination. Replace %u with the username, and %p with the password you want to login with (Steam must be off for this to work).

And, since this doesn't work while Steam is running:


This shuts down (exits) Steam.

  • thanks, that's a nice start. Though I was hoping for some file actions before starting Steam such that it starts as if I logged in as that user the last time
    – Zommuter
    Commented Oct 9, 2011 at 17:43
  • 3
    If you have two different desktop shortcuts that have a different login %u and %p values you would be logging in as that profile. Technically those parameters are done [i]before[/i] steam starts so you would be logging in under different accounts. Of course you'd have to quit the current session of Steam if you are switching accounts.
    – Sorean
    Commented Oct 9, 2011 at 19:45
  • @Sorean you're right of course. Actually I'm just hesitant to put my account passwords in clear text to a shortcut, maybe one of these files like ClientRegistry.bob or ssfnSOMENUMBER contains a less volatile way of access
    – Zommuter
    Commented Oct 9, 2011 at 20:10

You can run TWO Steams with Sandboxie.
(Yeah, I know this is not what you want.
Still, this might worth a try if anyone is interested in such a solution.)

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