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Steam rolled out a new Friend List UI earlier today that shows friends grouped by games at the top.

Is there any way to hide this list while still having Steam set to start when Windows starts?

(I'm aware of -nofriendsui, but that only works if you're launching Steam from a shortcut)

  • Hmm... I don't have Steam set to start when Windows starts, but if I close the friends list window it doesn't reappear when I restart Steam. – user86571 Jul 25 '18 at 8:16
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The easiest way to achieve this would be to go into your startup folder by typing shell:startup or shell:common startup into your run prompt (Win+R). If you find the Steam shortcut in any of those 2 folders, open its properties and edit the shortcut like you would edit your desktop shortcut by appending -nofriendsui as an argument to the target.

If your folders don't have any Steam shortcuts you could go into your Steam Settings -> Interface and disable "Run Steam when my computer starts". Now just create a new shortcut in your startup folder and edit it accordingly.

  • Some people have found other ways to do this on Windows by directly editing the registry, but I think what they're doing is just a more complex version of this, lol. On Linux you can apparently edit the .desktop file and change Steam's entry, but it doesn't seem like that would effect launch on startup (though IDK Linux). On Mac, we're pretty screwed AFAIK, as the only way to do this is to use Terminal and enter open -a Steam.app --args -nofriendsui. I have not looked into the possibility of adding launch options to the Login Items (like Windows startup programs) though. – l3l_aze Jul 27 '18 at 23:53
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I have not tested this extensively and it may turn itself off occasionally (though it hasn't yet for me), and I don't know if it's synchronized to all devices, but it is in a file that is synched with Steam Cloud so it should be. Obviously a control for the setting is incoming at some point (just like for group events & announcements), but until then...

  • Close the Steam client.

  • Open Steam/userdata/{SteamID3.accountID}/7/remote/sharedconfig.vdf

  • Press Ctrl + F (Cmd + F on Mac) and search for "bCategorizeInGameFriendsByGame\":true, and change true to false.

  • Save the file and reopen Steam.

Found while looking through the configuration data as I'm currently working on updating the Steam-Data project, which is an attempt of Reddit/GitHub user ObsidianMinor and myself (and anyone else if you'd like to send a pull request, file an issue, or etc) to document most of the Steam client's local configuration data (trying to leave unknown/unsafe data out of it).

Copy/pasted from the reddit post I made.

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