Recently as of this writing (27 July 2018), Steam has begun opening the chat Friends popup whenever I login to my Windows 10 account:

Steam chat friends window

I can't figure out how to stop this without disabling Steam itself from starting up—which I want it to do, for auto-updating and so that my VR headset will be ready.

On Steam Communities, there's a prevalent suggestion that the following sequence can stop this:

  1. After logging in and the Steam chat window opens, open the full Steam app.
  2. Close the Steam chat window.
  3. Close Steam's app window.
  4. Relog from Windows.

but in my trials, this has no effect.

There are no obvious settings for this by clicking the gear icon (highlighted in red in the above image):

Chat settings

I found what seemed to be a promising option in the Steam application's settings → "Interface" → "Set Taskbar Preferences":

Steam application settings Steam interface taskbar settings

but, as advertised, it only affects the choices available if you right-click on the Steam icon in the taskbar:

Steam taskbar

Unticking "Friends" and relogging does not change the popup behavior at startup.

How can I prevent this window from opening every time I login? The Steam application itself opens in the background; I'd like the chat to do the same.

  • I'm not sure what I changed in the last few days, but something actually stopped the friends page from automatically opening when I was messing around with the settings after the new friends list was added.
    – Powerlord
    Jul 27, 2018 at 23:22
  • Classically Steam would check the value of "StartupState.Friends" in the file localconfig.vdf, a user-specific part of the Steam configuration data which stores whether or not the Friends list was open when you last had the client open and is synched with the cloud. most of the config data mapped out in github.com/l3laze/Steam-Data/blob/master/steam_data.txt, but have not seen any
    – l3l_aze
    Jul 27, 2018 at 23:36
  • Really hate SE on mobile; can't edit now: Have most of the data mapped out in the project linked above, but it needs to be updated & I'm ignoring non-config data. I am working on updating and have not yet found any variable that controls whether the new Friends list is opened on startup though. The old Friends list does still behave properly, and is still accessible by launching Steam with the -nofriendsui option, but old chat is not completely functional (voice was gutted for the new voice chat, some other parts are likely broken).
    – l3l_aze
    Jul 27, 2018 at 23:46
  • Do you get the standard chat window every time you launch Steam? I've now added -nochatui and -nofriendsui parameters to the shortcut and the window still always reappears.
    – user598527
    Oct 31, 2018 at 17:19
  • Adding -silent to the launch options finally resolved the issue (I assumed that it starts Steam in "offline" mode, but actually the program doesn't launch on foreground).
    – user598527
    Oct 31, 2018 at 17:23

3 Answers 3


This is fixed in the latest beta, and should be a part of the next public client update. announcement:

Friends & Chat - Beta Client Only

  • Added 'Do Not Disturb' mode. When selected, the user will receive no notifications from friends or groups, incoming chat messages will not open new chat windows or play an incoming message sound.
  • Added 'Offline' as a selectable status. This will log the user's client out of Steam Friends and the user will appear as offline to their friends.
  • Added the option to not automatically log into Steam Friends at Steam Client startup.
  • Fix for inadvertently opening the friends list at client start even though it was previously closed when Steam was shutdown. Please report any further instances of this bug in Steam Client Beta Discussions.

Friends & Chat - All Users

  • EXIF data within JPG images is now stripped on upload.
  • Clicking your avatar at the top of the friends list now takes you to your profile.
  • Fixed not being able to close the friends list or chat windows when in a disconnected state.
  • Added /quote for formatting text as a block quote.
  • Friends will now have a special indicator when displayed in a group member list
  • More compact chat entry space and chat tabs when Compact View is selected. Fixed a bug where extra space was being added to chat lines when only one line was sent.
  • Embedded videos and images start a little smaller, you can still scale them up by dragging.

In a way it's nice that they're mostly using pure HTML/CSS/JS for the new chat as it's very easy for them to add new features in comparison to the old client, but they really should've put more work into porting existing features & UI settings.

  • 1
    Thanks, that's exactly it! I'd just note one additional thing—it's only fixed after you do the close with the new version, so you'll have to update, relog, again open Steam and close the Friends list, and close Steam, then relog again—only then will the popup at login finally cease.
    – Trey
    Jul 29, 2018 at 20:58
  • Ahh, I did not know that -- thank you too, and no problem :)
    – l3l_aze
    Jul 29, 2018 at 22:07

2022: Friends List>Settings>"Sign in to friends when Steam Client starts"=OFF enter image description here

  • The problem is the popup, not the fact the user is being signed in, though.
    – Joachim
    Feb 4, 2022 at 17:52
  • okay, i dunno. this stopped it from both signing in and popping up for me. XUbuntu 20.04 LTS Feb 10, 2022 at 20:26

Steam upgrade causes popup chat without my permission. No obvious way to disable it.

I disabled the entire app from startup. Problem solved.

Perhaps next upgrade the Steam will not force me to see a chat popup defaulted on.

  • You can launch Steam with the -nofriendsui option, which will disable the new friends list and let you use the old one instead and that does still behave as it used to. It's also possible to do this when Steam launches at start up, at least on Windows (Task Manager or edit Registry) and on Linux (edit Steam.desktop file) but on Mac the only trick I found yet worked once and has failed since because Steam overwrites all of the changes each time it is opened, so instead I have to launch it through the terminal using open -a Steam.app --args -nofriendsui each time. Lol.
    – l3l_aze
    Jul 29, 2018 at 22:12

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