I was adding free DLC's to some games (like HD Texture packs) and each time I clicked the 'Download' button the game would start, which is very annoying! Why does Valve think that Download == Start game?

Can I disable this behaviour?

I already tried turning off 'Allow downloads during gameplay' in the download settings, but didn't work. Since I already have games running while trying to download DLC's for other games (which are not running at that moment).

  • 1
    If I'm not wrong this is by-design... As in very old Valve code?
    – aytimothy
    Jul 6, 2019 at 9:05
  • Are you saying that the game auto-starts when you install DLC? I've never had that happen, and I have hundreds of DLCs for various games. Can you go into further detail about what exactly happens?
    – Tim S.
    Jul 6, 2019 at 14:43
  • @TimS. I have the same bug, actually. It's like the OP says: you go to the page of a DLC, click 'Download' (where it otherwise says 'Play' or 'Buy'), and a popup shows of Steam starting the associated game, as if you pressed 'Play' from your library.
    – Joachim
    Jul 6, 2019 at 16:46
  • @TimS. Note that this is for free DLC's, these are usually not included when you buy a game together with DLC's, like a complete edition or bundle.
    – Mixxiphoid
    Jul 7, 2019 at 15:04

1 Answer 1


Your only option is to click the Download button on a Browser instead of Steam. This ends up adding the license to your account instead of directly launching the game.

You get a message similar to "PRODUCT NAME is now registered to your account on Steam.".

Take for example "GRID 2 - Demolition Derby Pack" on the Vivaldi browser:

enter image description here enter image description here

  • Seems like a solid workaround, I'll upvote the answer but leave it a little longer open incase there is an in-steam solution.
    – Mixxiphoid
    Jul 7, 2019 at 15:01
  • Might be worth mentioning that you should not click on the 'Yes' or 'No' as they will try to do other stuff. Just getting to this point should be enough to trigger any additional download when you have steam running.
    – Smock
    Mar 11, 2020 at 14:39
  • This doesn't seem to work anymore. Instead of the "SUCCESS" page, I get a popup saying I need to install Steam before I can install the DLC, and the "Yes, Steam is installed" and "No, I need Steam" options above. Mar 13, 2020 at 22:04
  • @Wrigglenite Do you see the license on store.steampowered.com/account/licenses? It might have been silently added to your account.
    – Lemon
    Mar 14, 2020 at 3:02
  • Yep, doesn't work. And the license is not added either.
    – aaronth07
    Jun 2, 2021 at 8:56

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