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I thought I'd found information about this before, but now it seems gone. Is it possible to disable updates on a Steam game? I'd like to play an old version of a single-player game, because the most recent version doesn't work with mods.

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  • 2
    Does this answer your question? Is there any way to stop Steam downloading updates?
    – Kevin
    Commented Apr 20, 2023 at 0:06
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    @Kevin This question doesn't seem to be a duplicate of Is there any way to stop Steam downloading updates?. That asks to stop Steam downloading updates to not waste mobile data. While this one asks so that OP could stay on an old version of the game. Some of the answers to that question won't apply to this one, and vice-versa. Commented Apr 20, 2023 at 6:39
  • @galacticninja: Disagree. They are both asking to make Steam do the same thing. They may have different reasons for wanting Steam to do that thing, but that does not make them different questions.
    – Kevin
    Commented Apr 20, 2023 at 17:52
  • shrug, merge 'em if it seems good to you.
    – lahwran
    Commented Jun 9, 2023 at 22:25
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    Though, I'd note that in my case I wanted to completely disable a particular game's updates forever, but don't care about bandwidth constraints, so in principle an answer could arise that differentiates the questions. (also I no longer care about that game anyway and don't need an answer at the moment.)
    – lahwran
    Commented Jul 4, 2023 at 1:19

4 Answers 4

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Unfortunately, there are no ways to completely disable updates for a particular game via Steam.


You can look at (and set) the update options for a game through Steam by following these steps:

  1. Select "LIBRARY" from the top menu.
  2. Right click on the corresponding game within your Steam library.
  3. Select "Properties..." from the menu that appears.
  4. Select "UPDATES" from the side menu on the properties window.
  5. Select the dropdown under "AUTOMATIC UPDATES" to view available options.
  6. Select the desired option.

enter image description here

As you can see, you only have three options:

  1. "Always keep this game updated" - tells Steam to keep the game updated, automatically.
  2. "Only update this game when I launch it" - tells Steam to turn automatic updates off, but will still require the game to be updated if there is an update available whenever you launch it.
  3. "High Priority - Always auto-update this game before others" - tells Steam to keep the game updated, automatically, but to prioritise updating this game over others.

Related Questions

I almost flagged this question as a duplicate, but I understand that you are explicitly asking if there is a way to disable updates for a particular game. Here are some similar questions that are not duplicates, but may provide you with more information.

Can I run a Steam game without updating it first?: In this question, we were asked if a game can be ran without first updating it. This sort of thing could apply to things like pre-loading, and aims to avoid having to wait until after the large update to begin playing the game. It was suggested that you could activate a physical copy while in offline mode, and hope that Steam allowed you to play without realising that it needed to update; but feedback suggests that this did not work.

"Is there a way to choose what version of a game I play on Steam?: In this question, we were asked if there was a way to roll a game update back, in order to play an earlier version of the game. The short answer was that some developers do allow it, via the properties panel. The feature was designed to allow users to 'opt in' to beta patches for various games, and it is suggested that you won't have this feature for the likes of a single-player game. It is certainly worth double checking.

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I finally found a working and relatively simple solution as of the time of writing.

No console commands, launch parameters or messing with download settings required, as these workarounds won't work anyway.
The short answer is: Just write-protect your appmanifest file and launch the game as a shortcut.

  • Steps to block game client updates:

    • Find the game's app manifest by
      • Find game's app ID by going to
        • Steam ► right click on game ► Properties ► Updates ► App ID is listed below
      • Steam ► right click on game ► Manage ► Browse local files
      • Go 2 folders above that game folder (you should land in Steam\steamapps (or steamlibrary\steamapps))
      • Find your appmanifest_YourGame'sAppID file and now
      • right click it ► Properties ► Check "Write protected" ► OK
      • Done

Now the game won't update any longer and will show a "DISK WRITE ERROR" in Steam's Downloads tab, written in red. You cannot launch the game any longer, as it still tries to update, but can't. This is what we want.

  • How to block workshop/DLC stuff from updating:
    • Find the game's app manifest by
    • Find game's app ID by going to
      • Steam ► right click on game ► Properties ► Updates ► App ID is listed below
    • Steam ► right click on game ► Manage ► Browse local files
    • Go 2 folders above that game folder (you should land in steam(or steamlibrary)\steamapps)
    • Go to folder "workshop"
    • Find your appworkshop_[Your Game's AppID] file and now
    • Right click it ► Properties ► Check "Write protected" ► OK
    • Done

How to launch the game now:

Either as Desktop Shortcut:

  • Steam ► Manage ► Add Desktop Shortcut

  • Or as Steam Library Shortcut:

    • Steam ► right click your game ► Manage ► Browse local files
    • Copy the address to your game files location from windows explorer's address line (eg. C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Icarus)
    • Steam ► ADD A GAME (at the bottom) ► Add a Non-Steam Game ► Browse
    • Paste the earlier copied address to the address line ► press Enter
    • Find your game's executable (e.g. in the root or a "binaries" folder) ► press Open
    • Back in the Steam's "Add a Game" window ► ADD SELECTED PROGRAMS
    • You now have created a shortcut you can launch within Steam without updating the game
    • Alternatively, you can rename it as you like by right clicking ► Properties

As of today, this is working well for me. Also, this is game-mod compatible, whose updates should be blocked automatically as well, like for Conan Exiles, but still being loaded without any problem. Service required functions, like internal account logins etc. should work, too.

  • Steps to unblock game client updates again:
    • Find the game's app manifest by
    • find game's app ID by going to
    • Steam ► right click on game ► Properties ► Updates ► App ID is listed below
    • Steam ► right click on game ► Manage ► Browse local files
    • Go 2 folders above that game folder (you should land in steam(or steamlibrary)\steamapps)
    • Find your appmanifest_YourGame'sAppID file and now
    • right click it ► Properties ► Uncheck "Write protected" ► OK
    • Done

Have fun playing!

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Edit: Valve has removed this functionality. F in chat.

Not by default, no. It should realistically be, as the technology is there.

It is a hidden option though:

  • Open Steam with the console option either via Steam Browser Protocol (steam://open/console should do it), or by starting it from a commandline with the -console flag.

  • Go to Console tab in Steam client, type @AllowSkipGameUpdate 1. The console should respond with the following:

    • ] @AllowSkipGameUpdate 1 in red text

    • "@AllowSkipGameUpdate" = "1" in white text, with quotes

  • Now, with this temporarily enabled (one-time use, IIRC), go to your Library and start the app, and press "Update Later".

Worth noting it will not work with most online-only games, and of course it's likely not officially supported by Valve or any devs. The linked badly-written guide above is mine (and is also on Steam), and contains some technical info about "fixing it" after an update has been started. I'm sorry I didn't edit it, lol.

If you have trouble you can try to reach out to me on Reddit through messages (but not chat because I'm mobile only), or tag me in a comment here (again, I don't get chat).

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Yes - several methods with different caveats

but not if you want to keep using it through steam the same way as usual. And I guess Steam's "workshop" would make things even more difficult.

I don't know if achievements are handled properly with a disconnected game or what else may not work properly. I've tested all three methods only with Valheim and only M1. extensively.


M1. Disabling update + non-Steam game + caution

  1. Follow user228576's answer and select "Only update this game when I launch it".
  2. add the game's main executable as a non-Steam game.
  3. make sure you never again start the original game in Steam.
    • this includes starting it through Steam's server browser
    • and joining a "friends" game.

Pros:

  • no space wasted.
  • game can easily be updated.

Cons:

  • should you ever accidentally lunch the game the normal way through steam it will automatically be updated.

M2. Making a copy of the game folder

Open the games folder enter image description here Copy it wherever you want outside of steams reach and use it to play the game instead of Steam's normal one.

Add the game's main executable as a non-Steam game if you want to have the Steam overlay.

Pros:

  • copy is completely independent of and out of Steam's reach.
  • clear separation.
  • allows use of different versions at the same time (be aware of saves!).

Cons:

  • wasted space.
  • updating later more cumbersome.
  • may not work with all games. (tested successfully with Valheim)

M3. Rename game's Steam manifest file

  1. Quit the Steam client.
  2. Locate the game's appmanifest_<AppID>.acf file in its Steam Storage silo - eg. <PathTo>\Steam\SteamApps\appmanifest_892970.acf for Valheim.
  3. rename it to eg. DISABLED_appmanifest_<AppID>.acf.
  4. restart your Steam client.
  5. add the game's main executable as a non-Steam game.

Pros:

  • No wasted space.
  • In Steam's eyes the game isn't installed anymore & thus safe from updates and so on.
  • no way to accidentally start the normal game through Steam anymore (like with M1.).
  • Updating slightly less cumbersome than M2. (rename file back, restart client).

Cons:

  • after playing the vanished game Steam kinda thinks it's installed again. But it can't actually start it and after restarting the Steam client the game is gone again.

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