How to Stop Steam from Running at Startup on a Mac and Windows?

Wondering how you can stop Steam from running at startup on a Mac and Windows?

Waking up in the morning and running to the computer to launch some Call of Duty or Rust with your buddies is a treasured memory. Unfortunately, as time passes, work and responsibilities do get incorporated into our daily life.

It can be quite an annoying temptation to boot up your laptop, Mac, or desktop and find that Steam is already open with your friends online, ready to play. If it isn’t the devil’s work, then this must surely be one of the greatest dismays of working from home.

Luckily, you can easily stop Steam from running at startup on a Mac and Windows computer. There are different ways to do this, as sometimes Steam can be quite stubborn and still continue to open after you boot.

Let’s get started!


1. Turn Off Steam Startup Settings.

Before we proceed with the more specific OS-based methods, here’s a general way that you can use to disable Steam running at startup. Thankfully, there’s a built-in Steam setting that you can disable to stop the program from opening every time you boot into your computer.

This should be all you need however it’s not uncommon for Steam to be stubborn. We’ll first go through these steps to see if it’s enough to fix your problem. If the issue persists, you’ll have to disable the startup through either the Task Manager or with your macOS.

Here’s how you can turn off Steam startup settings:

  1. First, open up the Steam app and go to the Steam button at the top-left corner of your screen.

  1. Next, look for and click on Settings then go to Interface.
  2. Finally, uncheck the Run Steam when my computer starts option.

Click on OK when you’re done and restart your computer to see if that fixed your problem. Ideally, Steam should stop opening on startup now! If Steam does continue to open, you may have to proceed to the other methods down below.


2. Disable Startup Through Task Manager.

Let’s start with Windows users. We’ll be disabling Steam startup from the Task Manager, through the Startup tab. The Task Manager is a built-in Windows feature that allows you to monitor programs and applications in different ways.

For one, you’ll be able to directly close all processes of a program through the Task Manager. One of the features we’ll be using today is the Task Manager’s control over programs that are allowed to run on startup.

On older versions of Windows, this option used to be in the MSConfig system setting. However, startup configurations were moved to the Task Manager around 2018.

Here’s how you can disable startup through Task Manager for Windows:

  1. Start by opening up the Start menu and searching for ‘Task Manager’. Open the program that’s returned from your search. Alternatively, you can also just press the CTRL + SHIFT + ESC buttons simultaneously on your keyboard.

  1. With the Task Manager open, go to the Startup tab and look for Steam. You can click on any app and type in ‘Steam’ to automatically locate and highlight the program.
  2. Finally, right-click the program and select Disable.

Once you’re through with that, Steam should be disabled from opening on startup directly by the Task Manager. Restart your computer and voila! You just booted up your computer Steam and temptation-free.


3. Stop Steam Startup Through Your macOS.

Apple and Mac users can use their operating system features to disable Steam from opening on startup too. In this method, we’ll be directly accessing the permissions that some applications have on your user account.

We’ll limit Steams permissions this way and disable it from opening on startup. However, you might need administrative commands to perform this method, so best keep that in mind. Try calling a family member to assist you if you’re unsure of what administrative permissions are.

Alternatively, you can also proceed through the steps until you encounter your user profile. Your user permissions will be displayed there, and you’ll be able to see if your account is an admin or not.

Here’s how you can stop Steam startup through your macOS:

  1. Look for and click on the Apple logo at the top-left corner of your screen, then click on System Preferences.
  2. With the System Preference window open, click on Users and Groups.

Stop Steam from Running at Startup on a Mac and Windows

  1. You should be redirected to a window with the list of users currently registered to this computer. Your account should be on that list, displaying whether you have administrative powers or not. Click on the lock icon at the bottom-left corner of the window to start making changes to your macOS settings. Enter your password to proceed.
  2. When that’s done, go to the Login Items tab at the top part of your window.
  3. Finally, click on Steam and select the minus icon () at the bottom-left corner of the screen.

And that should fix your problem with Steam running at startup! Restart your Mac and log into your account Steam-free.

Now that you’ve reached the end of this article, hopefully we’ve helped you stop Steam from running at startup on a Mac and Windows computer. If you have any questions, feel free to leave us a comment down below.

If this guide helped you, please share it. 🙂


  • Mako Young

    Mako is a staff writer at Saint. He's been writing about tech for more than a decade. When he isn't reading about the latest news on Apple, he's busy studying cybersecurity, cryptocurrency, cloud computing, and other IT-related sectors. His exceptional work graces technology and Apple-related blogs like How-To Geek,, Macgasm, onMac, PhotoWorkout, GameRant, and many more. He also has a Bachelors in Computer Science and has been writing since 2018, with over 400 posts published. LinkedIn X (Twitter)

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