How To Disable Steam Auto Update: 8 Solutions

Disable Steam Auto-Update

For gamers, auto-update features are like a boon. But, they can soon become annoying when the updates become frequent. Also, some people prefer to have full control of their storage. 

For those people, enabling the auto-update feature could be a call for trouble. Updating that support game-breaking can be annoying when you are in the middle of a game. 

Likewise, Steam has a feature that updates the game by default. It only requires an active internet connection

Even though the auto-update feature is for the players’ convenience, it is a nuisance for others. People with limited data connection despise the feature and look for ways to disable steam auto-update. 

So, if you have also found yourself in a similar situation, look no further. The guide below will find the methods to disable the Steam auto-update feature. 

Solutions To Disable Steam Auto Update

  1. Enable Update While Launch Option
  2. Change The Updates Settings On Steam
  3. Set Time Restrictions For Auto-updates
  4. Limit The Bandwidth For Downloads
  5. Edit The Game Manifests
  6. Disable Automatic Steam Startup
  7. Disable Auto-updates
  8. Use Steam In Offline Mode

1. Enable The ‘Update While Launch’ Option

This method will work for you if limited data is not your concern. It won’t stop Steam from auto-updates, but it will force it to update only when you launch the game. 

Enabling this option will prevent the updates from happening while you are playing. So, to force steam to update the game only while launching, you need to:

  • Launch Steam on your device.
Finding and launching Steam on your PC
  • From the menu, which is on the top of the Steam hub, open the games library.
locating games library on Steam
  • Once you are in the library, you will see various games. Locate the game in which you want to change the settings. Right-click on it. A drop-down menu will appear.
Selecting Properties of one of the games in Steam
  • Select the “Properties” option.
  • A window will pop up on the screen. Now, from the tabs given at the top, choose “Updates.”
choosing the updates tab
  • From the “automatic updates” drop-down menu, choose the “only update this game when I launch it” option.
choosing only update this game when I launch it option

Once you have selected the above-given option, you can close the properties window. Auto-updates in the middle of the game should stop now. Remember that the updates will happen only when you launch the game.

2. Change The Updates Settings On Steam

different update settings for a game

The update settings on Steam provide you with three different options. You can select one of them to alter the updates on a selected game. This section is to help you understand what each one does. 

So, just like before. To alter the updates settings on Steam, you must follow the same steps. After that, from the Properties window, open the Updates tab. Click on Automatic Updates. The following three options will appear on the screen. Choose any one of them:

But what do they mean? Let’s have a look: 

  • “Always keep this game up-to-date”: This option will allow steam to auto-update the game.
  • “Only update this game when I launch it”: This option will force Steam to update the game during the launch.
  • “High Priority”: This option will give preference to your selected game for updates. 
  • To restrict the updates from happening during the game, select “Only update this game when I launch it.” 
  • Select the High Priority option to give priority to your game for updates. 
  • Select the “Always keep this game up-to-date” option to enable the auto-updates. 

3. Set Time Restrictions For Auto-updates

Updating games consume a lot of data. As a result, you might experience a slow internet connection. It can be unpleasant for those who experience it during their working hours. 

Scheduling time will force Steam to run updates only at the scheduled times. To set auto-update time restrictions, you need to follow these steps:

  • Launch Steam Client on your device.
  • Select the Steam option from the upper left corner.
Selecting Steam and settings from the drop-down menu
  • A drop-down menu will appear. Click on Settings from that menu.
  • Open the Downloads tab from the left side.
the downloads tab
  • In the section that says “Download Restrictions,” you can schedule the updates.
Download restrictions options
  • Select the ‘Only Auto-Update Games Between’ to set the time. Then, use the drop-down menu to select the hours. 
selecting time from drop down menu

Follow through with the options and set the time according to your preference. Remember a few points:

  • The time will work with your computer’s clock. It won’t work with Steam’s clock.
  • It would help if you also had a PC on and connected to the internet. Otherwise, the updates won’t take place. 

4. Limit The Bandwidth For Downloads

Limiting the Steam Download bandwidth

This method will work for those who have limited data plans and are looking for a way not to exhaust all the data. All you need to do is limit the bandwidth settings for downloads. 

Doing so will not exhaust your data for background downloads. You can set the speed of the internet and data usage that you can allow Steam to use. 

Once Steam exhausts the limit, background operations such as auto-updates will stop. This method also helps end the lagging or delaying of actions related to the internet. 

To limit the bandwidth, you need to perform these steps:

  • Follow the same steps as above to go to the Download restriction section. 
  • After that, check on the ‘limit bandwidth to’  instead of the time option.
  • Once you check it, the box below will become active for you to put the numbers. 
putting the value for limiting bandwidth
  • Remember that you must put the value in KB/S (Kilobytes per second).
  • So, around 1,000 Kbs will convert to 1 MB. If you’re confused, type the unit. Then, press Apply, which will show you how much speed is right above. 
showing the conversion rates of the speed
  • Once you apply, click on OK. After that, you can exit the settings. 

Remember, this is for those who don’t want the updates to take all the speed. If you’re playing games and updates take place, you can use this method. 

5. Edit The Game Manifests

If the other methods of disabling auto-updates do not work for you, you can try this one out. All the Steam games’ properties are usually saved in a manifest file

If the settings of the Steam client do not work for you, you can try this manual approach to editing game manifests. It will help disable the auto-updates. To do that, follow these steps:

  • Launch the File Explorer on your PC. Then find the directory where you have Steam Library. Then open the Steam Apps Folder.
finding and opening the Steam apps folder
  • Next, in the Steam.apps, go to the Downloading or download option. There should be the game files that you want to edit. 
using the open with option
  • Right-click on the game, and the settings which you want to alter.
  • A small context menu will appear. Select “Open With” from it.
  • Select the editor of your choice. In this case, let’s take Notepad++ and then click on the OK button.
open steam file with a notepad
  • Locate the AutoUpdateBehaviour attribute and set it to 1.
  • Save the changes before closing the Notepad.

Make sure that to execute the above method, you have the applications that enable you to edit the files. Notepad++ and FNR are the common applications through which you can make the said changes. 

To edit more than 1 Steam game manifest with Notepad++, you need to follow these steps:

  • If you do not already have Notepad++, download it.
  • Open the steam apps folder.
  • Highlight the files that have the prefix “appmanifest.” Files that have this prefix are game manifest files.
  • After highlighting them, all right-click on them.
  • A small context menu will appear. Select the option Edit with Notepad++.
  • Highlight the text “AutoUpdateBehaviour” “0”. Copy the highlighted text.
  • Open Notepad++ and press Ctrl+H to open the Find and replace box.
  • Paste the copied text “AutoUpdateBehaviour” “0” in the Find text field.
  • Again paste the copied text “AutoUpdateBehaviour” “0” in the Replace text field. But this time changes, the value from 0 to 1. The Replace field text should look like “AutoUpdateBehaviour” “1”.
  • Select the Replace All option to replace the above text in all the opened documents.
  • Click on the Yes button to confirm the action if the dialog box appears for confirmation.
  • Close the Search on Notepad++ and the Find and Replace dialog box.
  • Before closing the Notepad++, save the documents or press Ctrl+Shift+S.

To edit more than 1 Steam game manifest with FNR, you need to follow these steps:

  • Download and install FNR if you do not already have it.
  • Run the application.
  • Point the directory to Steamapps.
  • Untick the box “Include sub-directories.”
  • In the file mask type: appmanifest“.”acf
  • In the Find field, type “AutoUpdateBehaviour” “0”. Make sure the value and attribute have two tab spaces. Or you can copy the given text from any manifest file to avoid mistakes.
  • In the replace field, type “AutoUpdateBehaviour” “1”. Again, ensure that the value and attribute have two tab spaces between them.
  • Select the Replace option to execute the change.

6. Disable Automatic Steam Startup

This method doesn’t disable the auto-updates but restricts Steam from starting up. In simple words, when you open your computer, Steam launches itself. Due to its active state, it tends to download the available updates. 

So the best way to stop Steam from downloading updates is to restrict it from starting. To do that, you will need to perform these steps:

  • Open the Steam client on your device.
  • Click on the Steam option from the upper right corner and select Settings from the context menu.
  • From the left side of Settings, select the Interface tab.
selecting the interface tab in Steam settings
  • Untick the box of the option “Run Steam when my computer starts.”
run steam when my computer starts
  • Save the changes that you have made and click on Exit.

Performing the above steps will prevent Steam from starting up. As a result, it won’t function in the background.

7. Disable Auto-updates

You can alter some start attributes to disable auto-updates for the Steam Client. Ensure to execute this method only if the other methods fail to deliver results. This method has two extended steps that are:

1. Add startup arguments for the Steam shortcut:

  • Go to the desktop icon of Steam and right-click on it.
right clicking the steam shortcut
  • A drop-down menu will appear. Select the Properties option from it.
selecting and opening steam properties
  • Navigate to Target Field.
using the target field
  • Add the following statement to it: noverifyfiles -nobootstrapupdate -skipinitialbootstrap -norepairfiles -overriedpackageurl
  • Remember to add it next to the already written content. Don’t delete the content. Otherwise, the shortcut won’t launch or work.

2. The second step is to block Steam from auto-updates:

  • Press the Windows key and search for Notepad.
searching for notepad
  • From the results, locate Notepad and click on it to open it.
  • Add the following statement:

BootStrapperInhibitAll=Enable

Adding the BootStrapper quality for Steam
  • Save the file as Steam.cfg in the installation folder of Steam.
Saving steam.cfg
  • Once you execute these steps, it should stop Steam auto-updates.

8. Use Steam In Offline Mode

Saving steam.cfg

This is more like a temporary solution to your problem. You can dodge the auto-updates on Steam by using it in offline mode. But know that once you go online, it will start updating the games. 

Also, you can’t access the online features of Steam once you enable the offline mode. So, if going offline serves your purpose, you can follow these steps to do it:

  • Steam Client will notify you with a dialog box when it cannot connect to a network. The dialog box will contain a message saying, “Could not connect to the Steam network.”
  • To enter the offline mode and run Steam, select the option “Start in Offline Mode.”

If you are online and want to switch to the offline mode, then follow these steps:

Steam Go Offline Mode
  • From the upper menu bar, click on the Steam option. A menu will appear.
  • Select Go Offline from the menu.
  • Choose Restart in the Offline Mode option. Doing this will enable the offline mode.

Conclusion – Disable Game Updates On Steam

Disable Game Updates On Steam

So, these are the various methods through which you can disable auto-updates on Steam. Some of the methods are workarounds that can help you control the time of auto-updates. 

You should try all the above-given methods till you find the one that works for you. Some methods should work for sure. 

If you cannot disable the updates, you can limit the bandwidth or schedule a time for updates. You should seek professional aid to resolve your issue if nothing works.