Why does Steam always update so much? – The answer

Steam is a widely-known video game service, where users can buy and play a large variety of games. The service has its own app, which is available for download on their website.

The Steam app is known for often updating before it can launch. This can annoy or baffle users, as most application/programs don’t require such constant updating.

In this article, we’ll explain the reason behind Steam’s constant updates and their regularity, and how you can disable Steam’s automatic updates if you need to.

Why does Steam update so much? – The answer

Steam updates to ensure that you always have the most current version of the app. Steam is constantly improving its platform, so there’s usually something to update.

Due to its popularity, Steam receives many user reports on issues and bugs that need fixing.

Thus, regular maintenance is often required. Updating often prevents users from possibly encountering bugs that have already been fixed.

It also allows users to play games more smoothly. Using an outdated version of Steam can prevent some games from running properly.

Steam does update more often than programs usually do, even taking into account its popularity. This is because Steam always runs a check for updates when launching.

If it finds an update, it will automatically download it before starting up. Steam may also verify all its files after updating to check for any issues.

Steam does update often, but it doesn’t update every time you open it. Therefore, don’t worry about having to face updates with every launch.

Why do Steam updates take so long?

Steam updates usually only take a few seconds to finish. However, there are times where the update can take longer to complete.

This could be due to the client/app searching for updates. If Steam opens on Startup, this searching process can take a while.

This is because other apps/programs are simultaneously trying to start up. Steam’s updating is considered a low priority task, so the process may be stalled until other tasks have been finished.

You can solve this issue by learning how to stop Steam from launching on Startup. This way, you can stop Steam from trying to update when other programs are booting up.

Instead, you can choose when Steam updates by opening the app manually.

Stop Steam Opening on Startup

First, launch the Steam app and head to Steam > Settings > Interface.


You can find a checkbox that says ‘run steam when my computer starts’ – make sure this is unchecked, and it’ll prevent Steam updating on launch.

How to prevent Steam updates

If you don’t want Steam to update so often, there are ways to reduce the amount of updates you receive. There’s no setting for stopping auto-updates altogether.

However, there is a roundabout way to prevent auto-updates from occurring.

This is not advisable for the long-term as it can cause Steam to experience bugs or other issues whilst running. You can forget to update Steam regularly and end up using an outdated version of the app.

Check Settings

In order to reduce the amount of Steam updates you receive on launch, you can make it so that game updates only occur when you launch those games.

Open the Steam app and click the ‘library’ tab. Right-click a game and select the ‘properties’ option.


Click ‘updates’ in the left side tab. Look in the automatic updates section. There should be a drop-down menu with ‘always keep this game updated’ selected.

Click on drop-down menu to view all the options. Select ‘only update this game when I launch it’.


Repeat this process for all the games whose auto-updates you wish to prevent on Steam’s launch.

Go Offline

Alternatively, you can prevent automatic updates from occurring completely by enabling offline mode on Steam. Steam can’t update if it doesn’t have access to Steam Network.

However, keep in mind that many features available in Steam will also be disabled/inaccessible in offline mode. Such features include badges, achievements, friends lists, and cloud saves.

To enable offline mode, open the Steam app. Go to Steam > Go Offline.


If you’re on a Mac, go to Account > Go Offline.

After selecting ‘Go Offline’, Steam will ask you to restart the app. Once you’ve restarted the client, you’ll still be able to play games from your library.

However, you’ll only have access to games that have already had their most recent update. Other games will be inaccessible to you.

Steam won’t check for further updates as long as it’s in offline mode, therefore don’t worry about currently accessible games becoming inaccessible later.


In conclusion, Steam updates regularly to ensure that users always have the newest version of the app. Steam’s fame means that it has maintenance checks and bug-fixes quite often.

Using outdated versions of Steam can result in users encountering issues when running the program. It’s also a good idea to move games to an external drive so you have enough space.

Related: Removing Games from your Steam Library – Guide

Some features and games can also fail to function properly. Therefore, it’s best for everyone to always use the most recent version of the client. Steam’s automatic updates ensure that this is the case.

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I love reading, writing, drawing, and other creative pursuits. I wish to travel more and do extreme activities, such as bungee-jumping and skydiving. I'm a casual gamer with an affinity for narrative-driven games and unique art styles. I like watching a variety of different media, but I particularly enjoy animations and musicals. My favourite genre, for both books and visual media, is psychological-thriller.

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