How to stop Steam's new Chat and Friends list from automatically opening


The new Steam Chat is here and it’s pretty great, even if it won’t woo entrenched PC gamers from Discord. But there’s one aspect that isn’t so hot: Every time you open Steam, your friends list and the new chat automatically opens up in another window. Arg. The options menu doesn’t offer any obvious tools to stop it from happening, but fortunately, you can stop the new Steam Chat from opening when you launch Steam a couple different ways.

The first method is simple. By default, Steam is supposed to remember your Chat status when you launch the application. So if you don’t want Steam Chat to launch when you open Steam, close your friends list before you shut Steam down. Easy-peasy. This method’s worked like a charm for me, but Steam community posts suggest it isn’t always reliable for everybody. If Chat’s still popping up when you open Steam, you can move on to a more drastic measure: modifying the desktop shortcut’s target path.

steam location Brad Chacos/IDG

Finding Steam using Windows search.

To do so, right-click the Steam icon on your desktop and select Properties at the bottom of the context menu. (If Steam isn’t on your desktop, search for it in Windows, right-click the application, and select Open file location.)

steam target Brad Chacos/IDG

The target path you need to edit. (Click to enlarge.)

It should open with the Shortcut tab in view. You want to edit the Target path, which points to where you’ve installed Steam. Leave all the information that’s already filled out as-is, but at the end of the string, add a space and then this text:

-nochatui -nofriendsui -silent

Click OK to save your changes. The next time you open Steam, Chat and your friends list will no longer pop up and bother you, though you can still manually open it by clicking the “Friends & Chat” button in the lower-right corner of Steam’s interface. Enjoy the newly hassle-free experience, and be sure to check out our guide to 17 more Steam tips and tricks that can level up your PC gaming.

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Brad Chacos

Brad Chacos

PC World (US online)
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