Steam is a great platform for gaming, but if you want to make it a little quieter, you can disable some of its notifications. This guide will explain how.
Steam—a platform for gamers that few can rival. It has a number of great advantages for PC gamers (not least a huge number of games to play), but it isn’t without some annoyances. For example, notifications on Steam can prove to be irritating, especially if you’re trying to limit notification spam.
Thankfully, you can switch these notifications off to reduce the amount of spam you’ll see on your desktop. If you’re unsure how to turn off Steam notifications, follow the steps below.
How to Disable Steam Notifications on PC and Mac
The Steam client has a number of built-in notifications. It will alert you when you take a screenshot, when a new game is released, when a game is updated, when music is played or stopped, and more. To disable these Steam notifications, you’ll need to access your settings in the Steam client itself.
To disable Steam notifications on a PC or Mac:
- Open the Steam client and sign in (if you aren’t already).
- In Steam, press Steam > Settings from the top menu bar.
- In the Settings menu, select In-Game.
- To disable Steam screenshot notifications, disable the Display a notification and Play a sound checkboxes in the When a screenshot is taken section.
- Next, select Interface and disable the Notify me about additions or changes to my games, new releases, and upcoming releases checkbox.
- Select Music next and uncheck the When a track begins checkbox in the Display a notification section.
- To save your changes, press OK.
Once you’ve saved the changes, your Steam client should remain (mostly) quiet. You’ll still receive some notifications silent, however, such as when a game has updated, but these won’t pop up and alert you.
At this point, two notifications will remain active— achievements and messages. You can disable these separately using the steps below.
How to Disable Achievement Notifications in Steam
Achievements are in-game awards for completing certain tasks. Unfortunately, the only way to disable achievement notifications in Steam is to disable the Steam in-game overlay. This is an accessible Steam menu that allows you to view certain Steam features (such as your chat list) without minimizing your game.
To disable the Steam in-game overlay to stop achievement notifications:
- Open the Steam client.
- Press Steam > Settings from the menu bar at the top.
- In Settings, press In-Game.
- Disable the Enable the Steam Overlay while in-game checkbox.
- Press OK to save.
You can also disable in-game achievement notifications for specific games.
To disable in-game overlay achievements in Steam for specific games:
- Open Steam and click Library.
- Find your game on the left, right-click it, and then select Properties.
- In the menu, press General.
- Disable the Enable the Steam Overlay while in-game checkbox to disable the overlay for that game.
- Exit the menu.
This will disable the Steam overlay for that game only. To restore it, repeat these steps and re-check the Steam overlay setting box before launching your game.
How to Disable Message Notifications from Steam Friends
Steam manages notifications from your friends (and the chat list) separately. To disable these notifications from Steam friends, you’ll need to access the Friends & Chat settings menu.
To disable message notifications from Steam friends:
- Open the Steam client and press the Friends & Chat icon in the bottom right.
- In the Friends & Chat menu, press the Settings button (top-right).
- In the Friends list settings menu, select Notifications.
- Disable the checkboxes for all of the relevant notifications (such as When a friend joins a game) in both the Show a notification column and Play a sound column.
- To stop the Steam window from flashing when you receive a message, select the Never button under the Flash window when I receive a message section.
- When you’re done, exit the menu.
Any changes you make to your Steam notification settings will apply automatically. To re-activate your notifications, repeat these steps to re-enable the notifications you’d like to continue using.
Managing Your Steam Account
Using the steps above, you can quickly turn off Steam notifications on your PC or Mac. This will limit the spam from notifications, allowing you to get back to enjoying what Steam is really about—gameplay.
Don’t want to share the games you’re playing with your friends? You can always hide your game activity on Steam so no one will know what you’re playing (or when). If you want to tidy up your Steam profile, you may want to change your Steam username.
Need to build some connections? You can always add friends on Steam to chat and play with directly.