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How to start Steam in Offline mode on Windows 10

Steam is home to offline games as well as online ones. When you launch the Steam client, or launch a Steam game directly,  the Steam app is first launched and it signs you in. 

The sign in is necessary to authenticate your user, however if you cannot sign in for whatever reason, you’re not locked out of your games.

Steam Offline mode

The Steam offline mode will work for games that;

  • Can be played offline.
  • Over a local area network.
  • Are single-player and offline.
  • Are multi-player and local.
  • The games that are up to date.

Conditions

In order to run Steam in offline mode, you must;

  • Have a Steam account configured and set up and you must have signed into the Steam client at least once.
  • You must have your sign in information stored i.e., the ‘Remember me’ option must have been checked/enabled when you last signed in.

Enable Steam offline mode

To enable Steam offline mode, follow these steps.

  1. Open the Steam app.
  2. Go to Steam>Go Offline.
  3. Select ‘Restart in offline mode‘.
  4. The Steam client will restart in offline mode.

Launch Steam in offline mode

By default, Steam will run in online mode. You can restart it in offline mode using the previous method however, you can opt-in to Offline mode if your internet connection is down. Likewise, you can turn WiFi off to force Steam to launch in offline mode.

  1. Turn WiFi off, or do nothing if your internet isn’t working.
  2. Open Steam, or a Steam game.
  3. Wait for the sign in to fail and you will see a pop-up.
  4. Click ‘Restart in offline mode’.
  5. Steam will launch in offline mode or the game you’re trying to play will run.

Exit Steam offline mode

Exiting Steam’s offline mode is easy since the client will always try to sign in when it’s launched.

  1. Quit the Steam client.
  2. Launch Steam or a Steam game.
  3. Steam will sign in automatically and run in online mode.

The Steam -offline switch

Steam, at one point, supported a switch that allowed users to run the client offline without disabling the internet or running the client in online mode first. This was the -offline switch. It has been retired and no longer works.

If you append this to the end of the Steam executable file, or a shortcut to the Steam executable file, the client will still sign you in. As such, we do not recommend leaving an obsolete switch appended to the client’s executable. If you’re using it, remove it and use one of the methods listed above to start Steam in offline mode.

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