How can I disable Steam from starting up with Windows without logging in to Steam?

Is there a way to disable Steam from starting up automatically with Windows (XP/Vista/7) after installing it?

I fix systems for people and some of them request or have Steam, so I reinstall it for them. However, I want to prevent it from starting up with windows without having to log-in with an account. I can easily hack the registry, but I’m curious if there is an alternative way to disable it without going that route.

I also don’t want to log-in with my own account; call it paranoia or whatever. 🙂

EDIT: It seems as though there’s some confusion in this request judging from the confused answers, so maybe I should elaborate further on this.

I’m already deleting Steam’s registry key from HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run, but I want to know if there is a way to get into the Steam client to disable/delete this key such that it won’t repopulate that setting if you were to start it again manually. The reason for this is because if you start Steam again, there may be a chance that it will auto-start again (but I haven’t confirmed this, so if anybody’s done so already, feel free to let me know). UPDATE: Confirmed! Steam does not recreate the registry key. See my last comment under the answer I selected.

What I’m trying to accomplish is sort of like a pseudo-sysprep where the user will get a freshly re-imaged machine with everything set at default values but optimized to boot faster without annoying programs starting up on you. Since Steam starts up for the first time with a first-run wizard prompt, the only way to get in and change the setting (that I can see) is to login with an existing account (or a create a new one but that seems moot if the user already has an account). I’d like for that wizard to stay where it is instead of it popping up with my own account being the last account logged on when they first launch Steam (it’s just unprofessional), and I also want to keep Steam from auto-starting on my customers with Windows yet again.

Maybe I’m asking this in the wrong area, but I’m sure there must be some other IT pros like me who run into these problems (with Steam or other programs). If there’s no way to do it, then I’ll just keep on trucking with the registry edits.

Sorry for the level 99 difficulty of this question; I googled for answers well before asking this question and I realized that this is a very specific request, so I thought I’d ask the internet for help with it.

Thanks again, everybody!


If you want to do this without starting Steam and logging in, you can modify the setting in the Windows registry. The autostart checkbox is directly tied to a registry key — simply deleting it is all the Steam client does when said checkbox is unchecked.

Navigate to HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run and delete the Steam key. Or as a .reg file:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00


Source : Link , Question Author : ChickenBall , Answer Author : a cat

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