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How To Appear Invisible/Offline in Steam

Posted by Jamie on June 29, 2018

If you’re a PC gamer, Steam is likely your best friend. Not only is it a great way to organize all your games, it also has amazing sales, manages DLC, mods and offers a forum and active community for every game it features. If you’re new to Steam or are a returning player, do you know how to appear offline in Steam? I’ll cover that and a few other neat tricks too. All will make your time on the gaming platform more productive!

Steam is primarily a gaming platform but it does have a social element. It isn’t as intrusive as Facebook or as annoying as Snapchat though. Instead, the social side allows you to game with friends to form co-op groups, raids or whatever you like.

As part of our Steam coverage, we have put together this tip sheet of basic hints and tricks for using Steam. It is designed especially for newbies or returning users and offers some ideas of things you can do with Steam to make your life easier.

How to appear offline in Steam

If you want to play in privacy for a while, you can. While friends who game are amazing, sometimes you want a little alone time to indulge in a guilty secret game or just to play alone for a while. Usually, when you’re logged into Steam, you show as online to your Steam friends. You can change that if you want.

  1. Open Steam and select Friends from the top menu.
  2. Select Offline from the dropdown.

Once Steam picks up the change, you should now appear as offline to everyone in your friends list. At very busy times, this can take a few minutes to update for some reason but will eventually show you as offline.

Add non-Steam games to your library

You can use Steam to manage your other installed games too if you like. It won’t work for every game but the majority of AAA games will work. If another game portal is having a sale but you still want Steam to manage everything or you want to game with friends, you can.

  1. Open Steam and select Games from the top menu.
  2. Select Add a non-Steam Game To My Library.
  3. Select the game(s) from the list and check the box next to the ones you want to add to Steam.

If you have just bought a game but have yet to install it, you can add the code to Steam and use it through the platform.

  1. Open Steam and select Games from the top menu.
  2. Select Activate A Product on Steam.
  3. Select Next in the popup window and then agree the T&Cs.
  4. Add the serial code in the next window. Allow Steam to recognize the code.
  5. Download the game through Steam as usual.

Backup your save games

I found out the hard way that even though Steam says it backs up your games, it doesn’t do it for all games. Some games either don’t allow Steam backups or just don’t work. So you may think your save games are safe but they may not be. Fortunately you can back up your own save games too.

  1. Open Steam and go to your Library.
  2. Select the game you want to back up.
  3. Right click and select Back Up Game Files.
  4. Set the destination in the popup box.

You can use a different hard disk or even OneDrive if you’re a Windows user. In the event of disk failure or having to rebuild your PC, you don’t lose your game saves and can rebuild your library quickly.

Move Steam to a different drive

If you have just invested in a new SSD and want to move your Steam installation to make the most of the extra speed, you can. It isn’t as straightforward as it could be but can be done. You can move just your games if you prefer but I think it’s tidier to move the entire package.

  1. Exit Steam and navigate to the Steam installation folder.
  2. Copy the SteamApps and Userdata folder to your new drive.
  3. Uninstall Steam from the old drive.
  4. Install a fresh copy of Steam on your new drive.
  5. Copy the SteamApps and Userdata folder into your new Steam installation folder.
  6. Start Steam and log in.

Your games should appear in your Library and be ready to play. Some may have to install dependencies first but should work fine. If a game gives you problems, right click it, select Properties, the Local Files tab and select Verify the Integrity of Game Files.

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