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How to reduce Steam RAM usage from 400 MB to 60 MB



The steam library in a small location

Do you want an easier Steam experience than not using 400 MB of RAM just to display your game library? We show you how to reduce RAM usage to a cool 60 MB and get a more minimal Steam game library.

What is Steam Client WebHelper?

Steam, like many other modern applications, has a built-in browser. This built-in browser is called “Steam Client WebHelper”

; (steamwebhelper.exe).

When you start Steam, several WebHelper processes normally start in the background – we counted seven. These are used to view the Steam Store, Community and even your game library.

But what if you can get rid of Steam’s WebHelper processes? You can – with a hidden command line option.

The Task Manager shows Steam Client WebHelper process RAM usage

Launches Steam WIthout Steam WebHelper

First, if you have steam open, you need to close it by clicking Steam> Exit.

To start Steam this way, you need to know the location of the steam.exe file on your computer. On a 64-bit Windows computer, it is normally installed on C: Program Files (x86) Steam steam.exe by default. If you installed Steam to another location, use that location in the command below instead.

The Steam.exe file in File Explorer

To launch Steam without the browser components, you must launch Steam using the no-browser command-line option. It’s also good to start Steam in Small Mode, which you can normally access by clicking View> Small Mode in Steam.

To start Steam with these options, press Windows + R to open the Run dialog box. Copy and paste the following text into the Run dialog box (assuming you have Steam installed in the default location) and press “Enter” or click “OK”:

"C:Program Files (x86)Steamsteam.exe" -no-browser +open steam://open/minigameslist

Launch Steam with the browser-free command using the Run dialog box

Steam starts in small mode without any browser components. If you look at your Task Manager, you will probably see that it uses less than 60 MB of RAM.

Steam with very little RAM in the browser without a browser.

You can click View> Large Mode to see the normal Steam interface, but you will only see a message informing you that the Steam browser is disabled.

(You can click View> Small Mode to use Steam in a more minimal view even when the browser is enabled – however, Steam’s WebHelper processes will still run in the background and you will not see these RAM savings.)

Steam says it can not view the library without the browser enabled

What works without a browser and what does not work

As of October 2020, Steam’s Small Mode works very well with the browser disabled – for the most part. You can view your game library, install games and launch them. You can access all of Steam’s normal settings. You can also use Steam in offline mode.

One major feature is missing: You can actually not uninstall a game with the browser disabled. (However, you can install them.)

You can also not see your achievements, access other community features or browse the store and buy games with the browser disabled. You can still access the Steam Store and community pages by logging in to the Steam website in a standard browser.

Get your Steam browser back

To get your browser back, close Steam by clicking Steam> Quit, and then launch Steam from a regular desktop shortcut. Steam starts with the browser as long as you do not start it with -no browser.

Click Steam> Exit to close Steam” width=”650″ height=”300″ onload=”pagespeed.lazyLoadImages.loadIfVisibleAndMaybeBeacon(this);” onerror=”this.onerror=null;pagespeed.lazyLoadImages.loadIfVisibleAndMaybeBeacon(this);”/></p>
<h2>Create a shortcut that starts steam without the browser</h2>
<p>If you prefer this mode, you can create a shortcut that launches Steam without the browser.</p>
<p>For example, if you have steam pinned to the taskbar, right-click the Steam icon in the taskbar, right-click “Steam Client Bootstrapper” and select “Properties”.</p>
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In the Goals box, add a space followed by the following:

-no-browser +open steam://open/minigameslist

Assuming you have Steam installed in the default folder on your system, it should look like the command you used in the Run box:

"C:Program Files (x86)Steamsteam.exe" -no-browser +open steam://open/minigameslist

Enter the command-line options in the Destination box

Now when you launch Steam from the taskbar, you get a lighter, minimal experience. If you need to uninstall a game or use other Steam browser features, you can quit Steam (Steam> Quit) and then launch Steam with another shortcut – like the Steam shortcut in your Start menu.

To undo the change, just open the Steam Shortcut Properties window and delete the text you added in the Destinations box. It should just look like this:

"C:Program Files (x86)Steamsteam.exe"

Sure, a few hundred megabytes of RAM is not a big deal on a modern gaming PC. But if you’re looking for a way to free up some RAM during gaming, it’s easy.




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