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



The Steam library in small mode

Would you like a lighter Steam experience than without 400MB of RAM to just view your game library? We’ll show you how to cut RAM usage down to a cool 60MB and get a more minimal Steam game library.

What is Steam Client WebHelper?

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

; (steamwebhelper.exe).

When you start Steam it usually starts several WebHelper processes in the background – we counted seven. These are used to display the Steam Store, the community, and even your game library.

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

The Task Manager shows the RAM usage of the Steam Client WebHelper process

Starting Steam without Steam WebHelper

If you have Steam open, you must first close it by clicking Steam> Exit.

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

The steam.exe file in File Explorer

To start Steam without the web browser components, you need to start Steam with the -no-browser command line option. It’s also helpful to start Steam in Small Mode, which you can usually access by going to 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 (assuming you have Steam installed in the default location) and hit Enter or click OK:

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

Starting Steam Using the No Browser Command from the Run Dialog

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

Steam with very little RAM in no-browser mode.

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

(You can click View> Small Mode to use Steam in a minimal view even with the browser enabled. However, Steam’s WebHelper processes will still run in the background, and you won’t see these RAM savings.)

Steam says the library cannot be viewed without an activated browser

What works and what doesn’t without a browser

As of October 2020, Steam’s small mode will work 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 normal Steam settings. You can even use Steam in offline mode.

A big feature is missing: you can’t uninstall a game if the browser is disabled. (You can install them, however.)

You also can’t see your achievements, access other community features, or browse the store and buy games with your browser turned off. You can still access the Steam Store and Community Pages by logging into the Steam website using a standard web browser.

Getting the browser back from Steam

To restore the browser, close Steam by clicking Steam> Exit and start Steam using a normal desktop shortcut. Steam will start with the browser as long as you don’t 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 will launch Steam without the browser.</p>
<p>For example, if you’ve pinned Steam to your system tray, right-click the Steam icon in your system tray, right-click “Steam Client Bootstrapper” and choose Properties.</p>
<p><img class=

In the Destination field, add a space followed by the following:

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

Assuming you installed Steam in its 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 your system tray, you’ll get a lighter and more minimalist experience. If you need to uninstall a game or use other Steam browser features, you can quit Steam (Steam> Quit) and then start Steam using a different shortcut – like the Steam shortcut in your Start menu.

To undo the change, simply open the Steam Shortcut Properties window and remove the text you added to the Destination field. It should just look like this:

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

Sure, a few hundred megabytes of RAM isn’t a big deal on a modern gaming PC. However, if you’re looking for a way to free up RAM while you’re playing, it’s easy to do.




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