How do I hide my Steam activity?

Someone with a box on their head against a blue sky, with the ask pc gamer logo in the top corner.
(Image credit: Westend61)

It shouldn't be this hard to find the setting to make your Steam activity private. Who needs Steam to send out a notification every time you start up a game? Frankly, it's a little obnoxious. Look, no one cares that you've had to restart Cites: Skylines for the fourth time today 'cause you've overloaded it with so many mods it's crashed again.

You've checked your settings, and at first glance it looks like there simply isn't a way to hide your gaming activity on Steam. Of course, you can go Invisible by clicking the dropdown menu next to your name in Steam chat, but what if you want to stay visible? Where's the setting to keep your boss from noticing you're sneaking in a background game sesh at work, or to hide whichever lewd game you've just fired up?

"At this rate, I'll forever be stuck announcing to my friends when it's porn time," you cry silently to yourself as the judgement intensifies.

Au contraire, my prospective covert gamer. The settings to keep your Steam activity on the down-low are but a few clicks away, just not in the place you probably expected them to be. Here's how to hide your Steam activity from your friends, and from the prying eye of the public, so you can rest easy knowing only you can see what game you're currently playing, or have the most hours in.

First, log in to Steam. In the top right corner where your avatar is, there's a dropdown where you can select View my profile. Under your Steam level in the right sidebar is an Edit profile button, which will bring up all the settings associated with your profile. Why this hasn't just been placed in the standard account settings menu, I don't know, but there you go.

(Image credit: Valve)

From there you'll need to navigate to Privacy settings at the bottom of the left hand sidebar. Then it's just a matter of setting your Game details to private.

Alternatively you can choose just to set this to Friends, if your main concern is strangers knowing your porn habits. Whoever you exclude, they will no longer be able to see which games you have in your library, your playtimes, wishlist, or achievements, but they will still be able to see your Steam level, and any Steam badges you've accumulated.

If it's just this once you need to hide your activity and prevent notifications, feel free to go back and set it to default once you're done. They'll be none the wiser.

Katie Wickens
Hardware Writer

Screw sports, Katie would rather watch Intel, AMD and Nvidia go at it. Having been obsessed with computers and graphics for three long decades, she took Game Art and Design up to Masters level at uni, and has been demystifying tech and science—rather sarcastically—for three years since. She can be found admiring AI advancements, scrambling for scintillating Raspberry Pi projects, preaching cybersecurity awareness, sighing over semiconductors, and gawping at the latest GPU upgrades. She's been heading the PCG Steam Deck content hike, while waiting patiently for her chance to upload her consciousness into the cloud.