How To Appear Offline On Steam

Do you know how to appear offline on Steam but still use Steam online services? That's easy! Here is the easiest way to appear offline on Steam.

According to many users, Steam is the gaming variant of Facebook, or “Facebook for gamers.” Besides the fact you can add games to your library and play them together with your friends, you can have many other social interactions, thus explaining the famous comparison.  

Some of these interactions include posting screenshots of your own in-game experiences, commenting on posts of other friends, creating group chats, and a whole lot more. Of course, it’s not rare to get the occasional congratulations message when you purchase a new game as well.

Inevitably, some days we don’t feel like socializing, or we want to hop into a game without others knowing about it. This is when the “Appear Offline” feature comes in handy.

“Appearing Offline” on Steam allows you to:

  • Play a game without others knowing about this activity
  • Focusing on a game without being bothered by notification sounds (chats, etc.…)
  • Play multiplayer games without your friends receiving the “join friend” option

How To Appear Offline On Steam

Before we get into the steps, it’s worth mentioning that Steam’s “Appear Offline” option is not the same as “Offline Mode.”

Offline Mode will completely disconnect you from the social aspect of Steam. You will still be able to play your games, but you won’t be able to see your friend list, message anyone or see your friends’ game activity until you click “Go online” again.

Now that we have that out of the way, here’s how to easily switch to “Appear Offline” on Steam.

  1. Launch your Steam app and click on “Friends” in the top left corner
  2. Click on “Invisible,” and you’re done.

This is how your profile activity indicator will look when you’re in the “Appear Offline” mode on Steam. You can easily see this by navigating into the bottom right corner and clicking on “Friends & Chat.”

If you’d like to go back to the “online” status once again, you can easily do so by following the same steps as above, but by clicking on the first option instead of “invisible.” Simple!

Other Things Worth Mentioning

While you are using the “Appear Offline” status on Steam, your friends won’t be able to invite you to a lobby in certain video games. This is simply because they cannot see you on their friend list, but you should know it just in case. However, if they already have a lobby created, you can join them while appearing offline by clicking “Join Game.”

This is confirmed for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Dota 2, but it might be the case for other steam games as well.

One more thing that you should know is that even if you’re invisible, people that have you on their friend list will still be able to see your recent game activity.

An example of Steam’s built-in feature “Recent Activity”)


The social aspect of Steam is wonderful, but sometimes we want to stay under the radar while playing our “guilty pleasure” game, or when it’s simply a day to spend alone.

Thankfully, the developers thought of a way to facilitate our lowkey time with the simple click of a button! So, if you are a new user, the awesome guide above will show you exactly how to do it.

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Bojan Veselinovikj

Bojan is a video-game developer and a tech enthusiast. Combining these two passions allow him to keep you informed on everything that's new in this fast-paced digital world.