This option is really simple, and if you typically work/game on a consistent schedule, you'll be able to schedule your auto-updates during the gap in that schedule. 1. Open Steam, then navigate to the "Steam" dropdown in the top left corner, and select "Settings" > "Downloads." 2. Once you're on the Downloads page you'll see a space called "Download Restrictions." There, you can set a window of time for Steam to auto-update games.
As you can see in the image above, mine is set for between 1am and 8am, which means all my updates happen when I'm not gaming or working. Simply pick the hours between which you want your games to update, and click "OK."
As an alternative, you'll also see options here to restrict the bandwidth on updates, so they can work in the background while you do other things,
In the same place you'll find "Download Restrictions" you'll see a box labeled "Allow downloads during gameplay."
Uncheck that box and Steam won't update games in the background while you're playing another game using the Steam engine. This option is obviously pretty limited, especially if you're playing through Origin, Epic, or another engine.
This is the most tedious of the three options, but it's also the most effective at completely stopping automatic updates in Steam.
- Navigate to your game library, and right-click on the game you want to keep from auto-updating.
- Select "Properties..." and then select "Updates."
- Go to the dropdown under "Automatic Updates" and select "Only update this game when I launch it."
Yes, you have to do this for each individual game in your Steam library, but if you get into the habit of changing this setting every time you get a new game, it won't be overwhelming. And, this is the best way to ensure that you don't experience a gameplay or work interruption because Steam decided to update something.