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How to Fix the Steam Client Bootstrapper High CPU Usage

Steam Client Bootstrapper causes high CPU usage? Read the article on how to fix it

The Steam Client Bootstrapper is a background application for downloading and installing updates and replacing missing files. The problem with this app is that it may start using an unreasonable amount of your CPU’s processing power when it’s not downloading anything. This article will explain the causes for this behavior and provide you with several ways to fix this problem.

For the longest time, Steam has been the go-to video game distribution platform for PC gamers. The developers of Steam, the Valve corporation, are a fan favorite for having released such iconic games as the Half-Life franchise, Counter-Strike, and Portal.

Initially launched in 2003, Steam has grown into the most popular video game distribution platform to-date. In January 2021, Steam Had over 25 million concurrent users.

The purpose of the Steam Client Bootstrapper is to prepare more complex processes to run. It checks requirements and makes sure that any dependencies are working correctly. Then, it hands over processing to the main software.

Steam does this for games and applications that run through the Steam client. In short, Steam Client Bootstrapper is Steam’s main executable, and it makes sure that Steam is up to date and loads correctly.

How to Fix Steam Bootstrapper High CPU Usage

As mentioned earlier, the Steam Client Bootstrapper runs in the background and is responsible for downloading and installing updates and missing files. Under normal circumstances, when this app is performing its dedicated tasks uses some CPU resources, but not much.

However, the issue with Steam Client Bootstrapper is that it uses a lot of CPU resources when Steam is idle. In other words, Steam is nothing doing anything.

Moreover, according to user reports, it’s also common for Steam Client Bootstrapper to use a lot of CPU resources even when Steam is completely closed. So shutting down Steam in the hopes of preventing the Steam Client Bootstrapper app from robing your PC of its CPU resources will prove ineffective. Furthermore, Updating Steam doesn’t fix the issue as well.

So what causes Steam Client Bootstrapper to rob your computer of its CPU power? There is more than one answer, and it may be different in your particular case. There are at least four different causes that can trigger this problem on your PC.

Red Shell spyware used to be installed alongside Steam games, but this issue has since been resolved. However, it’s still possible that Red Shell spyware is still on your PC and continues gathering data and causing high CPU usage at the same time.

The Stam Overlay is another potential cause for Steam Client Bootstrapper. The Steam Overlay causes many games to become unstable. Moreover, Steam itself often has a hard time on account of this overlay, so it’s a good idea to disable it.

Steam allows users to set custom skins for your Steam client, but changing to a custom skin may cause Steam Client Bootstrapper to use a lot of your CPU’s processing power. Therefore, it’s recommended to revert back to the default Steam skin.

Lastly, you may experience Steam Client Bootstrapper high CPU usage if you’ve set your Steam homepage to the Store. Setting the homepage back to Library often fixes the high CPU usage problem.

Steam Client Bootstrapper is an essential background app for the Steam client. Without it, Steam wouldn’t work at all, but if you want to fix its high CPU usage when it’s unjustified, there are a few things you can do. Check out the methods with step-by-step instructions provided below, and don’t forget to watch the video found at the bottom of the page on this topic as well.

Table of Contents:

Method 1. Disable GPU accelerated rendering in web views

1. Open Steam client.

Click Steam and click Settings

2. In the menu bar, click Steam and then click Settings.

Select Interface and uncheck GPU accelerated rendering and click OK

3. Select Interface in the left pane.

4. Uncheck the GPU accelerated rendering in web views option.

5. Click OK to save the new setting.

Click Restart Steam

6. Click the Restart button when prompted.

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Method 2. Set Library as the default start window

If your default Steam start window is set to Store, then Steam Client Bootstrapper will cause high CPU usage. Setting the start page to its default Library window may fix the high CPU usage caused by Steam Client Bootstrapper.

1. Open Steam client.

Click Steam and click Settings

2. In the menu bar, click Steam and then click Settings.

Select Interface and select Library

3. Select Interface in the left pane.

4. Select Library instead of Store as the start window.

5. Click OK to save the new setting.

Click Steam and click Settings

6. Click Steam in the menu bar and click Exit.

7. Relaunch Steam.

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Method 3. Change Steam client skin to default

If you have a custom skin for your Steam client, then you might want to go back to using the default skin, as many have fixed the high CPU usage problem by doing it.

1. Open Steam client.

Click Steam and click Settings

2. In the menu bar, click Steam and then click Settings.

Go to Interface select the default skin and click OK

3. Select Interface in the left pane.

4. Open the drop-down menu under Select the skin you wish Steam to use.

5. Select the default skin from the list.

6. Click OK to save the new setting.

Click Restart Steam when prompted

7. Click the Restart button when prompted.

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Method 4. Disable Steam Overlay

The Steam Overlay is used to access Steam features while in-game. However, in some cases, the overlay may cause games to become unstable and also causes high CPU usage. Disabling Steam Overlay is a proven way for fixing the Steam Client Bootstrapper high CPU usage.

1. Open Steam client.

Open the Steam drop-down menu and select Settings

2. In the menu bar, click Steam and then click Settings.

Go to the In-Game tab and enable the Steam Overlay if it's disabled

3. Navigate to the In-game tab.

4. Enable the Steam Overlay if it’s disabled, and click OK.

Then disable the Steam Overlay and click OK

5. Then, Disable the Steam Overlay and click OK.

Open the Steam drop-down menu and click Exit

6. Click Steam in the menu bar and click Exit.

7. Relaunch Steam.

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Method 5. Repair Steam service

Many users reported that they managed to fix the Steam Client Bootstrapper high CPU usage problem by running the Steam repair command.

1. Hold down Windows+R keys to open Run.

Type in CMD in Run and open the Command prompt in elevated mode

2. Then, type in CMD in the dialog box and hold down Ctrl+Shift+Enter keys to open the elevated Command prompt.

Type in the Steam service repair comamnd and hit Enter

3. In the Command prompt window, type in “C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\bin\SteamService.exe”/repair and hit the Enter key.

4. Launch Steam.

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Video guide on how to fix the Steam Client Bootstrapper high CPU usage

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About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter to stay informed about the latest tech news or online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

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