Is the Steam Screenshot Uploader feature stopping you from shutting down your computer? Although uncommon, the feature can prevent you from using the shutdown or restart button. That applies whether you learned to upload Steam screenshots or never took one manually. Many users accidentally trigger the default or the button for Steam screenshots they changed. That makes it run in the background and prevents the computer turn-off procedure. Additionally, some games activate the feature at specific points in the game, and the tool can operate in the background, waiting for the users’ commands. In all cases, you need to learn how to fix the Steam Screenshot Uploader preventing the shutdown issue. Let’s begin.
Is the Steam Screenshot Uploader feature turned on by default?
Steam Screenshot Uploader is a part of the options built into Steam Overlay and is usually enabled if the functionality is. In other words, Steam Screenshots, belonging to the Steamworks Screenshots API (application programming interface) can only work if the Steam Overlay is turned on. Also, the user must not have disabled the correct options for uploading to the cloud. If that happens, after pressing the assigned button (or if a video game is configured to snap screenshots at certain intervals or checkpoints) they are saved locally. Screenshots are only uploaded to the Steam cloud storage (“synced”) after the user quits the game.
1. Restart Steam or change the Steam screenshot folder location
We assume you double-checked your Internet is working so uploading can commence. Thus, we customarily begin with the least laborious and radical options. Taking and uploading a screenshot is a streamlined process, but may hit a snag due to the recent folder location change, spotty Internet connection, error in the metadata or tags, unnecessarily large size, and other issues. Therefore, we propose a quick Steam restart by clicking the Steam menu option in the upper left corner, then choosing Exit. Start the software again and give it some time to potentially upload screenshots that were the culprit.
If that fails to work, consider changing the Steam screenshot folder location. You can also move Steam or its library to another folder. Both are potential ways to fix the Steam Screenshot Uploader preventing the shutdown problem. That’s because your operating system or software may block access to a particular folder, or you made it read-only, for instance. That can throw the upload process for a loop, making it repeatedly try to process data.
To double-check uploading works or kick-start the process, manually upload at least one screenshot by going to View → Screenshots in the upper left corner. Then, select the screenshot in the Steam Screenshot Uploader and select Upload before selecting visibility and clicking Upload again.
2. Disable the Steam Screenshot Uploader from opening
In many cases, it is not the screenshot-taking activity that stops users from shutting their computers down. Instead, it is Steam’s setting that automatically opens the screenshot folder after the game closes. The computer may wait for you to browse screenshots or open them or upload them by hand. In all cases, follow these steps to turn off Steam Screenshot Uploader opening after quitting the game:
- Open Steam.
- Click on View in the main menu.
- Select Settings or Preferences from the drop-down menu.
- Select Cloud in the options list on the left.
- Remove a checkmark in front of Open the screenshot uploader after closing a game if screenshots were taken.
- Click on OK.
Try to shut your computer down. If Steam is still stopping you from turning it off, consider repeating steps 1 through 4, then removing the checkmark from Enable Steam Cloud synchronization for applications which support it. If that solves the problem, enable the feature again and see whether the issue returns. In the case the answer is positive, we suggest trying a different Steam account or contacting Support. Until Steam resolves the issue, you must manually upload screenshots to Steam Cloud.
3. Turn off Steam Overlay or Steam
In some cases, the method to fix the Steam Screenshot Uploader tool preventing the shutdown of your computer is to disable Steam Overlay temporarily. In the best-case scenario, you can enable it the next time you boot the computer, and the issue won’t reoccur. Otherwise, you have to turn it off or exit Steam before turning off your computer until the difficulty is resolved. Follow these instructions to deactivate Steam Overlay for Steam:
- Launch Steam.
- Select Steam in the upper left corner.
- Choose Settings (may also be named Preferences).
- Go to the In-Game tab on the left-hand side.
- Remove a checkmark in front of the Enable the Steam Overlay while in-game option.
- Click the OK button.
- Shut the computer down and see if Steam Screenshot Uploader still stops the process.
Note. If you discover that only a specific game is the culprit, you can right-click the game’s name in Library, then select Properties… Mark the checkbox in front of the Enable the Steam Overlay while in-game option.
4. Use a Windows Registry tweak to prevent apps from preventing shutdown
The reason Windows halts the shutdown progress is to act as a failsafe against losing unsaved data. Otherwise, you can lose unsaved progress in the game such as saved files or recently acquired items. Sudden power off can also interrupt data transfer and thus corrupt a Steam game and its screenshots uploaded to the cloud. It may also make the images disappear from a local folder.
Therefore, the prevention feature should usually remain enabled. However, if it stops your computer from powering off, we offer a workaround. First, ensure that you have a backup of all screenshots in your local library. Then, you can use a last temporarily forbid any applications from blocking the Windows shutdown this way:
- Open the Start menu. You can press the Windows logo in the taskbar or press the Windows key on your keyboard.
- Search for regedit or Registry Editor, right-click then, and select Run as administrator.
- Head to Computer → Export, and make a .reg backup of your registry if you need to revert the change.
- Go to
- Right-click anywhere in the Desktop folder, then select New → String Value.
- Name the string AutoEndTasks.
- Double-click the newly created string, and put 1 under Value data: before clicking OK.
- Restart Steam and see if the shutdown prevention issue disappears.
Note. Only perform this method as a last resort since we explained the negative consequence. Also, you can revert the change and restore the old Windows Registry by opening the .reg file you saved.