An ancient Steam bug that causes the software to hog a system's resources has been pestering some gamers for years, though one user has pointed out that a quick and easy change in Friends menu settings can effectively tone down the program's CPU usage. Although Steam is widely used as a platform to buy, play, and share content for games by PC gamers all across the world, it has nonetheless been known to play host to a variety of bugs, many of which have been left unchecked over the years.

Though Valve typically does a good job of looking after the software, many frequent users of Steam agree that it's far from perfect. It's not too uncommon for gamers to run into issues with the application, with frequently-encountered bugs ranging from mildly annoying to unjustifiably resource-intensive. The latter is especially prevalent in issues that arise from Steam's chat feature, which has been the source of many issues over the years. It seems likely that many of these problems sprout from Steam's WebHelper utilizing an outdated version of Chromium, which has reportedly led to payment issues for many other users of the gaming service.

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One user on Reddit under the username TranquillizeMe recently drew attention to this issue through a post on the site, including screenshots which proved that the Steam Client WebHelper was utilizing roughly 13% of their CPU despite their rig being fitted with an Intel I9-9900k processor. Thankfully, the user shared a method of preventing the resulting losses in performance, proving that disabling Animated Avatars and Avatar Frames in Steam's Friends menu can eliminate this abnormal CPU usage entirely. This setting can be found in the Friends List tab of the settings menu, which can be accessed by clicking the "Friends and Chat" option found in the bottom-right corner of Steam's interface. Click here to see the full Reddit post.


Gamers experiencing such substantial performance issues in their games on Steam will likely find this setting as the culprit, especially since this setting is enabled by default in the application. While many other users reported experiencing similar issues themselves, it's certainly safe to say that not everyone will find themselves affected by these losses in frame rate. An interesting link between many affected users is their brand of CPU hardware, as gamers using AMD processors typically appear unaffected by the issue.

Gamers can easily check the resource usage of Steam on their machines by viewing the processes tab in Task Manager, which is recommended for those suffering from performance drops while gaming. Gamers using lower-end machines may see the software helping itself to more substantial CPU usage, though keeping the friends list closed is a sure way of avoiding problems as well.

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