Steam for Mac crashing? Try this trick…

Like many people, I indulged in some gaming action over the Christmas break. Specifically, I got my teeth into Borderlands 2 on Steam for Mac. Kicking bandit ass was great fun, but I didn’t enjoy the constant crashes from the Steam client. One minute, I’d be blasting a boss baddie with a range of mean-looking guns, the next I’d be pulling my hair out as my cursor was replaced by a spinning beach ball, and a pop-up window announced that Steam had unexpectedly quit. Again.

Thankfully, there’s a solution. The problem has been traced to a memory leak in the Steam store. To stop it, you need to run the client without opening the store page. Go into Steam’s Preferences (CMD-COMMA or select it under the Steam top-bar menu), and in the Preferences window, select the Interface tab. There’s a pull-down menu marked Favourite Window, which by default is set to Store. Change this for something else – anything else – and restart Steam. You can then go into your games library and launch a game. As long as you haven’t accessed the store, the memory leak shouldn’t occur.

If you need to use the Steam store, restart the client after you’ve finished. Because the store is no longer the page that opens on launch, you can open Steam for Mac and play your games without having it running – and crashing – in the background. It’s worked for me so far, and people have reported it successful on various internet forums.

We hope Valve fixes this problem soon. We also hope it makes the store a little more Mac friendly, instead of treating OS X games like an afterthought.

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