How To Uninstall a Steam Game

Unless you’ve been living under a rock these last few years, you likely know what Steam is. But for those of you who don’t, the Steam platform is a pioneer in modern day digital game distribution, that makes buying and installing video games easier than it has ever been. Steam has allowed gamers to purchase the latest gaming titles and store them in a library located on the platform for easy access.

How To Uninstall a Steam Game

For the longest time, Steam has had little to no competition in this particular market. That is until Epic Games decided to get in on the action, creating the new Epic Games store. The newest platform seeks to dethrone Steam with its own library of digital titles and has many long-standing Steam users jumping ship.

Whether you fall into this group or not, PC storage is generally finite which means an overabundance of games will take up a lot of your hard drive space. So long as each title sees consistent hours played, this is likely not an issue. However, Steam sales tend to be too good to pass up and you may find yourself overburdened by newer games that you want versus those you have yet to play. It may be imperative that you clear up a bit of room by uninstalling a few of those games you don’t plan on getting to any time soon.

Uninstalling Games From the Steam Platform

Steam makes it relatively easy to both uninstall and reinstall any game that you’ve purchased. Even after you uninstall a game from your PC, the title will still show up in your Steam library just in case you want to reinstall it later. Purchased games are permanently tied your account so you won’t have to worry about them disappearing.

The process for uninstalling a game on Steam is almost as easy as it is installing one. There are a few ways in which to uninstall a game from Steam. You can do so directly on the platform itself, through your windows add/remove program feature, or via the Steamapps folder located in the File Explorer.

Removing it on the platform itself is the recommended method as it happens to be both the easiest and quickest of the three. You will have to know your Steam password, so make sure you have it handy before moving ahead.

This article will provide you a step-by-step guide on how to uninstall Steam games, saving much-needed space on your computer and ridding yourself of games you cannot or no longer want to play. Let’s get started.

Uninstall A Steam Game in Steam

We’ll begin with what is the easiest and quickest method for game removal – directly through Steam itself.

What you need to do first is:

  1. Launch the Steam client and login using your credentials.
  2. Next, click the Library tab in the top navigation menu.
  3. Right-click the game you want to uninstall in your library, and click Uninstall from the drop-down menu. 
    • You’ll receive a confirmation window prior to deletion. Steam will confirm with you whether you want to completely delete the game.
  4. Click the Uninstall button once you’re ready to uninstall the game.

The title of the uninstalled game will now appear grayed out in your Steam library.

Removal Through Windows Apps and Features

You can’t technically bypass the need for logging into your Steam account using this method. If that was your intention, I’m sorry but it will not work. This method is designed for someone who would rather not deal with Steam directly during the deletion process. Just like any other Windows application you’ve installed or uninstalled, you can do the same with your Steam games through Windows’ own Programs and Features menu.

It’s a good way to delete Steam games from your PC while simultaneously cleaning out a few other things taking up space. So, if this is your plan, you’ll need to:

  1. Get to the Programs and Features window.
    • You can do a search in the taskbar search section by typing in “programs and features” or “Apps & features” and then clicking on it.
    • Right-click the Start icon at the lower-left of the desktop screen and clicking Settings from the menu. Click on Apps.
  2. Next, scroll to the game you want to uninstall and left-click on it to expand the menu.
  3. Click the Uninstall button to begin the process.
  4. At this time, you’ll be taken to the Steam login screen. Log in with the appropriate credentials.
    • You will be presented with the final confirmation box.
  5. Click Uninstall to finalize the uninstall.

Delete Games From the Steamapps Folder

Although the methods already discussed are better options, you can choose to delete the game manually by heading into File Explorer. This is the best way to ensure that the game has been removed from your system entirely. That doesn’t mean the game will be removed from the Steam library but it will definitely disappear from your machine in its entirety.

If this is the approach you wish to take then:

  1. Navigate to your Steam installation folder, when running Windows 10, the default installation location is C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam.
  2. Once in the Steam folder, locate and open the steamapps folder.
  3. Follow this up by heading into the Common folder, it is here that you’ll be able to see a full list of the currently installed games.
  4. Find the game you want to remove, then highlight the folder (left-click it) and press your keyboard’s Delete key.
    • You can also choose to right-click the folder and select Delete from the options shown in the menu.

The game will now be removed from your computer. When you head back into the Steam app, the recently uninstalled game will still be in the Library but should appear grayed out. To further remove all existence of the game ever being installed, you may need to delete all configuration and save files as well. You can usually find these files in either the Saved Games folder, Documents folder, or AppData folder.

Reinstalling Your Steam Games

It’s been a while and you’re ready to run through a few of the games you purchased but never got around to playing. However, you decided you needed the space and uninstalled these titles. No worries. You can reinstall any game from your Steam library that you’ve previously purchased. It’s one of the best things about the Steam platform. All you need to do is remember your username and password to log in, a strong internet connection, and enough space on your hard drive for the titles you want to install.

Unlike the ability to uninstall, there is no way to reinstall a game purchased on Steam without using the Steam interface. If you want to reinstall the game at a later date:

  1. Launch and log in to Steam.
    Steam Login client
  2. Click on the Library tab to get a list of your purchased games. Steam menu
  3. From that list, left-click on the game you want to reinstall.
    • You have a couple of options to reinstall at this point:
      1. Click the INSTALL button located just below the title of the game in the middle window. This window will have all of the available information on the game.
      2. Double-click the title of the game.
      3. Right-click the title and select Install from the drop-down menu.
    • You’ll receive a pop-up dialog box that will provide installation information (disk space required, disk space available on your machine, estimated download time).
  4. Choose if you’d like to have a shortcut for the game created on your desktop or start menu, and then click Next.
  5. You’ll be taken to the End User License Agreement (EULA) which you’ll have to click on I Agree in order to proceed.

The screen after will be the game downloading the necessary files for the installation, followed by the actual installation.

Removing Steam From Your Computer

Have you decided that the Epic Games store offers more than what you can get on Steam? You’re not alone and if you don’t want to use Steam anymore, I recommend that you completely uninstall it instead of removing individual games.

To remove Steam from your computer:

  1. Ensure that Steam is not currently running on your computer.
  2. Navigate to your Steam directory.
    • The default location is either C:\Program Files\Steam or C:\Program Files\Valve\Steam
    • I would also recommend that if you wish to save your game files for a future installation of Steam, just in case Epic Games doesn’t work out, copy your Steamapps folder to a place outside of your Steam directory. I mean, you already spent money on the games, do you really want to just throw it all away?
  3. Delete all of the contents of your Steam directory by highlighting everything and pressing the Delete key on your keyboard.
  4. Next, simultaneously press Win+R to pull up the Run function, type “regeditinto the box and press Enter. Regedit
  5. The next steps to take are determined by which bit OS you’re running.
    • For 32-bit operating systems:
      1. In the left-hand column of your registry editor, navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Valve\.
      2. Right-click on Valve and select Delete.
    • For 64-bit operating systems:
      1. In the left-hand column of your registry editor, navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Valve\. Windows Registry
      2. Right-click on Valve and select Delete. Windows Registry 2
  6. In the left-hand column of your registry editor, navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Valve\Steam
  7. Right-click on Valve select Delete.
  8. Close your Registry Editor.

All traces of Steam have now been removed from your computer.

Uninstalling Games on Steam

As you can see, there several ways to uninstall games from steam, some more straight forward than others. Whichever method you prefer, they should all work the same.

Did any of the methods work for you? Let us know in the comments below.

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