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Expert Advice: How to Delete Steam Games From Your Computer: Complete Uninstall Guide

Updated on August 16, 2017
melbel profile image

Melanie was born and raised in southern Michigan. She is now a chemistry major in the Honors College at Purdue Northwest.

Log into Steam to get started
Log into Steam to get started | Source

After playing games on Steam for a few years and going through a number of seasonal video game sales, I've collected quite a few games.

Unfortunately, my computer doesn't have a ton of space (150 GB hard drive.) I'm constantly swapping out (uninstalling) games so I have space for the latest and great games.

That's what I love about Steam, though, I never lose the games I buy since they're permanently tied to my account.

This step-by-step guide will show you how to uninstall Steam games so you can save space on your computer, get rid of a horrible game (I'll admit, they're not all awesome games), or just get rid of it regardless of your reasons!

Note: If you just don't want to use Steam anymore, I recommend completely uninstalling Steam instead of removing individual games.

Alright, let's get started!

In this tutorial, I'm removing Left 4 Dead so that I have space available to download TF2.
In this tutorial, I'm removing Left 4 Dead so that I have space available to download TF2. | Source
Click "Delete local content..."
Click "Delete local content..." | Source
Click the Delete button
Click the Delete button | Source
Yay! It's deleting! That means more space on my tiny computer!
Yay! It's deleting! That means more space on my tiny computer! | Source

Uninstalling Steam Games

There are two ways to uninstall a game from Steam. You can do it through "Add or Remove Programs" or by using Steam's uninstaller. I recommend the latter because if you uninstall through "Add or Remove" programs since it'll open Steam anyway. You will have to know your Steam password, so make sure you have it handy before moving ahead. To get started, open Steam and log in.

  • Click the "Library" tab at the top of the screen.
  • On the left-hand side of the screen, there will be a listing of all the games tied to your Steam account. Select the game you would like to uninstall.
  • Right click the game and select "Delete Local Content..."
  • A confirmation box will pop up. Click the "Delete" button. Voilà! Your game will start uninstalling (it might take a bit for it to be completely removed.)

You might notice that after you uninstall a game that it's not removed from the list in the left pane. Instead, it's grayed out. Don't worry, the game has been removed and the game having been left on the list is a good thing, I promise. This brings us to the next topic: reinstalling games.

Select the game you would like to download and click the big Install button
Select the game you would like to download and click the big Install button | Source
How long will it take for this to download? Long enough!
How long will it take for this to download? Long enough! | Source

How to Reinstall Steam Games

What I love most about Steam is that I don't have to keep track of any disks or anything, I just have to remember my username and password. If I don't want to play a game, I can just uninstall it. If I decide later that I want to play it, I still have it... I don't have to pay for it again.

So how do you reinstall a game in Steam? Easy!

  • In your "Library" tab, in the left pane (the game list), select the game you would like to install.
  • Once you select a game, the middle pane will be populated with information about the game. Here, under the title of the game, will be a button that says "Install." Click it.
  • A dialog box will pop-up telling you (approximately) how long it will take the game to download. Click "next."
  • The next screen will give you some options regarding icons. Select whichever options you'd like and click "next." The game will now download and install.

© 2012 Melanie Shebel

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    • profile image

      Mutato 2 months ago

      And what if you have someone who installed Steam on your machine, installed games, then they go and die, and you want to delete them but do not have access to the Steam account?

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      Aye 2 months ago

      I did this with the sims 3 since my cousin likes that game and when she came over once she was bored and watched youtube videos of people playing sims 3 and 4 so I bought sims 3 for her since there was a sale at the time. When I go to re-install it a pop up appears saying "game cannot be installed." What do i do then?

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      User101 5 months ago

      I did this and lost 3 of my games. What happened.

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      Restu 6 months ago

      I had more than 10 games and they spent 144 GB. I need more space because I want install another software and then I uninstall my games until 4 games left. When I checked, it was using 128 GB. I think there something wrong here so, I uninstall all of my steam and try install 4 games that I need. I was surprise when I checked, it was using 84 GB. How could it be?

    • profile image

      Me 10 months ago

      Thanks Heaps .. steam wanted me to install a 36Gb test server as well as the 36Gb game .. NOOOOOOO. And I couldn't figure out how to destroy it. Dr Google and yourself to the rescue

      : )

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      gerry 11 months ago

      i get this ''time out'' on a game,i would like to unintsal it but it never works,it's even slowing down my computer and it's only two weeks old..how do i unintsal?

    • melbel profile image
      Author

      Melanie Shebel 11 months ago from New Buffalo, Michigan

      Yes, your games are attached to your account.

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      bob 12 months ago

      if its a bought game will it still be in my history

    • profile image

      DC 13 months ago

      thanks i wanted to double check if pressing delete local content was right

    • profile image

      Donald duck 15 months ago

      works

    • profile image

      Neh 15 months ago

      I cant find the Library button

    • profile image

      Tim 16 months ago

      What if I want it completely gone?

    • profile image

      insert name 16 months ago

      i just did it with smite and it removed it from my list is that normal

    • profile image

      Lucas 16 months ago

      will you still have alll your progress in the game??

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      Kiera 16 months ago

      Hi! I used this to uninstall a game from my laptop and noticed the game disappeared from my library rather than it staying like you said. It was a "Free to Play" game so does this explain it? You only keep the games you paid for?

    • profile image

      eskimo360 17 months ago

      how do you uninstall a steam game that isn't yours? for example my son has a game on his account he got onto my computer and installed it. now he has moved out of the house and when i try to uninstall it it opens up MY steam account but it wont uninstall because i don't have access to it. so i have this game stuck on my pc taking up space. i know i can delete the files and remove the registry entries for it but i should not have to do all this work to uninstall a game.

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      Francisco 3 years ago

      Thanks! I wasn't sure about "delete local content" would work.

    • Patty Kenyon profile image

      Patty Kenyon 5 years ago from Ledyard, Connecticut

      Interesting and Useful!! I have used Steam, however I find this useful for those that do use Steam!! Thanks for Sharing!!