As countless PC gamers know, Steam is an excellent platform where you can spend many hours acquiring and playing some of the best video games available.
However, gaming can sometimes occupy more of your time than you intended and you might need to take a break.
If you decide to uninstall Steam to stop gaming as often, or you just want to re-install the app to fix a technical issue, you can easily do so by following our in-depth guide.
Before we begin, you should know these things:
- Uninstalling Steam will also delete all of your downloaded games
- You need to create a backup folder for your Steam games if you want to keep them
- Steam can be easily uninstalled from the control panel like any other program
- You can fix most Steam issues without reinstalling the app
- Uninstalling Steam will not permanently remove any games you own from your Steam library
With that in mind, let’s look at how to uninstall Steam from a PC. The guide and screenshots below are for Windows PC users.
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How To Uninstall Steam From Your PC (Windows)
- Click the Windows logo, located at the far left of your taskbar.
- Open “Apps and Features” and find Steam on the list of installed programs.
- Click it and select “Uninstall” as you would when removing any app.
Complete the process and Steam will be uninstalled from your PC. However, if you want to do this without removing your games in the process, you should create a backup. Here’s how to do so.
Creating A Backup Folder With Your Steam Games
If you don’t want to give up on gaming altogether and want to uninstall Steam, then re-install it later, you should create a backup folder for your Steam games.
This will save you a lot of time and bandwidth, as you won’t have to download hundreds of gigabytes all over again. Here’s how to backup your games in a few easy steps:
- Launch the Steam client on your PC.
- Once Steam is open, navigate to the top left corner and click “Steam”, then “Backup and Restore Games” to access the required section.
- Here, you will be able to choose whether you want to backup currently installed programs or restore a previous backup. To create a backup, choose the first option.
- Select the games you want to backup. Steam will show you a list of the games you currently have installed.
“Tick” the empty boxes for the games you want to backup. When you’re done, click “Next” at the bottom.
- The final step is to browse and select or create your custom backup folder. Ensure you have enough space available on the chosen drive. Steam will automatically display the amount of storage space required.
When you’re ready, click “Next”.
It is recommended to create a new Steam folder for your games on your fastest drive, ideally one that doesn’t contain your System files.
Games can occupy a lot of space once updates and downloadable content are installed, so you don’t want to clutter the drive where your system software is installed.
If you can, move the games to an SSD. This is known to improve performance in some games where texture loading is emphasized. Even if this doesn’t directly influence your framerate, it will still shorten loading times – crucial in games such as Rust.
Uninstalling Steam is something that many users do for various reasons. Some do it to fix problems, while others simply need to take a break from gaming.
Now that you know how to uninstall Steam, you can easily backup your games, adjust your settings, and ultimately create a more streamlined and optimized platform.
Uninstalling Steam will not impact your ownership of any games you already have in your Steam library. Those titles will remain ready for you to restore after you re-install Steam.