These days, it has become easier for people to acquire and store games. They do not even have to leave the comfort of their own home just to purchase a new title. While the era of digital game distribution is a blessing for many, it also comes with a curse—bloated data storage.
You might notice that as you collect and play Steam games, you are losing more and more space in your hard drive. Of course, this can be a problem, especially when it starts to affect the performance of your games and your PC, in general. When this happens, you naturally would want to know how to uninstall Steam games to save hard drive space.
Learning how to delete a Steam game safely can be done easily. However, do note that once you’ve done that and you decide that you want to play the game later, you will need to download it through Steam again. Now, this can be an issue, especially if you have a data cap. After all, some of these titles can take up as much as 70 GB of hard drive space. Thankfully, aside from deleting Steam games, there are other ways to reclaim gigabytes of memory in your computer.
How to Delete a Steam Game Safely
You might ask, “How do I delete Steam games from my computer?” If this is your concern, then you’ve come to the right place. We will teach you how to uninstall Steam games to save hard drive space. Aside from that, we will also share some tips on freeing up gigabytes of memory in your PC.
Method 1: Using the Steam Client
If you thought that installing games through the Steam client was easy, well, you will think the same of the uninstallation process. You still have the option to keep the progress of your saved games. Just make sure that you create a backup properly. All of your saved games will still be available for download via the library.
After deleting all the locally saved game content, you will be surprised as to how much free storage space you’ve gained. So, if you’re ready to reclaim your gigabytes of data, follow the instructions below:
- Launch the Steam client.
- Go to Library.
- Look for the game you want to remove, then right-click it.
- Select Uninstall from the options.
- Confirm the selection you’ve just made.
Method 2: Manually Removing the Steam Game
You might wonder, “How do I completely delete a game from my Windows 10 computer without using the Steam client?” While this is not possible to do via the Windows Control Panel, you can still delete a Steam game like any other file or folder on your HDD. All you need to do is determine the folder that Steam uses to store games locally. Here are the steps:
- Exit the game and close the Steam client.
- Open Drive C: or the System Partition, then navigate to Program Files.
- Double-click the Steam folder, then open steamapps and Common.
- Look for the folder of the game you want to remove. Delete it.
Reclaiming Gigabytes of Memory from Steam
Steam makes it easy for users to download and play games on their Windows 10 PC. Moreover, it comes with services like Steam Play, which makes it possible for players to pick up a game they’ve played in the past but hasn’t touched for months or even years. The gaming company never fails to roll out updates, hyping the excitement of users. Aside from this, Steam makes the experience more immersive for players by offering game ladders and chat services.
When you download a Steam game for the first time, you are asked whether you want to create a shortcut for the title. The shortcut may look like a regular app, but Steam stores the game someplace else. Usually, games are installed in a Steam folder within the Application Support and Library folder. So, over time, you will be unknowingly permitting Steam to eat away hundreds of GB of space from your hard drive.
We recommend deleting the Steam games that you no longer play to reclaim gigabytes of memory back to your hard drive. To do that, simply follow the instructions below:
- Go to your taskbar, then click the Search icon.
- Type “Steam” (no quotes), then hit Enter to launch the Steam client.
- Go to the Library tab, then look at the games that you have downloaded in the past. When you check the left sidebar of the library, you will notice that the games that are currently added to your computer are in white bold text.
- Press down the Ctrl key to delete the local content of a game. Click the game you wish to delete. After that, select Delete Local Content.
- You will be warned that all the content associated with the game will be removed. Click Delete to get rid of the game completely.
- If you want to determine the amount of space a game has consumed, press down the Ctrl key, then click the name of the app. Click Properties, then go to the Local Files tab. You will see its disk usage near the top.
By following the instructions above, you will be able to remove the Steam games that you are not actively playing. Consequently, you will reclaim hundreds of GB of the storage space you lost from the unused titles.
Determining What’s Taking Space on Your Hard Drive
After deleting the Steam games that you’re not using, it is ideal to check how much storage space you’ve regained. If you notice that you are still running low on memory, it is likely that there are other files or apps to blame. So, it is crucial that you understand what’s taking up the most space. If you’re using Windows 10, you can take advantage of the built-in disk analyzer. Simply follow the instructions below:
- Press Windows Key+I on your keyboard to launch the Settings app.
- Click System.
- Now, go to the left-pane menu, then select Storage.
- Click your hard drive to see the list of items that are taking up so much space.
The Storage Usage page will help you determine the areas that need some cleaning up. You can click each of the items to get more information on what actions you can take to free up space.
Keep in mind that in some cases, there are items that you can’t see and that are discreetly eating up your storage space. These could be malware that may compromise your sensitive information and personal data. Before this even happens, protect your computer by installing Auslogics Anti-Malware. This powerful tool can detect malicious items and threats that you would never suspect existed. So, you can prevent your hard drive from getting infected by malware that may eat up your storage space and harm your personal files and data.
What You Can Do to Free Up More Space
After determining what’s taking up your storage space, follow our tips below to make more room for essential files.
Tip 1: Use Storage Sense
One of the great things about Windows 10 is it has built-in features that allow you to improve the performance of your PC. You can access Storage Sense to delete junk files conveniently. By following the steps below, you will be able to free up space and even enhance system performance.
- On your keyboard, press Windows Key+I to open the Settings app.
- Click System, then select Storage from the left-pane menu.
- Go to the Storage Sense section, then click the ‘Change how we free up space automatically’ link.
- Make sure that ‘Delete temporary files that my apps aren’t using option’ under Temporary Files is selected.
- Now, you need to select how frequently the Recycle Bin and Downloads folder will be cleaned up automatically. Simply click the drop-down list to make a selection. Your options are:
- 1 day
- 14 days
- 30 days
- 60 days
Pro Tip: If you want to maximize the number of files you will delete, we suggest selecting 1 day from the drop-down list under the ‘Delete files in my Downloads folder if they have been there for over’ option.
- Click Clean Now.
Tip 2: Configure Storage Sense
It is true that you can use Storage Sense manually at any time. However, we recommend enabling this option to perform clean-up maintenance automatically. If you want it to run whenever you’re starting to run low on space, you can do the following:
- Launch the Settings app by pressing Windows Key+I on your keyboard.
- Select System, then click Storage from the menu on the left.
- Go to the Storage Sense category, then click the ‘Change how we free up space automatically’ link.
- Click the drop-down menu for Run Storage Sense, then select any of the following options:
- Every day
- Every week
- Every month
- When Windows decides (recommended)
Once you’ve completed these steps, Storage Sense will run automatic clean-ups based on the interval you chose.
Tip 3: Remove Unnecessary Apps and Games
If there are apps that you do not use, you can get rid of them to free up space on your computer. Removing them will help you reclaim storage and even improve the performance of your Steam games. Here are the steps:
- On your keyboard, press Windows Key+S.
- Now, type “Settings” (no quotes).
- Press Enter to launch the Settings app.
- Select Apps, then click Apps & Features from the left-pane menu.
- Go to the Apps section on the right pane, then click the drop-down list for Sort By.
- Select Size to determine the apps and games that are taking up the most space.
- Click the app you want to delete, then click Uninstall.
- You will be warned that all content associated with the app will be deleted. Click Uninstall again.
Tip 4: Store Files in the Cloud
You can use the Files On-Demand feature of Microsoft’s OneDrive cloud storage service. It lets you use File Explorer to access the photos, documents, music, and videos you stored in the cloud. It is worth noting that you will not need to sync them or even use a huge chunk of local storage space. So, you can use this space-saving feature if you notice that your Steam games are starting to perform poorly due to storage issues.
How to Enable OneDrive’s Files On-Demand
- Click the Search icon on your taskbar.
- Type “OneDrive” (no quotes).
- Select the OneDrive app from the results.
- Once OneDrive is up, click the menu, then select Settings.
- Go to the Settings tab.
- Select the ‘Save space and download files as you use them’ option under Files On-Demand.
- Click OK.
After following these instructions successfully, you will be able to use Files On-Demand. You can move your files to the OneDrive folder conveniently, allowing yourself to free up space.
How to Use OneDrive’s Files On-Demand
- On your keyboard, press Windows Key+E. This will launch File Explorer.
- Go to the left-pane menu, then click the OneDrive folder.
- Identify the files and folders that are taking up too much space. Select them.
- Right-click your selection, then choose Free Up Space from the options.
You can store up to 5GB on the free version of OneDrive. On the other hand, if you have a paid subscription, the limit can be up to 1000GB.
These are just some of the methods you can use to free up more space when deleting unused Steam games does not suffice. There are many other tips for reclaiming gigabytes on your computer. If you know of any, please do not hesitate to share them in the comments section below! We might feature them in one of the articles we’ll release soon!