Steam Not Recognizing Installed Game

How Do I Fix Steam Not Recognizing Installed Game [2021]?

Are you coming across Steam not recognizing the installed game? Are you also experiencing this problem where the Steam app refuses to recognize the game you’ve installed lately? Do not be anxious; we have got your back.

In this article, we’ll be discussing Steam not recognizing the installed game problem and how you can resolve this issue.

Steam is actually the digital video game distribution service where you can really manage a great number of video games without any problems. Steam is the platform that makes it simple to download and install different games on the computer. It also saves much memory on the computer when you download or purchase a lot of games on one device.

However, the Steam app isn’t excluded from the list of applications that cause issues for their users. Steam is also being reported for identifying the installed games on the platform. Know how you can resolve this issue in a few simple ways here.


Causes Behind The Steam Not Recognizing Installed Game Issue:


The Steam may have stopped recognizing installed games because of numerous reasons, such as;

  • Game files are unavailable in the game location or installation folder.
  • Corrupted .acf files or game files are faulty.
  • Wrong installation of the game setup.
  • Reinstalling Windows without keeping any backup of your SteamApps folder, which comprises your game files and other data.

You ought to reinstall your game once again if you’ve reinstalled your windows. There’re a few fixes below to assist you in fixing the problem. Follow them accordingly to make Steam recognize the installed game simply.

Troubleshooting The Steam Not Recognizing Installed Game Error:

The following are a few ways for performing when Steam does not recognize your installed game. We’ve provided all the ways in a simple and step-by-step format. Even if you’re not a sort of software fix individual, you can still go through such ways simply with this tutorial.

Method#1: Reinstalling Your Game

If Steam says the game isn’t installed or is failing to recognize your installed game, then it’ll show the install button again on the app. So, the first thing to carry out when Steam is not detecting the installed game is to reinstall your game. Do not download your game again; simply uninstall your game and then install it once again so that Steam can recognize the installation this time. For doing so, follow the below steps.

  • First of all, navigate to the search bar on the computer > Control Panel.
  • After that, click on the Control Panel to launch it on the screen.
  • Then, under Programs, simply click on the Uninstall a program option.
  • Now, choose the game that you have a problem with and uninstall it.


  • Next, open Steam and switch to the Games section.

Games section

  • After that, choose the game that you desire and click on the Install button next to your game. Steam will scan for games and will download your game automatically now.

Method#2: Adding Your Game In The Steam Library Folder

If Steam isn’t detecting your installed game even after reinstalling your game, simply append the folder manually and force your Steam application to detect the game. For appending the game to the Steam library folder, follow the below steps.

  • First of all, open Steam on the PC > clicks on Steam from the menu bar.
  • After that, click on the Settings option from the drop-down menu.settings
  • Now, go to the left-hand side pane on the settings page > choose the Downloads section.

Downloads section

  • Next, go to the main screen > choose steam library folders.
  • Then, click on the add library folder option > choose the file location where all your Steam downloaded games are stored > click on choose.

steam library folder

  • Lastly, click on OK > reboot the Steam application.

Method#3: Extending The Main Drive Of The Steam Installation Location

The inadequate hard drive space can also direct to Steam not detecting installed files. For this case, you can enlarge the main drive space that saves the Steam folder or move your game data to the new hard drive.

Here you can make use of the professional storage management tool for extending the hard drive. MiniTool Partition Wizard can assist you in enlarging the partition easily. You can follow the below step-by-step guide for doing so. PW-Ultimate PW-free

  • First off, open this program to get the main interface.
  • After that, choose the partition that saves the Steam installation folder > click on the Extend Partition feature option from the left-hand side pane.
  • Then, drag the blue sliding handle rightwards for enlarging your drive space > click on OK for saving the change.
  • Click on Apply for executing the pending operation.

Now, reboot the PC and see if the Steam not recognizing the installed game problem is fixed.

Method#4: Moving Your Game To A New Drive

If simply appending the undetected game to the Steam library folder isn’t resolving the Steam not detecting the installed game problem, then try to move them into the new derive and then append the library folder. For doing so, a step-by-step procedure is given below.

  • Launch the new drive, let’s say D Drive on the computer > make a folder.
  • For instance, a folder like this: D Drive > Games > Steamapps > Common.
  • After that, move all your Steam game data files into the newly made drive.
  • Then, open Steam > click on Steam > choose the Settings option.


  • Next, click on the Downloads section > choose steam library folders.

Downloads section

  • Choose the add library folder option > click on choose for selecting the new drive location where you’ve saved the Steam games.

steam library folder

  • Lastly, click on OK.

Once you’re done doing so, reopen the Steam application and see if the Steam not recognizing installed game problem still persists.

Method#5: Make Use Of The .Acf Cache Files

If you’ve installed your game and you’re coming across Steam not recognizing the installed game problem, and you also have tried to reinstall your game, but it’s not resolving the issue, then try this way. You have to have the installed or a reinstalled file of your game for carrying out so:

  • First of all, move your Steam game data to the C Drive > Program Files(x86) > go to Steam > open Steamapps.
  • Now, open Steam > navigate to the Games section. See if there’re any games that aren’t installed.
  • After that, click on the Install option next to your uninstalled games > pause the updating > exit Steam.
  • Then, again go to C Drive > open Program Files(x86) > go to Steam > Steamapps.
  • Locate all the files ending with .acf. Copy such files and paste them into the new folder outside your Steam folder.

SteamApps folder acf file

  • Now, again navigate to Steam and go to the Games section. All the undetected games will be shown as uninstalled. Simply exit Steam once again.
  • After that, move back .acf files back into your Steamapps folder.
  • Next, reboot Steam and go to the Library section > click on Games > choose the Resume the updating option.

Steam Resume Game Download

It’ll frequently resolve the problem, and Steam will detect your installed games.

Method#6: Checking The Integrity Of Your Game Using Steam

You ought to try to verify the integrity of your game for resolving Steam not detecting installed games. Follow the below steps for performing the check:

  • First of all, launch Steam > navigate to the Library section.
  • After that, right-click on your game > select Properties from the options.
  • Find the Local files section > click on the Verify Integrity of game cache option. It’ll begin verifying the integrity, which might take a few minutes to complete.

After the successful verification, reboot Steam, and the issue may not be shown to you again.

Method#7: Steam Backup And Restore Games

If the above solutions did not resolve the Steam not recognizing the installed game problem, then try the Backup & Restore Games option of steam to get rid of this error. Make certain to have at least a free space of sixty-five GB memory on the PC or hardware USB, and copy your steam game files to it. Then, follow the below steps.

  • Open Steam > click on the Library section > choose Games > click on the Backup Game Files option.
  • After that, navigate to the menu bar for restoring the files > click on the Steam section.

fixes for steam not recognizing installed game

  • Choose the Backup and Restore Games option from there.
  • Then, delete your Steam files from here and then get them again. The Steam not recognizing installed game problem will be resolved.

Frequently Asked Questions Section:

Why Is Steam Not Detecting Installed Games As Installed?

Steam not detecting your installed games is one of the common issues for Windows users. If you’ve installed Windows and are utilizing Steam’s backup folder, then this issue might occur.

Why Are Installed Games Emerging As Uninstalled On Steam?

Installed games might emerge uninstalled if Steam does not detect them as installed files. It can happen because of the improper installation, clean installation of the Win, and making use of the backup folder of Steam.

How Can You Fix Steam That Is Not Recognizing Installed Games?

Follow the simple ways mentioned below for resolving Steam not recognizing installed game files.

  • Reinstall your Game > append the game in the Steam library folder.
  • Move the game to a new drive > make use of the .acf cache files.
  • Steam backup and restore games.

Why Are My Games Not Showing Up On Steam?

If you cannot see the games on Steam, then navigate to the Library > go to Games. Check if all of the games are here. If they’re not, manually append the games to the Library.

How Do I Make Steam Detect Installed Games?

  • Append the game to the Steam Library manually. For that, navigate to Steam > choose Settings > open Downloads > go to Steam Library Folder > Add Library Folder.
  • Navigate to the directory where the game is installed > click Select.
  • Finally, click on OK for saving the settings.


We hope these ways assisted you in resolving the Steam not recognizing installed game error on the PC. Simply try these solutions that we’ve given here. These have worked for the majority of Steam users who were also coming across the same problem.

Make certain to tell us if any of the ways mentioned here helped you. For more informative and useful geodes, make sure to read our posts on our website.

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