Fix Steam Not Detecting Installed Games Issue

Steam Not Detecting Installed Games
  • Many gamers use Steam as a dedicated platform to buy, play and update their games.
  • However, many of them reported that sometimes Steam has issues recognizing their games.
  • To Fix Steam Not Detecting Installed Games Issue , try reinstalling the games without manually downloading them or adding a Steam Library folder.
  • You can also try to make Steam force recognize your games.

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Steam allows you to manage all your games from one place. However, it happens that Steam may stop recognizing all or one of the installed games on your system.

The problem can also occur if you decide to clean, install the Windows and took a backup of the Steam app folder containing your game files and other data. I moved it back to the Steam installation folder only to have Steam to re-download all the game data back again.

So if Steam is not detecting installed games, continue reading the guide below.


1. Reinstall the Games without downloading

If Steam Not Detecting Installed Games Issue, it will show you an option to install the game all again. If you have the game data in the Steam apps folder, you can force Steam to recognize the games by initiating the game’s installation.

  • Launch Steam and go to Games.
  • Select and click on install for the game that Steam has failed to recognize.
  • Steam will start to discover existing files for the game.

2. Add Steam Library folder manually

  • Launch Steam.
  • Click on Steam and select Settings.
  • Click on the Downloads tab.
  • Click on Steam Library Folders.
  • Tap on Add Library Folder and select the location where all your Steam game data is saved in the pop-up window.
  • Click on Select and close Steam settings.
  • Exit the Steam app and restart Steam.
  • Steam should now recognize installed games again and list them in the games folder.
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Steam, by default, stores the game data in the Steamapps folder in the installation disk. If you had a custom location where you held the game data, you could try to add the Steam app’s place to fix this issue.

3. Recognize Games from a new drive

If your primary purpose (steam default installation location) does not have enough space to install all the games, you can move the game data to a new hard drive and then add the Game Library Folder manually in the Steam app. Here is how to do it.

If you want your games to be in the D:/games directory, you need to create a subdirectory named Steamappscommon. The folder structure will look like this:

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  • Once the subdirectory is created, move all the games to the newly-created directory.
  • After moving the games, the game directory will look like this:

D:\Games\steamapps\common\Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag

D:\Games\steamapps\common\Counter Strike Global Offensive

  • Launch the Steam app from the desktop.
  • Click on Steam and select Settings.
  • Click on the Downloads tab.
  • Click on Steam Library Folder under the Content Libraries section.
  • Click on Add Library Folder and navigate to the location where your games are moved (new directory) that is:


  • Click on Select and Close to save the library folder.
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Exit Steam and relaunch it. Steam will scan the newly selected Library folder and show all the games as installed.

4. Use .acf Cache to Force Recognize Steam Games

Steam Not Detecting Installed Games Solve after using this method

  • Make sure that you have reinstalled Steam or have the existing installation.
  • Move the game data to

C: \Program Files (x86)\Steam\Steamapps folder.

  • Launch Steam. At this point, Steam may show some games that are installed correctly.
  •  For the game that shows as not installed, select and click on the Install button.
  • Steam will start to discover all the existing files.
  • However, if Steam does not recognize the existing files, it will start to download the files, and the progress will read 0%.
  • Pause the updating for the games and exit Steam.
  • Go to

C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\Steamapps

  • And find all the current.ACF files.
  • Copy all the .acf files and move them to a new folder outside the Steamapps folder.
  • Relaunch Steam again. In the Games library, the affected game will show as uninstalled.
  • Exit Steam.
  • Move all the .acf files back into this folder. 

C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\Steamapps folder.

  • Restart Steam. Go to the Game library and click Resume Updating for the games that you paused previously.

If you have taken the Steamapps folder backup with all the game data, you can use the Steam cache files to force Steam to recognize the installed games from the game data. In other words, you make a Steam scan for games that you own.

If everything goes right, all the games that you had previously installed will appear as installed. If an update is required, proceed with it.

Also, Check :

  1. Best Entertainment Apps
  2. Fan Speed Controller Software
  3. Windows 10 Services to Disable

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