Steam is the most popular platform for managing and playing PC games. Many users, however, have complained that the software does not recognize all their installed games. This might happen when you open Steam to play a game but then discover that it is uninstalled. The issue may manifest itself in other situations if you reinstall the software and back up the SteamApps folder after reinstalling. After moving the folder back, you’d anticipate restoring the games, only to discover that they aren’t installed. Many methods can fix this problem, but this article will focus on those with the most success in terms of the Steam not installed error.
1. Reinstall the Steam Game Without Downloading
Some games may fail to show as installed on the Steam client if the installation files are not recognized. You can begin the download process with the game folder in the correct location. This will force Steam to recognize existing installation files, even though it is downloading them all again.
- Open the Steam client and log in to your account.
- Select the Games option from the top menu bar.
- Select the View Games Library option.
- On the next page, you’ll see a list of downloaded and installed games. The list also contains games that Steam is unable to identify. Select a game that Steam cannot identify and then choose the Install option.
Steam will install your game using the game files that you’ve previously stored. Once completed, restart the program to ensure the software recognizes your game.
2. Pick a New Location for Steam Installation
If the default installation drive does not have enough free space, Steam can’t install the game. Fortunately, you may alter the initial setup of Steam to fix the not installed error. Here are the steps you should take.
- Launch the Steam client and ensure you are not using “Family View”.
- Next, go to Steam in the top left corner and select Settings.
- Open the Download tab in the left pane.
- Press the “Steam Library Folders Button” under “Content libraries.”
- Press the + icon in the storage manager window next to the existing storage location.
- Select “Let me choose another location” in the “Add new Steam Library Folder” dialog.
- Explore the storage drives and select the Steam game folder you want to add.
- Press the Select button to add the folder.
- After you’ve finished adding the folder, Steam will look for files in it and display them in your Steam library. If the game isn’t immediately accessible, relaunch the program and check your Steam library.
3. Force Steam Games to Recognize .acf Cache
If you manually installed the game using the above method, and Steam does not recognize it, you’ll have to rely on the game’s cache data. Here are the steps you should remember.
- Go where you’ve saved all your Steam data. It’s in the C: > Program Files (x86) > Steam folder by default.
- Look for the games that aren’t installed on the Steam client. Select the uninstalled titles, then choose Install.
- Because the system is so large, Steam will take some time to recognize all your old files. Stop the update process and quit Steam.
- Open the Steam installation folder. Go to C: > Program Files (x86)> Steam > SteamApps and select all the .acf files.
- To avoid confusion, copy all the .acf files and put them somewhere else than the SteamApps folder.
- Open the Steam client and go to Library. Uninstalled indicates an unknown game in the library section, as seen here.
- Close Steam client on the Computer.
- All the .acf files should be moved back to the SteamApps folder.
Open Steam and go to the Games library section. Select the Resume Update option on all the games you paused before. After the update, you’ll see the game listed on Steam in your “Games” library section.
4. Reconfigure Steam Library Folders
If you moved the library installation location, it’s only natural that you get the Steam not installed error you need to fix. Follow these instructions to set up the new library path.
- Open the Steam client on your computer.
- In the top-right corner, select the Steam option.
- Select the Settings option from the drop-down menu.
- On the left side of the screen, pick the Download option.
- Choose “Steam Library Folders” from the drop-down menu.
- You’ll find the apps’ default installation location in the folder.
- Tap Add Library Folder if you’ve moved the location path.
- Pick the new library’s direction.