Steam is your one-stop shop to browse and buy most of the games released for PCs. It’s been like this for a while. It makes it incredibly easy to buy, play, and then delete games from your system. But how do you restore deleted Steam games in Windows 10?
There are several scenarios here. Let’s say you deleted the game folder from File Explorer like any other file/folder on your computer. There is also a way to delete games from the Steam client. Either way, there are several ways to restore a Steam game without downloading everything again.
1. Restore Deleted Steam Game Folder from Trash
Let’s say you deleted the games folder and it’s still in your computer’s Recycle Bin. I hope you didn’t empty the folder or use Shift+Delete to remove this folder. So the easiest thing you can do is to restore the folder and files from the Recycle Bin.
You will find the Recycle Bin icon on the desktop or in File Explorer on the left sidebar. Select the game folder and click Restore. From there it will disappear and appear just inside the Steam folder it was originally in.
2. Restore Deleted Steam Game Folder Using Recuva
Technically, files you delete from your PC’s Recycle Bin are not deleted directly. They remain intact at a very low level. On the front, the home is removed from the directory of the directory. However, when you save a new file where the old file was, it overwrites the old file. This makes it impossible to recover the old file.
If you accidentally deleted a file/folder, especially from the Recycle Bin, there is still hope of getting that file back. You can recover such files (the game folder in your case) using a file recovery application like Recuva. The free version of the app should be enough to do the trick. Similar apps from other vendors are also available, but the basic premise remains the same.
It scans these directories and sectors to find out which ones you’ve deleted within a given period of time and which are still recoverable. You’ll be surprised to see everything it finds during the scan. Scary and fun.
Pro Tip: This makes you wonder how safe it really is to delete a file from the Recycle Bin. Anyone can recover using the right tools and they are available for free. That’s why you should use an app like Eraser to securely delete sensitive files.
3. Verify Integrity of Steam Game
Stage 1: Open the Steam client and go to the Library option. Next, right-click the game to select Properties.
Step 2: Under the Local Files tab, click on ‘Verify integrity of game files’.
4. Add the Installation Library Folder to Steam
The game folders may still be on your HDD/SSD and Steam may not be able to recognize it.
Stage 1: Open Steam and go to Steam > Settings > Downloads > Steam Library Folder and click Add Library Folder.
Step 2: You will select the folder where you installed the game. This will take a few minutes. You should be able to view games that were previously shown as uninstalled in your Steam library again.
5. Rename the ClientRegistry.blob File
This trick was discovered by Steam gamers who found that renaming the blob file helped restore missing game files.
Stage 1: Open the folder where you installed Steam. The default location is the C drive. You will find the ClientRegistry.blob in the primary folder itself. Press F2 and rename it to ClientRegistry.old.blob. Restart the Steam client and it will create a new file.
You should now see all your games restored on Steam.
How to Take Backup Steam Games
This is for the future, so you will never find yourself in this situation again. The process is really simple and can save you a lot of heartache from losing your installed game files and game saves. Right-click the game in the library and select Properties. Under the Local Files tab, select Backup Game Files.
Just follow the on-screen instructions where you can select the location. I always recommend choosing a different drive or partition than the one you installed Steam on.
The Steam client is a godsend for Windows gamers. However, it suffers from occasional bugs and issues like many other apps. Most of these hiccups are easy to fix, provided you know where to look and what to do. This is where the benefits of a large community come into the picture. Fans who are passionate and technically savvy to find and share solutions that work for them. I hope one of these worked for you as well.
Next: Tired of Steam and want to try something new? Steam is not single player. Click on the link below to discover 5 Steam alternatives you should try.