Thanks to frequent sales and tantalizing multi-game bundles, many Steam users have libraries containing hundreds, perhaps even thousands of games, and the one realization that all Steam users face at one point or another is that there are at least some games in their massive libraries that they will never, ever play. Rather than waste space with unwanted games, Steam recently introduced a way for users to permanently remove a game from their library, although it comes with a few big catches. Here’s how to remove a game from your Steam library, as well as some alternative steps you can take to keep your Steam library more manageable.
Remove a Game from Your Steam Library
When it comes to cleaning up and taming your sprawling Steam library, we’ll start with the most drastic solution: permanently removing a game from your library. We’ll note up front that our use of the word “permanent” in the previous sentence was intentional. While we’re sure that someone in Steam Support may be able to help you restore a game to your account, this is intended to be an irreversible process that removes your access to a game without any refund or compensation, so make sure you’re truly willing to part with your chosen game, and don’t count on Gabe & Co. being willing to help you out if you make a mistake.
Once you’re ready to remove a game from your Steam library, first fire up the Steam client and find it in your library list. In the example presented in our screenshots, we want to remove the Left 4 Dead 2 Beta that was included in a game bundle purchase from years ago. We don’t play the Left 4 Dead series much at all anymore, and we certainly don’t have much use for an outdated beta.
With the name of the game you wish to remove noted, click Help at the top of the window and select Steam Support.
From there, select Games, Software, etc.
You’ll see a list of your recently purchased and played games, but you can search your entire Steam library using the search box at the bottom of the window. In our example, we’ll search for “Left 4 Dead,” which reveals the Left 4 Dead 2 Beta we wish to remove.
Select your desired game and you’ll see a page with the game’s purchase details and links to common support issues (Tip: this is also where you can request technical support for specific games, or request a refund if your purchase date and play time meet Steam’s return requirements). As you may have guessed, the option we’re looking for is I want to permanently remove this game from my account.
Here’s where things can get tricky. If the game you’re trying to remove was a single, standalone purchase, you’re all set. But if the game is part of certain bundles or discounted packages, Steam will require you to remove all of the games in that bundle in order to remove just the one undesired title.
In our example, our Steam account acquired the Left 4 Dead 2 Beta in July 2011 as part of a bundle that included the full versions of both Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2. In order to remove the Left 4 Dead 2 Beta from our Steam library, we’re required to also permanently remove access to both full games in the series. Bummer.
For the sake of this tip, and because we never play these particular games anymore, we’ll select OK, remove the listed games from my account permanently. You’ll receive a brief confirmation message and when you head back to your Steam library, you’ll see that the game(s) are gone.
That’s one drastic way to stop seeing a game you don’t like, but there are a few other options that might be a better solution. Continue on to page 2 for some alternative solutions that still allow you to keep access to your games.