How to Remove Steam (Uninstall Guide)

Steam is a computer-based gaming platform that allows users to acquire and update video games. In addition, Steam keeps purchases safe by tying games to user accounts.

If you uninstall a game (or the entire Steam client), you don’t have to worry about losing access to your game. You can just log into Steam and download your games all over again at some point in the future. Steam (and all your Steam games) can take up quite a bit of space on your computer. It’s also easy to spend too much time gaming. Removing games can help pull you away from the computer. Also, “turning it off and back on again” is a great way to fix issues with any Steam app or game. Reinstalling Steam can get you on the right foot with getting a game to work. Of course, you’ll need to uninstall it first.

Whatever your reasons for removing Steam, this step-by-step guide will show you how to do this.

How to uninstall Steam and back up saved games in Windows 7, 10, and 11

Saving Steam Games

If you’re going to be reinstalling Steam in the near future, back up your Steam games to avoid re-downloading them. Because let’s face it, some games take forever to download!

To back up your Steam games:

  1. Navigate to your Steam folder (usually C:Program FilesSteam.)
  2. Locate the steamapps folder and move it out of the Steam folder (moving it to your My Documents or Desktop will work fine.

If you want to back up a specific game, open the steamapps folder, and find the folder associated with the game you wish to keep. Then move the game folder someplace safe (like your Desktop.)

How to remove Steam

If you have Steam running, you’ll want to exit it so that you can get started with the uninstall process.
On the lower right-hand side of your screen, you should see a Steam icon (as pictured right.) If it’s not there, click the “Show hidden icons” arrow. Right-click on the Steam icon and select “Exit.” Now you’re ready to uninstall.

  1. Click the “Start” button and select “Control Panel”
  2. Click “Add or Remove Programs”
  3. Select Steam from the list of “Currently installed programs” and click the “Remove” button.
  4. A dialog, “Are you sure you want to remove Steam from your computer” will show. Click “Yes.”

Manually Removing Steam

If you run into problems uninstalling Steam from “Add or Remove Programs” or you want to completely remove Steam after following the above steps, you’ll want to dig into your computer’s registry.

Only make changes to your registry if you’re comfortable with the registry. If you’re not sure what you’re doing, don’t make any changes to the registry.

To remove Steam manually:

  1. Click “Start” then click “Run”
  2. Type in “Regedit” (without quotes) and hit OK

If you have a 32-bit operating system:

  1. Click the + by HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
  2. Click the + by SOFTWARE Page down to Valve.
  3. Right-click “Valve” and select “delete”.
  4. Exit the Registry Editor.

If you have a 64-bit operating system:

  1. Click the + by HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
  2. Click the + by SOFTWARE Click the + by Wow6432Node.
  3. Page down to Valve.
  4. Right-click “Valve” and select “delete”.
  5. Exit the Registry Editor.

Congratulations! Steam should now be fully uninstalled!

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