How to Remove Steam (Uninstall Guide)

Steam is a computer-based gaming platform that allows users to acquire and update video games and, of course, to keep purchases safe in their accounts.

Games are tied to user accounts, so 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 a lot of time gaming and not doing the things you're supposed to be doing. Also uninstalling and reinstalling is one way to fix any issues with the Steam app.

Whether you're doing a bit of computer clean-up, you're just wanting to spend less time gaming, or you need to reinstall Steam, uninstalling Steam can help you with that. This step-by-step guide was designed to show you how to remove Steam from your computer.

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, you might want to back up your Steam games so you don't have to download them again. Because let's face it, Team Fortress 2 and Portal 2 take forever to download!

To backup your Steam games:

  1. Navigate to your Steam folder (usually C:\Program Files\Steam.)
  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, find the folder associated with the game you wish to keep, and move it 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!