6 Best Ways to Fix Steam Not Detecting Installed Games Issue

Steam Not Detecting Installed Games

Are you the one facing and struggling with the Steam not recognizing installed game problems? Do not know why does Steam not detecting installed games?

Or what to do when steam does not recognize installed games.

In this post, I’ll help you solve all your questions and learn how to get steam to recognize installed games?
Well, steam helps the users to manage all their games from one place. It is beneficial and makes the works a lot easy and straightforward for gamers.

But, nowadays, numerous gamers are found encountering various Steam related issues. Here in this article, I’ll discuss one such problem, steam not recognizing installed game and the players are facing & found reporting on the forums threads.

Moreover, steam not detecting installed games on your system is the problem that interrupts the user’s time to time, so here check the complete information on why Steam is not installing and how to resolve steam does not detect installed games issue. Let’s get started.

Why does Steam not Recognize Installed Game?

Here check the possible reason why steam stopped recognizing installed games.

1. The issue appears when you clean install the Windows & keep the backup of the Steam app folder that comprises games files and other necessary data.

2. Something wrong with the game installation

You can move it back to the Steam installation folder to let Steam re-download the game data back. If having the same issue, then here are the tips and tricks to force Steam to recognize installed games.

How do I Get Steam to Recognize the Installed Games?

#1: Reinstall the Games without Downloading

It is the best and easiest solution that perfectly works for you when Steam fails in recognizing the installed games; it displays an option to install the games again. If you’ve game data in the Steam apps folder, you’ll force Steam to detect the games by starting the game installation issue.

Follow the instructions to do so:

1. Firstly, start Steam > go to Games.

2. Now choose and tap > install for the games that Steam failed to identify.

3. And after installing the steam world, now start determining the existing game files.

Well, after doing this, the Steam not detecting installed games issue is solved. But if still, the problems persist, then follow the next solution.

#2. Identify Games from New Drive

Must check if the main drive (default installation location of Steam) has sufficient room or space for installing the entire games.

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If it doesn’t have enough space to install games, then move game data to the new hard drive and afterward, add the Game Library Folder manually in the Steam app.

Follow the given steps to do so:

1. If you wish your games, should be in the D:/games directory >, create a subdirectory, then name it “Steamappscommon.” The folder seems like D:>Games > steamapps>common.

2. As the subdirectory is generated > move whole games to the newly-created directory.

3. After moving games, it seems like:

D:>Games >steamapps >common >Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag
D: >Games >steamapps >common > Arma 2 Operation Arrowhead

4. After that, from the desktop,> start the Steam app

5. And tap on Steam > Settings > hit the Downloads tab

6. Now under Content Libraries section > choose Steam Library Folder

7. Then tap on Add Library Folder > move to the location where the games are moved in D:/games/your_subdirectory.

8. Now tap on Select > Close for saving the library folder.

9. Finally, exit Steam > restart it.

Steam now scans the newly selected Library folder > display whole games as installed.

#3: Manually Add Steam Library Folder

Steam, by default, stores the game data in the installation disk in the Steamapps folder. But if you had a custom location or area to store game data, then attempt adding the location in the Steam app to fix the Steam does not recognize or identify installed games.

Here are the steps to do so:

1. Firstly, launch and tap on Steam > choose Settings.

2. Tap on Downloads tab > Steam Library Folders.

3. After that, in the pop-up window > tap on Add Library Folder, choose the location where the whole Steam game data is saved.

4. Tap on Select > close the Steam settings.

5. And exit Steam app > restart Steam.

Steam begins detecting the installed games again and displays the games in the folder.

#4. Utilize .acf Cache to Force Steam to Recognize Games

After taking a backup of the Steamapps folder with whole game data, utilize the Steam cache files to identify steam games from the game data.

Follow the instructions to do it:

1. Verify you’ve reinstalled Steam or have existing installation.

2. Now move the entire game data to C: > Program Files (x86) > Steam > Steamapps folder.

3. After that launch, Steam > now steam might show some games that are correctly installed.

4. But for the games that not display as installed > choose and tap on the Install button.

5. And steam starts detecting whole existing files.

6. But if still, Steam will not recognize existing files > it begins downloading the files and progress read 0 percent.

7. Now pause updating for games > exit Steam.

8. Afterward go to C: > Program Files (x86) > Steam >Steamapps > locate entire current .acf files.

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9. Now copy entire .acf files > move it to a new folder > outside the Steamapps folder.

10. After that, again relaunch Steam >, and in the Games library, affected games show as uninstalled.

11. Exit Steam.

12. Now move whole .acf files back into C: > Program Files (x86) > Steam > Steamapps folder.

13. Finally, restart Steam > go the Game library > tap Resume Updating the games you paused before.

If everything works correctly, then the entire games you installed earlier will appear as installed, so if any update is needed, then update it.

#5: Check the Game’s integrity through Steam

It may work to fix steam does not recognize installed games. Must try to verify the integrity of the game cache of your operating system.

Follow the given simple steps:

1. From the library section,> load Steam > right tap on game > from the menu choose Properties.

2. Now choose Local files tab > tap Verify integrity of game cache button.

3. And steam starts verifying the game’s files.

4. It may take some minutes; wait for the entire process to complete.

Now restart your steam; hope this fixes the steam, not detecting the installed game issue.

#6: Use Steam’s Backup and Restore Function

You can use steam’s backup and restore function to copy the game between the PCs to resolve the problem.

Here had the 65GB of free space on the home computer and 65GB elsewhere like a USB drive, a portable hard drive, or USB key. Or else you can create a folder on the main system and share it over the network.

Follow the instructions to perform the backup & restore:

1. In your library > right tap on the game,> choose Backup Game Files.

2. And to do the restore, choose Backup & Restore Games > from the Steam menu at the upper left.

3. Now make to delete the game files you’ve copied to the home computer.


I sincerely hope the solutions given works for you to fix the Steam, not Detecting Installed Games issues. It is a common issue that many users are struggling with, but it can be fixed quickly after following the above-given solutions.

So, do try the solutions given one by one to make the steam recognize the installed games. I hope this post helps you to solve your issue.

Well, sometimes the issues probably are internal and cannot be fixed manually, so, in this case, you can quickly scan your system with the PC Repair Tool. It is an excellent advanced tool that fixes various computer problems and errors just by scanning once. And boost the Windows PC performance.

However, if you have any questions, suggestions regarding the ones presented, then fee-free to share it with us in the comment section below.

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