Nowadays, a large number of gamers are facing issues related to Steam. One of the most shocking issues is Steam not recognizing installed games, as reported by the players. But why Steam has stopped recognizing installed games? We’ll go through all the possible reasons here as well as the solutions to how you might able to resolve the issue.
If you are one of the sufferers, keep on reading this article to know about the issue in depth. This article will help you to fix the Steam not detecting installed game without any complex steps or methods.
- 1 Reasons Behind Steam Not Recognizing Installed Game
- 2 Easy Fixes For Steam Not Detecting Installed Game
- 2.1 Solution 1: Reinstall The Game
- 2.2 Solution 2: Add Library Folders Manually
- 2.3 Solution 3: Find Games From New Drive
- 2.4 Solution 4: Move The .acf Cache To Another Location
- 2.5 Solution 5: Manage Permission For .acf Files
- 2.6 Solution 6: Check Game’s Integrity Using Steam
- 2.7 Solution 7: Use Steam’s Backup And Restore Feature
- 3 Conclusion
Reasons Behind Steam Not Recognizing Installed Game
The Steam might have stopped recognizing installed games due to several reasons, such as;
- Wrong installation of game setup.
- Corrupted game files or .acf files are faulty.
- Game file unavailable in the installation folder or game location.
- Reinstalling the Windows without keeping the backup of the SteamApps folder which includes the game files and other data.
You should reinstall the game again if you have reinstalled the windows. There are some solutions below to help you to resolve the issue. Follow them accordingly to make Steam recognize your installed game easily.
Easy Fixes For Steam Not Detecting Installed Game
Here some solutions are provided if the Steam says the game is not installed. Apply them one by one to know which one works for you.
Solution 1: Reinstall The Game
This is the first step and the easiest solution to fix the Steam not recognizing installed games. You can forcefully make Steam recognize the game if the game data is present in the Steam app folder. To do so, follow the steps below.
- Start the Steam app and log into it.
- Now go to games option and click on View Games Library option.
- Select the game that Steam is unable to recognize, then find and click on the install option.
- Steam will automatically start discovering the existing files for the game present on your system.
Now check if this solution worked and Steam can recognize the installed game. If the problem still continues, go for the next solutions.
Solution 2: Add Library Folders Manually
Steam stores game data in the SteamApps folder in default. But if you have selected any custom location to store the game data, then you should change the default data storage folder and add the custom location in the Steam app also. To do this, follow these steps:
- Launch the Steam app and click on the Steam tab at the top left corner of the window.
- Now click on the Settings option from the drop down menu.
- Navigate to the Downloads tab and click on the Steam Library Folders option.
- In the pop-up window, select Add Library Folder option and navigate to the folder or location where all the game data is saved.
- Finally, click on the Select button and close steam settings.
Relaunch the game to ensure that the Steam can now recognize the installed game properly.
Solution 3: Find Games From New Drive
When you don’t have enough storage space to install the game, then move the game to another drive and add the game folder manually in the Steam app. Follow the instructions below to do it:
- If you intend to move your game in the D drive, then create a new folder in D drive named “Steamappscommon”.
- Now move the entire game folder to the newly created folder.
- Launch the Steam app.
- Click on the Steam tab and select the Settings option.
- Select the Downloads tab.
- Find the Steam Library Folders option from the Content Libraries section. Click on it.
- Now click on the Add Library Folder option and navigate to the location where the game is moved to.
- Finally, click on the Select button and close to save the settings.
Exit Steam and relaunch to find whether the Steam not recognizing installed game is fixed.
Solution 4: Move The .acf Cache To Another Location
When you complete taking the backup of the steamapps folder, use the cache files to force Steam to recognize the game from game data. Follow these steps to know how to do:
- Ensure that you already have the Steam installed.
- Now move the game data to the default installation folder of Steam.
- Launch the Steam app.
- Now select the game which is not recognized as installed and press the Install button.
- Steam starts finding all the existing files. If still Steam cannot recognize the game and starts downloading again, then pause the game installation and exit Steam.
- Go to the Steam installation directory and open the Steamapps folder.
- Now find the .acf file.
- Copy all the .acf files and move them to a new folder outside the Steamapps folder.
- Relaunch the Steam app and the game will appear as uninstalled in the games library.
- Again, exit Steam and go back to the folder where the .acf files are stored.
- Move the .acf files back to the Steamapps folder.
- Restart Steam and go to the Games Library.
- Resume the game update you paused before.
If everything works fine, then the game that was recognized as uninstalled will appear as installed in Steam.
Solution 5: Manage Permission For .acf Files
The Steam doesn’t recognize installed game if the .acf files are improperly being accessed and the permission for the files are not set decently. You should manage the settings by following the steps below:
- Navigate to the Steam library folder where the unrecognized game is located.
- Right-click on the game’s .acf file and click on the Properties option.
- Under security option, click on the Advanced button.
- Click on the Change option next to the Owner name in the Advanced Security Settings window.
- Select the user account from the Select User or Group window by clicking on the Advanced button or type the name of the user account normally in the ‘Enter the object name to select’ area.
- Click on the OK button after adding the Everyone option.
Note: If you need to modify the ownership of every subfolder and file within the folder as well, then enable the option “Replace owner on subcontainers and objects” inside ‘Advanced Security Settings’.
- Under the Basic permissions section, select the Full control option and click on the apply button to save the changes.
Read here on how to take ownership of files and folders in Windows 10.
Now reopen the Steam and check whether the problem still continues.
Solution 6: Check Game’s Integrity Using Steam
You should try to verify your game’s integrity in order to fix Steam not detecting installed games. Follow the steps to perform the check:
- Open Steam and go to the Library section.
- Right-click on the game and choose Properties from the options.
- Locate the Local files tab and click on Verify Integrity of game cache option.
- It will start verifying the integrity, which may take several minutes to complete.
After successful verification, restart Steam and the error might not be shown to you again.
Solution 7: Use Steam’s Backup And Restore Feature
To use Steam’s own backup and restore process, you need to have two different storage devices each containing at least 65 GB of free space. Follow the steps below to backup game files:
- Open Steam and go to the Library section.
- Right-click on the game and select Properties option.
- Now go to the Local Files tab and select the Backup Game Files option.
- In the Backup and Restore programs window, you can see that the game is already selected for the backup process. Click on the Next button.
- Select the directory where you want to create the backup folder. Click on the Next button.
- Give the backup file a name and again click on the Next button.
- The Backup process will start, and you should wait until it finishes.
Now restore your backup files by following the instructions provided below:
- After installing Steam, log in to your steam account.
- Click on the Steam option at the top left corner.
- Select the Backup and restore games option.
- Choose Restore a previous backup and click on the Next button.
- Now browse and locate the game’s backup files.
- Click on the Next button to finish the restore process.
After applying the backup and restore method, Steam should detect the installed game properly.
Now you know why you got Steam not recognizing installed game and how to fix Steam not detecting installed game error easily. If you find this article helpful, let us know by commenting below. If still Steam says the game is not installed, feel free to ask here.