Steam Not Recognizing Installed Game Error? | (4 EASY FIXES)

Steam lets people navigate all their games from one location. This is very beneficial and makes it a lot easier for gamers to deal with. But, today, many gamers face several Steam-related problems. Here in this post, We will address one of those problems – steam not recognizing installed game. Players are facing and seeing the forum threads reporting. Steam not detecting installed games on your machine is a problem that interrupts the user’s time to time so find out the full specifics of why steam is not installing and how to repair steam does not detect installed games.

See also: How to Fix the “No Audio Output Device Is Installed” Error on Windows 

Solve Steam Not Recognizing Installed Game Error

 Follow the tricks to cause steam steam scan for games:

Re-install The Games Without Downloading

This is the simplest solution for discovering existing files on steam . It works for you when steam fails to identify installed games, and it demonstrates the ability to re-install games.

 Well, if you have game data in the Steam Applications folder, you’d compel steam to detect games by beginning a game installation problem.

 Here are the steps to do this:

  • First, launch Steam > head to the Games.
  • Now choose & select > Install for games that steam has struggled to find.
  • And after the steam is installed, start determining the current game folders.
  • Hope that steam will fix the problem of not detecting installed games after doing this. But if the problems of steam not recognizing installed game still exists, the next approach will suit.

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Easily Identify The Games From A New Drive

Check if the main drive has enough space to install the entire game. If you lack enough space to install games, transfer the game files to the new hard drive and manually link the Game Library Folder to the Steam app.

 Here are the steps to do this:

  • If you want the C:/ games directory > then create a subdirectory and name it “stream-app-games.” C:/ Games > steamapps > common 
  • And when you create the subdirectory >pass whole games to the newly-created directory.

Folder looks like this:

C:/ Games > steamapps > Common > GTA5

C:/ Games> steamapps > common > Brotherhood





identify the games

  • Next, launch the Steam app from the desktop.
  • Click the Downloads tab in steam> Settings.
  • And select Steam Library Folder under the Content Libraries section.
Identify The Games
  • Then click on Adding library folder > move to C:/ games/stream-app-games where the games are moved.
  • To save library folders, click on Select > Close.
  • Finally, steam> restart.
  • And steam is now scanning the newly selected Library folder > showing whole games as installed.
  • Check if the issue of steam not recognizing the installed game is resolved.

See also: Steam Download Stopping and How to Fix It

Add Steam Library Folder Manually

The default game data is in the Steam apps folder on the installation disk. But if you have a custom location to store game info, try adding a Steam app location to address the steam doesn’t accept installed games.

Here are the steps to do this:

  • First, open steam and click Stream and click settings.

add steam library folder

  • And click the Downloads tab > Steam Library Folders tab. 
  • Then, in the pop-up window > select Add Library Folder > select the directory where all Steam game data is stored.
library folder
Library folder
  • Click Select > Close Steam Settings.
  • And exit Steam app > Restart Steam app
  • I hope steam will start detecting the installed games repeatedly and displaying the games in the folder.

Using .acf Cache

Once you have taken Steam applications folder backup with full game data, use Steam cache files to compel steam games to be remembered from game data.

 Here are the steps to do this:

  • Verify that you have re-installed steam or have an existing installation.
  • Transfer game data to C: > Program Files (x86) > Steam > steamapps directory.
program files steam not recognizing installed game
Program files
  • And open steam> now steam should show some of the correctly installed games.
steam menu steam not recognizing installed game
Steam Menu
  •  But for games that are not displayed as installed > pick and press the install button.
  •  And steam continues to find all the installed files.
  • But if it is still doing, steam does not remember installed files > it starts copying files, and progress will read 0 percent.
  • Now pause updating for games > leave the steam.
  • Next go to C: > Program Files (x86) > Steam >Steamapps > Find all current.acf files.
  • And copy all.ACF files > transfer them to a separate folder > outside of the Steamapps folder.
  • Restarting Steam > and in the Games Library,> impacted games appear as uninstalled. 
  • Leave Steam.
  • Now transfer all.acf files back to C: > Application Files (x86) > Steam > Steamapps archive.
  • Finally, restart steam> go to Game Library > press Resume Updating of the games you’ve paused before.
  •  If everything goes fine, then all of the games you installed earlier will show as installed. But if you need any changes, just refresh it. 


 Hope this solution helps you to fix issues of steam not recognizing Installed Games. Well, this is a typical issue that many people are dealing with, but it can be solved after the remedies have been found. So, try them one-by-one to make steam recognize the installed games. Hope the article helped you to solve your issue.

See also: 10 Ways To Fix Steam Stopping Downloads

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