Expert Advice: How to Remove Steam (Uninstall Guide)

Updated on August 16, 2017
113 hours in TF2, alone!! I have to get rid of Steam because I spend far too much time gaming!
113 hours in TF2, alone!! I have to get rid of Steam because I spend far too much time gaming! | Source

Steam is a digital 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 it. You can just log into Steam and download them again in the future.

Steam (and all your games) can take up a lot of space on your computer. It's also easy to spend a lot of time gaming and not working on projects.

Whether you're doing a bit of computer clean-up or you're just wanting to spend less time gaming, uninstalling Steam can do just that.

This step-by-step guide will show you how to remove Steam from your computer.

Move your steamapps folder out of the Steam folder to backup your games
Move your steamapps folder out of the Steam folder to backup your games | Source

Saving Steam Games

If you're going to be reinstalling Steam in the near future, you might want to backup your Steam games so you don't have to download them again. (TF2 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.

Exit the Steam client
Exit the Steam client | Source
Navigate to the control panel
Navigate to the control panel | Source
Open "Add or Remove Programs"
Open "Add or Remove Programs" | Source
Select "Steam" and click "Remove"
Select "Steam" and click "Remove" | Source
It's uninstalling!
It's uninstalling! | Source

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.

In 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.

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

Be very careful in Windows Registry
Be very careful in Windows Registry | Source
Deleting HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Valve in a 32-bit operating system
Deleting HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Valve in a 32-bit operating system | Source

Quick Poll

Why are you uninstalling Steam

See results

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 (like me):

  • Click the + by HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
  • Click the + by SOFTWARE
  • Page down to Valve.
  • Right click "Valve" and select "delete"

If you have a 64-bit operating system:

  • Click the + by HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
  • Click the + by SOFTWARE
  • Click the + by Wow6432Node.
  • Page down to Valve.
  • Right click "Valve" and select "delete"

Exit the Registry Editor. Congratulations! Steam should now be fully uninstalled!

Questions & Answers

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      • profile image

        ggg 

        14 months ago

        i had uninstalled steam but i am not able to remove icon of steam from desktop

      • KDeus profile image

        Keely Deuschle 

        5 years ago from Florida

        I told my husband about this hub. He plays games on Steam a lot and he said he did have to uninstall it once and had to search all over for instructions on how to so he could move it to another drive. I told him next time to look no further than your hub! Thanks for sharing!

      • cclitgirl profile image

        Cynthia Calhoun 

        5 years ago from Western NC

        Haven't used Steam but I love how you explain this so well here and it seems like this would work for other programs that you might like to uninstall. I definitely need to free up some space on my computer, lol.

      • randomcreative profile image

        Rose Clearfield 

        6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

        My husband is an avid gamer and uses Steam all the time, so no one will be uninstalling it in our house any time soon. However, this is still a great resource. :)

      • Teresa Coppens profile image

        Teresa Coppens 

        6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

        Not a big fan of video games, no time, but my boys are. Don't think they've discoveredvSteam but your resource here will come in handy if they do. Great step by step instructions Mel!

      • Icematikx profile image

        Icematikx 

        6 years ago from United Kingdom, Staffordshire

        Thanks for this informative post. I've had trouble in the past with uninstalling Steam - never again!

      • profile image

        minababe 

        6 years ago

        I'm not planning to uninstall Steam just yet (I'm still obsessed with Saints Row 2), but I can see this guide coming in handy in the future when I eventually do!

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