Uninstalling Steam Games

I've done it before...right click on the game, select "delete local content," and it uninstalls, leaving the game in your "library," but grayed out, ready to be downloaded and installed again in the future, right?

Did it with the Zeno Clash demo last week, and it removed the demo entirely from my library. No biggie, no money lost (bought the full game the next day, anyway), but I just want to make sure before I delete anything else--did it just do that because it was a free demo? I can't imagine they would let you remove a paid game from your library entirely without throwing up all sorts of warnings during the process (if you can even do it at all), but I just want to be sure before I uninstall something more important.

Thanks!

As far as I know, only demos are removed from your library because they're not real games.

Yeah, you can only remove demos entirely from your library, otherwise I would have removed a few titles entirely a long time ago. As it stands, my Steam games list is littered with a number of blemishes in the form of games that came with a package.

I'm not sure how good a job Steam does with cleaning registry settings and so forth, but with regular games, you won't lose it out of your library after deleting local content. I think demos only show up while installed, but regular games show all the time, greyed out if you don't have them presently installed.

Malor wrote:

I'm not sure how good a job Steam does with cleaning registry settings and so forth, but with regular games, you won't lose it out of your library after deleting local content. I think demos only show up while installed, but regular games show all the time, greyed out if you don't have them presently installed.

Yeah, it always bugs me that even if you go through the Windows add/remove program dialog, it starts up Steam and just does the delete local content thing. I have no real evidence that it's better / worse than an uninstaller, but it just seems like they're doing nothing more than hitting delete on the folder for the game.

Does anyone have any real info on what goes on when you 'delete local content'?

Yeah, pretty sure it's just for things like demos.

Good deal, thanks, guys!

For some games, like those with online DRM to deauthenticate, steam does more than delete the folder. It will run those processes to reclaim a license, and if you've put any other files into the game folder (mods) or the game has savegame files in there, steam only deletes the main game files.

Outside of steam, one thing I've noticed with some games, and even mods packaged with MSIs is that they leave a backup of critical files in the c:\windows\installer folder for repairs. If you just delete a game folder to uninstall, as I do for a lot of games, these get left behind occupying space.

There's a default category to only show you your installed games, which might help with the display.

mrtomaytohead wrote:
Malor wrote:

I'm not sure how good a job Steam does with cleaning registry settings and so forth, but with regular games, you won't lose it out of your library after deleting local content. I think demos only show up while installed, but regular games show all the time, greyed out if you don't have them presently installed.

Yeah, it always bugs me that even if you go through the Windows add/remove program dialog, it starts up Steam and just does the delete local content thing. I have no real evidence that it's better / worse than an uninstaller, but it just seems like they're doing nothing more than hitting delete on the folder for the game.

Does anyone have any real info on what goes on when you 'delete local content'?

I don't know about "real info", but Steam doesn't always clean out registry entries. I know this because I deleted a number of games and only some of them left any trace in the registry. I'm not about to compile a list of what cleanly uninstalled and what left traces as I'm sure it's game/developer/engine/etc. related, but deleting local content is just uninstalling.

Generally steam only deletes what it puts there itself, or they have a special script from the developer.