Valve Finally Adds Option To Permanently Delete Games From Steam Library

Valve’s Steam game distribution service launched over 12 years ago, and for all of this time, you’ve never been able to permanently delete games from your Steam library. Earlier this year, the company started offering a refund service for games that were just purchased and played for only a very short period, but any game you’ve had for longer or actually played was destined to remain in your list.

This wasn’t a problem when gamers had a dozen or less games, but now that Steam has been around for over a decade and has remained the premier digital distribution service through that time, many gamers have hundreds, or even thousands of games, many of which will never be played again. This can lead to extremely cluttered libraries with no way to purge the old titles.

This is perfectly fine for game collectors, but not everyone wants to hoard 10-year-old games. Valve has finally added a feature for those people. You can now permanently remove games from your Steam library. There is no refund involved, and there’s no way to reverse the process short of buying the game again, but if you really don’t have any intention of every playing a particular game, you now have the option to get rid of it forever.

The process is rather simple. Log in to the support page at and click on Games, Software, etc. from there do a search for the game that you would like to remove from your account. Select the game’s support page from the results. On this screen you’ll see a new support option called “I want to permanently remove this game from my account.”

Clicking on that button will bring you to a final warning page explaining the permanence of the decision and one last confirmation request to remove the game.

This option may not be for everyone, but there are likely a few people who look forward to purging some of the old from their Steam libraries.

Follow Kevin Carbotte @pumcypuhoy. Follow us on Facebook, Google+, RSS, Twitter and YouTube.

 Kevin Carbotte is a contributing writer for Tom's Hardware who primarily covers VR and AR hardware. He has been writing for us for more than four years. 

  • 17seconds
    Seems like they could just offer an option to hide the games you no longer want to see.
  • hausman
    There's already an option to hide games. What I'd like to see is a way to transfer games to another account. Now that my kid is old enough to play games, I'd like to start building his library with games from my account that are more suited to him.
  • nirrtix
    hausman you can use family share to share your titles with him. as long as you are not playing them he can play them.
  • iam2thecrowe
    Good. Now they just need to clean house and delete all the complete rubbish games cluttering up steam. Its beginning to get like google play and apple app store with the amount of pure crap on it.
  • beshonk
    For those of your struggling with this, just create a "played" category and move already played games there. I personally have a current games, on-deck, queue'd and unplayed list, as well. Just move the games to "played" and minimize the category. Easy.
  • dstarr3
    I'm glad they implemented two-factor authentication before rolling this out.
  • Ephebus
    Why would anyone want to lose their right to play a game? People could simply use the option to delete the game's local content (which basically uninstalls it) and then hide it from the library list.
  • Sparktown
    I'm all for giving users as much control as possible over their Steam accounts, but this seems like a very strange feature to me if you can already hide games you don't want to see. If their main use case was somebody just having too many games, seems like better filtering options would have been a better solution.

    I recognize its not an "either or" situation, but I personally would have preferred that Steam finally allowed users to change their Account Names instead. Again, anything that allows you more control over your Steam account is good, since users are relying on (or "locked in") to these things for years (if not decades) and investing $100s into them.
  • Kewlx25
    They should instead have an "archive" feature that permanently hides the game unless you search for it. Like gmail.
  • photonboy
    I see no problem.
    If people want to uninstall and "hide" the game that's fine. If they want to permanently DELETE then it's nice to at least have the option.