PC games are quite large; you will find small games that offer a few hours or a few days of gameplay to be only a few GB in size but there are plenty of games that are over 10GB in size. If you have a large game library you will have a large SteamLibrary folder and you will often find yourself strapped for space.
Many players will uninstall or backup games they’ve finished and no longer play, and uninstall the game from their system. Uninstalling a Steam game is easy but sometimes, it leaves behind residual files that can take time to clean.
Clean SteamLibrary folder
This cleaning only applies to residual files. No games will be uninstalled. If you’re looking to remove games, you can do so from the Steam app.
Steam Library Manager
Steam Library Manager is a free, open-source app that gives users a more intuitive interface for managing their Steam library. It can also clear residual files. The app has not been developed by Valve nor is it associated with it.
- Download and install Steam Library Manager from Github.
- Run the app.
- Go to the Library Cleaner tab.
- You will see a list of junk files that the app has found. Click the Delete All button to remove them.
Steam Cleaner is another open-source, third-party tool that can clean residual files left in the SteamLibrary folder.
- Download, install, and run Steam Cleaner.
- Steam Cleaner will automatically detect junk files in your SteamLibrary folder.
- Click the delete button to remove them all.
Files that are deleted cannot be recovered but if you install a game that needs these files, it will add them back. If the files are in use, neither of these apps will treat them as junk. Neither of these tools will be able to recover large amounts of space. You might, at the most, be able to get a few GB of space but that depends on the original size of the SteamLibrary folder, and how many games you’ve uninstalled.
The SteamLibrary folder is going to be big. In fact, it might be one of the biggest folders on your system, even larger than the Windows folder. It’s a good idea to trim it down from time to time but the tools we’ve featured here are cleaning tools and not compression tools. Your library is still going to be fairly large. If you’re running short on space, consider installing games to an external drive.