For a few months now, Steam has been validating my files whenever I open it. For years, Steam did not do this. What exactly is Steam doing when it says that it is validating files, and why does it need to do it so frequently?

Here's what it looks like:

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  • Does this on its own often for me too. Not sure why. – BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft Feb 26 '13 at 1:37
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  • Does that happen with all games or some of them? – kotekzot Feb 26 '13 at 3:01
  • @kotekzot Just some. – Sponge Bob Feb 26 '13 at 3:52
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    After finding only way too many unsatisfactorily answered questions identical to this, I came to the conclusion that Steam sucks and just decided to live with it. My Steam wants to validate TF2 at least every other day for some reason, which takes a good 5 to 10 minutes. – jw013 Feb 27 '13 at 19:49

I've noticed this with two games:

  • Team Fortress 2
  • Dota 2

Both were free and both download updates incessantly, so I uninstalled them.

I've been aware of the validate steam cache files for a while. You can do it manually from the properties tab by right clicking in the game list. If something goes whacky with your game, this sometimes fixes it. Steam support suggested it once and it got me out of a problem I had, so I try it again on occasion. It appears to compare checksums of your local files with the cloud and will re-download any invalid files again.

As to why the validation is happening automatically after updates download for these two games. I don't know, it doesn't make much sense, since the download just happened and should not have been corrupt. But I agree, it is annoying.

  • Thanks, until i posted this question I didn't realize that it was only validating the TF2 files. Since I don't even play TF2 anymore, deleting the game got rid of the validation. – Sponge Bob Mar 7 '13 at 6:52

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