I added the Free-To-Play Team Fortress 2 to my favorite games in the Steam library, and played the game.

After reinstalling steam, the game went missing from the library completely - it does show up in neither favorites nor recently played games.

All other games work perfectly fine. I am logging in to the correct account and did not mess around with Steam in any way.

I can still install/play the game by going to its store page, but that's cumbersome. Is there any way to fix this?

  • 2
    Just how often do you expect to have to reinstall TF2?
    – kotekzot
    Commented Mar 5, 2013 at 17:59
  • 4
    You question has conflicting information. You say you "did not mess around with Steam in any way", but before that you stated "After reinstalling steam".
    – k1DBLITZ
    Commented Mar 5, 2013 at 18:07
  • @kotekzot I'm running several machines, so, often enough for it to be somewhat annoying ;)
    – mafu
    Commented Mar 6, 2013 at 13:13
  • @k1DBLITZ Yes, I meant messing with it apart from reinstalling (plugins etc, in case those exist).
    – mafu
    Commented Mar 6, 2013 at 13:14

5 Answers 5


There is no way to get free games to stick in your library if they are not installed as far as I know.

  • I think it does as long as you're on the same Steam installation; the program will remember that you had played it. However, if it listed ALL free games in the list... That could get long.
    – Coronus
    Commented Mar 5, 2013 at 18:25
  • 1
    @Coronus It should list all free games that I previously played when selecting recently played games, shouldn't it?
    – mafu
    Commented Mar 6, 2013 at 13:16
  • @Coronus, it does not, even on the same Steam installation. After uninstalling Warframe (which I have done twice now) it was removed from my library both times and I had to go to the store page to reinstall it.
    – Nathan
    Commented Nov 29, 2018 at 19:10

As a workaround, you can list all free-to-play games that you have played before (i.e. that you have added to your library):

  1. Go to Steam Library Filters website.
  2. Input your Steam numeric ID, or profile name, or profile URL.
    • In other words, just follow the instructions on the site.
    • Make sure your profile is public, otherwise the website cannot list your games.
  3. Wait until it loads the list of all your games.
  4. Filter games by Free to Play tag.

This solution only works for games that are correctly tagged as Free to Play on the Steam Store page. It should work for the most popular ones.


You cannot keep them in your library if you haven't downloaded them as others say but you can view a list of all the free/Free to play games that you added at any point in time to your account directly from steam without using any third party services as suggested in some of the answers. From there you can go to their respective store page and redownload them.

  1. Login to your account on Steam Client
  2. Click on your user Profile (Shown as 1)
  3. Click on Games (Shown as 2)

enter image description here

In there, select "All Games" tab. It will show all the games that you have bought or were Free/Free to Play. You will be able to click on them, go to store page and download them back into your library.

The URL, in case you prefer Web Browser instead of client, to that page is:

https://steamcommunity.com/id/[your username here]/games/?tab=all
  • 1
    Thank you! finally a workaround to see the F2P games on my account :D
    – Shayan
    Commented Dec 30, 2018 at 14:06
  • 1
    This is exactly the kind of answer I was looking for when I went to Google and found this page. Answer should have more votes Commented Sep 24, 2019 at 4:46

The first thing to mention is that when you open the Steam website and open a free game you "own", it actually shows that it is in your Game Library. So, it is unlikely that F2P games are counted as "owned" except when you have them installed. Also, recently I was forced into deleting everything from my Steam folder except the steamapps and userdata folders and Steam.exe itself. Still, all my free-to-play games were there, even the ones I've never installed and played. So, I can assume, that if @kotekzot is right, then the files mentioning all those F2P games should be in those two folders.

I've conducted a search through them using Magicka: Wizard Wars with an ID 202090 as an example. Actually, I've found nothing related to this game, not a single file, neither in steamapps folder nor in userdata. Still, as I mentioned, the game is present on my account, so I have totally no idea where the file that mentions this game could be.

So, summarizing all this: I think this issue can't be resolved without further research.


This problem seems to be Team Fortress 2 specific. I have several other free games in Steam that work just fine. See the screenshot for some example titles. The bold games are currently installed. The others are not.

free-to-play action games library

  • But was this screenshot made in Steam after a reinstallation? That's what the OP is asking after.
    – Joachim
    Commented Mar 22, 2020 at 20:55
  • 2
    I see the same stuff on two different computers. The game that is visible in the screenshot says it was last played in 2015. That would be before I owned either of these two computers. I don't think I have ever uninstalled Steam from any computer. However, I tried installing Team Fortress 2 on one of them, played a tutorial map for a moment and (after a while) it appeared in the Steam library of the other computer. I then uninstalled it and it disappeared from both Steam libraries.
    – cyberixae
    Commented Mar 22, 2020 at 23:24

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