It has been ages since I played Skyrim (1.8-something was the last version I played), but as is often the case, questions here have inspired me to pick it back up. Careful owner of a modded Skyrim that I am, I updated my tools, checked for updates to essential mods, cleaned updates and BOSSed my load order... and I saw that I have a dawnguard.esm.

I don't own Dawnguard, and never intended to. Steam doesn't show Dawnguard in the "view DLC" option. I don't remember anyone gifting it to me, let alone me installing it. Google doesn't enlighten me as to why I suddenly have it, either.

Where did dawnguard.esm come from? I mean, obviously Steam installed it for me, but why?


1 Answer 1


Based on this thread it looks like there was a short time where Dawnguard became a free DLC and downloaded to people that had Skyrim (likely due to a Steam admin error). It has since been corrected, but for people that downloaded it during that time, it should continue to be part of your game unless you uninstall and reinstall Skyrim.

  • I was doubtful reading that, since it doesn't show up in the DLC, but that does sound plausible if Steam won't remove files like this. If I briefly "owned" it and it downloaded then, I would no longer show as owning Dawnguard, but the file would still be there. Is that the case? That Steam won't remove a file like this during its normal update/validation process? Sep 29, 2013 at 0:50
  • Yeah, if you've got the .esm, you can play it, no matter what. Sep 29, 2013 at 1:29
  • 1
    Make sure to back up the .esm so you won't lose it. Oct 5, 2013 at 5:54

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .