Why do my previously installed games appear as no longer installed?

When I try to launch them, they pop up with the installation dialogue.

  • I had this too once with DayZ, I just reinstalled it back on the same place. But no clue what caused it or fixed it.
    – Lyrion
    Feb 24, 2014 at 7:33
  • 1
    When you get to the install menu (second picture), click the drop down menu under "choose location for install" and see what it says. It might have 'forgotten' that the D drive is a library. So if it says "Create Library on drive D" as an option then this is probably the issue; select it and set "D:/Program Files(x86)/Steam/SteamApps" as the location.
    – willl459
    Feb 24, 2014 at 8:19
  • Does it work after "verify integrity of game cache..." ? Properties --> Local Files --> VERIFY INTEGRITY OF GAME CACHE... (Unfortunate there is no method for doing this on multiple games, AFAIK)
    – RoarG
    May 29, 2014 at 9:58
  • Is D: an external mounted drive? I used to run into an issue where Steam would start before Windows properly mounted the drive on startup - Steam assumed the HDD no longer existed and removed the library. In my case it was solved by starting steam manually instead of on startup
    – Robotnik
    May 30, 2014 at 16:29

3 Answers 3


I have Steam Library split onto 3 different partitions and unfortunately it happens that, due to some unknown bugs, sometimes Steam starts and does find only default Steam Library.

But you can easily fix this problem manually.

Go to Steam Settings -> Downloads

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Press Steam Library Folders button

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Press Add Library Folder and select the folder on your hard drive where you had installed the additional games.

I suggest you then to close Steam and relaunch it.


Like willl459 said in his comment you can choose the option as to where to install the game there. But you can also set up another library in a seperate location or disk in the settings on your account, this way you can have multiple libraries and if you wanted to you could organize them by type or something. Don't know what would be practical about this besides running out of room in one library and needing to install to another instead of deleting games to make room.


What do you see under Settings|Downloads|Steam Library Folders? If the default directory is missing you can add it back and it should rescan the directory immediately.

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