Some notes before main question:

  • My Steam games library is on separate location (another drive), and removing games is not a solution to this question.
  • I have already tried out TikiOne Steam Cleaner, it didn't detect anything to delete in my Steam installation folder.
  • I would rather not install Steam on my second drive.

So the main question is - can I somehow reduce Steam installation folder? I mean the one at: .../Program Files (x86)/Steam

Now it is roughly 800 MB in size, and it's a real pain on my 120GB SSD drive, where each GB is worth it's weight in gold (metaphorically speaking).

I'm looking for unused update packages (maybe Steam doesn't delete them after update?), or other backups made by Steam without me even knowing. I also don't know where screenshots are kept, maybe this could be the solution?

  • 2
    You do not mention anything against the purchase of a new SSD in your question so in all honesty, presuming you are from the US, an SSD costs about $0.20 - $0.50 / GB these days. I recommend buying a larger one (256 GB) and then CloneZilla your current C drive to the new disk.
    – MonkeyZeus
    Mar 10, 2016 at 17:39
  • You can't. You can, however, have a Stream library on each drive, so you can have the less important ones removed from your SSD-drive. There does not seem to be a move-facility - you will need to redownload to the new location. (Backup/restore only works to the primary library) Mar 10, 2016 at 20:25
  • Why would you not want to install Steam on your other drive? I have Steam on my HDD, then any games I want to load a bit quicker I install to the Steam Library on my SSD. If you close steam, move/copy everything in steamapps somewhere safe, uninstall/reinstall Steam, then move them back, then tell Steam to "install" the program, it'll "discover" what's already there in a couple minutes.
    – Nick T
    Mar 10, 2016 at 21:00
  • 1
    @ThorbjørnRavnAndersen: you can use the OS file manager to move the games: basically exit steam, move the game folder to a secondary library location (using the proper secondary library tree structure), restart steam, "remove local files (ensure they currently point to the old folder location), then "reinstall" and pick the new location. Steam will do a "verify on the destination".
    – Yorik
    Mar 10, 2016 at 22:12
  • @Yorik The question is not about games - in my case, they are already on a second drive.
    – Asunez
    Mar 11, 2016 at 9:27

5 Answers 5


You can delete the appcache folder every so often. This just contains data which is cached, it does however get re-downloaded when you restart steam, but the folder size is no where near as big. I freed up 200MBs by doing so, then the next time I launched steam, it became 1MB.

Another option is to right click the steam folder, click on the "Advanced" button and compress the contents of the folder and sub-folders.

Like sn0w had said, you should also delete redist files if you don't need them.


You can reset steam installation as explained here: https://support.steampowered.com/kb_article.php?ref=3134-TIAL-4638

Or use Tools like CCleaner (with CCEnhancer) or TikiOne Steam Cleaner as described here.

  • 1
    Welcome to Arqade. While adding links to your sources is admirable, we'd perfer if you'd also add at least to main points found under those links to the answer proper.
    – DJ Pirtu
    Mar 10, 2016 at 14:39
  • 1
    Adding to what @DJPitu said, this is because if the link that you posted ever goes down, there will still be enough of the answer on Arqade for people to still get help! :)
    – aman207
    Mar 10, 2016 at 14:50
  • You are mabye right, on the other side, i didnt want to "just" copy/paste some content without naming the source. Some years back I cleared that Folder by erasing all filex except steam.exe and one or two dlls, and after restarting, it downloaded all (and only these) necessary components.
    – Martin
    Mar 10, 2016 at 14:55
  • Upvoted your answer for the Steam support link. I used the TikiOne Cleaner, but in the installation folder nothing was found that could be deleted by this software, as mentioned in the notes at the beginning of my question.
    – Asunez
    Mar 10, 2016 at 14:55
  • You can use a treesize-alike tool like "this" one, to see, where exactly the space went: steffengerlach.de/freeware
    – Martin
    Mar 10, 2016 at 14:57

I haven't personally tried this with Steam, but I've used it for "moving" big files off my primary SSD to a big secondary drive.

You should be able to create a symbolic link. That will let you store the Steam folders on another hard drive while making it appear as if folder is where it needs to be for Steam. This gives you the best of both worlds. Steam thinks your files are where it wants, and you don't have those big files taking up excessive space on your 120 GB SSD.

For a little more information you can check out this answer on SuperUser.SE.

  • While this does not meet the OP's crtierion for "not moving the steam client off the SSD", it is a great idea in combination with @ebkr's answer regarding the cache: moving the cache files (often just overlay web browser cruft etc) will free up a decent percentage of the steam client footprint.
    – Yorik
    Mar 10, 2016 at 17:45
  • @Yorik I interpreted the OP's comment to mean that they didn't want to have to reinstall things to run off a different drive, and they didn't necessarily know they could use OS magic to transparently get large files off their SSD. I fully agree with your point that some sort of hybrid approach would probably give them maximum performance with minimal storage penalty on their SSD.
    – Erik
    Mar 10, 2016 at 17:56
  • 1
    I am only reading between the lines: the OP has a separate library folder, speaks about the client install folder, and a response about how a 600GB client folder was possible (it isn't when the library is separate). I admit freely, though, that it is not explicit!
    – Yorik
    Mar 10, 2016 at 18:06
  • @Yorik The "600GB client folder" was an answer to sn0w's comment, which was actually deleted. My Steam client folder weighs only 800MB.
    – Asunez
    Mar 11, 2016 at 16:58
  • @Asunez: my comment was directed to Erik. I think it obvious that I mentioned your comment in support of the idea that you only meant the steam client install without the library. You can also see that I clearly stated that your libraries were in a different location and you were only interested in the small steam client install footprint.
    – Yorik
    Mar 11, 2016 at 17:00

In addition to deleting your appcache folder, you can try a few other things.

One is running steam://flushconfig as described in this Steam knowledgebase article. If there's any cruft lying around in your steam install, this ought to clean it up.

You mentioned screenshots - they are indeed stored in a subfolder of the Steam install folder, specifically in something like:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\userdata\<your user id>\760\remote\<game id>\screenshots

There may be many, many megabytes worth of stuff in here, depending on how frequently you take screenshots. You can safely clean out whatever from this directory, and you could always symlink this directory to some other bulk storage drive if you want.

Finally, my go-to solution for finding large folders and files under Windows is WinDirStat. Point this at your SSD, and it will show you were all the large files are lurking. You can also drill down to your Steam folder and see what folders/files are taking up most of the room.


Your statement I would rather not install Steam on my second drive. is precisely what you should do to be honest.

There is no particular benefit of having Steam on your SSD C:\ drive.

If you disagree, please tell me why.

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