Steam allows you to add non-steam games to the client. However to do this you have to click the "add non-steam game" button and find the game in the list of all installed programs. I find this kind of a pain, and was wondering if there is an alternative?

Perhaps a folder somewhere inside the Steam folder where I can just drop the shortcut created by the installed game?

I know this seems like a very small annoyance, but still, just in case.

Edit: After some more searching I found there are multiple people asking for improvements to the non-steam games system. All are quite old questions, without much activity.

4 Answers 4


I do suggest using GOG Galaxy, which allows you to connect to Steam, Epic, Origin etc - all in one place.

  • This was what I was using on my windows machine as well once it came out. Works like a charm! Best option now on Windows I think.
    – The Oddler
    Commented Aug 1, 2022 at 15:36
  • Switching the accepted answer to this, even though it's not exactly what is asked, it does solve the spirit of the question in my eyes at least.
    – The Oddler
    Commented Aug 1, 2022 at 15:37

The shortcuts, for non-steam games, are not stored in a folder, like you may be hoping, unfortunately.

You can find the shortcuts in a binary VDF (Valve) file, at {driveletter}:\Steam\userdata\{userID}\config\shortcuts.vdf

userID is a numerical representation of your steam account, but unless you have had others login to your machine, with their steam account, you should only have one to look through.

While you can modify the file with a hex editor to tweak things, you will probably not have much luck actually adding new data to the file.

The contents (in a normal ASCII viewer) will look similar to this, if you have the right file: enter image description here

I ran a cursory search, for you, for VDF editors and while there are some (like this), it probably cannot do what you are attempting and would, quite frankly, be far more convoluted than simply adding the non-steam shortcut by hand.

Short answer to your question: No, I don't believe there is, currently, a way to do this, within steam. The Valve devs don't appear to value this feature enough to enhance it, currently.

  • Yea, this is what I was affraid of. Though everything I could find was old, so there was hope :( Thanks!
    – The Oddler
    Commented Dec 12, 2016 at 22:22

There are multiple programs that can help you with that these days. For example:

  • BoilR - which is very easy to use because it offers very little configuration. You just click "import" and it'll do the rest.
  • Steam ROM Manager - which is highly configurable so more complex, but has presets for different sources which should help. It can create Collections inside Steam, too.

Both are available for Windows, MacOS and Linux.

Then there are game managers like Lutris (Linux) and Gamehub (Linux) which can add games one by one, too, once set up inside them.

The former currently doesn't setup game covers and the latter only the tall one. But you can use SGDBoop to install covers in Steam directly from the SteamGridDB website.


You could use steamsync to add games from several storefronts: Epic Game Store, Windows Store/Xbox, itch.io.

Or look at how it modifies the shortcuts.vdf to define your own set of games (from any store) to add.

If you have Python installed, you can install and run steamsync so it syncs all your games (it will output more instructions):

pip install steamsync
steamsync --all

steamsync also has a gui version that you can get on its github page.


You must log in to answer this question.

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