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So after I got Steam to work on my PC Offline I noticed that all the games I have downloaded are showing up in the library as downloaded.....however I know for a fact that only 2 are actually in the steamapps/common folder. This is because with Steam I copied onto a USB drive, the games were copied to a separate folder via as USB Data Link Cable between the PC and Laptop since they wouldn't fit on my USB Drive and the 2 in steamapps/common were a test.

I want to keep the library updated on my PC and because the library is showing that I have games downloaded which don't exist in steamapps/common I figure there are other files which store this data which were copied with the Steam Files. While I could just download all the games onto my Laptop and copy over the updated Steam folder there's 2 problems:

  1. My laptop's hard drive is smaller that my PC's and I download other stuff onto my laptop as well. It'll fill up before my PC does (main problem).

  2. Steam might get an update which may stop my offline mode Steam from working (a concern but warranted).

So aside from the game in steamapps/common what else do I need to copy over/edit to make my game appear in the Steam Library on my PC?

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As you found, the games themselves appear within the steamapps\common folder. But in order for Steam to know about the game, you also need the related appmanifest file. These are found within steamapps folder. Example appmanifest_440.acf is necessary for Team Fortress 2.

On a related note, if you need to check where else Steam thinks games are installed, within the Steam client navigate to Steam>Settings>Downloads>Steam Library Folders.

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So even though this has a completely reasonable answer already...

I had a similar problem where I'd made a backup of my .\SteamApps\common\ folder and reinstalled Steam, expecting that it would detect the ~1000 or so install directories - but because I'd deleted the app manifests in .\SteamApps\ it was showing that nothing was installed.

I could manually go through, click Install on each game, let it detect that the install files were already there - but that involved a lot of clicking, waiting and trying to figure out what games I'd previously installed.

So instead of doing that, I whipped up a Powershell script to do it for me. In a nutshell, it enumerates the folders in .\SteamApps\common\ and matches them up to app Names and IDs. It spits out a list for you to validate, and then creates an app manifest for each discovered game.

https://github.com/ChiefIntegrator/Steam-GetOnTop

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