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How to Uninstall Steam on Your Mac: 2 Quick Ways

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Last updated: October 21, 2023

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TL;DR

To uninstall Steam on your Mac, you can move the application to Bin and delete its service files manually from the ~/Library/Application Support directory. You can also use utility software like MacKeeper for a more thorough removal.

Key Points

  • You may need to uninstall Steam for various reasons, such as freeing up storage space, addressing performance issues, technical glitches, digital decluttering, switching gaming platforms, or security concerns.
  • Manual uninstallation requires removing the Steam app and its service files located in the ~/Library/Application Support directory.
  • While uninstalling Steam doesn’t delete your games, accessing them again requires a Steam reinstallation.
  • If faced with issues during uninstallation, ensure Steam is not running, check for locked files, or consider using third-party app cleaners.

If you’re on a digital detox and decluttering spree and Steam is on your uninstallation hit list, you’re in the right place! Steam, the gaming giant by Valve Corporation, is fantastic, but sometimes you just need that extra space or a fresh start.

This guide is your quick ticket to reclaiming space. Dive in as I unveil super-efficient ways to uninstall Steam on your Mac, ensuring every byte of it is gone. Let’s dive in.

Before We Begin

Uninstalling apps on Mac is easy, but it usually leaves leftover files tucked in hidden corners of your system. To avoid app leftovers, you should consider using MacKeeper to uninstall Steam on your Mac. It uninstalls apps without leaving any traces behind.

Why Uninstall Steam on Your Mac?

There are several reasons why you might consider uninstalling Steam from your Mac. Some common reasons for uninstalling Steam on your Mac are as follows:

  1. 🚀 Free Up Storage Space: Games and their associated files can consume a significant amount of storage. Removing Steam and its games can free up space on your Mac hard drive if you’re running low on gigabytes.
  2. 🐢 Performance Issues: Some users have reported that Steam can sometimes cause their Mac to slow down or behave erratically. Uninstalling the application might resolve these issues.
  3. ❗ Rare Technical Glitches: On occasion, Steam might encounter errors that prevent it from updating or launching games correctly. A fresh reinstall can often fix these glitches.
  4. 🧹 Digital Declutter: In the spirit of digital minimalism, you might want to reduce the number of apps and distractions on your device.
  5. 🔄 Switching Platforms: If you’re transitioning to a different gaming platform or device, you might want to remove Steam from your Mac.
  6. 🔒 Safety and Security: While Steam is generally safe, no platform is completely immune to vulnerabilities. If you’re concerned about potential security risks, you might opt to uninstall it.
  7. ⏸️ Temporary Removal: You might want to uninstall Steam temporarily to reinstall it later or prevent distractions during work or study periods.

How to Uninstall Steam on Your Mac

Now that you know why, you might want to uninstall Steam. So, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. Whether you’re a tech-savvy individual or just starting to get familiar with the Mac ecosystem, I’ve got you covered.

Let’s explore the methods to uninstall Steam from your Mac seamlessly.

1. Manually Uninstall Steam on Your Mac

Manually uninstalling Steam from your Mac involves a few more steps than simply dragging the app to the Bin. If you prefer a more automated approach, move on to the next method.

To manually uninstall Steam and its associated files, follow these steps:

  1. Before you start, make sure Steam is not running. To quit Steam, click Steam in the menu bar and select Quit Steam.
click steam and select quit
  1. Launch Finder and click Applications in the left sidebar to open the folder.
click applications in the left sidebar
  1. Find the Steam app in the Applications folder.
steam app in applications folder
  1. Drag the Steam app to the Bin or right-click the app and select Move to Bin.
right click the steam app and select move to bin
  1. To delete Steam’s service files, open Finder, click the Go menu, and select Go to Folder.
click go in the menu bar and select go to folder
  1. Enter the following path and press Enter:
~/Library/Application Support
type library application support
  1. Locate the Steam folder, then right-click and choose Move to Bin.
right click the steam folder and select move to bin
  1. Once done, right-click the Bin icon in the Dock and select Empty Bin to permanently delete Steam with its related files from your Mac.
right click the bin and select empty bin
  1. You can also search for Steam files or folders in the following locations:
~Library/Caches/
~Library/Cookies/
~Library/Logs/
~Library/Preferences/

Manually uninstalling Steam will also remove all your game content. If you plan to reinstall Steam later and don’t want to re-download all your games, consider backing up the SteamApps folder in ~/Library/Application Support/Steam before deleting it.

By following these steps, you’ve successfully uninstalled Steam and its leftovers from your Mac manually. 

2. Uninstall Steam With Its Leftover Files Using MacKeeper

MacKeeper is a utility software designed to optimize and clean up your Mac. One of its features is the ability to uninstall applications and their associated files thoroughly. This is like a one-click solution that eliminates the need to identify and delete leftover files manually.

Here’s how you can use MacKeeper to uninstall Steam:

  1. Download and install MacKeeper on your Mac.
  2. Launch MacKeeper and click the Smart Uninstaller in the left-hand menu.
click smart uninstaller in the left sidebar
  1. Click Start Scan.
click start scan in smart uninstaller
  1. Click Applications in the left pane and select Steam from the list. Then, click Remove Selected.
select steam from the applications list and click remove selected
  1. Tap the Remove button on the pop-up to confirm the deletion.
click remove on the pop up window in smart uninstaller
  1. MacKeeper will uninstall Steam and you’ll get a Removal Completed notification. Click Rescan.
click rescan in smart uninstaller
  1. When the scan completes, click Leftovers in the left sidebar to remove associated files and folders.
click leftovers in the left sidebar of smart uninstaller
  1. Select the leftover files you want to delete in the right pane and click Remove Selected.
select the leftover files you want to delete and click remove selected
  1. Tap the Remove button to confirm the removal.
click remove on the pop up in smart uninstaller
  1. This will remove your selected app leftovers, and you’ll get a Removal Completed notification.
click rescan in smart uninstaller

What Else Can MacKeeper Do?

MacKeeper can help you uninstall apps on your Mac with leftovers, but that’s not all. It can also delete cache files on your Mac, manage login items, and remove duplicate files. You can learn more about it in my MacKeeper review.

How to Delete a Game From Steam

In the following section, I’ll guide you through the straightforward process of deleting individual games from Steam on your Mac, ensuring you have more room for new adventures and experiences. Ready to refresh your gaming library? Let’s dive in!

a. Uninstall Steam Games Without Removing Steam

Finished a game on Steam and don’t plan to play it again soon? Don’t let it hog space on your Mac! But instead of uninstalling the entire Steam platform, you can just remove the individual game, freeing up storage for new ones.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to uninstall Steam games without removing the Steam app:

  1. Open Steam on your Mac and ensure you’re signed in.
  2. Navigate to Library at the top.
click library in steam
  1. Click All on the left to display all your games.
click all in the left sidebar of steam
  1. Find and select the game you wish to remove.
click the game you want to remove in steam
  1. In the game’s interface, click the gear icon on the right, then navigate to Manage > Uninstall.
click the gear icon navigate to manage and select uninstall
  1. Alternatively, right-click the game title and choose Manage > Uninstall.
right click a game navigate to manage and select uninstall
  1. A confirmation window will pop up. Click Uninstall to proceed with the game’s removal.
click uninstall on the pop up to uninstall a game
  1. Steam will then proceed to uninstall the chosen game.

Don’t worry if the game still shows in your library post-deletion. Should nostalgia strike, you can always redownload and dive back in.

b. Uninstall Steam Games Without Steam

Suppose you’ve removed Steam from your Mac, but the games remain. Wondering if you can get rid of those games without the Steam app? The answer is yes! Even without Steam, you can delete its games because Steam saves each game in its separate folder.

To delete these game folders, follow these steps:

  1. Open a Finder window.
  2. While holding the Option ⌥ key, click the Go menu at the top and choose Library.
click library under go in the context menu
  1. Navigate to the Application Support folder in Library.
open the application support folder in library
  1. Open the Steam folder in Application Support.
open the steam folder in application support
  1. Find the steamapps folder and open common.
open common folder in steamapps
  1. Here, you’ll see folders for all your games. To delete a game, right-click its folder and choose Move to Bin.
right click a game folder and select move to bin

How to Delete Your Steam Account

Deleting your Steam account is a significant step, as it permanently removes all your games, achievements, and other associated data. If you’re sure about this decision, here’s how you can proceed:

  1. Before you start, ensure you’ve backed up any important game saves or data you might want to access.
  2. Visit the Steam website and click Login in the top-right corner to log in to your account.
click login on steam homepage
  1. Once logged in, navigate to the Steam Support page.
click support to go to steam support page
  1. Select My Account on the Steam Support page.
click my account on steam support page
  1. Choose Data Related to Your Steam Account. This will lead you to a page with various options related to your account data.
click data related to your steam account
  1. Click General Account Details.
click general account details in steam support
  1. Click Delete My Steam Account.
click delete my steam account in general account details
  1. This option will guide you through the process of account deletion. Steam will provide steps and warnings to ensure you understand the implications of deleting your account.
  2. Once you’ve completed the process, Steam will take some time (typically a few weeks) to verify and process the account deletion. You can cancel the deletion request during this period if you change your mind.
  3. After the waiting period, your account will be permanently deleted, and you won’t be able to recover any data associated with it.

Remember, deleting your Steam account is irreversible. All your purchased games, achievements, friends, and other data will be lost forever. Consider deactivating or securing your account if you’re unsure about permanent deletion.

How to Reinstall Steam on Your Mac

Reinstalling Steam on your Mac is a straightforward process. Whether you’ve previously uninstalled it or are facing issues that require a fresh installation, here’s how you can get Steam back on your Mac:

  1. Visit the official Steam website.
  2. Click the Install Steam button at the top right corner of the page.
click install steam on steam homepage
  1. This will download the Steam installer for Mac.
  2. Navigate to your Downloads folder, locate the Steam.dmg file, and double-click on it to open.
double click the steam dmg file
  1. A new window with the Steam logo and a shortcut to the Applications folder will pop up. Drag the Steam logo into the Applications folder. This action will copy the Steam application to your Mac.
drag steam icon to applications folder
  1. Go to your Applications folder and find the Steam app.
steam app in applications folder
  1. Double-click the Steam app to launch it. On the first launch, after a fresh installation, Steam might need to update itself. Allow it to download and install any updates.
  2. Once Steam launches, you’ll be prompted to log in to your existing account or create a new one.
  3. If you’ve used Steam before, log in with your credentials. All your games, friends, and achievements will be available as they were before.

If you installed games before uninstalling Steam, they might still be on your Mac. After reinstalling Steam, it should recognize previously installed games, but if it doesn’t, you can direct Steam to the location or reinstall the games.

Why Won’t Steam Delete on Your Mac?

If you’re having trouble deleting Steam from your Mac, there could be several reasons behind it. Here are some common issues and their potential solutions:

  1. 🔄 Steam is Still Running: Before you can delete Steam, ensure the application is completely closed. Right-click the Steam icon in the dock and select Quit. Alternatively, use the Activity Monitor to force quit the application if it’s not responding.
right click steam in dock and select quit
  1. 🔒 Locked Files or Permissions Issues: Some files might be locked or have permissions that prevent deletion. You can check file permissions by right-clicking the file or folder, selecting Get Info, and looking under Sharing & Permissions.
  2. 💾 Corrupted Files: Sometimes, corrupted files can prevent an application from being deleted. In such cases, you might need to use a third-party app cleaner or uninstaller to remove Steam and its associated files.
  3. 🔄 Active Processes in the Background: Steam might have background processes still running, preventing its deletion. Open the Activity Monitor, search for any processes related to Steam, and force quit them.
  4. ❗ System or Disk Errors: Rarely, system or disk errors can interfere with the deletion of applications. Consider running a disk utility check or restarting your Mac to resolve potential errors.
  5. 🚫 Third-party Software Conflicts: Other software on your Mac might interfere with your ability to delete applications. If you suspect this, try booting your Mac in Safe Mode and attempt to delete Steam.
  6. ⚠️ Incomplete or Failed Updates: If Steam was in the middle of an update and something went wrong, it might be in a state where it can’t be easily deleted. Try launching Steam to see if it completes the update, then attempt to delete it again.

If you’ve tried the above solutions and still can’t delete Steam, consider seeking help from Apple support or visiting an Apple Store. They might provide insights specific to your Mac’s situation.

Uninstall Steam on Your Mac Without Any Hiccups

While Steam offers a vast gaming universe, there might be times when you need to declutter or troubleshoot by uninstalling the platform from your Mac. Whether you choose the manual route or employ tools like MacKeeper, it’s essential to follow the steps carefully.

Here are some more tips:

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Does uninstalling Steam delete my games?

    No, uninstalling Steam doesn’t delete your games. While the Steam application is removed, game files remain on your computer. However, to play them again, you’ll need to reinstall Steam and possibly re-download the games, but your progress and achievements will be retained if synced with your account.

  2. Can I uninstall Steam and keep my games?

    Yes, you can uninstall Steam and keep your games. The game files remain on your computer even after Steam is removed. However, to access them again, you’ll need to reinstall Steam. Your game progress and achievements are preserved if they’re synced with your account.

  3. Do I need Steam installed to play games?

    Yes, you need Steam installed to play games purchased through Steam. It manages game updates, user authentication, and multiplayer features. Some games might have DRM-free versions available elsewhere, but Steam-bought titles require the client.

Hashir Ibrahim

Author

I'm Hashir, a tech journalist with a decade of experience. My work has been featured in some of the top tech publications like MakeUseOf and MakeTechEasier. I have a bachelor's degree in IT, a master's in cybersecurity, and extensive knowledge of Apple hardware, specifically MacBooks. As the senior writer at MacBook Journal, I write in depth guides that help you solve any issues you have with your mac and unbiased reviews that help you make the right buying decisions.

Ojash

Reviewer

Hi there! I'm Ojash, a tech journalist with over a decade of experience in the industry. I've had the privilege of contributing to some of the world's largest tech publications, making my mark as a respected Mac expert. My passion lies in exploring, using, and writing about MacBooks, and I enjoy sharing my expertise to help others make informed decisions and get the most out of their MacBook experience. Join me as we delve into the fascinating world of MacBooks together!

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