How to fix Steam downloading but not installing games

An annoying aspect of Steam is the problems you can have when downloading games. Sometimes you download a game, and it won’t install correctly. If you download a game and it gets stuck at a percentage, it will stop the download. This doesn’t seem to have a reason to happen and can occur seemingly at random.

Steam doesn’t have direct ways to fix these problems, but you can try one of many potential solutions that may help resolve the issue. If your game downloads but doesn’t install, the first thing you should try is clearing the Steam download cache. This is done in the Steam download settings.

Method – How to clear the Steam download cache

  • Launch Steam.
  • Go to the Steam settings.
  • Go to “Downloads.”
  • Click “Clear download cache.”
  • Press “OK.”
  • Start Steam again.
  • Sign back in.
  • Try downloading again.

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How to fix Steam downloading but not installing games

Sometimes when you download Steam games, you may see the game say it has finished downloading, but it gets stuck at 100% or says it hasn’t been installed. There isn’t a reason for this, nor is there a straightforward solution. Other issues with downloads revolve around slow download speeds or download freezing; you can be attempted to fix all these issues by trying the solutions I have put together in this guide. If none of these work, then the next thing to try is to contact Steam support, as they can offer more advice about the problem. You don’t need to know much about technology to do these; follow the steps, and you’ll be fine.

Possible solutions to Steam download issues

  • Restart Steam
  • Reset your internet connection
  • Clear the download cache
  • Repair Library Folder
  • Verify Local Files
  • Change the download region

Restart Steam

Firstly, in situations where games don’t finish downloading and say they still need to be installed on your library, you should try restarting Steam. This can help by refreshing the app, which will flush the system and help downloads fix or finish. You can restart the app by finding the app icon and right-clicking it. This is usually found on the taskbar or the “hidden icon” menu on the Windows toolbar. After right-clicking, press “Exit” and then restart the app, or you can also restart your computer, as it can help reset things.

Reset your internet connection

Next, you should consider the possibility that your internet is to blame. If your internet is lacking, you should reset it on your device or router. You can check your internet quality using “fast,” a website you can test your download speed against. If it is fine here, you should consider resetting Steam and your internet, then try some other methods on this list.

Clear the download cache

The Steam download cache should be one of the primary things to check on Steam as this can affect and cause many download problems on Steam, mainly downloads not finishing. This is due to the build-up of tiny junk files over time that can cause problems with your downloads. If your Steam download has an issue, you should clear the download cache; it isn’t a sure fix, but it may help. You can find the option to clear the Steam download cache in the Steam downloads setting menu.

Clear the Steam download cache

  • Open the Steam settings.
  • Press “Downloads” on the category menu.
  • Look for the “Clear download cache” option at the bottom of the page.
  • Pressing this option will show a warning box, press “OK,” and log in.

Repair Library Folder

Next, you should look at your Steam library folder, as this folder contains all the games on your device on Steam. You can find this in the Steam downloads settings, which have an option to “repair” the library folder. This can help with problems caused by Steam downloads as it can refresh the folder.

  • Open Steam.
  • Go to the Steam settings.
  • Click “Downloads.”
  • Press “Steam library folders” at the top of the page.
  • Click “…” and press “Repair Folder.”

If this doesn’t help with your download, I recommend installing Steam.

Verify Local Files

A similar method is to verify a game’s local files. However, this only works for games installed on your account; although this may work because the game may be downloaded, it would be worth attempting.

How to verify local files

  • Choose the game you are having issues with within your library.
  • After choosing the game that is giving you issues, right-click it.
  • Right-clicking this will show a list of options; press “Properties.”
  • Click “Local Files” from the list of options.
  • Click “Verify integrity of game files.” This will refresh and flush the game files, so if there are problems with corrupt files, it should help fix them. Depending on the game’s size, this can take a long time to finish.

Change the download region

Steam has a list of servers you can connect to that are split into different regions across the globe. These affect downloads and other small things across Steam, like client updates and server delays, as anything you click must be downloaded from the server. If your download doesn’t finish, you should try changing the region, as it may fix the issue.

  • Revisit the download settings, then choose the download region option. This will show a list of available choices to choose from.

Choose a server that is appropriate for you and press “OK” to save the change.

Stop applications in the background

Another thing to look for is if other applications are open in the background, as these can use your internet and worsen your Steam download. These can be like other game launchers that open on device startup and automatically download games and updates. You can find and close processes by using “Task Manager,” a tool on Windows that shows what processes are open. You can open it using “Ctrl + Alt+ Del” and choose “Task Manager.”

Look for any processes that would use the internet, click them and click “End task” to shut them down.


If Steam gives you the error that stops games from finishing the download, several things you try may fix the issue. This could be restarting Steam, clearing the Steam download cache, and repairing the library files on the Steam download settings. You should contact Steam Support for more information if none of these work.

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