Maybe your download of a Steam game got hung up. Or, maybe you’re having issues restarting a download you previously had to stop. No matter the reason the first thing you should do to try and fix the issue is to clear your Steam download cache and then try downloading the game again.
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Steps to Clear Steam Download Cache
- Launch the Steam app on your computer.
- Click “Steam” in the menu along the top of the screen to open a drop-down menu, and then click “Settings” in the menu.
- Click “Downloads” in the menu on the left side of the screen. Downloads options are shown on the right side of the screen.
- Click “Clear Download Cache” on this screen. A Clear Download Cache window pops up, letting you know that moving forward will clear your local download cache and you will need to log in to Steam again.
- Click “OK.” Your Steam download cache will be cleared and you’ll need to re-launch Steam again and log in with your account.
Reasons to Clear Steam Game Download Cache
There are a few good reasons you may want to clear your Steam game download cache:
1. Fix Corrupted Game Files
Clearing your Steam game download cache can help you fix corrupted game files. These files can cause various issues like crashes, freezes, and bugs. To resolve these issues, you need to delete the corrupted files and redownload them. Clearing your download cache is the first step in this process. This will help ensure that you receive a fresh set of game files.
2. Free Up Hard Drive Space
Over time, your Steam download cache can accumulate a lot of data. This data can take up a significant amount of space on your hard drive, slowing down your computer and reducing its overall performance. By clearing your Steam game download cache, you can free up hard drive space, which can help your computer run faster and more smoothly.
3. Resolve Download/Update Issues
Sometimes, Steam downloads and updates can get stuck or fail to complete. Clearing your Steam game download cache can help you resolve these issues. By starting with a clean slate, you can ensure that your downloads and updates start from scratch, and you avoid any residual data that might be causing the problem.
4. Improve Download Speed
Clearing your Steam game download cache can also help improve download speeds. When you download games or updates, Steam stores data in its cache, which it uses to resume interrupted downloads. Over time, this cache can grow large, which can slow down your downloads. Clearing your cache will delete this data and allow Steam to download new data more quickly.
5. Reduce Storage Space Taken by Redundant Files
Clearing your Steam game download cache can also help reduce the storage space taken by redundant files. Over time, your cache can accumulate files that are no longer needed, like old versions of game updates. Clearing your cache will delete these redundant files, freeing up storage space and making it easier to manage your games and updates.
Risks Associated with Clearing Steam Game Download Cache
It’s important to keep in mind that while there are some good reasons to clear your Steam game download cache, there are some risks you’ll need to be mindful of:
- Incomplete Downloads: Clearing the cache terminates ongoing downloads, leading to lost progress and prolonged download times.
- Corrupted Game Files: Interrupting downloads can cause severe damage to your game files, rendering them unplayable.
- Re-downloading from Scratch: Clearing the cache deletes partially downloaded files, forcing you to start over from the beginning.
- Limited Storage Space: Clearing the cache frees up space, but it can fill up just as fast as new downloads commence.
- Technical Issues: Clearing the cache may cause technical difficulties, such as error messages or the Steam client failing to launch.