Steam Missing Downloaded Files. How to Recover?

Why is Steam missing downloaded files? Don’t be frustrated; check out this post and get help to fix this issue with several feasible solutions.


By Lora / Updated on April 2, 2024

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What does Steam mean when it says missing downloaded files?

Players all over the world are having fun and purchasing their preferred games on various game stores and platforms. E.g., Nintendo, PlayStation Store, Epic, Uplay, and Steam.

Steam is one of the biggest game stores worldwide, with 120 million monthly active users in 2020. The games released on Steam have an increase of about 28% over the previous year.

As a well-developed and advanced game store, Steam offers a great user experience for all players. Yet, problems won’t let go of players all the time.

For instance, some players don’t know where Steam screenshots are saved. And sometimes, they will meet errors, too. A bunch of users has reported that they encountered the Steam Missing Downloaded Files error.


Downloaded Files Missing?


I keep trying to move and download games onto an external hard drive and any time the download should be complete; it goes "Downloaded Files Missing". I have made a steam library in the external drive, deleted it and made a new one, cleared my download cache, and anything else I could do to possibly help.


- Question from Steam Community


Suppose you are one of them; you could check out this post and get some help to solve the Missing Downloaded Files Steam error. Before that, let’s figure out why this issue occurs.


Why are downloaded files missing?

Finding the cause of the problem can help you solve it better. This issue may result from many reasons.

  • Downloaded files are corrupted. If the downloaded files get corrupted, the file cannot start, open, or update properly.
  • The game file is not complete. If the game isn’t downloaded correctly and has some parts of it missing, you may find textures or audio lost, or the game may crash.
  • Downloaded files are deleted. Similarly, if you have accidentally deleted the downloaded files, the game cannot start as usual.
  • Software crashes. Players may meet downloading or updating problems when Steam crashes due to power surges, viruses, etc.

Some corresponding methods are prepared below.

Troubleshoot: Steam Missing Downloaded Files

Multiple viable solutions are ready. Check out the following sections.

Solution 1. Restart Steam and the game

If the Steam download Missing Downloaded Files error occurs, you may first try rebooting your PC. A PC restart refreshes system status and caches, resets programs, and unlocks resources occupied.

When you meet disk issues, you could also restart to repair hard drive errors.

>> Try restarting Steam; if not working, reboot your PC.

Solution 2. Reinstall the game

If you keep receiving the error after restarting, try reinstalling the game. Reinstalling is also a necessary measure when the software or system runs into problems.

For example, some users will need to learn how to reinstall Windows 10 without losing data.

>> Start Steam > Settings > Downloads CLEAR DOWNLOAD CACHE.


If this does not work, then try reinstalling the game.

>> Locate the game that runs into problems in Library > Manage > Uninstall.


Now, see if the issue has been addressed successfully.

Solution 3. Verify the integrity of game files

If the fixes cannot help you solve the Steam Missing Downloaded Files issue, Steam might not be the case, but the PC.

Hardware corruption, software failure, power surges, etc., might lead to file corruption or loss in Steam or the game.

Try to verify the correctness of the game files.

>> Go to the Library > locate the malfunctioned game > PROPERTIES > click LOCAL FILES in the drop-down menu > Verify integrity of game files.


Except for file corruption or loss caused by software failure, antivirus may also remove your files silently.

For example, some users find that exe files get automatically deleted in Windows 10. The Windows Defender is the case.

You could also check whether the downloaded files were quarantined/removed by your antivirus programs.

Solution 4. Recover the lost or deleted game files

Apart from viruses, power surges, and software crashes, files can also get lost due to deletion. If all these fixes cannot help you fix the Steam missing downloaded files issue, the files might have been deleted.

In this case, using an effective Windows data recovery program is considerably more practical and simple.

When dealing with data loss on HDD, SSD, SD card, or USB, MyRecover is the finest option. Being a cutting-edge data recovery tool, it has effective scanning techniques and algorithms.

Comprehensive. Data loss due to deletion, disk formatting, recycle bin emptying, viruses, system crashes, etc., are all recoverable. 
Convenient. Recover lost and destroyed data while maintaining all formats, filenames, and folders. 
Efficient. More than 200 different sorts of data can get recovered with a high recovery rate and speed. 
Compatible. Windows 11/10/8/7 SP1/Server-compatible.
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Step 1. Download and start the app > hover the mouse over the drive which contains the Steam/game files > click Scan.


Step 2. During scanning, you can sort the scanned files by Size, Type, Date modified, etc.


Step 3. Go to Deleted files > go to the Steam folder > select the deleted files > click Recover x files.


In addition, this app can help you deal with Terraria Load Failed No Backup Found error and recover the deleted Terraria world.

Minimize data loss risk in the future

This tutorial has addressed the Steam Missing Downloaded Files error with detailed fixes can info.

Players could try restarting Steam and the PC, reinstalling the game, seeking the quarantined files in the antivirus quarantined list, or turning to the professional data recovery app for Windows to get back the deleted game files.

To reduce data loss risk, it is better to take some measures.

  • Do not visit suspicious sites from untrusted emails or messages.
  • Update your Steam, antivirus, and your system timely.
  • Back up your Steam or game files using professional data backup software for Windows.
Lora · Editor
Lora is an editor of AOMEI Technology. She is also a tester and editor of AOMEI Data Recovery Tools. -- "Keep testing, write the most useful tutorials for helping people recover the lost data for Windows and phones" is the most meaningful thing for her. Dedicated to creating helpful tutorials, she hopes her tutorial can assist users to effortlessly solve data loss problems on their personal computers and mobile phones.