Do not delete your games from Steam, but backup them!
Steam has a very nice function of letting you backup your games. This is a good feature if you plan not to play with them for a long time as it lets you:
- Free up space on your hard drive
- Save time when you want to re-install the game in the future
- Backup saved games
- Have some sort of physical copy of your game if you have purchased it online
Open steam and go to “Games Library” Tab. By right-clicking a game’s name on the left, a menu will appear:
Simply choose “Backup Game Files” and follow the simple instructions on screen. This will take some time
After you have backed up a game you will have a similar structure to this:
All you have to do is copy the whole folder to a DVD, external hard drive, backup storage, cloud etc and store it until you need it. You may store it wherewer you want as long as you want, just make sure the files are safe, secure and undamaged.
Re-installing a game you have previously backed up is very simple. All you need to do is look for the backup folder and run the steambackup.exe file. The following window will show up:
By clicking “Restore Game backup” Steam will open up asking you to confirm re-installing.
Just click next and the installation will begin. Your game will be installed in minutes instead of hours compared to downloading. (Of course you will need to have sufficient free space on your hard drive, not like me at the moment)
If there was additional game content available, steam will start patching your game. This can take some time, but definitely less than having to download the whole game.
I have started using this feature of Steam recently by removing games I rarely played and creating a backup on an external storage drive. So I can still have my new games installed that I want to play, but in case of need I can rapidly install my beloved old games at the same time.