What is Steam Common Redistributables [Complete guide]

by Loredana Harsana
Loredana Harsana
Loredana Harsana
Managing Editor
Loredana is a passionate writer with a keen interest in PC software and technology. She started off writing about mobile phones back when Samsung Galaxy S II was... read more
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  • Steam Common Redistributables have been creating some fuzz around players as they were confused about what they are and what they do.
  • To use them, you will need to access your Steamworks App Admin panel, then go to the Install tab.
  • If you want to hide them from showing up in between your games, you can do so by right-clicking on it then tapping on Manage.
steamworks home steam common redistributables

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Steam is a cloud-based game distribution service, also known as a gaming library, that was built by Valve Corporation. It enables customers to download and play their purchased games on any device they choose, as well as on several PCs simultaneously.

Have you ever noticed the phrase Steamworks Common Redistributables in your Steam library and wondered what it was or where it came from? If so, you’re not alone.

Follow along as we will show you how you can use and why you shouldn’t delete them, right after we see what they do for you more specifically. Keep up with us!

What do Steam Common Redistributables do?

Games require specific components to be installed on your computer in order to function properly, such as DirectX, Microsoft Visual C++,.NET Framework, and so on. Furthermore, these components are required by a number of games in order for them to work properly on your computer.

It wasn’t long ago that, when installing games, users were required to run installers for these components (known as redistributables) on each and every new one that they downloaded and installed.

As you might guess, this resulted in duplication of effort and increased workloads for both the developers and the end-users alike.

steamworks common red steam common redistributables

During the development of their software, every game developer was required to include installers for all of these components, and when installing several of them, users were required to execute these installers at each stage of the installation process.

However, with the addition of Steamworks Common Redistributables, all of the necessary and shared features will be installed whenever a game that requires them is installed for the first time on a computer.

As a result, the redistributables are nothing more than a collection of one-time-install applications that are required by apps in order for them to function correctly. The install scripts for them are generated and managed by Valve, which ensures that they are up to date.

This set of Steamworks Common Redistributables includes the following programs, which are available for both 32- and 64-bit versions of the operating system: DirectX 9, Microsoft Visual C++, .NET Framework, XNA, OpenAL and PhysX.

How can I use Steam Common Redistributables?

1. Use the Steamworks App Admin panel

  1. If you’re a developer and want to opt in to the common redistributables, you will need to open your Steamworks App Admin panel.
  2. Now go to the Installation tab, followed by Redistributables.
  3. Then check the checkboxes for the redistributables that your game or app requires, and publish your changes.

It is important to note that you do not need to be concerned with changing or otherwise interfering with the Steamworks Common Redistributables files. Steam optimizes and updates them automatically, allowing you to save storage space in the process.

It is not recommended to delete the common redistributables folder. It contains files that are required for the proper operation of games; if you do not have them, your games may fail to launch or may crash completely.

2. Hide the Steam Common Redistributables

  1. Open your Steam Library and right-click on the Steamworks Common Redistributables folder followed by Manage.steam-manage steam common redistributables
  2. Now you will see the option to hide the game which you will have to select in order to do so.steam-hide steam common redistributables

Should I get rid of Steam Common Redistributables?

No, do not remove the Steamworks Common Redistributables from your computer. Unless you have those files, any game you download will crash during its initialization phase. They, on the other hand, allow you to save space and time when you download a new one.

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As soon as you download a new game, it will search through the available common redistributables files for the components it needs to integrate with its files in order for it to function properly. It is possible that removing these files can cause you trouble in the future.

Although you may have deleted the common redistributables files, it will still attempt to download them from Steam in the background so that it may continue to function. So, in essence, you won’t be able to completely remove the files from your computer.

 settings steam common redistributables

Steam has made it a priority to optimize their files, as well as any subsequent upgrades, for all games running on Windows-based computer systems.

You won’t have to worry about running out of space or manually updating them. The presence of this ubiquitous redistributables folder can be a little inconvenient, to say the least. Initially, Steam would conceal the folder, and everything would continue to function normally.

But, after a recent upgrade, they began displaying this folder, which was met with displeasure by many. There is, however, a solution that allows you to conceal the folder so that it does not appear in your Steam library.

You should now understand what Steam Common Redistributables are and how vital they are for any games that you purchase through the platform.

Remember that the folder is there to assist you in saving space and time, so there is no need to delete it completely. You have the option of hiding it and allowing it to continue working in the background.

You will be pleasantly surprised to find out that you can run old games on Windows 11. Make sure to take a look at the article linked to learn how you can do it as well.

Users have benefited from reading our post on how to install a Windows 11 skin on your Steam app, so you might want to check it out too.

Alternatively, if you encounter some bugs in Steam, we have prepared a guide on what to do if Steam is not signing in to Friends on Windows 11.

We hope that our guide helped you out in the end. Let us know in the comments section below what you think of it. Thanks for reading!

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