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Sunday, February 25, 2024

Steam’s new layout is hiding my screenshots from me and this is the worst minor inconvenience of my week

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Steam’s interface is about to change again—or has already if you’re in the Steam Client beta—and I’ve been on the receiving end of enough site design changes in my life to know it won’t feel so wrong for too long. Except that Valve managed to make the already bad Screenshot Manager window even worse and it’s ruining my week.

Valve released an update to Steam’s interface last week on the Steam beta client and at first I was pleasantly surprised. I’m into the new look generally but I also noticed my much-used Screenshot Manager window (formerly Screenshot Uploader) had finally gotten a little love. Until the update, it had looked like this for years:

It was a bit clunky and ugly, but all I ever really used it for was hitting the dropdown menu to find a game and then hitting the “show on disk” button so I can actually manage those screenshots in my own file explorer. Then this week I updated my client and my first reaction was “oh, it looks nice!” 

I was glad to get an app redesign that I didn’t immediately hate. But I was a fool to be glad.

Just hours later I hit that dropdown menu as usual, but the only two items are my two most recently played games: Cassette Beasts and the demo for Tiny Life. Where is my full list of games, Steam? I need my screenshots folder for Roots of Pacha to show a friend the progress on my farm. I need my Phasmophobia folder to find that screenshot of a pal rave dancing in the truck in VR.

For the lot of us swapping shots on Discord or pulling them up in Paint to do a bit of cropping, maybe a little memeing, this is a devastating minor inconvenience. Because manually finding your steam screenshot folder for a particular game involves knowing its numerical Steam app ID number. 

If you want your Phasmo shots, for instance, that’ll be at C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\userdata\[user ID]\760\remote\739630\screenshots.

I should be able to just go to View>Screenshots in the top of my Steam app bar, find my game by its actual name in the dropdown list, and hit that nice new open folder button. If it worked, that is. Valve has released three sets of fixes since the initial redesign, including other issues with the Screenshot Manager, but not the lack of a full list. I sure hope it isn’t supposed to be this way.

Even folks who just upload screenshots from their latest session to their Steam profile aren’t having a much better time. Over in the feedback for the update many can’t get screenshots to upload publicly, only with the visibility set to “private.” It also only shows the most recent 30 screenshots, so if you took a ton in one day or are just trying to upload something older, you’re out of luck.

If you’ve been similarly afflicted and didn’t remember that you’re in the Steam beta (I didn’t) you can opt out under Steam > Settings > Interface > Client Beta Participation. With any luck, it’s just a set of small oversights that will be corrected before the update gets to every other Steam user out there.

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