How to Install DLC on Steam

Go to the Steam Store to purchase DLC, or install DLC with a product key

What to Know

  • Go to your Steam Library, choose your game, and select Store Page. Scroll down and select the DLC you want.
  • In your Library, select the game, go to the DLC section, and select Manage my DLC to enable or turn off extra content.
  • To install DLC with a product key, launch the Steam client, select Add a game, and enter the key.

This article explains how to install downloadable content (DLC) on Steam. Instructions in this article apply to the Steam desktop client for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

How to Download DLC on Steam

To purchase and install DLC directly from Steam:

  1. Launch the Steam client and select Library.

    Library highlighted in Steam
  2. Select your game in the left column.

    A game highlighted in Steam
  3. Select Store Page.

    Store Page highlighted in Steam
  4. Scroll down and select the DLC you want under Content for this game.

    Add all DLC in cart highlighted in Steam
  5. Complete your purchase, then select Install content on the receipt page.

    Install content highlighted on Steam

What Is DLC on Steam?

Downloadable content is extra content that players can download after purchasing a game. DLC can include additional levels, new features, and cosmetic extras like character outfits and skins. Steam collaborates with game developers to offer DLC in its online store.

Many games offer DLC as in-app purchases, but you can also purchase DLC directly from Steam, or you can use a product key purchased elsewhere. Most DLC purchased from Steam installs automatically, but some games require DLC to be authorized through a third-party app. Other games require a verification code to activate DLC.

How to Manage DLC on Steam

Now, when you select the game in your Library, you'll see a DLC section. Select Manage my DLC to enable or turn off your extra content.

Manage my DLC highlighted in Steam

Another way to manage your DLC in Steam is to right-click the game and select Properties. In the Properties menu, select the DLC tab to see all installed DLC for the game.

DLC tab highlighted in Steam properties

How to Install DLC on Steam With a Product Key

Steam keys can be purchased from various vendors and work like traditional product keys that come packaged with physical copies of games. If you purchase a game with DLC from a store, the key for the DLC may be printed on your recipient or on a special card included in the game's case. Sometimes when you buy content from Steam or other online retailers, the developer will send you an email with a product key.

Beware of websites that offer "free" product keys for Steam. Such sites often contain malware that can collect your private data.

To activate DLC on Steam with a key:

  1. Launch the Steam client and select Add a game in the bottom-left corner, then select Activate a Product on Steam in the pop-up window.

    Activate a Product on Steam highlighted in Steam
  2. Select Next, then accept the Steam subscriber agreement.

    Next highlighted in the Steam Product activation menu
  3. Enter the key under Product Code and select Next to install the content.

    Product Code highlighted in Steam

How to Troubleshoot DLC on Steam

If your Steam DLC is not installed right away, check your email to make sure there aren't additional steps required to activate the content, then try these steps in order:

  1. Check your downloads. Go to your Downloads page to see if the download is still in progress. If the download is stalled, or if the installation was successful yet the DLC is still not working, move on to the next step.

    Downloads highlighted in Steam
  2. Restart the Steam client. Select Steam > Exit in the top-left corner, then reopen the program.

    Exit highlighted in Steam
  3. Reconnect to the Steam servers. Select your username in the top-right corner, then select Log out of account. The Steam client will close, and you must provide your password to log back in.

    Log out of account highlighted in Steam
  4. Restart your computer. Restarting your system can often resolve software installation issues.

    Restart highlighted in Windows 10
  5. Validate the game files. Open the Properties menu for the game and select the Local Files tab, then select Verify Integrity of Game Files. Steam will automatically repair any files that need it.

    Local Files and Verify Integrity of Game Files highlighted in steam
  6. Check the Community Hub. See if anyone else has reported similar issues on the game's Community page. If so, you'll likely find suggestions for how to fix the problem.

    Community tab highlighted in Steam
  7. Wait a while. Sometimes the Steam servers get overwhelmed, so you just have to be patient. You can check the SteamStatus website to see what traffic is like in your region. highlighted in the Chrome URL address bar
  8. Report the issue to Steam. If your DLC still isn't working, visit Steam's customer support page. Sign into your account and select the content you're having problems with for further help. highlighted in the Chrome URL address bar
  • How do I refund DLC on Steam?

    To get a refund on Steam for DLC, go to the Steam support page, log in with your account, and select the title you want to refund in your recent purchases. If you don't see the option for a refund, then your DLC is no longer refundable.

  • How do I uninstall DLC on Steam?

    Go to the game in your Library, select Manage my DLC in the DLC section. and uncheck Install next to the DLC. Or, right-click the game and select Properties > DLC, then uncheck Install.

  • Can I add torrented DLC to Steam games?

    No. Installing pirated software violates Steam's policies and is against the law in most places.

Was this page helpful?