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steam-shortcut-editor v3.1.1

Edit Steam shortcuts


npm i steam-shortcut-editor

Edit Steam Shortcuts using Node.js

Read/Write Steam shortcuts.vdf file. This file is found in $SteamDirectory/userdata/$SteamUserId/config.

After modifying the file, Steam will need to be restarted. If you modify the file, then add a Non-Steam Game using the Steam UI, it will overwrite the file. If the file is not formatted correctly after Steam restarts, it will delete the file. Be sure to backup the file before messing with it.

This has been tested on Windows and various distributions of linux.

Sample Program

To run the sample.js file, the environment variable STEAM_USER_ID should be defined to the Steam id used in the file path to the shortcuts.vdf file. The sample.js will read in shortcuts.vdf, dump the JSON representation to the console, then rewrite the file into shortcuts_write.vdf file.

If not on Windows (or your Steam directory isn't C:/Program Files (x86)/Steam) you can set the Steam directory by setting the environment variable STEAM_DIRECTORY.

Data Contract - Shortcut Object

To add new shortcuts, write an object that looks like:

  "shortcuts": [
      "AppName": "Minecraft - FTB",
      "exe": "\"C:\\Path\\With Space\\To\\some.exe\"",
      "StartDir": "\"C:\\Path\\With Space\\To\\\"",
      "IsHidden": false,
      "icon": '',
      "AllowDesktopConfig": true,
      "OpenVR": false,
      "tags": [
    //.. more shortcut objects
  • AppName: Name shown in Steam. (the casing seems to vary, have seen it appear as appname)
  • exe: Path to exe file to run. Should be within quotes.
  • StartDir: Path to directory to run the exe file within. Should be within quotes. Typically, should be directory containing exe file.
  • icon: Path to icon file. If left blank, will use the icon for the exe file.
  • IsHidden: Should be boolean value.
  • LastPlayTime: Date of last play. To automatically parse this value, include dateProperties: ['LastPlayTime'] in the parser options.
  • tags: Array of tags. If no tags are desired, it should be an empty array.


npm i steam-shortcut-editor --save
var shortcut = require('steam-shortcut-editor');

var filePath = 'full/path/to/shortcuts.vdf';
var writePath = filePath.replace('shortcuts','shortcuts_write');

    { autoConvertArrays: true, autoConvertBooleans: true, dateProperties: ['LastPlayTime']},
function(err, obj, inputBuffer){

        console.log('failed to read '+filePath);

    //Buffer read from file
    console.log('Raw Buffer:', inputBuffer);

    //Parsed Object

    shortcut.writeFile(writePath, obj, function (err) {
            console.log('failed to write '+writePath);



There are two parsing functions exposed:

  • shortcut.parseFile(filePath[, options], callback) : Uses fs to read file as Buffer, then uses shortcut.parseBuffer to parse it.
    • The callback should be function (err, parsedObject, inputBuffer) { ... }
  • shortcut.parseBuffer(buffer[, options])

The parse functions accept an optional options argument. This options argument should be an object the looks like:

    autoConvertBooleans: true,
    autoConvertArrays: true,
    dateProperties: ['LastPlayTime']
  • If autoConvertBooleans is truthy, numbers that equal 1 will be set to true and numbers that equal 0 will be set to false. Handles the common flags within a shortcut object.
  • If autoConvertArrays is truthy, any objects with only numbers for properties (like the shortcuts object) will be changed to be arrays.
  • The dateProperties array is used to indicate properties that should be automatically adjusted from numbers to Date objects. Numbers are adjusted to dates by doing new Date(number * 1000).

If no options are provided, it will use the default settings of { autoConvertBooleans: true, autoConvertArrays: true }.

This library does not make any property name/value assumptions. It is up to you to handle the weird variations in property names. It is also up to you to explicitly include any date properties you need parsed in the dateProperties parse option.


There are two writing functions exposed:

  • shortcut.writeFile(filePath, obj, callback) : Writes the object to the file after converting to a Buffer using shortcut.writeBuffer.
    • The callback should be function (err) { ... }
  • shortcut.writeBuffer(obj) : returns a Buffer that can be written to a file

The writing functions will automatically convert..

  • boolean values to the numbers 1 and 0 (for true and false)
  • Date objects to numbers (using date.valueOf() / 1000)
  • arrays to objects
  • null and undefined to empty string
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