Ever wanted to uninstall Steam on your computer? Uninstalling Steam may result in losing your Steam games already in your computer that has been downloaded using Steam. You might not want to wait for downloading those same games again unless you have an extremely fast and stable internet connection and you do not care to download all of them over again. I am guessing that most of you might not want to go through all those downloads over again. That’s why we are crafting an article on backing up your Steam games.
1. Backup from Steam Library
You can backup your games from your Steam library. Steam creates a backup for you which can be restored at a later time when you decide to install the game again. You can backup your games from the Steam library by following these steps.
- Open Steam.
- Right-click on the game that you want to backup.
- Click Properties from the context menu.
- Go to the Local Files tab.
- Click on the Backup Game Files button.
- Check the games you want to backup.
- Click Next.
- Choose the Backup Destination.
- Click Next again, it will show you the backup size.
That’s it, the game files will be backed up in the chosen location. You can use the file to restore the game at a later time.
2. Manually Backup Steam Games
You can manually backup your Steam games by copying all the files in the Steam games installation directory. Later, when you decide to play the game once again, you can paste the copied files to the same directory to have them restored. But remember that any new updates should be downloaded to start playing the game (if it is necessary).
By default, if you are using Windows, Steam downloads all your games to the directory,
C:/Program Files (x86)/Steam/steamapps/common
For the macOS users, the installation directory will be,
For the Linux operating system users, Steam downloads the files to,
So, in order to backup your Steam games manually, all you have to do is copying the contents of this directory to some other places like an external hard drive or something. If you have enough space on your system itself the process is much more easy. Just copy paste the games you want to backup from the above listed directory and you are good to go. The games you chosen will be backed up and ready to be restored whenever you decide to play the game again.
Now, you have the backup of the files, but what about the save games? It doesn’t get stored in these directories. You should backup the save games to perceive the progress you made in these games. Here are the directories of the Steam save games.
- Windows: C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\userdata\<user_id>\688420\remote
- Linux: ~/.local/share/Steam/userdata/<userid#>/41070/local/
- macOS: ~/Library/Application Support/Steam/userdata/<user_id>/688420/remote
Backup all the save game files of the respective games you want to backup. This can be restored as well in order to perceive your Steam gaming progress. Now you are good to go with uninstalling the games from your computer. You have everything you need to backup the games at a later time.
3. Take Steam Backup to the Cloud
All the times, you may not have the resources to store the backup of your huge games on your personal computer because you have already installed several games in it which cannot be removed to make some space for the duplicate copies. In that case, you can use an external cloud backup storage to back up your Steam games. This doesn’t make any sense as it is similar to just downloading the Steam games directly from the application.
But there are times you face issues such as slow Steam downloading speed. In such situations, an external backup of the files from a faster cloud service would be a life saver. So, in such scenarios, it makes sense to store your backup files in a cloud storage solution that doesn’t cost you much.
In order to do that, there are several methods you could follow. The easiest one out of them is choosing a cloud storage service such as pCloud that comes with software and tools to directly copy-paste your files as a drive. It can automatically upload the copied directories in your cloud drive to the actual cloud storage. Making it much more convenient to backup your steam games.
Or, you can opt for some auto-backup services that can automatically backup your files at specific intervals and select the Steam download directory to be backed up at specific intervals. This ensures that your Steam games are backed up on the cloud and you can restore them any time you want to.
Before trying any of the cloud-based backup methods, make sure that you have a fast, unlimited internet connection that will not cost you a lot of money. If you happened to have such a connection that could upload your games within a matter of minutes, it would be a good option to go for if you do not have local storage to back up your Steam games. But restoring it will take much more time than storing it in a local device.
Do you really need a Steam Games backup?
Depends entirely based on your interests. If you want to continue playing your games without having to download the entire file once again at a later time, a local backup of your games would help a lot. You wouldn’t have to spend your data to download the games again and also do not have to wait hours for the download to finish (except in method 3). If you have a backup, you could simply restore it. Then you will only require to download the latest updates to the game which will be way less than the actual download size of the latest game.
So, if you do not have an unlimited internet connection with good speeds, and you are going to delete the game files for some reason, and also think that you might come back to play the game somewhere in future, you should take a Steam games backup.