How to Backup And Restore Games on Steam

Wondering how to backup and restore games on Steam?

Copying or transferring a game on Steam can be pretty confusing. Unlike most gaming platforms, Steam doesn’t just allow its users to copy-paste Steam games from one computer to the other.

While it’s true that you may be able to just copy and paste your files from your steam folder to another folder, the success rate for restoring these games isn’t great. Also, once that method fails, you’ll no longer be able to restore your games without redownloading each program.

So how do you backup and restore games on Steam safely? In this article, we’ll explain why this is important as well as teach you the steps on how to do it.

Let’s get started.


1. Why Should I Backup Or Restore My Games?

First off, backing up your games doesn’t use your internet connection. Backups can be done offline and the speed will depend on your computer, which is great if you have a strong PC but unstable or crappy internet.

Additionally, backing up your games is generally quicker to do instead of redownloading everything from scratch. Unless of course, your internet is way above the 100mbps range, in which case, feel free to re-download all your games.

Another benefit of backing up and restoring your games is that you can restore these games on any computer that has Steam. This means you’ll be able to transfer games from your computer to your friend’s laptop or PC without requiring them to download the entire thing.

Most importantly, whenever Steam-related errors plague your computer, sometimes the only solution left is to reinstall Steam itself. Unfortunately, this means deleting everything Steam-related, including your game files.

While you can try to copy and paste your game files somewhere else, backing up your games is the safer solution.


2. How To Backup Games on Steam.

Luckily, the process behind this is pretty simple and easy to do. Backing up your files will require some space on your computer. Ideally, this shouldn’t take more than 90 percent of the original game file’s size, but it’s best to have more than the necessary space available.

Be sure to have a designated folder ready. We’ll be storing the backup files there for safekeeping. 💡 Pro-tip, do this process on your SSD if you have one, that will make the entire process much faster.

Here’s how you can backup games on Steam:

  1. First, open up the Steam app and log into your account.
  2. From there, click on the Steam button at the top-left corner of your screen and select Backup and Restore Games.
  3. Now, click on the Backup currently installed programs option to proceed.
  4. You should see a list of all Steam games currently installed on your computer, select the ones you want to backup and click Next.

  1. Here you’ll be picking the folder to store your backups. By default, this will be at the directory listed below, but you can change this by clicking on Browse. Keep in mind the necessary MB or GB file size required for this backup, you’ll be reusing that number for the next step.

C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\Backups

  1. Next, you can label the backup with whatever name you like. The important part here is that you click on File size and you change it into Custom. This step dictates if you want your files to be saved in different compartments of smaller sizes or not. For the purpose of this tutorial, it’s unnecessary to split this. Instead, we’ll be allocating a size that can carry the full backup in one file. In the MB text field, type in the amount that was required in the last step + 500MB or 2GB for good measure.
  2. Finally, click on Next and your backup should begin.

After all these steps, your game(s) should be completely backed up. Click on the Open Backup Folder option when it’s done to open up your backup file. We’ll be using this file later on to ‘restore’ your games without having to download each title individually.


3. How To Restore Games on Steam.

Once again, the benefit of being able to restore games on Steam is that you won’t have to re-download the game you’re trying to install. Additionally, restoring games can be helpful if you find yourself wanting to play a game that you can’t download.

By asking for a backup copy from your friend, you’ll have an installable copy for your computer. This way, you’ll be able to restore the backup into your computer and play with your friends.

Here’s how you can restore games on Steam:

  1. With your Steam app open, click on the Steam button at the top-left corner of your screen. From there, move your mouse down and click on Backup and Restore Games.
  2. Now, on the options displayed on your screen, select Restore a previous backup.

backup and restore games on steam

  1. Next, click on Browse and look for the folder containing your backup. Click on your backup file and select OK. You should see a list of program-backups found. Press Next when you’re done.
  2. Feel free to check or uncheck the preferences that come on the next screen. You’ll be asked if you want to have the game saved as a desktop or start menu shortcut. Click on Next when you’re done to begin restoring the game.

When you’re through with all these steps, the game should be fully installed back into your computer! Go ahead and try to run your games one by one to troubleshoot for any errors that may have occurred.


4. Verify Your Game Files.

Once you’ve completely backed up and restored your games, making sure the process finished without any hiccups should be your next priority. For this step, we’ll be verifying your game files to check for any missing files or corrupted sectors.

Verifying your game folders is a great way to let Steam check for any missing files that could compromise the performance of the game. If Steam finds any missing files, it will automatically download the necessary data to completely run the game at full capacity.

Here’s how you can verify your game files:

  1. Bring up the Steam app and navigate to Library and then click on Home.
  2. From there, start with one game and right-click the program. Click on Properties and go to Local Files.

backup and restore games on steam

  1. Finally, click on Verify integrity of game files… to begin verifying your game files.

Though you’ll unfortunately have to do this for all your games, the process shouldn’t take too long. You can also avoid doing this and simply run it before opening any game for the first time since it was restored. This will save yourself the time and hassle of going through all your games at once.

Now that you’ve reached the end of this article, we hope to have helped you learn how to backup and restore games on Steam. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment down below.

If this guide helped you, please share it. 🙂


  • Mako Young

    Mako is a staff writer at Saint. He's been writing about tech for more than a decade. When he isn't reading about the latest news on Apple, he's busy studying cybersecurity, cryptocurrency, cloud computing, and other IT-related sectors. His exceptional work graces technology and Apple-related blogs like How-To Geek,, Macgasm, onMac, PhotoWorkout, GameRant, and many more. He also has a Bachelors in Computer Science and has been writing since 2018, with over 400 posts published. LinkedIn X (Twitter)

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