How To Verify Integrity Of Game Files On Steam

Wondering how to verify the integrity of game files on Steam?

Verifying your game’s files is a handy feature that was unique to Steam for a certain point. Essentially, verifying the integrity of your game files will let Steam look through your steamapps folder to check for any missing or corrupted files of that game.

If Steam finds anything that’s lacking, it automatically downloads the necessary game files to complete your game. Now, why is this useful, and why should you care about it? Well, there are a lot of reasons why this feature can be useful to you.

For one, you’ll be able to move your game in between computers without having to back up the game files. Additionally, you’ll also be able to tweak your game files without any consequences since you’ll be able to verify and redownload the game’s files anyway. Here’s how to verify integrity of game files on Steam.

Let’s get started.


1. What Does Verifying Integrity Of Game Files Do?

Older gamers will understand this problem more so than the newer generation, but games used to be downloaded at once during one instance. Back in the day, downloading games sometimes meant doing so through the browser. Unfortunately, you wouldn’t be able to exit the browser without losing your entire progress.

Thankfully, this is no longer a major concern since game distribution companies like Steam allow games to pause and resume whenever convenient to the user. However, no amount of pausing or resuming can save your game if it got corrupted or compromised in any way.

where are steam screenshots saved

Luckily, this is when verifying your game files comes in clutch. By verifying your game files, Steam will look through each individual folder of your game and compare it to the authentic game file counterparts on their servers.

This way, any inconsistencies, deleted files, corrupted sectors, should be found and replaced by the authentic files from Steam’s servers. Once these missing files are downloaded, your game should function optimally again.


2. Backup And Restore Your Games.

Now, here’s why verifying your game files is really important. Whenever you encounter a Steam error code, chances are you’ll be requested to reinstall Steam to try and fix the software issue.

Unfortunately, this means that Steam will delete itself along with all the games that you’ve installed on your computer. For gamers with notoriously bad internet, or even for people who simply don’t want to download over 100 gigabytes of games again, this can be incredibly annoying to deal with.

The default way of safeguarding your files would be to backup and restore your games on Steam. While this is the safest procedure for saving your game files, this can take quite a bit of time depending on your computer’s hardware capabilities.

We do recommend that you backup your games whenever you have the time to do so, but if you’re in a hurry then this alternative method works too. When moving your files out of your Steam folders, Steam will no longer recognize those games and usually download them from scratch whenever you try to run them.


3. Saving Your Games By Verifying Game Files.

Even if you paste those game files back to the Steam folder, the gaming platform will simply disregard the files and try to reinstall the game back on your computer. However, by verifying your game files, Steam will look through your directory and register the game as complete and fully functional.

By doing this, you’ll be able to trick Steam into thinking that the game was never moved in the first place. With that, the game that you transferred and verified should now run like normal and play smoothly on your computer.

This will save your internet from downloading a ton of files unnecessarily, by transferring your games locally instead. However, keep in mind that this only works for games already installed by Steam whose files were removed or deleted but not uninstalled.

Essentially, games that weren’t officially uninstalled but had their game files moved elsewhere can be ‘reinstalled’ by verifying the integrity of those game files.


4. How to Verify Integrity of Game Files On Steam.

Now that you know why this is an important and useful method, it’s time to walk you through the steps on how to verify the integrity of your game files. Luckily, Steam made this easily accessible for its users.

Before we verify the game files, we’ll have to make sure that there are game files to verify. Let’s open Steam’s game folder and transfer the game files there. Here’s how you can do that:

  1. Start by opening up the Start menu and searching for ‘This PC’. From there, navigate to the directory mentioned below.

C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common

verify integrity of game files on steam

  1. Now, copy and paste the files of the game you’re trying to verify into that folder.

With that out of the way, we can begin verifying your game files so you can run the game again. Here’s how to verify integrity of game files on Steam:

  1. First, open up the Steam app on your computer and go to the Library tab. You’ll find this at the top part of your screen.
  2. On the left-hand side of your screen, you should see a list of all the games in your Steam library. Together with this are the games that are considered to be already installed on your computer. Right-click on the game that’s already ‘installed’ that you want to verify. Select Properties at the bottom-most part of your window.

verify integrity of game files on steam

  1. Next, go to the Local Files tab and click on Verify Integrity of Game Files.

Steam should now begin comparing your local files to the authentic latest version of the game on their servers. If you’re missing any files, Steam will download the lacking folders automatically once the process is done.


5. Backing Up Vs. Verifying Game Files.

These two methods have their pros and cons, but when should you use one over the other?

Backing up your files is the only way to restore or reinstall a game that you’ve already uninstalled from your computer. Since this program is already uninstalled, Steam will no longer have the option of verifying the game files.

You can also back up and restore game files that were never installed on your PC, essentially copy-pasting your friend’s game into your computer. In case you missed it, here’s how you can back up and restore games on Steam.

verify integrity of game files on steam

Whereas, verifying your game files is the fastest way of running a game on your computer that you’ve previously deleted but not uninstalled. This applies to situations where you just press the ‘Delete’ key on your keyboard to game files from the steamapps folder.

If a game is not officially considered uninstalled then moving or deleting the files from the Steam folder will not notify Steam of this change.

That wraps up this article. Hopefully, we helped you understand how to verify integrity of game files 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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