If you regularly sink seven hours into creating a utopia on Cities: Skylines or taking Leyton Orient to the Champions League final on Football Manager, it’s worth making sure that both your games and saves are backed up locally. But how can you back up Steam game files?
Back up Steam game files: The games themselves
Backing up your game files locally via Steam takes a mere handful of clicks. However, before you begin, note that your saves won’t also be backed up – scroll down to the next section to find out how to freeze your game progress in time.
Head to your Steam Library and right-click on the game you want to back up. To show that I’ve really got my finger on the gaming pulse, I’ve decided to back up the incredibly addictive Cossacks: Back to War (first released in October 2002). The following menu will appear.
Click “Backup Game Files”, which will generate a window with one or more tickboxes. Check the box next to the game you want to back up.
Clicking “Next” will bring up a new window showing the backup destination and, very usefully, the required and available disk space. If you want to change the destination, simply click “Browse” and select a new one.
The next step is naming the file and deciding on its size. Steam gives you two options: CD-R or DVD-R, both of which make it easy to store your game files on a disc.
Click “Next” for a final time and the backup will begin in earnest. Make yourself a cup of tea (or in the case of Cossacks: Back to War, a glass of water) and the process will be complete.
Back up Steam game files: The saves
Although many games are supported by “Steam Cloud”, which automatically stores your preferences and saves on Valve’s servers, there’s an easy way of making sure that those precious Fallout saves never go awry. It’s a slightly trickier process than backing up the games, but it still shouldn’t take longer than a few minutes – thanks to the free GameSave Manager program.
This excellent piece of software keeps all of your game saves in one place and makes restoring them a breeze. After you’ve installed it on your PC, head to the homepage.
Clicking “Make a backup” will take you to a page with all of your detected game saves. To back one up, check the box next to the game and click the icon that looks like a flying debit card in the top-right of the window.
You’ll then be asked for a destination (it makes sense to create a folder called “Game saves”) and given a notification when the backup is complete. I told you it was easy.
To restore a game save, click back to the GameSave Manager homepage and select “Open Archive(s)”. Load your archive folder and you’ll be confronted with a very similar window to the one above.
Click on the zooming debit card icon to, for example, restore the many, many hours you’ve lost conquering the world as Sweden on Cossacks.
Read this next: How can I share my Steam library with friends?
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