What Happens To My Game Progress After Uninstalling Steam?

How to Uninstall Steam on Windows PC Without Losing Your Data

Steam is a popular program used by gamers to launch their favorite games and applications on their gaming laptops and computers. Games have improved and have become more developed and better than they used to be. This development and improvement of these games also means larger file sizes.

If your PC is running out of space and you want to get rid of some programs, you may be considering removing a Steam game from your hard drive. But before that, have you thought about losing the game progress? As a backup strategy, you wouldn’t want to lose your save games and start all over again. Imagine losing all that effort and hard work simply because you don’t have a reliable backup strategy.

If you get rid of Steam, you will lose all your game files, local saves, and downloaded workshop mods. Fortunately, there is a way to keep your saved games on Steam safe even after uninstalling the game or uninstalling the Steam application. If you set Steam to default to cloud saves, you can always access the saves linked to your account.

Will You Lose Your Saved Games After Uninstalling Steam?

As you know, Steam is a launcher application that lets you open other programs and games on your device. Uninstalling Steam is as easy as removing other programs on your device. I am sure you know the consequences of uninstalling the Steam program. Uninstalling Steam will remove all the games that you previously installed using the software. Moreover, it will also delete your saved data and downloadable content.

If you are facing insufficient storage space on your device, uninstalling Steam will get rid of all the game files, freeing space in the process. If Steam isn’t working correctly, uninstalling the program will remove the corrupted files causing the errors and troubleshoot it.

There is a reliable method to back up your game files and data and restore them after reinstalling the Steam software. Steam has a feature known as ‘Steam Cloud’ that uploads your saved games to the cloud automatically. It only works when there is a reliable internet connection, so ensure you have a stable Wi-Fi/internet connection when using this feature.

Thanks to this feature, your saved game will remain saved in Steam Cloud even after uninstalling the game or Steam itself. You can restore the saved game at any time, even on a different PC. After reinstalling Steam, the saved game will be restored automatically and you can continue your game from where you stopped. Thanks to this feature, you can continue your progress as though you never uninstalled the game.

It is imperative to note that not every game supports Steam Cloud saves so you may need to look for other methods to backup your saved game files. We will provide details about retaining your saved game files in a bit.

How To Keep Your Saved Game Files After Uninstalling Steam

There are two ways to keep your saved games intact after uninstalling Steam or the game app. We will look at these methods carefully and also share instructions on how to set them up.

1. Steam Cloud Sync

The easiest way to back up your saved games is by using Steam’s automatic cloud storage. Steam offers a Cloud service that saves your game progress automatically. The Steam Cloud service is available for most recent games. When enabled, you can access your progress when you reinstall the game or use a different device to access your account.

As mentioned, not every game supports this method, so you may want to know whether it works for your game or not. To do this, visit the store page for the game and see the details in the right-hand area.

If the game supports Steam Cloud, you will see it along with other related details. Follow the steps below to check and activate Steam Cloud saves for your games:

  • Open Steam.
  • Go to your library.
  • Right-click the game.
  • Select Properties.
  • Under the ‘Steam Cloud’ area in the ‘General’ tab, ensure that the ‘Keep game saves in the Steam Cloud’ box is turned on or checked.

Once the box is checked, you can exit from the area knowing fully well that all your future saves will be automatically saved and backed up to Steam Cloud. If the game doesn’t support cloud saves, you won’t see the Steam Cloud box there, and neither will you see it on the game’s store page.

When you visit the Steam Store Page, locate the Steam Cloud logo at the top right area. If you get to find the Steam Cloud icon, then you shouldn’t worry about your saved game progress. By default, the Cloud Service should be turned on. However, don’t forget to look out for:

  • Open Steam.
  • Go to Settings.
  • Click the Cloud icon.
  • Turn on the Enable Steam Cloud Sync if it isn’t turned on.
  • Check every game you want to back up by opening the Steam library. Right-click any game of your choice and click on Properties.
  • Click the Updates tab.
  • Toggle the Cloud Synchronization switch,

2. Saved Game Manager Software

Alternatively, there is another way to back up your saved game files. If your game doesn’t support automated save backups to Cloud, you may have to do it manually but you must first locate where it stores its saves.

Since there is no specific location to access the games’ save files, backing up your games will not always cover your saved games as well as your progress in the game. Normally, old games store all the data in one place, so all the game files and saved games will be stored in one folder. So, when you uninstall the games, the saves also get to be removed. However, backing up the game will keep both the game files and your saves.

Unlike old games, modern games tend to create a whole different directory for the saves, which is usually the Documents folder. With these files, you will get to keep your progress even after uninstalling the games of Steam itself.

The game saves can be found in any of these folders:

  • Your documents folder.
  • Your games folder.
  • Inside the Application Data folder.
  • Inside the game data folder, which you can always access by visiting Steam >> Click the right-click button >> Select Properties >> Local Files >> Browse.

If you can’t find the folder, you can search the game or its publisher’s name on Google to know where it stores its files. When you see the folder the game files are saved in, make a backup copy of the folder and store it in another directory. After reinstalling the game, copy and paste the same folder in the folder you originally got it from.

In case you are experiencing issues locating the folder where the game save is stored or having challenges backing up the folder, there is software that can help. GameSave Manager is a software that has a database of the saved locations for many games. This tool provides support for over 9,000 games.

It helps back up games locally without relying on cloud technology like Steam Cloud. This can be a reliable option, especially if your game doesn’t support Steam Cloud. With GameSave Manager, you can find the directory or folder where your game’s data is stored and back them up. Once you find the saved files and data, copy them to where you want to store the backed-up files.

How About Your Online Ranks and Game Progress?

Now that you know how to back up game saves, you may be worried about your online ranks. Are you concerned that anything you may have collected in online games is lost after uninstalling the game?

Well, this will never happen.  The reason is that online games save your account progress on their servers, so you are assured that all your game progress will be saved even after uninstalling the game entirely from your computer.

Even if you log on using a different device, you will still see all of your game progress and ranks. The game progress is associated with no other account than yours and is saved remotely, rather than locally on your computer. This is a reliable and secure way of saving your game progress and you don’t need to worry about it getting lost.

In case you are worried about losing your progress, don’t fail to contact your game company to provide some form of assurance or guarantee.

How To Back Up Game Files

As a general rule of thumb, ensure your game files are backed up before uninstalling Steam. So you can easily restore your game progress and continue from where you stopped.

Remember to fully download and update the games before performing a backup. Follow the steps to backup the game files you want to keep:

  • Open the Steam app.
  • Tap the ‘Steam‘ button on the top left corner.
  • After clicking the Steam tab, a drop-down menu will appear, select the ‘Backup and Restore Games‘ option.
  • The window will pop up, requesting to know if you want to backup or restore.
  • Select the ‘Backup Currently Installed Programs‘ option and click on Next. Alternatively, you can do this by right-clicking any game in the Steam library and selecting ‘Backup Game Files‘.
  • Steam will show you a dialog box containing all the games you have installed. Select the necessary games, applications, and software programs you wish to include in the backup. Click on Next when you are done.
  • After that, it will ask you to choose a destination or place to save the Backup. By default, the destination folder is C:\programs files(x86)\steam\Backups but you also have the option to save it in another directory on your internal hard disk or back them up in a DVD, CD, USB storage, or external hard drive. To do this, simply browse and locate the desired location and click on Next again.
  • When you get to the next screen, you can see that Steam has already selected a name for your file backup. You can edit or change the name to your desired one. On the same window, you can configure the size of each backup file. Steam will split the data into equal parts of 649MB (CD size) or 4.7GB (DVD size) to be stored in CD/DVD for you to move it with ease. There is another option for choosing a custom file size.  Click on Next after making your choice.
  • Select will begin the backup. The backup process may take some time depending on the size of the file. You can uninstall Steam when the backup process is complete.

How To Uninstall Steam

There are two ways to uninstall Steam. You can use the ‘normal’ method, which is the typical way, or the ‘hacker man’ method, which involves deleting the Steam folders and removing its registry. In this guide, we will share with you the different ways to uninstall Steam from your PC.

To uninstall Steam, you must check the Steam directory on your computer to see if it was installed correctly. You can see the files in this folder: C:\Program Files\Steam\. If you downloaded and saved Steam in a location containing other files such as C:\Program Files\, you must uninstall Steam using the second method, otherwise, you may damage some important files.

  • First, close the Steam launcher from the system tray icon. Tap the upwards-pointing arrowhead icon on the bottom-right corner of the screen (you will find this in the taskbar, beside the Wi-Fi and Sound icons)
  • A small window will pop up. Hover over the Steam icon and press the right-click button.
  • Click on ‘Exit’ to leave the Steam application.
  • Click on the Start button and click on the Settings icon.
  • Go to Apps.
  • Scroll down the list of applications on your screen and click on Steam.
  • Click on the Uninstall button. When you do so, a small dialog will appear with the same command. Click on the Uninstall button again.
  • Another window will open, requesting you to confirm your decision. Click on Yes.
  • Steam’s uninstall window will appear, showing you Steam’s current directory.
  • Click on the Uninstall button to complete the uninstallation.

Check if your PC has deleted the folder Steam was initially installed in. If you can still find the Steam files in the folder, it is likely the installation was corrupt or something went wrong. You can try reinstalling Steam and uninstalling it afterward.

If you want to reinstall Steam again, go to C:\Program Files\Steam and locate the Steamapps folder. Move the folder to a more reliable directory. Do this in addition to backing up your game files so you won’t have any issues accessing them later on.

Below is the second method to uninstall Steam safely:

  • Exit Steam and go to your Steam directory. The Steam directory could be C:\Program Files\Steam or C:\Program Files\Valve\Steam.
  • Delete all the data in the folder.
  • Go to Start, select Run, and type in Regedit.
  • In the left-hand area of the registry editor, select ‘HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ SOFTWARE\ Valve\’ if you are using a 32-bit operating system or ‘HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ SOFTWARE\ Wow6432Node\ Valve\’ if your device is 64-bit.
  • Right-click on Valve and select Delete.
  • Go to ‘HKEY_CURRENT_USER\ Software\ Valve\ Steam‘ and then delete the Valve folder again.
  • Close the Registry Editor.

How To Uninstall Steam Games

There are three ways to uninstall Steam games.

1. Uninstalling Through Steam

  • Open the Steam app.
  • Go to the top-left area and click on the Library link.
  • Select the game you want to delete from the list of games and right-click on it.
  • A drop-down menu will open, click on Manage.
  • Click on Uninstall from the second drop-down menu.
  • A new window will open, requesting you to confirm your choice.
  • Click on Uninstall again.

2. Uninstalling Through Windows

To uninstall Steam games on Windows:

  • Open your Control Panel.
  • Go to Programs.
  • Select the Uninstall a Program option. Alternatively, you go to the Start menu and search for ‘Apps & Features‘.
  • Find the game name in the list of applications provided.
  • Right-click on it and select ‘Uninstall‘.
  • The system will redirect you to the Steam interface.
  • Tap the Uninstall button when the confirmation window opens.

3. Manual Uninstallation

The manual uninstallation is quite simple. Follow the steps:

  • Go to C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam.
  • Click on the Steamapps folder.
  • Click on the Common folder.
  • Locate the folder with the game’s name.
  • Delete the folder when you see it.

It doesn’t matter which uninstallation method you use for uninstalling a Steam game. The game will still show in your Steam library, so there’s nothing to be worried about if you keep seeing it in your Steam Library.

How To Restore Previous Backups

You can restore your games and local save files after backing them up by following these steps:

  • Follow the first two steps where you previously opened the ‘Backup and Restore‘ menu.
  • Select the ‘Restore a previous backup‘ option.
  • Click on ‘Next‘.
  • Browse the location where you stored the previous backup.
  • Click on ‘Next‘.
  • Steam will start restoring your game files.

Alternatively, you can restore your games by locating the game folders in the directory where you stored the backups.

  • When you find the game folders, copy the files in this location: Steam\Steamapps\Common.
  • Open Steam.
  • Click on Library and find the game’s name in the list.
  • When you find the game, tap on the Install button.
  • A window will open, notifying you of the required disk space for the game. Under this information, you have the option to choose where to install the game. Ensure that the installation is set to the same folder where you sent the backup files. Then, click on Next.
  • When Steam confirms that the game files are already there, it will skip the download process and restore the data. You may be required to update the game if there is a new update is available.

You should be able to restore your games and other backup files by following the simple steps above. If you want to know how to get free steam keys, we have a guide for that.

Benefits of Steam Cloud

If you have never enabled Steam cloud, it’s high time you set it up. Steam Cloud connects your Steam account to the cloud storage, which backs up your game settings, saves files, account settings, and other details associated with your Steam account.

When you have Steam cloud setup, you can use your account to play games such as Galaxy Heist on other devices with your current save files and settings, provided the device has the essential game files. Steam Cloud is going to be vital if you are using Steam Deck, which is a portable handheld gaming device like PSP or the Nintendo Switch.

Since the Steam Deck is portable, you can carry it wherever you are and play games on the go. You can connect to your Wi-Fi network, save your game progress, and continue from where you stopped. With Steam Cloud, you can use your Steam account on several devices. You don’t have to worry about backing up save game files in your local system when you can set up Steam Cloud on your device. All you need is reliable internet access and you are done.

How Does Steam Fix Conflicts Between Local Saves and Cloud Saves

When setting up Steam or a new game in Steam, you have the option of using Steam’s cloud services. A small window appears on the screen, requesting you to sync your local save files to the cloud. The Steam cloud saves don’t clash or conflict with the local save files. What Steam does is upload the recent files to the cloud and check if the cloud saves and the local system is synchronized.

Each time you go offline for a few hours while playing a game, there will be a gap between the saved files in the local server and the files on the Cloud. Steam discovers this, so the next time you load the game, it requests you to confirm which save you want to use. Although they will show you the most recent save, you can always choose which saves you want to use, whether the local saves or the cloud saves.

If you choose the local save files, for instance, which is the most recent save, Steam will update its servers using the local save files. So even if you go offline for a few minutes, you don’t lose track of your progress.

Steam Cloud storage is a more secure and reliable way to store your saved game files and settings associated with your Steam account. These processes happen automatically in the background, so you don’t have to manage the cloud settings yourself unless there is network or connectivity progress, or if the Steam program goes offline while you are playing video games.

If you are uninstalling Steam to free up space on your device or for whatever reason, it is pertinent you know what’s going to happen to your saves and game progress. If you uninstall Steam, you will lose all your saves, including local saves and game files.

If you want to keep your saved files after uninstalling Steam, ensure you back up all your data, including the game files locally via Steam’s built-in ‘Backup and Restore Programs’ feature. Or better still, you can back up everything using the Steam Cloud service.

Conclusion

It is common to find gamers installing and uninstalling games more often, mostly to fix errors or free up space on their PCs. It is a good practice to have a local backup of these games.

Several systems and functionalities have been designed to help you save your game files. With these systems in place, you won’t worry about losing your game files even when you install the game, uninstall Steam, or use a different computer system. If you don’t trust cloud backups or are conscious of your personal data, you have the option of creating your own backup.

Regarding video game save files, saving and backing up your progress using the Steam Cloud Sync service is a more reliable option because it is simple and automated. We hope this article helps! By implementing the steps in this guide, you won’t lose your saved files and game progress after uninstalling Steam.

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