No, in most cases you will not automatically lose your saves when you uninstall a game on Steam. While there are some situations where uninstalling a Steam game will lead to losing your saves, there are plenty of ways to make sure your saves are preserved.
Whether you want to save space on your computer, or get frustrated with a game and want to get rid of it for a while, you may need to uninstall a game. But when you do, you want to make sure the hours and hours you put into progressing in that game aren’t deleted too.
This guide is going to go through a couple of different ways to ensure you don’t lose your saves when uninstalling a game, to preserve your progress and save data for a later date.
- No, you won’t generally lose save data if you uninstall Steam games.
- Many modern games will keep save data separate from game files, or have a cloud save option.
- Backing up your games is a surefire way to ensure save data isn’t lost.
- Be careful that some older games may store save data with game files, so uninstalling these will often lead to save data loss.
Ways to Preserve Your Steam Saves
If you are uninstalling a Steam game, there is a good chance you will be worried about this causing your game saves to delete as well. Thankfully, there are a few ways to ensure your save data is always safe.
They May Be Saved Automatically
If you are playing a relatively modern game, there is a good chance you won’t need to do anything to protect your saved data when uninstalling or deleting a game. In many cases, these games will keep their saved data somewhere in the Documents folder, so it won’t be lost.
Once you eventually reinstall the game, your save data will be safe and sound as it wasn’t deleted along with the game files, allowing you to pick up right where you left off.
Also, some games will save their data on remote servers, so there is actually no saved data stored on your device at all. For these games, as long as you remember your password and username, you will be able to play and access the game with ease.
It is important to be aware that some older games will keep their save data in the same place as the saved files. As a result, if you uninstall these games, you will likely lose the save data along with it.
Back Up Your Games and Saves
While the previous option ensures your save data isn’t lost when you uninstall a game, your save data still resides locally on your computer. If your computer breaks and/or becomes inaccessible for one reason or another, you could lose all of your saves.
Because of this, it is a good idea to back up both your games and saves. That way, if something catastrophic were to happen to your computer, all of your game data will remain safe and sound, ready to be accessed on your new computer.
Use the Cloud Save Feature
Steam also has a cloud save feature for newer games that will automatically save your games to the cloud when you play them. This makes it easy to play games on different devices, and ensures that your saves are accessible if you decide to reinstall the game.
However, it is crucial to remember that not all games will use this cloud save feature, which means you will need to do a little homework. If a game has the Steam Cloud logo in the store, that means it will support cloud saves and you won’t need to worry about losing saves.
Here are a few common questions about what happens when you uninstall a Steam game, along with their answers.
If you uninstall a Steam game, can you reinstall it for free?
Yes, if you uninstall a game for one reason or another, you will be able to reinstall it without having to pay. If you own the game, you should be able to uninstall and reinstall that game as many times as you want.
Will you lose achievements if you delete a Steam game?
No, if you uninstall a Steam game you won’t need to worry about losing your achievements.
In most cases, you won’t need to worry about losing game saves because many modern games keep save data separate from game files. However, if the game is old, or if something happens to your computer, you do run the risk of losing your saves.
That is why we always recommend you back up your games, or save them to the cloud if possible.
If you feel we missed mentioning something that could have made this guide better or more helpful, don’t hesitate to leave us a comment below!