How To Retrieve Lost Game Data On Steam

Steam is one of the biggest online marketplaces for PC gamers, you can easily find all the latest games on the Steam store. While they are the go-to store for most players still they aren’t perfect. And, the reason for that is every once in a while you might face a game crash which may result in save games files being deleted. It can be really infuriating for gamers who have lost hours of game campaign data. Or, you might be reinstalling an old game and no longer want to play from the beginning.

Worry not, if you are looking for ways to retrieve lost game data & saved games files on Steam then you have come to the right place. I have listed several methods to restore your Steam games files using various methods.

Quick Links To The Various Parts Of The Article:

How To Retrieve Lost Game Data On Steam

Method 1: Verify Game Integrity

Games can be a bug-ridden mess at launch and that’s no surprise as everything can’t be well polished at launch. To fix the issues games publishers keep issuing patches or updates sometimes to improve performance. However, more often than not games get broken after applying patches/updates. It may result in games not getting launched at all to losing your game data.

For exactly the same reason, your Steam client comes with verify game integrity function. You can use this feature to ensure that you are not missing any important files or replace the files that might have gotten corrupted during the update.

To do the same with your game open the Steam launcher on your computer.

  • Open your steam library and look for the games that you are having issues with.

Steam game library

  • Right-click on the game you are having issues with then click on Properties

m1 open properties

  • A new window will open up, click on the Local Files option on the left. After that, click on Verify integrity of game files…, this would initiate a check on the game files to ensure that any file isn’t corrupted or missing. If it is then Steam will automatically download the missing file or replace the corrupted one.

m1.2 verify file integrity

m1.3 verifying

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  • Once the scan is completed relaunch the game to see if it fixes the issue.

Method 2: Download Your Save Games Files Using The Steam Cloud

One of the many reasons why users prefer Steam marketplace is because of the Steam Cloud feature. However, not a lot of people know about it or know how to access it. What this feature does is that it saves your game progress in the cloud automatically. So you don’t have to play the game from the beginning even if you are reinstalling the game after a long time. Follow the steps below to access the Save game file that might have been deleted by you on Steam.

  • Go to the Steam Cloud website to access all of your saved games. You would be required to log in to your account.
  • Once logged in, you will see the list of games that are played by you and have been backed up to Steam Cloud. From that list, locate your game and click on Show Files.

m2 steam cloud save games

  • It will take you to the page where you will find all of your saved game data as shown in the image below. If you find the save game progress that seems like your last checkpoint in the game then you will be able to restore your game progress. Download your save game file.

m2.1 game files

  • Once you have ensured that your progress has been backed up to the Steam Cloud then look for the ‘save’ folder of the game. Once you have located the save game folder, delete it.  I would recommend backing the folder to other drives, in case this method doesn’t work.
  • After that, exit the game as well as the Steam app, now re-launch the game. This time game would attempt to sync your progress from the cloud and your game should now be fixed.

Method 3: Manually Add A Save Game File

While this solution might not feel right to some gamers but it would work in most cases. I am talking about manually adding someone else’s save game file. Yes, you can download save game files from the internet and then copy them to the save game folder of the game. It should work without any issues, while it might seem offensive to some game enthusiasts but hey it works, and not to mention it’s free.

Method 4: Missing Game Folder

If you have recently moved or changed your Steam library (Game folder) location due to any reason then you may need to add it again. Simply follow the steps below:

  • Open your Steam application.
  • Click on Steam in the menu and proceed to open Settings.

m4 click on downloads

  • A new window will open. Here, Click on the Downloads.
  • There will be a STEAM LIBRARY FOLDERS option, click on it. It will open Storage Manager.

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  •  Here you can add, remove or change the Steam game library folder. And, any issue that you might be facing because of that will be fixed.

m4.2 storage manager

Method 5: Check Recycle Bin If You Have Deleted The Save Game File Accidentally

Tinkering with games files is nothing new, we all have done it to get the best fps, performance, or for one reason or the other. An accident can happen and you can accidentally delete a save game or game data on Steam. Unless you have pressed the Shift+Del command to delete the file, it should be in recycle bin. So do check it out before using any data recovery software to recover deleted game files. If you can’t find it in the Recycle bin then you can use data recovery software to restore deleted files from Recycle Bin after empty.

Method 6: Use Data Recovery Software

If none of the above-mentioned methods work then I would recommend using the data recovery software. While there is no shortage of Data recovery software available out there but only a few of them actually works.

I would recommend going with Stellar Data Recovery as I have tested that particular software and it worked. Plus, it offers free recovery of files up to 1 GB which means you won’t have to spend money to recover deleted saved game files as they are usually in KB & MB size.  You will only need a paid version if you will be recovering some big in-game files.

  • Step 1 is to visit the Stellar Data Recovery website to download and install the software.
  • Launch the app, on the first screen, it will ask you to select the type of data you are trying to recover. Meaning, are you trying to recover a video file, photo, etc. Select all data options then click on next.

Step 1 Launch sdr

  • In the next screen, you will be asked to choose the drive you want to search for the deleted files. You can also choose a specific location where the save game or game data was stored before being deleted. Select the most relevant option to you and then click on Scan.

Step 2 select drive

  • Now Stellar would scan your hard drive and depending on the drive size it can take some time. Once completed a dialog box will appear for the same, Click on, “OK” to dismiss it.

Step 3 scanning

  • After that, you can look in the results whether or not the software was able to find your deleted save game file. You can also search for the file using the search function from the result.
  • Select the file you want to recover then click on, “Recover“.

step 4

  • Once the file is recovered, save it in the ‘Save Game’ folder and restart the game to check whether or not the software actually recovered it.

You can also check the in-depth review of Stellar Windows Data Recovery.

Method 7: Use Steam’s Backup & Restore Program To Recover Game Data

If you have ever backed up your game using Steam’s Backup & Restore function then you can use it to restore the game.

  • Launch Steam, then click on the Steam menu on the left-hand corner and select the Backup and Restore Games option.

m7 backup & restore

  • A dialog box will appear with two options. You can either backup your game or restore the game to the previous version that you have backed up before. Click on, “Restore a previous backup” then click on Next to continue.

m7.1 restore option

  • On the next screen, use the Browse option to select the Steam backup of the game and press Next.

m7.2 browse backup

  • It will reinstall the game.

FAQs

How Do I Recover Lost Games Files?

You can use the check file integrity function on Steam to re-download the missing game files without having to completely download the game again. However, if you are looking for ways to restore your personal mod, script, or files then I would recommend using data recovery software.

How Do I Restore Old Steam Game Without Backup?

If you haven't made a backup of the game then you will have to re-download the game & use the Steam Cloud function to restore your game progress. Alternatively, you can use data recovery software to recover the deleted game.

How Do I Restore My Steam Cloud Save?

First go to the Steam Cloud website, confirm whether or not Steam has backed up your game progress. If yes, simply reinstall the game and Steam would automatically restore your game progress. For some reason, if it isn't working for then you can try deleting the save game folder of the game and relaunching it again. It should fix the issue you are having in the game.

Does Steam Saves Game Data On Cloud?

Yes, you can confirm that by going to the Steam Cloud website where you will file save games files for your games.

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