Many PC gamers love Steam because it lets them organize their games into a single app for convenience. The service also backs up your game files to the cloud, making it possible to play these titles on any computer. However, the cloud does not have unlimited space, and it will fill up one day.
The solution to this problem is to delete your Steam Cloud saves. Once you do, you can add new games. Keep reading to find out how the process works.
Steam: Delete all cloud saves
Before we get into the methods, let's discuss how Steam's cloud save system works. Learning more will help you understand the reasoning behind deleting cloud saves. Additionally, you will also learn how to enable backups.
What is Steam Cloud?
Steam Cloud is a service that allows Steam users to save game files to company servers. Anyone with Steam Cloud can download their games to another computer and continue from the last time they logged into the platform. For example, you can play Portal 2 on your primary gaming PC and continue the same save file on a travel laptop if you wish.
Since you need to enable Steam Cloud syncing to be able to play the same save game, here's how to enable it. Not all games support Steam Cloud, and you'll need to verify every title you own.
- Launch Steam on your PC.
- Find the game you want to back up to Steam Cloud.
- Right click on the game.
- Select “Properties”.
- Click on “General”.
- Scroll to the bottom of the window and check "Enable Steam Cloud Sync" for the game.
Once enabled, you can play the game on multiple computers and continue progressing. Storage space is limited and it would be best to save only your favorite titles to Steam Cloud.
Delete Steam Cloud saves
Once you enable Steam Cloud synchronization, Steam will automatically back up files to servers. If you don't clear your storage regularly, you end up with lots of junk files and backups taking up space. Without enough space, you may not be able to save new games to the server.
The following complicated steps also erase your saved files completely. Be sure to back up your games to a hard drive or other storage location before continuing. You can always restore them to your PC later.
Here's how to delete all your cloud saves and clean up storage space:
Check if your Steam Cloud sync is enabled
- Launch Steam.
- Go to settings.
- Click on “Cloud”.
- Confirm if "Enable Steam Cloud syncs for apps that support it" is enabled.
- Go to your Steam library.
- Right click on a game.
- Select “Properties”.
- Go to “General”.
- Check if Steam Cloud synchronization is enabled.
If the answer is yes, your games are saved on the Cloud. You can then proceed to clean it.
Delete AppID folders
- First, you need to access the Steam directory on your PC.
- Open "user data".
- Find the folder that corresponds to your Steam ID.
- Find the AppIDs of the games you want to remove.
- Delete saved game folders on Steam Cloud.
- Restart your computer.
- Launch Steam and play games for each deleted folder.
- Check if the AppID folders are back.
- If so, you can continue.
Trigger a Steam Cloud conflict dialog
- Open your task manager.
- End all Steam-related processes.
- Go to Steam folders and open “userdata”.
- Open the folder corresponding to your Steam ID and then the folder corresponding to the game you want to delete.
- Right-click on “remote control”.
- Select "Open PowerShell window here".
- Copy and paste "clc -path "C:Program Files (x86)SteamusdataSteamIDAppIDremote*" without the first and last quotes.
- Press "Enter" to run it.
- Open Steam and launch the game.
- You will get an error message, but do nothing yet.
Delete stored cloud files
- Return to the game folder.
- Delete "remote" and "remotecache.vdf" in the folder.
- Return to the conflict window.
- Select "Upload to Steam Cloud".
- Steam will sync an empty file to the cloud, effectively deleting your files there.
- The game will start immediately.
- If you no longer want Steam to save the game in the cloud, go to the Steam Launcher.
- Go to settings. »
- Select “Cloud”.
- Uncheck the option that enables Steam Cloud synchronization.
- Close your game and Steam.
- Delete this game folder again.
You will need to repeat the steps if you have multiple cloud save games. Once done, Steam Cloud will be ready for new saves. If you no longer want to use Steam Cloud, you can leave sync unchecked.
However, those who want to save their games to the cloud should keep it checked. You can enable Steam Cloud synchronization for individual games. This will prevent other games from taking up valuable storage space on the server.
Why delete my Steam Cloud saves?
Besides freeing up Steam Cloud space, there are other reasons that make it necessary to delete cloud saves. Here are the most common examples:
Sometimes the game files get corrupted. If Steam backs up these files to the cloud, you won't be able to play the game at all. The only way to fix this is to delete the cloud saves.
If there are file conflicts, it's likely that the last computer you played the game on failed to sync to the cloud. You can delete old files on the Cloud and choose to download the latest progress. This action may not be possible on older games or if you cannot access the old machine.
Is there a way to disable my Steam Cloud backup?
If you don't want to take advantage of Steam Cloud syncing, you can disable it permanently. To do this, follow these instructions:
1. Launch Steam.
2. Go to settings in the upper left corner.
3. On the left side of the screen, click on “Cloud”.
4. Uncheck the box labeled "Enable Steam Cloud sync for apps that support it".
5. Once you check this option, Steam will no longer back up your files to the cloud.
Where are my Steam Cloud saves?
Your cloud saves are on Valve's servers. To access these files, you can log into Steam on your favorite browser. Here's what happens next:
1. Access your account.
2. Select "View Steam Cloud".
3. Here you will see all games that have cloud files.
4. You can click "View Files" to view the files of each title.
It's time to clean things up
Deleting your Steam Cloud saves not only eliminates junk files and unnecessary saves, but you can also avoid corrupted files. Once your Steam Cloud is empty, you can download new games and play them on any computer. Of course, you will need to download them first.
How many games do you have on Steam Cloud? Do you frequently delete your saved files? Let us know in the comments section below.