How To Back Up and Restore Games In Steam

In this post, we are going to discuss two ways to backup and restore games in Steam and look at the currently status of Steam compatibility with Windows 10 Creators Update or later versions. Is Steam compatible with Windows 10, especially with the Creators Update or newer releases of the operating system? It’s a question often asked by Windows 10 users. So we will try to clear the clouds of uncertainty surrounding Steam for Windows 10 compatibility issue.


Microsoft released its latest major Windows 10 Creators Update worldwide late last year. The update runs without major issues for the most part, discounting minor easily fixable issues on occasions. However, every major operating system update carries some issues. Windows runs a compatibility check with every major Windows update. The default Update Windows 10 app runs a device and app compatibility check prior to saving a copy. That check appears to be sending a notification to users that Steam requires re-installation. If your app is not working on Windows 10 post-software update, check out this guide to This App Can’t Run On Your Windows 10 (32-bit / 64-bit). So if the question that “Is Steam Compatible with Windows 10 Creators Update?” bothering you, keep reading to learn more about it.

Steam For Windows 10 Compatibility

You would be glad to learn that Steam is fully works on Windows 10 versions before and after the Creators Update. When Windows informs you about Steam uninstall what it really means is that some of your games aren’t compatible with the new update.

Steam is not to be considered a standalone tool in this regard, it acts as the showcase for your purchases games. Some of these games might be protected by Data Rights Management (DRM), which blocks attempts on the part of external programs from making changes to the software and games. Steam client itself is outside the purview of DRM, however games installed on it are not. To thwart piracy, Steam retains the right to install/uninstall games without requiring Windows approval. So when you delete a game in Steam, it will be deleted from within the program.

This in turn could cause conflict with Windows, if the operating system finds certain games that do not comply (or interfere) with the update process. Thus issuing notifications to uninstall them in order to to allow the update to complete. And since games can only be deleted from within the Steam client, Windows signals compatibility warning to uninstall the entire program.

When faced with this situation, knowing how to create and restore Steam backup is really useful.

Create A Steam Backup

Trying to identify which game is incompatible with the update takes a lot of time and effort. However, one valid recourse is to create a backup of your entire Steam library and restore it for later usage after the update is finished installing on your device. All your game progress and data saved on Steam remains safe during the backup process, so you don’t need to worry about losing your progress in various titles.

There are two ways to back up games in Steam client. Let’s take a look at both of them one by one.

Method 1 – Back Up From Within Steam

Launch Steam on your device. Head over to the Steam Menu. Click on Backup and navigate to Restore > Backup Currently Installed Programs.


Then, select all the games you want to back up, the location on your device where you want to back them up (ideally anywhere other than the system drive) and choose whether you want to save the whole back up in one place or in pieces on separate location. This option is handy if you are saving data on multiple devices such as CD, DVD and USB/external hard drive. Once all the selections are made, wait for the back up process to finish as the time varies depending on the total size of the data and the speed of your hard disk. SSD drives are preferred in case of large data transfers as they are faster than the traditional hard disks.

Restore Steam

When the backup is complete, and Windows update is properly installed on your device. Install Steam again and restore your games from the backup. To do so, open Steam and navigate to Menu > Backup and Restore > Restore a Previous Backup. Select the folder where you saved backup and choose which games you want to reinstall and wait for it to finish. This could take some time depending on the data size.


Method 2 – Steam Backup From Windows

This is the quicker of the two methods. Only caveat being that the older games, including those that haven’t been updated in a while, might not fully restore using this method. However, Steam is pretty efficient when it comes to ensuring that all of your games library remains intact.

So, go to the Steam installation folder on your Windows computer (default location: C:\Program Files (x64 or x86)\Steam). Then, click SteamLibrary > SteamApps > Common. Here, you will find all your games as saved. Now copy, or cut this folder to a different drive/partition/folder, wherever you find convenient.

You can now continue with the update while Steam uninstalls. When the Windows update is complete, reinstall Steam. Then, paste the content of the ‘Common’ folder you copied above back in the same directory after the update.

For that, go to that folder and then SteamLibrary>SteamApps>Common and place your games here.

Restore Steam Games

Launch the Steam app and click on its Library tab. Here, all installed games will be grayed out. Right-click on each one and hit install button. The program will first check the installation, if its the same version as the online game, it will be installed in a few minutes. If there is an update lying there to be installed, that will be downloaded first after which you can access games.

Wrap Up

So this is how you get around the Steam compatibility issue with Windows 10 Creators Update and later versions. First backup Steam and then restore it after the operating system update to carry on from where you left. However, if the Steam is installed and you have created a backup of your games but still can’t seem to make them work, do panic. Simply go to the folder where the game is installed on your device and launch it from there to play it through Steam.


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