How to Delete Cloud Saves on Steam

Deleting save files featured

Got a corrupted save file on Steam (or just want to give the game another go?) You can delete cloud save files on Steam by following this guide.

Finishing a game isn’t necessarily a mission you can complete in one sitting. You might take several hours (or even hundreds of hours) to complete a tricky game in your Steam catalog.

When you’re finished—what next? You might decide to delete the cloud save and give it another go in the future. If you have issues with your save files, you might need to wipe them and start again.

If you’re unsure how to delete cloud saves on Steam, follow the steps below.

How to Delete Cloud Saves on Steam

There isn’t a simple, one-click button to remove cloud saves on Steam. Instead, you’ll need to use a workaround that involves disabling sync settings, replacing the files, and reconciling the change at the end.

These steps should work for Steam users on a PC or Mac.

1. How to Disable Steam Cloud Sync Settings

To get started, you’ll need to disable your cloud sync settings for Steam. This includes synchronization for Steam generally but also includes the individual sync settings for your Steam game.

To disable Steam cloud sync settings:

  1. Open the Steam client on your PC or Mac and sign in.
  2. Select Steam > Preferences or Steam > Settings (depending on your operating system) from the top menu.
    Open settings on Steam
  3. Click Cloud on the left in the Settings or Preferences menu.
  4. On the right, disable the Enable Steam Cloud synchronization for applications which support it checkbox.
  5. Press OK to save your changes.
    Disable cloud syncing on Steam
  6. Next, click the Library tab.
    Open the Steam library
  7. Right-click your game and select Properties.
    Open game properties on Steam
  8. Disable the Keep game saves checkbox in the pop-up settings menu, and only if the option is available.
    Disable cloud saving on Steam
  9. Exit the menu and restart Steam to ensure the changes take effect.

2. How to Delete Local Game Save Files

At this point, your Steam client should not be synchronizing game save files with its cloud servers. This allows you to delete or move the existing save files and create blank alternatives that can be synced instead.

You will need to locate the local game save files on your PC. Where these are saved will depend on your operating system. By default, you should be able to locate the files in these locations:

  • Windows: C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\userdata
  • macOS: ~/Library/Application Support/Steam/userdata
  • Linux: ~/.local/share/Steam/userdata

From there, locate the relevant files for your game. You must identify the correct folder by matching the game to the game’s Steam ID value.

To delete the local game save files, you should delete the entire folder that matches your game’s Steam ID. For instance, for the game Europa Universalis IV, you need to delete the C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\userdata\236850 folder.

If you want to back up your save files first, copy this folder to another location before deleting it.

3. How to Launch and Exit a Steam Game

Your local game save files should now be removed from your PC. Your next step is to force your local game to create a new and empty save game file (or, at the very least, a game save file with no progress).

To do this, launch your Steam game from the Steam client. If it’s a single-player game, you may wish to start the game from the beginning until the point at which it saves your progress for the first time.

Once you’re done, exit the game. You should also exit Steam and ensure it’s fully closed by this point.

4. Re-enable Steam Cloud Sync Settings

There should now be a discrepancy between your local save game files, and the game save files that Steam has stored on your PC or Mac. Your next step is to re-enable your Steam cloud sync settings.

To re-enable cloud sync settings in Steam:

  1. Open the Steam client and sign in.
  2. Select Steam > Preferences or Steam > Settings (depending on your operating system) from the top menu.
    Open settings on Steam
  3. In the Settings or Preferences menu, click Cloud on the left and enable the Enable Steam Cloud synchronization for applications which support it checkbox on the right.
  4. Click OK to save the change.
    Steam enable cloud sync
  5. Next, click the Library tab and right-click your game.
  6. Select Properties on the pop-up menu.
    Open game properties on Steam
  7. In the pop-up settings box, enable the Keep game saves checkbox.
    Enabling Steam cloud saves
  8. Exit the menu and restart Steam to apply the changes.

5. How to Replace the Steam Cloud Save Files

Once Steam restarts, you should try and launch your game. Steam will verify that your local game files match the latest release and compare your cloud game save files with the local files on your PC.

Steam should, at this point, discover the discrepancy between your cloud and local game save files and re-sync your files. With any luck, the files you’ve deleted locally will be erased or replaced by alternatives in your Steam cloud storage.

What Happens if Steam Doesn’t Delete My Cloud Save Files?

If you find that Steam doesn’t copy over the changes properly (and so your cloud save game files aren’t deleted), you’ll need to get imaginative by creating a zero bytes version of a game save file with the exact file name.

You can usually do this by creating an empty text file in Notepad (on Windows) or TextEdit (on Mac) with the same name and extension (eg. autosave.eu4 for a Europa Universalis IV game file).

You should place this in your game’s Steam ID folder (eg. C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\userdata\236850) in the same place as the original save files. You should also delete the remotecache.vdf file that is automatically generated.

You should do this after step 3 in this guide. Steam should defer to the local copy, replacing the existing file with the blank file instead. It isn’t perfect, but an empty file is (for all intents and purposes) a deleted one, so the effect is still the same.

Are you Still Having Trouble?

If you still can’t delete your cloud save files, don’t panic. You’ll need to contact Steam support for help and request that the cloud save files are removed from your account.

Steam’s support should be able to do this. If they do, make sure to remove the local files from your PC or Mac (step 2 above) before you launch Steam again.

This way, the cloud save files that have been removed won’t be synced back again.

Playing Your Steam Games

By following the steps above, you should be able to delete cloud save files on Steam by replacing them with new (or, in this case, empty) ones. These steps should work for PC and Mac users, so you can repeat them on any Steam device you own.

Your next step? Finding a new game to play. You might want to create a new Steam wishlist to help you build up a list of games to play in the future.

Got an epic shot of gameplay you want to share with others? Why not post a video on Steam in a community that’ll enjoy it. If you don’t have one, you can always join or create a Steam group to share it in instead.