Arqade is a question and answer site for passionate videogamers on all platforms. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I've got two computers in my home network, both with Steam installed. If there's an update to Steam itself or the kids install a game it has to be downloaded to both. At the moment this happens twice, once for each computer.

Is there something I can do either within Steam or externally so that only one download happens and Steam picks up the local copy, thus saving my bandwidth?

share|improve this question
up vote 19 down vote accepted

In my own experience you can simple copy paste the entire Steam/Valve folder and run it from it's new destination.

Hence, yes you can just copy the entire game's folder with the updates to the other computer

And I just stumbled upon a Super User question about this. Quoting John T:

I do this all the time it is fine to do. Any files that do not match are usually re-downloaded from Steam, hence why it will still update a bit after a fresh copy. If you do not want all the sounds and maps which take up a lot of space, you can simply take the .gcf files for each game from Program Files/Steam/SteamApps, these are the biggest files in the update which will save the most time.

Steam also has a "Backup" feature you can use. The files it creates can be moved from PC to PC and restored on any one.

share|improve this answer
+1, I do that too. – juan Jul 7 '10 at 19:33
I can confirm this works as well. I've done it between my own pcs as well as to/from friend's pcs. – Jonathan Mabe Jul 7 '10 at 19:36
The same works for World of Warcraft, saves A LOT of downloading! – Ivo Flipse Jul 7 '10 at 19:37
Ha - so as long as they mainly log into one computer to get the updates I can do the copy to the other later. – ChrisF Jul 7 '10 at 19:37
@Ivo - that Valve link just takes me to a general page. – ChrisF Jul 7 '10 at 19:43

Another option is to backup through steam on one machine and then restore the backup to the 2nd machine.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.