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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?

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2 Answers 2

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.

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3  
+1, I do that too. –  jmfsg 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.

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