I need to redownload Skyrim, but

  1. I'm to sure how to delete is and
  2. I don't want it to delete my save files!

How do I this?

  • 2
    possible duplicate of Where are the save files in Skyrim? Jan 8, 2015 at 22:34
  • 3
    @Dropped.on.Caprica While the location of the save files is indeed part of what this question asks, it also asks how to (properly) remove the game before having steam redownload. That is not answered by the linked question. Jan 9, 2015 at 0:07

4 Answers 4


First of all, you can backup your game files by following the instructions here.

Then you can right click on Skyrim in the Steam library window, right click and there should be an option to uninstall the game, otherwise known as "Delete Local Content".

Once it is uninstalled you can go ahead and re-install it, then follow the instructions above to take the backup of the save for Skyrim back into your Skyrim game folder. To add your save in, just put the save file you backed up and replace it in the same folder directory as the default one is.

  • 2
    Just for clarification, the uninstall option in Steam is called "Delete Local Content". Just making sure that's clear. Jan 9, 2015 at 5:01
  • Note that backing up the game doesn't always (depending on the game) back up save games with them.
    – Tim S.
    Feb 17, 2016 at 20:48

Unless you explicitly disabled the feature in your Skyrim installation. Skyrim game files are backed up to your SteamCloud account every time you exit the game. When you wipe out the game and re-install it Steam will pull your saved game files down from the cloud.


Can confirm every answer that it's saved. my Skyrim is installed at home but when i install it some place else i still have al my save games. You could also manually do this. i think the save files are located in C:\users\you\any skyrim/bethesda map


Normally on uninstallation save games are not removed by default. But if you wish to back them up you find them here - Documents/my games/skyrim/saves [ for steam version ]

Just to point out - you don't actually have "delete" skyrim - if you want a vanilla copy. If you are deleting skyrim because you have a lot of mod files in your data folder the easiest solution is to backup and reinstall skyrim. This saves a lot more time.

The first thing you want to do is Verify Cache https://support.steampowered.com/kb_article.php?ref=2037-QEUH-3335

This will make sure all the files are original. Next you want to use the backup feature. https://support.steampowered.com/kb_article.php?ref=8794-yphv-2033

This will only backup Steam vanilla files. So just backup skyrim. Now go to your skyrim folder by right clicking on skyrim --> properties --> local files --> browse local files. and keep that folder open.

Now again right click on skyrim in steam library and delete local files. Now open the folder again and delete any remaining files.

Now re-install Skyrim using the backup copy.

This will give you a completely vanilla version of skyrim without having to redownload the massive package again.

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