Say I buy a game on Steam, download / install it on my machine, and then delete it.

Does it stay in my games library on Steam and can I download it again?

And if so, what about my saved game data? Does that persist on Steam for a game which has been deleted from my machine?


3 Answers 3


The game will stay in your Steam library available for you to download and install again.

Whether or not your saves are saved depends on the game. In some cases they're not deleted from your computer, in some cases Steam saves the save file in the cloud, and sometimes your saves will be deleted along with the game. It's always a good idea to back them up!

  • 2
    To elaborate on the save games: Most games nowdays save their save data to My Documents. They aren't deleted if the game itself is removed. Some games have their save data among the game files. These are usually deleted along with the game. And then there is the Steam Cloud. The game's store page tell if the game has it enable. It will enable you to access you saves as long as you're able to log into Steam and access your game.
    – DJ Pirtu
    Commented Feb 5, 2015 at 12:57
  • 3
    Rather than My Documents (which btw is a horrible place to put them as it makes that folder awkward for storing documents), some games also save to %appdata%, which is much more sensible, seeing that this is the dedicated folder for user-profile dependent data </slightrant>.
    – MrLemon
    Commented Feb 5, 2015 at 13:59
  • Some developers had this in mind and took the simple step to ask if we wanted to keep our saves or delete them too. Commented Feb 5, 2015 at 16:59

Yes, the game will stay in your steam library. You can redownload it at any time.

Save files will be kept, with some exceptions. If you want to keep your save files, enable Steam Cloud (if available) or look for the savefiles outside of the games's steamapps folder.

  • And any saved game data I might have?
    – Daft
    Commented Feb 5, 2015 at 12:23
  • @Daft it depends. If the game supports Steam Cloud then yes. Otherwise you have to backup your savegames. Note that most of the games do not delete savegames when uninstalled, so your question applies only after formatting or deleting them manually.
    – mordack550
    Commented Feb 5, 2015 at 14:21

If you delete a game installed by Steam then it will be deleted from your PC but it will stay in you Steam library so you can redownload it whenever you want to.

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