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I got a game through Itch.io and have played it on my computer. Later I realized I could get it on Steam so I was going to use the Steam key that was provided with my purchase of the game, but when I was going through the process Steam brought up an install page and it made me worry that it would erase all my current progress in the game.

So my question is really: would it erase all of my current saves or recognize that I already have it installed on the computer and just give me Steam access?

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    This could be a game-specific issue. What specific game did you try to install? Commented Feb 26, 2023 at 3:28
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    It depends, which game? Some games save the same between Steam/DRM-free, some have a specific location that is then synced to steam (but not hidden in any way, ie. dwarf-fortress), others is "glhf" (too hard to find, or everything is different between platforms) like potion-craft.
    – aytimothy
    Commented Feb 26, 2023 at 6:30

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I would imagine saves would be located somewhere separate, typically in %AppData% if you're on Windows. You should be safe - if you're still worried look up where the game you're playing saves its save-game files and copy them to a different folder. Then you can copy them back when you've installed the game through Steam.

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