I've just downloaded Team Fortress 2 from Steam on another PC and I would really like to copy it on my home PC.

So, I copied the "steamapps" folder and compressed it with 7zip, it went from 12 GB to 4.5 GB, which should save me a lot of time when downloading it.

So once it's done, all I have to do is replace "steamapps" with the one in my home PC's folder and it'll work, right?

I would like to know, before I actually download the game, will what I have done actually work or is there another way that I am supposed to do it?

Any help would really be appreciated.

  • @Assile, thanks. So are you absolutely sure that it'll work? Also, if you make a backup with steam, the compression level is far weaker than that of 7zip. I would have preferred making a backup, but I've already compressed the "steamapps" folder (which took quite some time) and I really need assurance that it'll work if I simply copy it to a newly installed Steam. – accretio Aug 11 '12 at 12:06
  • I'm not a hundred percent sure as I have not tried this myself. The evidence I could find was on the Steam forums and seems legit enough to be honest. I do know however that the Steam backup is a surefire way. Maybe you can zip the backup to a smaller size as well :) Also a little note on using the site, please comment on the answer instead of the question. That way I get a notification :) – Assile Aug 11 '12 at 13:40
  • I have a question: Why do you need to do this? Unless you have skins installed, your not losing anything by just installing it again on your home PC. Everything is stored in the cloud. Even if you did have skins, you just have to copy the content folders after you've installed it on your home PC via Steam. – smoth190 Aug 14 '12 at 4:59
  • You may copy your entire steam folder to a backup drive as you wish, and any addons should follow. However, saves may not. Settings may reset to default for games as well, but if you have a slow net connection, restoring the games from an external HDD or internal backup drive can be faster than downloading every game again. – Sharain Dec 5 '14 at 11:25

That should work: Steam forums

Another way would be to backup your game data in Steam (this compresses as well if I'm not mistaken) and to open that with Steam on the other machine.

Either way should work :)

  • To backup just right click the game and go to properties, then local files, and click Backup game files. I think you just have to double click the backup on the other computer to install the full game, updated and with the mods you installed. – Fredy31 Aug 11 '12 at 13:41

If you just want TF2 you can only copy/paste its folder. For it to work on your second machine (home pc) you must install it from your library, indicating on which library will it be (or a custom location if it is another one). Steam should properly detect any pre-existing files and skip most of the download.

I'm sure this works as I've done it multiple times between formats.

GL & HF.


Team Fortress is largely internet-based. You will need an internet connection to play. Do not bother with this copying of steamapps. It is far better just to download Steam and then TF2 on your 'home computer' than to copy paste bits and bobs.

  • I assume that OP has an internet connection on the home PC as well, but it might be slow, or data-limited, so that downloading 12GB again is not a good option. – MrLemon Dec 5 '14 at 18:07

Yes, copying data works. Don't use the Steam backup functionality by the way, it's utter garbage.

One thing that is important is that after copying you have to delete the actual tf2.exe-file and redownload that one - everything else should be recognised by Steam.

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