How to restore steam games

I got hit with a virus a while ago and after wiping the computer’s main disk, I also used that as an excuse to stick a bigger second disk in it, which arrived today. The new drive is up and running.

I have a LOT of steam games. I could just install steam and download them all again, but that would probably take me a couple of weeks to do. All of the files are backed up onto an external drive though. What do I have to do (after installing steam, I assume) to copy all of these files onto the new drive and have steam recognize them as being installed?

If I just copy the entire folder over, will that overwrite and destroy anything important from the newly installed version of steam?

I’ve never done it (restore Steam games) but assuming you backed them up properly here is the way to restore them per Steam’s instructions:

I used this procedure to move all my steam stuff to another drive. As far as I can tell, it should work with your situation too.

FWIW not too long ago I had to wipe my drive and re-install and I had not done a Steam backup. I also have a fair number of games and had to resort to downloading them one-by-one.

It is a daunting task but as it turned out it was not so bad. I am only usually playing 1-3 of them in any given week so I simply installed the ones I most cared about playing right then which, while a bit of a drag, was not too awful.

Then, at night before I would go to bed, I’d tell it to install another game. Before I’d go to work I’d tell it to install another (and so on).

In this manner I got them all back and while it took a week or so I was never put-out by it. I was playing what I wanted to with only a few hour wait for those first few downloads. The rest came when I wasn’t using the PC anyway.

I’ve tried “Steam Backup” three times now, and every time the backup hasn’t worked. It generates a big file, sure, but when I go to reinstall from that file, Steam won’t recognize it and I end up downloading the entire game again. I have no idea why. This is my main and only complaint with Steam.

You should be able to copy your steam apps folder and restore that way.

I had an identical problem recently. Just like you, I had a back-up of my Steam data. I copied the data from my steam apps folder into a new installation of Steam, and then right-clicked on the game I wanted to play once I had opened Steam. I’m unsure of the exact steps I took from there, but from the drop-down menu, I think I navigated to ‘properties,’ and then to the tab that allows you to ‘verify the integrity’ of the game data. This re-installed the system files that were located outside of the main Steam folder and allowed me to play the game. I doubt this was the correct way to go about recovering my games, and I’d definitely recommend using the official instructions linked by Whack-a-mole, if they work for you.

I followed those instructions, and it seems to have worked fine.

Thanks to everyone who responded!