How to Transfer Steam Games on the Mac

Moving all your steam games to your HDD can often take awhile. Maybe you just upgraded to mountain lion and want to copy all your games across so you don’t have to redownload everything.

I found out the hard way and ended up having to redownload all my games.


The restore/backup feature is in the account tab on the top bar. This feature seems to be hidden and i never knew about it after installing all my games on my clean HDD.

1. Select backup from Account -> Backup Restore Games.

2. Choose your games to backup from the list.

3. Select a location, this should be an external HDD. Which you can use later if you’re upgrading your OS.

4. Steam will then backup all the games to a HDD. This may take awhile if you have many games.

1. Select restore

2. Select location for file

3. Steam will then restore your games

Then there you go it’s all done. You should have all your games back and didn’t have to redownload them all.


This method takes more work and isn’t 100% accurate. I won’t be held liable for any lost steam games or accounts using this method.

The copy/paste method works just the same but it may take slightly longer as steam’s built in feature for restoring/backing up will compress many of the files to make it faster to transfer.

1. Go to ~/Library/Application Support/Steam.

2. Copy the folder to a new location on a backup HDD.

3. Wait for awhile until it’s all copyed.

4. Download steam from

5. Paste back your steam folder: overwriting any files.

6. If the games don’t appear you may have to install them by double clicking them. Steam won’t redownload all the files but it will check all the local files and ensure they are correct.

Your steam games should all appear in steam for you’re gaming pleasure.

Before you go

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About the author


I've been a passionate evangelist for Apple and the Macintosh throughout my working life, my first love was a Quadra 605 working with a small creative agency in the south of Norfolk UK in the mid 1990's, I later progressed to other roles in other Macintosh dominated industries, first as a Senior graphic designer at a small printing company and then a production manager at Guardian Media Group. As the publishing and printing sector wained I moved into Internet Marketing and in 2006 co-founded which grew to become one the top 200 visited sites in the US (according to Quantcast), at its peak receiving over 15 million visits per month. For the last ten years I have worked as an Affiliate and Consultant to many different business and start ups, my key skill set being online marketing, on page monetisation, landing page optimisation and traffic generation, if you would like to hire me or discuss your current project please reach out to me here.

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