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Backing Up Your Games

Friday, June 8th, 2007 by | Filed Under: File & Disk Management
 
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Q:
I love to play games on my computer. I’m always buying new ones and putting them on my computer to play, but when I do that, I’m always worried that I’m going to lose one somehow. Is there anything my computer does to back up my games? Or is there anything I can do myself? Any information you have would be very helpful!

A:
Excellent question! I know a lot of you like to play games on your computer (as do I!), so I’m really excited to answer this question. If your computer games mean anything to you, you’ll give this tip your full attention. And hey, you never know, it may save you from some killer headaches down the road. Well, there’s no more time to waste. Let’s get started!

As a matter of fact, there are a few different things your computer does to back up and save your games. Now, it depends on what game it is, when it was made and who made it to determine how the game is saved. I’m going to give you a quick list of the different places the games may be stored on your computer. Once you find the folder where the game’s data is saved, you can then transfer that information to a CD, an external drive or whatever you use to back up your data. That way, if you ever need to recover a lost game file, etc., you can get it from that location.

Okay, here we go. Most game data is saved under your My Documents folder. Once you’re in there, look for a folder with the name of your game. It might be under the developer’s name as well, so look for that too. If you can’t find it there, you may have a My Games folder. If you do, look in there and you’ll probably find all your games in an easy to read list.

If you still can’t find what you’re looking for there, you can navigate to the following path to look for it there: C:\Documents and Settings\<user>\Application Data. (Start out by double clicking on the My Computer icon on your desktop, then open the C: drive and go from there. Also, just so you know, the “user” part should be filled in with your computer’s name).

Now, if you can’t find your games in either of those places, there are still some other locations you can look under. The next best place is in the actual game directory. A lot of them will be stored under the Program Files folder, which can be found under the C: drive as well. Once you get there, look for the name of the game or for the developer’s name and you should be able to find it with no problem.

If that still doesn’t work, there’s one more thing you can do. You can right click on the game’s icon (it should be on your desktop) and choose Properties. Look for the Shortcut tab and click on the Find Target button to open the folder for that particular game. Also, remember that if you usually play games online (or any game that requires an Internet connection), it’s likely that those settings will only be saved online and not in your personal folders. In that case, those will not be able to be backed up.

Other than that, you should be able to find what you’re looking for and again, once you find the game’s data, you can save it to a CD or whatever you like to use for your backup purposes. That way, you’ll never have to worry about losing your games ever again. And let me tell you, that’s a wonderful feeling!

~ Erin

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