Cloud saves are an important feature of modern consoles. Xbox One and Playstation 4 are both able to save your games to the cloud, even of some people aren’t quite happy with them. Steam has cloud saves, but out of the thousands of games available on steam, only some of them support it. Uplay and Origin also have cloud saves, but it’s still doesn’t support all of their games.
GameSave Manager is a program that will back up saves for over 4,000 games, many of which aren’t supported by any of the software listed above. With it’s built-in support for Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, and FTP, it means a lot of games can be backed up to the cloud that otherwise couldn’t be.
Here’s how you can set it up.
1. Download and install GameSave Manager
This part is pretty straight forward. You can grab the latest version here. The download will be a zip file. There’s no installer, so just unzip the file and put the contents somewhere you will remember. Your documents folder is a good choice, or you could use
C:\Program Files (x86) to keep all of your programs in one place. I keep programs like this in
C:\opt, which is a folder I made just for these one-off programs that lack installers. Just remember where you put it, because there is no uninstall process. To remove it from your system, you just delete the folder.
When you first open it, it might complain about needing administrative rights. It needs this for some of its functionality, and in my experience, it wont cause any harm, so check
Don't show me this again and click
Yes. You can click
No if you want to, but I can’t guarantee everything will work (although if you went this route, leave a comment below telling me how it went).
The first time it opens, it’s going to need to update its list of officially supported games. Games store their save files in a lot of different places, and GameSave Manager’s database tells it what games are supported, where the save files are stored, and how to back them up. It might take a couple of minutes.
After that it’s going to scan for supported games on your system. It runs through every supported game, and then looks for those saves on your computer, so this might also take a couple of minutes.
When all of that is finished, you’ll see the main screen.
2. Set your backup directory
You have a few options where you want to back up your saves. I back up to a special directory on one of my hard drives, so the full path is
X:\Backup\GameSave Manager. To keep everything in the cloud, this directory is backed up frequently using CrashPlan. If you want to back up to a cloud service like Dropbox, there are special options for that, so you don’t have to worry about it now.
From the main screen, click
Program Settings to get to the settings screen. Then click
Backup Settings (under
Task Specific) to edit the backup location.
Set a default Backup Directory to set your own directory. If you set
Cloud Options, which we’ll get to in a second, they will overwrite whatever you put here. While you are here, make sure
Perform validation checks on archives immediately after their creation is checked to make sure you are never backing up bad data.
You can also check
Create a separate archive for each entry being backed up and
Organize each entry's backup archives into sub folders to organize your backed up saves a little better, and
Consolidate archives when backup count reaches... to save space after you’ve run multiple backups. Personally, I like having every version of my backups ever created, but that can get large rather quickly, so you can consolidate archives to save space.
Cloud Options (under
General Settings) to set up support for cloud drives like Dropbox. Whichever provider you choose, you must have the application installed and running. Under
Sub-folder, you can choose where in the cloud drive you want the files saved.
3. Back up your saves
From the main screen, click
Make a backup. You’ll be presented with a list of all the supported games that were found on your system.
Select the games you want to back up, or just click
Select all, and click the blue icon in the top right corner to start the backup process. While it’s backing up, it will show you in real-time what it’s doing. This may take a while depending on how many games you are backing up.
Your saves are now backed up! If you backed up to a cloud location like Dropbox or Google Drive, you’ll need to wait for that service to sync your files. If you just backed up to a local folder, however, this is all you need. Running the backup again will only create new files if you’ve played the game since your last backup, and every new backup should create a unique file, allowing you to go back to any point you want.
But this wouldn’t be a very good substitute for cloud saves if you had to do this manually every time.
4. Set up automation
From the main screen, click
Scheduled Task. Here you can set up one or more scheduled times to run the backup automatically.
I created one scheduled task that will back up all of my games every morning at 4 am (when I’m not likely to be using the computer). You can set this to back up as often as you like, from every minute to every week.
To get started, click
Add. A wizard will open up to guide you through the process. The first option is the name. If you are only scheduling one backup of all of your games, you can just name this “Backup”.
The next screen will ask you what you’d like to back up. To backup everything, click
Backup all detected saves. Also check
Rescan system before starting task to pick up any new games you’ve started playing since your last backup. This will run in the background, so even though it will take a little while, you wont notice it happening.
The third screen will ask you when you want to run the backup. I like to run it every night after I’ve gone to sleep, but you can run it as frequently as you need to. Just remember that it takes a few minutes to run, so setting it to back up every minute probably isn’t the best idea.
Finally, you’ll see a screen with some more options about the backup itself. Make sure
Add task to Windows Task Scheduler is checked, and then select the same options you chose earlier when configuring manual backups. If you want to back up to Dropbox or any of the other cloud services that are supported, check
Use my 'Cloud' settings. If you check
Create desktop shortcut, it will create a shortcut that will run the back up whenever you want, but it’s not much faster than opening GameSave Manager and running it manually.
That’s it! Your game saves will now be automatically backed up to the cloud every day. If you open the Windows Task Scheduler, you can even see the task that GameSave Manager added (GameSave Manager will handle all of this for you – you don’t actually need to use Windows Task Scheduler).
A cloud based game save backup wouldn’t be very useful if you couldn’t restore the save files later. They wont restore automatically like true cloud saves will, but you can easily restore the saves if you lose them on your computer, or want to pick up where you left off on a new computer.
From the main screen, click
Open Archive(s). You’ll see a big screen that says
No Backup Archive is currently loaded. Click the folder icon in the top right hand corner of this screen.
The archives themselves are in the directory you specified earlier, with the filename being the name of the game and the date the backup was created. Select the files you want to restore. You’ll see a screen with some information about that archive, such as what game it is for and when it was created. To restore it, click the blue icon in the top right corner. This will overwrite any current saves you have, so if you are only using it to check out an old save, make sure you back up your more recent saves first. If you are doing this on a different computer, or restoring saves after a reformat, this wont be an issue.
To make this a little quicker, you can also go to the settings screen, and under
General Settings, check everything that starts with
"Associate with...". Once GameSave Manager archives are associated with GameSave Manager in Windows, you can double-click the files in Explorer to go directly to the restore screen.
This isn’t a perfect solution. It doesn’t backup new saves as you play, and it doesn’t automatically sync saves between systems like the official cloud saves usually do, but it’s still a good thing to have in place. If you ever lose you data, such as after reformatting or reinstalling Windows, or if you switch computers, all of your game saves will be in the cloud waiting for you. Or if you just mess something up in-game and want to go back in time, you’ll have that option, too.