How to Fix a Steam Cloud Error

It's probably a synchronization issue, but we'll explore other possible problems, too

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The Steam Cloud error pops up when the files on your computer don’t line up with the files stored in the Steam Cloud. It serves as a way to keep you from accidentally losing progress in a game, so it’s important to fix this problem before you launch a game.

What Causes the Steam Cloud Error?

When you experience this error, you’ll typically one of these messages:

  • Steam Cloud Error
  • Steam was unable to Sync your files for (game) with the Steam Cloud
  • Unable to Sync

These messages appear when Steam checks your local game files and they don’t match with the save data that’s saved in the Steam Cloud. This usually happens when you play games on multiple computers, but it can also happen if you only play on one.

The most common cause of the Steam Cloud error is when you play on one computer and make progress in a game, and then launch the game on another computer that isn’t set to sync with the Steam Cloud. Since the data doesn’t match, Steam provides a warning. Depending on the specific error, you may have the option to play the game anyway or try to sync again.

If you opt to play a game after receiving the Steam Cloud error, you may lose progress in your game because the game may end up using the older save files. Try to resolve the problem before playing the game if at all possible.

How to Fix the Steam Cloud Error Message

To resolve your Steam Cloud error, try each of these fixes:

  1. Retry the synchronization. If your Steam Cloud error message provides an option to Retry Sync, try that. It may have been a momentary issue with Steam or your internet connection.

    If you don’t see the message anymore, look for where it says Cloud Status Out of Sync (next to the play button in your Steam Library). Click Out of Sync, and then click Retry Sync.

    If you have a Steam Cloud warning that gives you the option to play the game anyway or launch anyway, do not select those options. Playing the game without resolving your cloud issue could result in a loss of game progress.

  2. Make sure Steam isn’t down. Check the official Steam Twitter, or an unofficial status site like Steam Status to see if Steam is experiencing outage issues.

    If Steam seems to be experiencing problems, come back and try again later. Steam service outage issues can prevent cloud synchronization and cause this error.

  3. Check your internet connection. If your connection is slow or unreliable, that can prevent the Steam Cloud from synchronizing.

    If this is your problem, you'll need to check your connection speed and quality and fix your internet problems. You can then attempt to synchronize with Steam Cloud again using the instructions for reattempting synchronization from step one.

  4. Enable Steam Cloud synchronization on your computer. The most common cause of this problem is that synchronization is off on the computer you’re currently using, and you played the game on a different computer that has synchronization on.

    Open Steam > Settings > Cloud > Enable Steam Cloud synchronization for apps that support it. Then click OK and restart Steam. Steam should synchronize, and you can try to play the game again.

    Steam may present you with an option of which save data to use when you launch your game. Check the date on the different options and choose the one that corresponds to the last time you played to avoid losing progress.

  5. Perform a complete restart of Steam. If your game still won’t sync, make sure that you’ve completely shut down and restarted Steam. Open Task Manager, right-click Steam, and select End Task. Then check for any other Steam processes (i.e. Steam (32 bit), Steam Client WebHelper), right-click, and End Task those as well.

    After you've completely shut down Steam, you can open it again and wait to see if it synchronizes.

  6. Verify the integrity of your game files. If there is a problem with your local game files, you can fix it by verifying.

    To verify game files, right-click the game in your Steam library, then click Properties > Local Files > Verify integrity of game files.

    This process can a while if your storage drive is slow or the game is large.

  7. Repair your Steam library folder. If fixing the game files didn’t resolve your problem, repairing the library folder may.

    Click Steam > Settings > Download > Steam Library Folders. Then click the more icon (three horizontal dots) and select Repair Folder.

  8. Adjust antivirus and firewall settings. Check your antivirus and firewall programs, and make sure they’re set to allow Steam through. For example, you can allow Steam to bypass Windows Defender without fully disabling it.

    Optionally, you can disable your antivirus and firewall temporarily to see if that fixes the problem. If it does, then you'll need to either add an exception to your firewall or antivirus for Steam or switch to a new firewall or antivirus.

    Your firewall and antivirus are important safety features, so don't leave them disabled permanently.

  • How do I fix the Steam disk write error?

    To fix the Steam disk write error, restart Steam, restart your computer, remove write protection from the drive, and turn off the read-only setting for the Steam folder. If you still have trouble, run Steam as an administrator, or try moving Steam to a different drive.

  • How do I fix a Steam network error?

    To fix a Steam network error, restart your Steam connection, check the Steam server status, and troubleshoot your internet connection. If you still see the error, update the Steam client, close background apps, turn off Windows Firewall, and restart your PC.

  • How do I fix a Steam fatal error?

    To fix a fatal error in Steam, start by searching for the error code to find specific instructions. General fixes include updating Steam, updating graphics drivers, deleting temporary files, and freeing up space on your hard drive.

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