The Steam Deck is Valve’s powerful new handheld gaming PC. With its ability to play AAA games on the go, it has become hugely popular. However, some users have experienced issues with Steam Cloud sync on the Steam Deck. This can lead to game saves not syncing properly across devices.
In this comprehensive guide, we will cover everything you need to know to fix Steam Deck cloud sync errors. We will explain what Steam Cloud is, why sync errors occur, and provide step-by-step solutions to get your Steam Deck syncing properly again.
What is Steam Cloud?
Steam Cloud is Valve’s cloud storage system. It allows Steam users to store game saves, settings, screenshots, and other data online. This data then syncs across all devices logged into the same Steam account.
The key benefit of Steam Cloud is convenience. You can pick up where you left off in a game, even when switching between a gaming PC and the Steam Deck. Your profiles, keybindings, achievements, etc. carry over too.
Steam Cloud is enabled by default for most games. Developers have to actively implement support for it in their titles. When working correctly, Steam Cloud runs seamlessly in the background.
Why Does Steam Deck Cloud Sync Fail?
There are a few common reasons why Steam Cloud sync can fail on the Steam Deck:
- Network issues– Sync relies on an internet connection. Connectivity problems will disrupt the process.
- Steam server problems– Issues on Valve’s end can prevent syncs from going through.
- File conflicts– If a cloud and local save conflict, syncing may fail until the conflict is resolved.
- Steam Cloud save size limits– There are limits to how much data can be synced for each game. Excessive saves may fail to sync properly.
- Game not supporting Steam Cloud– The game must have Steam Cloud enabled by the developer for syncing to work.
- Corrupted local data– Damaged local save files or configs may fail to sync up to the cloud.
- changing the Steam Deck’s system clock– This can confuse Steam Cloud over file versions.
Understanding the source of the issue is key to finding the right solution. Next, we will go through how to fix some of the most common Steam Deck cloud sync errors.
Fixing Steam Deck Cloud Sync Error Codes
Steam may return specific error codes that give clues as to why cloud sync has failed. Here are some of the key Steam Cloud error codes and how to fix them:
Error Code -18 (Sync conflict detected)
This typically occurs when the cloud and local save game differ. Steam can’t determine which one is correct, so refuses to sync.
- Delete the local saved data and re-sync from the cloud. This will overwrite your local progress but restore syncing.
- Browse to the Steam cloud folder on your PC (C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\userdata\[userid]\760\remote). Manually delete the conflicted cloud save. Then relaunch sync on Steam Deck.
Error Code -19 (Corrupt sync data)
Some parts of the saved data or configs have become damaged. Steam refuses to sync it in this state.
- Delete local save data and configs via Steam Deck settings to re-download fresh from the cloud.
- Verify the integrity of game files on Steam Deck. This checks for corruption and redownloads if needed.
- Back up saves externally then uninstall/reinstall the game. Wipe all old local data.
Error Code -20 (File syncing temporarily disabled)
This points to an issue on Valve’s servers. Steam has temporarily paused syncing for maintenance or high loads.
- Wait it out – syncing will automatically resume when server issues are fixed on Valve’s end.
- Restart Steam on all devices to force a recheck of server status
Error Code -105 (Steam Cloud storage full)
You have exceeded the maximum cloud storage allocated per game. New saves are failing to upload.
- Launch the game on a PC and manually delete old/unused saves from the Steam cloud folder.
- Use a utility like Steam Cloud File Manager to clean up files.
- Uninstall large or unused workshop mods to free up capacity.
- Contact Steam Support and request your cloud storage allocation be increased.
General Fixes for Steam Deck Cloud Sync Issues
If you do not receive a specific error code, try these general fixes to get Steam Cloud sync functioning again:
Ensure the Game Supports Steam Cloud
Check in the game properties within your Steam library if ‘Steam Cloud’ is listed as an enabled feature. If not, it is not the Steam Deck’s fault – the game simply does not work with cloud sync.
For single-player games, you can manually transfer saves via USB drive or cloud storage instead.
Check Internet Connectivity
Make sure your Steam Deck has a stable internet connection. Steam Cloud requires an active connection to send and receive data.
Restart your router and Steam Deck. Switch between wifi and mobile hotspot to test if one network is problematic.
Validate Local Game Files
Via the Steam Deck menus, go to the game properties and select ‘Verify Integrity of Game Files’. This will check all local data for errors and re-download any corrupt bits.
Fixing damaged files may allow cloud sync to work again after verification is completed.
Force Steam to Re-Sync Data
Restart Steam on your Deck. When opened again, it will recheck all cloud data and attempt to sync any unsynced changes.
You can also delete the app_data folder for the specific game under ~/.var/app/com.valvesoftware.Steam/data/Steam/steamapps/ then relaunch Steam for a fresh sync.
Ensure Steam Cloud is Enabled
Double-check in Steam’s settings that Cloud Sync is enabled for the game. Right-click the game > Properties > Updates tab. Make sure ‘Enable Steam Cloud synchronization for this game’ is ticked.
Check System Clock
If your Steam Deck’s system clock gets changed manually, this can confuse Steam Cloud over which saves are newer.
Go back to the automatic time setting if altered. Ideally, sync your Linux system clock to the same time server as your router.
Delete Old Game Saves
Excessive local saves or configs can overwhelm Steam Cloud’s sync process. Open the game’s local data folder (in ~/.var/app/com.valvesoftware.Steam/data/Steam/steamapps/compatdata/) and delete unneeded files.
Then restart Steam to refresh cloud sync. This may help if outdated local data is clashing with the cloud.
Contact Steam Support
For persistent sync errors, contact Steam Support. They can investigate issues on Valve’s servers that may be blocking your Steam Deck from syncing properly.
Advanced Steam Deck Cloud Sync Fixes
If the above doesn’t work, some more advanced troubleshooting is required. These steps involve navigating your Steam Deck’s filesystem and editing configs, so proceed carefully:
Wipe All Local Steam Cloud Data
Warning: This will delete all local Steam Cloud data on your Deck. Only attempt if you have backups or don’t mind losing local progress.
In a terminal, run:
rm -rf ~/.var/app/com.valvesoftware.Steam/data/Steam/
This will wipe all cached Steam data including Steam Cloud files. When you next launch Steam it will re-sync everything from scratch.
Delete Problematic Game’s Cloudconfig File
You can force Steam to fully re-sync a specific game’s cloud data:
- In your Steam library, right-click the game > Manage > Browse local files
- Open steamapps/compatdata/[gameID]/pfx/drive_c/users/steamuser/AppData/Roaming/Steam/CODEX
- Delete the cloudconfigfile (may be named cloudconfig_eu, cloudconfig_asia etc)
- Restart Steam and launch the game. Fresh cloud sync should now occur.
This makes Steam forget previous sync details so has to start from scratch again.
Enable Steam File Verification
Steam trusts remote cloud data over local without checking. You can make it verify integrity before syncing:
- Shut down Steam
- Open the config file at ~/.var/app/com.valvesoftware.Steam/config/steam/config.vdf
- Find Cloudsection and add “AllowCachedCredentials” : 0
- Restart Steam – now it will verify cloud data before overwriting local files.
This slows down sync but ensures remote changes are valid before applying locally.
Hopefully, the steps above have helped resolve your Steam Deck cloud sync issues! With the right fixes, you can enjoy seamless cloud sync for all your Steam games on the go.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some common questions about fixing Steam Deck cloud sync errors:
Why does my Steam Deck keep losing game progress?
If your game progress keeps resetting, it points to an issue with Steam Cloud sync. The likely causes are corrupted local files, network problems, or errors on Valve’s servers. Follow the troubleshooting steps above to identify and fix the root cause.
How can I back up Steam Deck game data?
To safely back up your game progress manually, you can copy the compact data folder for a game out of ~/.var/app/com.valvesoftware.Steam/data/Steam/steamapps/. Store this on external media or cloud storage until your sync issues are resolved.
Do all Steam games support cloud saves?
No. Steam Cloud must be implemented by the game’s developer to work. Check in the game’s Steam properties to see if Steam Cloud is listed as an enabled feature. For games without cloud support, you’ll have to back up saves manually.
How do I contact Steam Support for sync help?
You can submit a ticket to Steam Support here: https://help.steampowered.com/ – go to the Games, Software, etc. category and choose the game with sync issues. Detail the troubleshooting steps you have tried when describing the problem.
Can I increase my Steam Cloud storage allowance?
Yes, but you’ll need to contact Steam Support and provide a valid reason for needing more cloud storage allocated to a particular game. The default limits are generally quite generous, so make sure you need more space before requesting an increase.
With the rising popularity of the Steam Deck, issues like cloud sync errors are bound to crop up. Thankfully, most sync problems can be resolved with the right troubleshooting techniques.
The key is carefully analyzing the symptoms and error messages to isolate the cause, and then applying targeted solutions. Patience and rigorously checking the basics like network connectivity is key.
In more difficult cases, you may need to edit Steam config files or delete local data to get a fresh sync from the cloud. Just remember to always back up your game progress before deleting any files.
With the fixes outlined here, you should be able to get your Steam Deck back to seamlessly syncing across devices in no time. Game on!
Mustafa Al Mahmud is the founder and owner of Gizmo Concept, a leading technology news and review site. With over 10 years of experience in the tech industry, Mustafa started Gizmo Concept in 2017 to provide honest, in-depth analysis and insights on the latest gadgets, apps, and tech trends. A self-proclaimed “tech geek,” Mustafa first developed a passion for technology as a computer science student at the Hi-Tech Institute of Engineering & Technology. After graduation, he worked at several top tech firms leading product development teams and honing his skills as both an engineer and innovator. However, he always dreamed of having his own platform to share his perspectives on the tech world. With the launch of Gizmo Concept, Mustafa has built an engaged community of tech enthusiasts who look to the site for trusted, informed takes on everything from smartphones to smart homes. Under his leadership, Gizmo Concept has become a top destination for tech reviews, news, and expert commentary. Outside of running Gizmo Concept, Mustafa is an avid traveler who enjoys experiencing new cultures and tech scenes worldwide. He also serves as a tech advisor and angel investor for several startups. Mustafa holds a B.S. in Computer Science from HIET.