How To Backup & Import PS3 Game Saves

ps3 saves 01   How To Backup & Import PS3 Game SavesOne of the main advantages of PS3 (apart from the great graphics and insane processor power) is its accessibility.

The XrossMediaBar (XMB in short) was first used for the PSX. At the moment it’s the user interface system for both the PSP and the PlayStation 3. Although we’re still far away from the customizability we have on the PSP, it’s a big step forward, coming from the PlayStation 2.

This accessibility is really demonstrated when we’re copying to or from the PlayStation 3. Not only movies or pictures, but savegames as well.

Some of you might remember the hassle of copying or backing up a savefile on the PlayStation 2. This was possible, but only from and to other memory cards. If you wanted to use these savefiles through a computer, additional products had to be purchased. Special Memory Cards, Memory Card to USB converters, and so on.

With the PlayStation 3 this becomes much easier. Not only can we make swift backups to various storage media, it’s also easy to share, or download savefiles using the internet.

Method 1: Full Backup

Of course there’s no easier way to secure your save-files than by doing a full fledged back-up.

One of the downsides is that it really is a one-click-backup, meaning you can’t select specific parts or use it for anything other than to put it back later, which then erases all the other content.

Doing it is pretty simple though. Just make sure you’ve got a flash drive, external hard disk or one of the supported memory cards at hand. Make sure you’ve got enough room on it before you try backing up your entire HD film collection.

If you want to do a more specific backup, or learn how to place downloaded savefiles on your PlayStation 3, check Method 2 below.

  1. Navigate to Settings -> System Settings

    ps3 saves 03   How To Backup & Import PS3 Game Saves

  2. Scroll down and select Backup Utility and choose Backup.
  3. You will see two warnings, one will tell you that you can’t backup Trophies, the other one is a regular affirmation form. Confirm both times.
  4. Next, you’ll be prompted for the destination. You can use any flash drive or external hard disk, just make sure you’ve got enough space available.

    ps3 saves 02   How To Backup & Import PS3 Game Saves

  5. Wait for the process to finish, and you’re done. Once you’ve put the backup somewhere safe, you can sleep soundly.

Note: If you want to restore the backup, go back to Settings -> System Settings -> Backup Utility and select “restore”. Once you’ve told your PlayStation where to look, your files will magically fall into place, but know that all the other files on the PlayStation 3 will be deleted!

Method 2: Manual Backup

If you want to have a bigger say in the backup process, you can always try doing it manually. The method described below will work for all files (videos and pictures alike), but we’re going to look specifically at the save files.

The process is pretty simple. Just insert your storage drive and follow the steps below.

  1. Go to Game -> Saved Data Utility. This is where all your saves are stored.
  2. Browse to the right savegame and press triangle ( 15px playstationtrianglesvg   How To Backup & Import PS3 Game Saves ). And select Copy in the newly opened sidebar.
  3. ps3 saves 04   How To Backup & Import PS3 Game Saves

  4. You’ll be prompted for the destination. Any external storage drive will do (like a USB stick or a memory card), save games aren’t so very big. Additionally, you can also transfer the save game to another user account.
  5. ps3 saves 05   How To Backup & Import PS3 Game Saves

  6. Wait for the copying to finish, and you’re done!

Note: These savegames can be easily transfered from and to other media. You can store them on your PC, mail them to friends, and so on. The posibilities are endless.

Putting The PS3 Game Saves Back In Place

If you want to copy a savegame to your PlayStation 3, you’ll need to do the following:

  1. Go to Game -> Saved Data Utility.
  2. Way at the top you’ll see your storage drives. Click on the one you need.
  3. ps3 saves 06   How To Backup & Import PS3 Game Saves

  4. Just like before, select the desired savegame and press triangle ( 15px playstationtrianglesvg   How To Backup & Import PS3 Game Saves ). Then select Copy in the sidebar and choose to copy to your PlayStation 3’s hard drive.
  5. Wait for it to finish copying, and you’re done!

Download PS 3 Save Games Online

There are a lot of good sources for PlayStation 3 save games. Most of these saves are 80 to 100 percent completed and some have various unlocked extra’s. These can be downloaded and copied to your PlayStation 3 with the method described above.

gamefaqs   How To Backup & Import PS3 Game SavesGameFaqs is a great website for all kinds of video game info. This is the place to go if you want release dates, cheats or walkthroughs. Even savegames!

logo   How To Backup & Import PS3 Game SavesPS3BREW, part of the Brewology network, hosts a wide range of PlayStation 3 savefiles. It’s definately worth checking out.

Do you know any other cool sites? Another slick savegame trick perhaps? Or do you have a question regarding this article?

Just drop a comment below.

You might also want to check out – it provides Playstation 3 updates, news and everything related to the cool ps3 game console

The comments were closed because the article is more than 180 days old.

If you have any questions related to what's mentioned in the article or need help with any computer issue, ask it on MakeUseOf Answers—We and our community will be more than happy to help.


T.J. Mininday

The PS3’s interface is so incredibly easy and user friendly. I used a very similar procedure when I installed a 250gb hard drive for mine.


Cant find my saves when i open my USB on the PS3. I’ve tried zipping the save-game folder, have the files in the top layer of files on the USB, but nothing works. Any pointers will be greatly appreciated.

Simon Slangen

You need to use the following hierarchy:
(Storage: e.g. X:)\PS3\SAVEDATA\*name*\ (files here)

This *name* is specific for each savegame. Just use the folders that exist in the downloaded archive.


That did the trick. Thank you very much. I was doing everything right except I didn’t use the hierarchy.


try using the triangle button and press display all


i have the same problem as u nicole.:L


EUREKA!!! It worked.
Thanks a bunch Simon!!!


simon when i download a ps3 game save from the internet and put it on a usb under “PS3″/”SAVEDATA”/”THE FILES NAME” it comes up so i copy it onto my ps3 so when it is in my saved data on my ps3 i load up the game but when i choose load it doesn’t show up please respond im pulling my hair out here

Simon Slangen

Hmmm… Does it work with other gamesaves?


I have the same problem like ash. My situation here is that I lost my save data for Resistance 2, so I downloaded a save data via the internet and did the “PS3/SAVEDATA/FILES NAME” process. I copied the save file onto my save data utility then when I came to start the game, the load option was not available and instead only the new game option was available… sooo what is this :) ???

Simon Slangen

Is there another hierarchy used in the rar/zip files?

Do you experience the same problems with other save files?


you need to extract the file by winrar where do u get the save data for midnight club la on ps3


I’m incredibly frustrated. Whenever I put my files on to a USB drive, they don’t appear when I plug it into the PS3. The images appear, but the data doesn’t come up in the game settings.

My old PS3 broke. I just got a new one. I am just trying to get my old data back. The USB drive pops up in the music, video, and image icons, but that’s it. Not the games one.

I’ve been trying to find a solution all day. Please help.



I have the exact same problem…The USB drive pops up in the music, video, and image icons section but not in the games section. Have you been able to figure out what the heck the problem is? Corrupted files?


You need to go into ‘Saved Data Utility(PS3)’ and your memory stick should be in there. My problem is that i can’t open my USB flash drive. When i click ‘X’, it comes up with ‘There is no save data’, and when i click triangle it only comes up with ‘Information’, not ‘Display all. I have the file name right: \PS3\SAVEDATA\GTA4\*files*, but when i go on the game the save file doesn’t appear there either. what do i do? HELP!


I’m pretty sure where you put the name (in your case GTA4) of the game in the hierarchy is supposed to be the code/seriel of the game, typically BLU999999 (a certain amount of numbers) so that the game recognizes the save files. It’s been a while since I did this myself, som I’m not 100% sure about this.


Hey guys, i’ve been trying that. With Little Big Planet it worked perfectly, but with Mirror’s Edge it didnt…

It copied well but when I run the Mirror’s Edge it says the game can’t load the save data files because some other user has created them (because i had to restore the PS3)…

please help


how can i back up trophies? i have a new hard drive to install

Simon Slangen

Go to Game -> Trophy Collection and press triangle. Then choose ‘Synchronise with Server’. (You need a PSN account for this though. If you haven’t got one, make one now)

robert Bowlson

im trying to upload midnight club la to my ps3. i downloaded a save from ps3brew and it wont upload to my ps3. i have a mac and i tried to change the name to what it says in another message and it didnt work. plese help!


are trophies not working? i backed them up, now it shows none under them

Simon Slangen

You need to resync after installing your new Hard Drive.


i also have a mac and when i tried to change the name of the save data to PS3/SAVEDATA/*name* it said the name was to long

Simon Slangen

“change the name of the save data”
You don’t need to ‘change the name’ of the savedata to PS3/SAVEDATA/*name*, it’s the hierarchy you need to use.

*name* in folder SAVEDATA in folder PS3 on portable storage.

Still experiencing the same problem? If so, I’d suggest you ask a friend with Windows or Linux to do it, though this should be possible with Macs as well.


i ave resyced still nothing

Simon Slangen

Are you sure the (first or current) synchronization succeeded?


yes, it appeared too

robert Bowlson

ok so i got a file to work. but the one that worked went to far into the game so i downloaded another file from the same website and it didnt work. the only difference in the files is one is from europe and one from america. what should i do differently?

Simon Slangen

It seems you need to remain within the appropriate region, though this is the first I hear of that.


i was just wondering with the ps3 games saves if u put them on the ps3 will they work without the game disc or do u still need that too? thanks

Simon Slangen

You still need the games ;)

The save file only tells the game how far you’ve progressed.


i made another user on my ps3 and copied the game data from my old one to my new one but when i tried playing resistance 2 it kept on saying this is not you save data load aborted. do u know how to make it work?


what files does a ps3 support for games ?am i able to put an OST file on the ps3 hard drive?


Thanks for the tutorial. I followed the instructions which were quite easy and downloaded/copied a Guitar Hero III Savegame. Unfortunately, as Eric stated in one of the above comments I cannot get it to work – it doesn’t load, probably because someone else created it. Is there a way or better, which is the way to make other users’ (GH III) savegames to work on my console? Would be really nice if someone could help me with this.


ok i have a save but when i go to load it. it tells me that it was created by another user and cannot be loaded is there anyway to get around this.


No matter what I do, when I put a USB device with downloaded saves on it into my PS3, I always get a corrupt file message. I’ve downloaded saves using Windows XP and Linux. On NTFS and Fat32, nothing works. I have the newer PS3 160GB. Any thoughts on this?

Simon Slangen

No, sorry, I haven’t got any idea of what could cause such problems. Perhaps a dedicated PS3 forum is the way to go.



A lady at the game shop put my back up files in a cd and I copied it to my usb alredi…. I then did the PS3/SAVEDATA/(I put the folders in here) and i went to my new PS3 and tried to restore the data… and it sez that there isnt any backup data…. HELP! i want to play disgaea 3…

Simon Slangen

Try using the CD directly with your Playstation

If it doesn’t work, what format are the file(s) ?


hi ive got midnight club la and wen i put the files on my hdd it doesnt apear on my game


im planning on getting a new internal hard drive for my ps3, so am a able to completely back up all my game saves, game files etc and trophys? because i really dnt want to lose everything as ive worked a long time to get where i am.

Simon Slangen

Full back up should do the job for everything except the trophies.

Your trophy collection can’t be backed up in the traditional way (would open too much doors for cheating), instead you need to synchronize them with the server before removing your hard drive and back again after installing the new one.

To do this, you need an active internet connection and a PSN account. If you don’t have one, make one now.
Then go to Game -> Trophy Collection and press triangle. Choose ‘Synchronise with Server’.


For restoring saves from PS1 games try the following directory structure on your USB stick.

:\PS3\EXPORT\PSV\*actual savedata filename*



Simon Slangen

Nothing at all? Then there’s probably something wrong with the USB stick itself. Try if it works with another save file.


This doesn’t work.


I cant get this to work. Giving up…


i have a WD 250GB external hard drive and an imac g4 and i am trying to figure out how to download the save files from PS3 Brew on my mac, put it on the WD external hard drive and open it up to where i can play the save on my PS3 in COD4. PLEASE HELP I AM PULLING MY HAIR OUT! step by step instructions would be nice.


hi i have a ps3 in two different locations and like to import files from one to the other rather than starting new games all the time, so i did this for resistance 2 and was wondering if this would block me from getting any more trophies, it has never notified me of any risk of losing trophies but just wanted to double check.

Simon Slangen

If you use the same PSN account on both playstations, there shouldn’t be any problem. Trophy achievements are automatically synced with Sony’s server.


I’ve got a save on a USB stick and and it shows up in Game Utility and stuff, the problem is when I try to put it on my PS3 it says same file name, Overwrite current?

It’s a save from gamefaqs and I’d rather not lose the save I already have for the game, is there a way to rename Save Titles

Simon Slangen

Not sure, but I don’t think so. You could always back up your original save game before your replace it.


I have a stupid question, if I download a 100% save file when I load the game save, will it give me the platinum trophy?

Simon Slangen

Probably not, would be a little too easy ;-)



when i downloaded gran turismo 5 SAVEDATA i put it onto my ps3 (overwriting the old data as i wasnt that far in the game anyway) i went to load it up and it says it was created by another user and can not use data form another user (i downloaded this data) does it matter what region i download it from?:S because i live in the UK and donwloaded it from the “Europe” section on the website, PLEASEE help.

Simon Slangen

There seem to be some games that do this. InFamous does the same nasty thing. You won’t be able to use those saves, no matter where you download them.


when i try to backup files i go to backup utility but it does not recognise the external drive

Simon Slangen

Not very much to do about that, try using a different drive/stick.


i got 2 ps3’s and i download games from the ps3 store to 1 of my ps3’s, and i would like to know how am i able to have the purchased games from the ps3 store on my other ps3 without having to buy the games twice? is there a way? PLEASE HELP!!!


You can view your purchasing history at the playstation store, and you should have an unrestricted number of downloads of allready purchased content (at least it used to be this way). It’s required that you are logged in with the PSN account that the purchase was done with.


ok i did that but for the game marvel vs capcom 2 on my 2nd ps3 it shows it downloading and complete in 0 seconds but its not showing up on my game list, why? and is there any other options i have so i dont have to pay twice for my ps3 online store games??? P.S. thanks for all your help…..


it worked, i figured it out, but still are there other options aswell?? if not, thats ok…..thanks for your useful info……


hi i copied ps3 game to usb but after following directions to copy from usb to ps3 the hard drive doesnt show up it says u r copying same file to same location (usb) there is no harddrive ps3 destination as a option please help

Simon Slangen

@kid – don’t think so

@malmar – make sure you are following the directions to the letter. Copying your files back is a different procedure.
Don’t navigate to your original savefile, like you first did. Instead, go to Game -> Saved Data Utility -> Your-Storage-Drive and try to find the relevant savegame in that directory.


hi, i have a new ps3 account and i want to move my old resident evil 5 data onto my new account, i copied it onto a usb and when i tried to play resident evil it said i cannot use data from other profile users. Is it possible to play on my new ps3 account with my old saved game data?

Simon Slangen

Some games pull this nasty trick on you. You won’t be able to use backed up saves for Resident Evil 5.


if i get a new ps3 and use the same username can i use the game saves from old ps3?

bob anderson

I have a new ps3, and an old one. The old one stopped working properly, so now I want to transfer my save game files from old to new… please help.


if i download a INfamous game save file
that is 100%
will i get all the tropheis ?

Simon Slangen

Nope. Would be a little too easy – eh?


Damn this helped a lot… The thing I struggled with the most was the heirarchy rule thing for transfered files .. But thanks a bunch Simon


i sadly have a problem so far not answered (i dont think)
i downloaded GTA IV onto the usb doing the whole PS3/SAVEDATA/*file name* stuff and copied it onto there put the usb in the ps3 and copied the files onto the ps3 completely fine. it said it was GTA IV created on such a date and time and “story complete”.
but when i put GTA IV in the ps3 and go to play it it just says “creating new game” and there is no other saved games
can anyone help?
or is it when you finish gta iv thats it you cant play no more?


tengo una duda hace poco compre mi ps3 y no se como puedo respaldar las memory cards de psone y ps2 creadas en el disco duro, se puede hacer manualmente?ya lo intente pero no me aparece la opcion


Hi Simon,
I have been reading thru all of these comments in the hope I can find an answer. My son has had a ps3 for a while now and has progressed far in some of his games, trophies etc. Have just enabled internet access and joined PSN BUT.. when I was signing him up, (in a hurry and not really knowing what I was doing) he has ended up with my password as a user ID (Lorigay – Not good!) and his profile shows he is female. Have gotten around that by creating a sub account for him so he has his own user id. But all of his games memory and trophies are with Lorigay. Is there a way of transferring to his id. Please Help


Yeah hi, the game says that its ALL REGION. I attempt to copy a game and it works. It goes into right file, it copied correctly. I don’t know what happened. When I run game it says that there is no save file, what do I do?


Just got a PS3- saved my MW2 trophies on to a USB as the user name (long story, PSN network and my little brother don’t mix)

So now, i’m trying to import my trophies and where I am.

I go into save data utility, USB pops up, press ‘x’ again and the MW2 logo and amount etc is there. Press triangle to copy, and then it comes up with “There is saved data with the same name at the save destination. Do you want to overwrite it?”

I say no, and then nothing happens- definitely don’t want to lose these, suggestions?


Also- synced it some how, and it’s got the progress up so 50% in one, and something in another.

But still no trophies… :(


i downloaded a game save from game faqs an clicked on my drive in the game save menu but it told me there was nothing on the drive. HELP!!


My dad received a new PS3 4 Xmas. I kept the existing one 4 myself, but we have not been successful in transferring all of his game files across. Specifically, Fallout 3. We got his game files over, but he is not allowed to save on top of them. Furthermore, he is not able to earn any trophies. We have different PSN accounts on each machine for his profile. Is there any way to transfer trophies and game files across PSN accounts or to sign on in a different name on the machine?

Simon Slangen

Some games don’t allow the importation of game save. Little to do about that, sadly.

Your trophies are user specific – they’re synchronized with one of Sony’s servers. You’ll need to log in on the new PS3 with your old account. You can then use the sync to regain your trophies.

Hope that helps :-)

Stephen Syverud

Can a Macintosh Computer be used to successfully download GameSaves from the web and?

Please send procedure for downloading GameSaves to a Macintosh and transferring them to a flash drive.

System on the Mac is 10.5.8



Simon Slangen

You can use a Mac, and the process for doing so is pretty much the same: download, unzip, drag to stick.

Stephen Syverud

Thanks for your answer, Simon. However, my problem is that I* cannot copy the gavesave from the download window. Usually, I can just drag the download from the window to my desktop or I open it in the download window by clicking on it. It then can be saved on my desktop. With the gamesave files, I cannot drag them to my desktop and I cannot open them by double clicking o0n them. I think the problem is that the files cannot be read by the Mac and therefore prevent saving to the Mac. Any ideas would be most appreciated. Thanks.


Simon Slangen

You should be able to find the downloads somewhere in a folder on your computer. Check your desktop and the *username*->Downloads folders.

Otherwise, hold the ctrl key while clicking on the download, and select Reveal/Show in Finder.

Stephen Syverud

Simon, I hope you still reading these messages because I need your help. I was able to transfer the ‘game save’ files to the “Save Data Utility” on the PS3. The icons are visible, but the games will not open. Is it possible that the download to my computer was not complete? Each download took less than 30 seconds. Thanks for any idea you might provide in solving my problem.



Thanks, I was trying to figure out how to backup my game saves after my MotorStorm 2 file got a corruption error.

Stephen Syverud

Thanks again, Simon. Got everything over to the PS3 in the “save Data Utility”. Five or six games appear there, but will not open. I can’t play them. Any ideas?