How To Backup & Import PS3 Game Saves

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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.

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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

  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.

    backup ps3

  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 ( ). And select Copy in the newly opened sidebar.
  3. ps3 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. 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. Just like before, select the desired savegame and press triangle ( ). Then select Copy in the sidebar and choose to copy to your PlayStation 3’s hard drive.
  4. 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.

gamefaqsGameFaqs 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!

PS3BREW, 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

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Comments (88)
  • erindil

    I had to restore to factory settings on ps3 , but before I did, I saved my last saved game file on gta5 to a usb glider. I reinstalled the game and copied the file . Now on the game, when I choose to load that saved game it says that I cant load this file because I didnt create it. Not sure where I went wrong.

  • 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?


  • jennifer

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

  • 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.


  • 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.

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This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.
Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.