Missing/Corrupt Save File Troubleshooting Guide


If your character no longer appears on the “load” menu, or your game crashes when you try to load your character, please follow these steps:

Possible Quick-Fixes

1. Make sure you are on the same windows account you were using last time you played your character. If not, switch users and try loading your file again.

2. Restart your computer. Try loading your file again.

3. Sometimes, people report that their save file problems fix themselves after a day or so (it sounds odd, but there are logical explanations for this). You can try taking a break from Stardew for one day and coming back to it. Or, continue with the guide and try the other fixes:

4. Exit Steam ( File > Exit ) and relaunch as administrator (right-click the steam icon, select “Run As Administrator”). Try loading your file again. If it still doesn’t work, we need to dig a little deeper.

Finding Your Files

Open File Explorer and navigate to the %appdata%/StardewValley/Saves folder. Verify that a folder exists with your character’s name (the folder will be called followed by an underscore and a bunch of random-looking numbers). If the folder doesn’t exist, check the Recycling Bin or your antivirus software’s quarantine list.

Verify that the folder contains the following files:

File #1. A file with exactly the same name as the folder.
File #2. A file called “SaveGameInfo”
File #3. (optional) A file with the same name as the folder, with an “_old” appended to the end.
File #4. (optional) A file named “SaveGameInfo” with an “_old” appended to the end.

File #1 is your actual save file. It contains all the data that the game needs to load your character. File #2 (SaveGameInfo) is only used by the “Load Game” menu. Files 3 and 4 are backups made by the game in version 1.07 and later. The backup save file is always one day behind the actual save file (in-game progress).

I recommend making a backup of your character’s folder, because the next steps require you to make edits to the files. You can create a folder called “backup” in the StardewValley folder and place your backup in there.

If your character’s save folder contains the two files with “_old” at the end, and you’re okay with losing one day of progress, you can try removing “_old” from the filenames and reloading your game. If that still doesn’t work, or you’d rather not lose one day of progress, proceed.

Making a Diagnosis:

Open your character’s save file (File #1 above) in notepad (it might a few seconds to load).

If the file is blank, your save is lost.

If the file is not blank, then at least part of your save file is in-tact and therefore recoverable. Scroll to the very bottom of the file. If the last text in the file is “</SaveGame>”, then your save file is fully in-tact. Therefore the problem must be a corrupt SaveGameInfo file (please skip ahead to the section labeled “Corrupt SaveGameInfo”).

If the last text you find is not “</SaveGame>”, then your save file is partially missing. This will require a “transplant” to fix:

Advanced Save File Surgery: Performing A Transplant

What you will need:

A verified “working” save file, opened in notepad
Your corrupt save file, opened in notepad

I highly recommend you make backups of both files before proceeding.

1. In your corrupt file, move the text cursor to the very bottom of the file.

2. Press ctrl+f to bring up the search window. Select “Up” where it says “Direction”. Search for “GameLocation xsi”. You should find something like (“JojaMart” could be something different, like “Town” or “Farm”). Copy that entire fragment (From < to >).

3. In the working save file, ctrl+f search for the fragment you just copied. Copy everything from the start of that fragment to the very end of the file.

4. In the corrupt file, select everything from the fragment to the very end of the file (make sure you select any “whitespace” at the end of the file as well) and paste over it. Make sure the “start point” for where you copy/paste matches up exactly between the two files!

5. save the corrupt file, and try to load it. If it doesn’t work, try these steps again from the beginning.

Corrupt SaveGameInfo:

SaveGameInfo is not an essential file for your character. It is only used in the Load Game menu, to display information about your character. Therefore, if it is missing or corrupt, your character will not show up in the load game menu. However, the actual save file might be perfectly fine!

To fix this, you can replace the missing/corrupted SaveGameInfo with one from another character. There will be duplicate entries in the Load Game menu, but one of them will be tied to the character you are trying to fix. Once you save again, everything will return to normal on the Load Game menu.

(optional) For convenience, you could open the copied SaveGameInfo file in notepad and change the contents of the field, that way you’ll be able to differentiate between the two files in the load game menu.

Extra Troubleshooting tips:

1. Your character’s save file and your character’s save folder must have exactly the same name!

2. In version 1.07 and later, Stardew Valley keeps the last two save files around for each character (rather than just the current day). So if you are unable to load your character, you can try loading the previous day instead: In File Explorer, navigate to %appdata%/StardewValley/Saves and find your character’s folder. Take the files that say “_old” on the end and remove the “_old” from the filename. You’ll have to remove or rename the regular files to something else before doing this, or else the filenames will clash.

3. Antivirus software can sometimes interfere with Stardew Valley’s ability to save or load files. Add Stardew Valley to your antivirus “whitelist” or try disabling your antivirus before playing (at your own risk!).

4. Try exiting steam and running Stardew Valley directly from the local files. It will be located in C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\SteamApps\common\Stardew Valley. Run Stardew Valley.exe as administrator (right click > Run as Administrator).