Guide:Make Skyrim Vanilla Again

From STEP Modding Wiki

Guide to removing all 3rd-party mods and other files from your Skyrim installation -- by torminater, wikified by Farlo

  1. The best way of course is to use your zip file that you made of the Skyrim Directory as you followed the Skyrim Installation Guide, just delete the whole directory and unpack the zip. This is the only method to restore a previous version of Skyrim.
  2. If you don't have a vanilla zip, its relatively simple but takes a minute depending on your internet speed, first click enable in Skyrim Unplugged if you are using it.
    For a quicker although rougher guide, see Reverting Skyrim to a Pristine (Vanilla) Installation
  3. Deactivate all mods using your choice of mod manager and/or the Skyrim launcher
  4. Navigate to ...Steam/steamapps/common/Skyrim.
    • Delete all folders except:
      Data
      DirectX10
      DotNetFX
      reslists
      Skyrim
      VCRedist
    • Delete all loose files except:
      atimgpud.dll
      binkw32.dll
      steam_api.dll
      SkyrimLauncher.exe
      TESV.exe
      high.ini
      medium.ini
      low.ini
      Skyrim_default.ini
      VeryHigh.ini
      readme.txt
      installscript.vdf
  5. Inside Skyrim/Data:
    • Delete all folders except Interface, Strings, and Video.
    • Delete all loose files except:
      HighResTexturePack01.bsa
      HighResTexturePack02.bsa
      Skyrim - Animations.bsa
      Skyrim - Interface.bsa
      Skyrim - Meshes.bsa
      Skyrim - Misc.bsa
      Skyrim - Shaders.bsa
      Skyrim - Sounds.bsa
      Skyrim - Textures.bsa
      Skyrim - Voices.bsa
      Skyrim - VoicesExtra.bsa
      Update.bsa
      Skyrim.esm
      Update.esm
      HighResTexturePack01.esp
      HighResTexturePack02.esp
      (If you're missing any files, don't worry, they'll be recovered by step 10)
  6. Inside Data/Interface delete everything except: "TRANSLATE_<insertyourlanguage>.txt"
  7. Inside Data/Strings delete everything except:
    Skyrim_<insertyourlanguage>.DLSTRINGS
    Update_<insertyourlanguage>.DLSTRINGS
    Skyrim_<insertyourlanguage>.ILSTRINGS
    Update_<insertyourlanguage>.ILSTRINGS
    Skyrim_<insertyourlanguage>.STRINGS
    Update_<insertyourlanguage>.STRINGS
  8. Inside Data/Video delete everything except: "BGS_Logo.bik"
  9. The remaining folders in the root Skyrim directory should contain the following number of files (including hidden ones):
    DirectX10: 146 files
    DotNetFX: 1 file
    reslists: 2 files
    Skyrim: 1 file
    VCRedist: 1 file
  10. In Steam, navigate to the Workshop and unsubscribe from every mod.
  11. Navigate to My Documents/My Games/Skyrim and delete all files and subdirectories (after making backups of course).
  12. In Steam, click "Verify integrity of game cache..." under the Local Files tab in Skyrim's Properties window. This will do a CRC check on every file in the Skyrim directory and download any files that are corrupted or missing. This process may take some time depending on internet speed.
  13. Launch Skyrim from Steam, thereby creating new INI files. Set your preferred settings in the game launcher.
  14. Make a full archive/backup of your newly-pristine Skyrim directory so this guide isn't needed in the future.
  15. If there are any saves you wish to revert to a vanilla status see the Clean Save Procedure in the Troubleshooting guide.


Optional: this procedure ensures that you have a stable Vanilla installation.

  1. Start a new game
  2. Skip through the tutorial level, up to leaving the cave, by ignoring combat or using God Mode (enter "tgm" in the console).
    (This is just a test, so don't bother setting up your character.)
  3. Once you've completed the tutorial (when Ralof/Hadvar tells you to head to Riverwood), enter the following in the console:
    • "tmm 1" - Unlocks all map locations
    • "psb" - Unlocks all spells and shouts
    • "player.modav dragonsouls 100" - Gives 100 Dragon Souls
  4. Activate all your shouts.
  5. Fast travel to any location you'd like (preferably main cities) and try out various spells and shouts. Basically, give the game a little stress test by wreaking havoc to make sure everything's solid.