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How to move Steam games to another drive

Put your games where you want.
By
December 21, 2022

If you have your Steam library in one place and want to shift it elsewhere, here is how to move Steam games to another drive.

Read more: How to return a Steam game

QUICK ANSWER

To move your entire library, quit Steam and ensure the app is closed. Next, open your Steam installation folder. By default on Windows, this is “C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam"; on macOS, it's “~/Library/Application Support/Steam"; on Linux, it's “~/.local/share/Steam/." Delete everything except the “steamapps" and “userdata" folders and the Steam executable file itself. Cut and paste the entire “Steam" folder to the new location. Launch Steam and log in.

If you want to move one or a few games, make a new Steam library by opening Steam > Settings > Downloads > Steam Library Folders. Hit the + button and choose a new drive, then click Select. In the pop-up window that appears, click Add. To move a game, open your Steam Library and find the game you want to move. Right-click on it, choose Properties > Local Files and then choose Move install folder…. In the pop-up window, select the new drive and click Move.

To change the default installation folder, open Steam > Settings > Downloads > Steam Library Folders. Choose the drive that you wish to make the default. Click on the button and select Make Default.


JUMP TO KEY SECTIONS

How to move all Steam games to another drive

A screenshot of the Steam folder on Linux in a file browser.
Zak Khan / Android Authority

If you want to move your entire library, you’ll have to dive into some files and folders. Before you do any of this, however, it’s best to back up your “steamapps” folder. On Windows, you’ll find this at “C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps”. For macOS, it’s “~/Library/Application Support/Steam/steamapps”; on Linux, it’s “~/.local/share/Steam/steamapps.”

After you back up your “steamapps” folder, here is what to do:

  1. Quit Steam and ensure the app is closed.
  2. Open your Steam installation folder. By default on Windows, this is “C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam”; on macOS, it’s “~/Library/Application Support/Steam”; on Linux, it’s “~/.local/share/Steam/” — note that this is a hidden folder and won’t appear in most file browsers by default.
  3. Delete everything except the “steamapps” and “userdata” folders and the Steam executable file itself.
  4. Cut and paste the entire “Steam” folder to the new location.
  5. Launch Steam and log in. Steam will update itself, and everything you download in the future will be installed in this new location.

How to move individual Steam games to another drive

If you want to move one or a few games to a new location, you can do so through Steam itself. Here’s what to do:

  1. Make a new Steam library in the location you want by opening Steam > Settings > Downloads > Steam Library Folders. Hit the + button and choose the new drive, then click Select.
  2. In the pop-up window that appears, click Add.
  3. Open your Steam Library and find the game you want to move. Right-click on it and then choose Properties.
  4. Click on Local Files and then select Move install folder….
  5. In the pop-up window, choose the new drive as the location you want to move the game to and click Move.

Note that every game you install in the future after adding a library folder will ask you where you want to install it.

How to change the default Steam installation folder

A screenshot of the Steam settings window showing the Steam Library Folders window showing the context menu for a folder with the option the make it the default highlighted.
Zak Khan / Android Authority

After adding a new drive, you can change the default installation folder if you wish. Here’s how:

  1. Open Steam > Settings > Downloads > Steam Library Folders.
  2. Choose the drive that you want to make the default.
  3. Click on the button and select Make Default.

Read more: How to hide Steam games from your friends and keep them private

FAQs

Yes, but you will have to ensure the external hard drive is connected before attempting to play games installed on it.

Yes, if you add a new drive, Steam will ask you where you want to install new games after it’s created.

Yes, your data should remain intact after moving a game.