Valve’s added some new quality-of-life improvements to Steam in the past few years, like the capacity to install various games simultaneously, tagging the games you already own in the store, so you wouldn’t mistake to purchase them again, and controller support for every game now.
But the last few updates have particularly welcomed the users with multiple hard drives: You can now easily move a Steam game to a different drive within Steam itself.
Method 1: The Basic Step
Before now, you had one of two options: Either uninstall the game and reinstall it on the new drive or manually navigate and move the game’s folder to the new drive location at your convenience.
If you’ve purchased a new game and planning to return it and move it to another drive, then read our detailed guide to refund Steam games.
The problem is that Steam is not much of a fan of this feature. After moving the installed game, Steam needs to re-verify all of the game’s files one at a time so that nothing gets screwed up.
But here’s the catch, Steam wouldn’t register the game’s presence once you move it over to an external drive. That’s why people tend to keep it the same way.
Things are way simple now, though. Right-click on the game, select the Properties, then Local Files, and you’ll be able to view the “Move Folder” option, which is a lifesaver. Click it, and you’ll be bestowed with a list of all the available Steam library locations. Simple.
However, there is not any reliable option to batch-move a bunch of games. Now it would seem pretty convenient to move a game directly from Steam, but what if you’re not entitled to do so with all the games when you need to migrate an entire hard drive.
The good ole’ drag and drop for each game would eat up a lot of time. And with the arrival of SSDs, this doesn’t really seem to be a good one.
If the manual Drag and Drop feature is not enough for you, then definitely go for this second method that we’ve curated for all the gamers who are lacking a little extra space.
Method 2: Creating Symlinks with Steam Mover
The company couldn’t come up with a good name. Anyway, Steam Mover is an excellent tool that will move any game from Steam, Origin, or otherwise. The best thing is that you aren’t required to reinstall anything.
The program does this by creating a metaphorical link at the old location, so your system fools itself, thinking everything’s in the same place. But all those space-eating files really reside on another drive.
- Download the Steam Mover and install it up. It’s completely portable, so you aren’t required to install anything else; just run the EXE file.
- At the top of a window, choose the folder where your game currently resides. Now, on the right side of the window, browse where you’d like to move the game or create a new folder on the drive to migrate it.
- Select the game from the list and tick the blue arrow at the bottom. Now, The Steam Mover will bring up the black CMD (command prompt) window that shows you the process’s progress. Let it run, and when the process is finished, your game would be in the new folder and the tool. You can quickly move the migrated game from Steam as if it never moved.
- And that’s pretty much it. You can also process with as many games as you like and move it back and forth if you want to use the Steam Mover and do the same process.
Moreover, you can also make the symlinks for yourself without using Steam Mover’s help, but the process is pretty time taking as mentioned above.
Method 3: Moving the Game and Directing the Game Manager to a New Location
So, what if you’re too lazy to download and install another tool like Steam Mover? Then we have another working method for all the procrastinators. Suppose you don’t already know that Steam and Origin both have ways to “detect” all the installed games once you’ve moved them. It would help if you did the right things in the correct order.
- Creating a folder in the new location where you can store all the games. It gets pretty easy when you’re on Steam. Navigate to Settings > Downloads > Steam Library Folders and tick “Add Library Folder.”
- Navigate to the new Steam library folder and create a new folder within it named “steamapps“. Finally, create a folder in steamapps called ordinary.
- Head to the current Steam folder and navigate the folder for the game(s) you want to move. You’ll probably find the in steamapps/common within the app. Copy the game’s folder, e.g., “Destiny” to the new steamapps/common folder that we just created in step 2.
- Now, open Steam and right-click on the game you’re moving, and click on “Delete Local Content”. This will uninstall the game from its original location.
- After uninstalling, click the Install button to re-install the game. In the “Choose Location” drop-down menu, select the new Steam folder on the other drive.
- Instead of downloading the game again (which could take hours), Steam automatically detects the existing files and updates if necessary. When it’s done, you can then easily play the game as usual.
Again, this isn’t the exact method to migrate your games in batch mode. But for the time being, this does the job.
You can share your thoughts and get us acknowledged if you’re aware of any other good alternative on how to move Steam games to another drive in the comment section below.
Do let me know if you’re facing any trouble regarding the migration of your games from Steam. Cheers!