How to move your Steam games to another drive, and make sure you never run out of storage space

To move Steam games to another drive, you'll need to make sure that Steam recognizes that drive.

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To move Steam games to another drive, you’ll need to make sure that Steam recognizes that drive.
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Sean Gallup/Getty Images

  • You can move your Steam games to another drive right from your Steam library, just by clicking a button.
  • If your computer uses multiple hard drives, Steam will install games by default to the main drive. If that gets full, you’ll have to move your games to another drive.
  • Steam stores games at a directory of your choosing. You can move installed files to a new drive without needing to reinstall it.
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You’ve been putting it off, but your hard drive’s only got 20 gigabytes left, and you’re trying to install a 25 gigabyte game from Steam. You’ve got an external with a lot more space on it, but you don’t know how to move your games over. You want to install the new game on the external drive, and you don’t want to uninstall an old favourite to make room. Luckily, learning how to do this in Steam is easier than it seems.

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How to move Steam games to another drive

1. Open the Steam application on your Mac or PC.

2. Find the game you want to move in your Library.

3. Right-click the title and select “Properties.”

4. Open the “Local Files” tab and select “Move Install Folder.” Once your file browser opens, navigate to your second drive and then click “OK.” If you don’t have a second hard drive to move the files to, the “Move Install Folder” option won’t appear.

The move install folder button will appear on computers that Steam recognizes has a second hard drive.

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The move install folder button will appear on computers that Steam recognizes has a second hard drive.
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Ross James/Business Insider

5. If you have a second drive but still don’t see it, then Steam hasn’t made a folder on the other hard drive before, and doesn’t know to look for it.

  • You can solve this by starting an installation on the drive you want to move to – you don’t need to complete it. Start installing a different game, and select the new drive from the dropdown menu called “Choose location for install.” Steam should offer the “Move Install Folder” option from now on.

Just starting an installation on the drive will signal Steam to look for it.

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Just starting an installation on the drive will signal Steam to look for it.
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Ross James/Business Insider

If you want to move the folder to an external drive manually, you can instead select “Browse Local Files” in step four from the above steps. This will open the folder in your operating system’s file explorer.

1. Go up one level – that is, open the folder that contains the folder that Steam opened for you. By default, Steam labels this folder “common.” In this common folder, find the folder for your game.

2. Cut and paste it using Windows by highlighting the folder, pressing Control + X, and then navigating to your external hard drive and pressing Control + V.

On a Mac, instead click and drag the folder into the external hard drive’s Finder window while holding the Option key.

You can play the game directly from the external hard drive, but it’ll still require a Steam connection.

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