How to move a Steam game to another hard disk (December 2015)

I installed an SSD into my computer and wanted to move a Steam game to that new drive. There is a gazillion how-tos on that out there but I found a lot of them are outdated and the most likely found article from Valve itself just tells you how to move steam in its entirety, which was not what I intended. So here’s a working way to move a single game to a new location that does not require any additional software.

Abstract

Steam looks for its games in so called library folders. By default, only one such folder exists and usually resides in

C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\

You will need to add another library folder to Steam and then move the game manually in two easy steps.

Add a new steam library folder

In the main Steam window, open the “Steam” menu in the upper left corner and click “Settings”. Then select “Downloads” from the left hand side menu. You will see this screen:

steamsettings

Then, click on the “Steam Library Folders” button at the top of the Downloads window. It will look something like this:

steamlibraryfolders

Click the “Add Library Folder” Button and select or create a new folder on the hard drive you would like to move your Steam game to. Make sure you select the correct drive from the drop down menu at the top of the window. After choosing or creating the folder and hitting “Select”, the new location should show up in the Library Folder list just like in my screenshot above.

Then close all Steam settings windows until you see the standard Steam window again.

Close Steam

Now close Steam. And I mean close it completely. Not just click the X in the main window but also shut down the application by right clicking the task bar icon and selecting “Exit”.

Move the game files

Now open your favorite file manager (like the standard windows explorer) and navigate to the newly created library folder, eg

E:\Steam\

You will see a folder named “steamapps” and a file called “steam.ddl” there. Go to the steamapps folder and create a new folder called “common”.

Then navigate to

C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common

In that folder, you should see a folder for every game you have installed. Cut and paste (ie move) the folder of the game to be moved to the newly created common folder from the step before.

Move the app manifest

After moving the actual game files, you will also need to move the app manifest (don’t worry about what that really is). There will be several files (one for each game) in

C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\

named something like

appmanifest_123412.acf
appmanifest_16553.acf
appmanifest_5745.acf

You will have to find out which file you have to move by opening it with a text editor (ie wordpad or editor) and looking for the title of the game. A file will look something like this (I blacked maybe sensitive information)

appmanifest

Look for the “name” line and once you found the file corresponding to your game, move (don’t just copy) the file to the new location’s “steamapps” folder. In my example

E:\Steam\steamapps

Done

That’s it. You should now be able to start Steam, which will look through all folders configured as “Library folders”, find some app manifests in the old and some in the new place and just happily use the ones you just moved. No additional software or rocket science needed.

Enjoy!

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