- How do I change the default installation path for my games?
- How do I move my existing Steam Installation?
How do I change
Games are installed to the following folder by default:
C:\Program Files\Steam (x86)\SteamApps\Common
You can create an alternate location on any drive, which you can choose in the future when installing games.
- Navigate to your Steam client 'Settings' menu.
- Select 'Steam Library Folders' from the 'Downloads' tab.
- From here, you can view your default installation path, as well as creating a new path by selecting 'Add Library Folder'.
- Once you have created the new path, all future installations can be installed there.
- You can right-click on one of the paths to set it as a default.
- If you wish to move existing games without having to uninstall them, please see the instructions below.
How do I move my existing Steam Installation?
Please ensure that you have your Steam login name and password before following this procedure. Also ensure that your account is linked to your current email address, so that you can reset your password if necessary.
It is not recommended that you install Steam to an external hard drive, due to potential performance issues.
It is highly recommended that you create a backup of your SteamApps folder before attempting this process. If there is a problem in this process and you do not have a backup of your games or the SteamApps folder, it will be necessary to reinstall the games individually. Please see the Using the Steam Backup Feature topic.
The following instructions are a simple way to move your Steam installation along with your games:
- Exit the Steam client application.
- Browse to the Steam installation folder for the Steam installation you would like to move (C:\Program Files\Steam by default).
- Delete all of the files and folders except the SteamApps & Userdata folders and Steam.exe
- Cut and paste the whole Steam folder to the new location, for example: D:\Games\Steam\
- Launch Steam and log into your account.
Steam will briefly update and then you will be logged into your account. For installed games, verify your game cache files and you will be ready to play. All future game content will be downloaded to the new folder (D:\Games\Steam\SteamApps\ in this example)
If you encounter any errors during the move process or when Steam is launched from the new location, it may be necessary to perform a more thorough process:
- Exit the Steam client application.
- Browse to the Steam installation folder for the Steam installation (continuing the from the last section example, this would be the new location of D:\Games\Steam\.
- Move the SteamApps folder from the Steam installation folder to your desktop.
- Review the Uninstalling Steam topic for instructions to uninstall Steam (this must be done to remove your old Steam installation settings from the Windows Registry).
- Review the Installing Steam topic for instructions to re-install Steam to the desired location.
- Move the SteamApps folder into the new Steam installation folder to copy all of your downloaded game content, settings, and saved games to the new location.
- Start Steam and log in to your existing Steam account to confirm that the move was successful.
- For installed games, verify your game cache files and you will be ready to play.
Note about Save Games
If you are moving your Steam installation to a new hard drive and want to keep game saves/profiles for third party games that are not saved on Steam Cloud most of these can be found in your Documents folder: ~\Documents\[username]\My Games\. Moving this folder to the same location on your new hard drive will maintain your saves/profiles.