How to Move PC Games to a New Drive: Steam, Origin, Windows Store, Epic Games, Battle.net...

BSim500

Posts: 858   +1,977
Nice article though you left out a lot of other stuff that may need manually moving between drives without having any game client at all. GOG offline installers (non Galaxy), older disc based games, emulators, source ports, applications, utilities, PortableApps, RAM Disks, etc, are often "portable" that most will work with a simple folder move.

This may break a lot of Start Menu shortcuts, so after you've manually moved the folders themselves, Shortcuts Search & Replace is a pretty nifty tool that can batch replace say "C:\Games" with "D:\Games" of every shortcut (target .exe, working directory & icon) in the Start Menu & desktop and correct hundreds of them at once without having to manually edit each one.
 

Julio Franco

Posts: 8,809   +1,715
Staff member
Nice article though you left out a lot of other stuff that may need manually moving between drives without having any game client at all. GOG offline installers (non Galaxy), older disc based games, emulators, source ports, applications, utilities, PortableApps, RAM Disks, etc, are often "portable" that most will work with a simple folder move.
That would be an entirely different topic. This article is about moving games installed through platforms/launchers without breaking them/redownloading.
 
Fine and dandy, but what about when you have a whole new system? Install from scratch.
For GOG and steam, just copy the game folders to the new Hard Disk or just install the old hard disk if it is not the boot drive in your new computer. Install GOG and Steam and tell them where to locate the game files and they will appear in your library and show as installed.
I have done this multiple times with no issues. I don't know about the other services as I don't use them.
 

Julio Franco

Posts: 8,809   +1,715
Staff member
Fine and dandy, but what about when you have a whole new system? Install from scratch.
Same strategy applies. You can install Steam and others. And use the same steps to copy your games and then validate the game files.
 

NeoMorpheus

Posts: 883   +1,678
Thanks for the article.

Mind doing one about mixing multiple digital stores to one front end, like Playnite?
 

MaestroIT

Posts: 61   +54
For steam, you can also move the appmanifest files to the new location, and games will appear installed and working without the need to uninstall and reinstall.

The files have the filename appmanifest_(number).acf, where the number is the steam game id in the url of the game.

Move those files to one level above the common and its done. Need to be done when steam is NOT running.
 
You can also use removable external Hard Drives for Steam!!
It will dinamically check the external drive and see what's installed on it, and let you start the games he finds. And when you remove the drive it will show you the usual "install" button.

So, buy an external sata-2-usb for those old 50gb ssd you have in the drawer and fill it with games ready to play!
 

McMurdeR

Posts: 342   +341
In the modern era I have around 6 or 7 launchers including duplicates (I'm looking at you EA), all with different passwords that I can't remember, two factor authentications coming in over over apps, emails and txt, and the games spread across 4 or 5 SSDs in varying speeds sizes and form factors.

My old self would be having a compulsive melt down. Remember when all your games went on one dir on one disk? And the game boxes and demo disks would be lovingly displayed on a nearby shelf, largest to smallest?

I've learned to enjoy being a digital slob!
 
BACKING UP "MY GAMES"---MY DISK drive aint that big....for more than 1000 games across many game plat forms

All those ways "work to back up games"---there is another way too

Steam...since you know you already have them just do a fresh
"install" of steam

EA Origin.....since you know you already have them just do a fresh
"install" of EA Origin


Epic Games Store.....since you know you already have them just do a fresh
"install" of Epic games


GOG---I have the "files" already on my usb 6tb "external drive" disk drive, in
"external drive" \games\"name of gog game\ "gog" .exe file

I did 'contact all 3 of these game services, and 3 of
them 'told me WORD FOR WORD' the same thing

as long as you have both an internet connection
and an 'active game account'...you will always
have your games, also note that with out the internet
THE GAMES SIMPLY WONT WORK

but 'gog' told me the following about the games
on gog service
>>>>> if a game have an update, and you dont have the
internet connection that game WONT get the update<<<
but the games will work with out the internet, in the
event that the game dont work and you need a 'another'
copy then that is when you need the internet
 

ilovetohateyou

Posts: 12   +1
BACKING UP "MY GAMES"---MY DISK drive aint that big....for more than 1000 games across many game plat forms

All those ways "work to back up games"---there is another way too

Steam...since you know you already have them just do a fresh
"install" of steam

EA Origin.....since you know you already have them just do a fresh
"install" of EA Origin


Epic Games Store.....since you know you already have them just do a fresh
"install" of Epic games


GOG---I have the "files" already on my usb 6tb "external drive" disk drive, in
"external drive" \games\"name of gog game\ "gog" .exe file

I did 'contact all 3 of these game services, and 3 of
them 'told me WORD FOR WORD' the same thing

as long as you have both an internet connection
and an 'active game account'...you will always
have your games, also note that with out the internet
THE GAMES SIMPLY WONT WORK

but 'gog' told me the following about the games
on gog service
>>>>> if a game have an update, and you dont have the
internet connection that game WONT get the update<<<
but the games will work with out the internet, in the
event that the game dont work and you need a 'another'
copy then that is when you need the internet
Not everyone has a ton of bandwidth. The best way to install hundreds of GB of Steam games is to preserve the Steam/steamapps/common folder for the new installation.