New games are so large that they can easily fill up your hard drive. Some modern AAA games can take up to 150 GB of space. This can be a problem if you don't have much storage space.
Besides, moving your games to another drive has many advantages. It can free up space on your main drive, improve game performance, help you organize your games, protect them from loss, reduce fragmentation, extend the lifespan of your main drive, and make it easier to clone your drive.
Some game launchers, like Steam, have built-in features that let you move your games to a different location. Other launchers, like the Epic Games Store and GOG Galaxy, require a bit of extra work to move game files. Here's how to move installed games from popular launchers, installers, CDs, and the Windows Store to another drive.
Why Move Games to Another Drive?
There are several reasons why you might want to move games to another drive.
- Free up space on your primary drive: Games can be very large, especially modern AAA games. If you have a small primary drive, moving games to a secondary drive can free up space for other programs and files.
- Improve performance: Some games may load faster if they are installed on a secondary drive, such as a solid-state drive (SSD). SSDs are much faster than traditional hard disk drives (HDDs), so they can load games much more quickly.
- Organize your games: You can move games to different drives to organize them in a way that makes sense to you. For example, you could move all of your favorite and frequently used games to the main drive, and all of your less frequently played games to the secondary drive.
Preparing to Move the Game
Before moving a game to another drive, there are a few things you should do to prepare:
- Make sure that the destination drive is formatted in NTFS format. This is necessary for moving Steam games. NTFS partition is required for creating junction points, which are used to tell Steam that the game is still installed in its original location, even though it has actually been moved.
- It's always a good idea to back up your game saves and important data just in case something goes wrong during the move. The save games are usually found in
- Close the game, game launcher, and any other programs that are using the game files. This will help to prevent any errors from occurring during the process.
- Find the game folder. This is usually located in the Program Files folder on your primary drive.
Once you have completed these steps, you can proceed to move the game to the new drive.
If you are using game launchers such as Steam, Epic Games Store, and GOG Galaxy, your saved game files are saved in the cloud. This means that they are stored on the company's servers, so you can continue playing your games from where you left off, even if you move your games or switch devices.
When moving games, consider using an SSD for your most frequently used games. Solid-state drives (SSDs) offer a number of advantages over traditional hard disk drives (HDDs) for gaming. SSDs offer faster loading times, smoother gameplay, quieter operation, lower power consumption, and increased durability, making them ideal for gaming.
Moving Games from Microsoft Store or Xbox on Windows 11
You can manage games installed in the Xbox app for Windows and the Microsoft Store interchangeably. Both platforms share the same underlying game library, allowing you to easily move games whether you installed your games through the Microsoft Store or Xbox app.
To move the games you've downloaded from the Microsoft Store/Xbox, you have to use the Apps section in Settings, rather than the Store or Xbox app itself. For this process, make sure you're using an account with administrator privileges on your computer.
- Open the Windows Settings app and click on the ‘Apps’ category.
- On the right-hand side of the Apps section, select ‘Installed apps’.
- Scroll through the list of installed apps until you find the game you want to move.
- Click the three dots button next to the game's name and select ‘Move’.
- On the small pop-up window, select the drive where you want to move the game from the drop-down.
- Then, click 'Move'. If the game has downloadable content (DLC), you can check the 'Also move this app's downloadable content' option to move the DLC as well.
- The game will be moved to a new directory called ‘Xbox Games’ in the select drive.
You can launch the game as you normally would from the Start menu or from the Xbox app.
If you don't see the ‘Move’ button for a particular game, it might indicate that it cannot be moved using this method. In such cases, you may need to uninstall and reinstall the game or utilize a different game launcher to relocate it.
While moving games to external hard drives is generally possible, some users have encountered issues when trying to launch Xbox-related games after moving them to external drives.
If you try to launch an Xbox game and it fails to run, and you notice an icon with two arrows pointing in opposite directions on the game image, it means that the external drive you moved the game to is too slow for the game to run properly.
Moving Blizzard Games to a New Drive (Battle.net)
Blizzard's 'Battle.net' launcher lacks a built-in feature for moving installed games. So, if you want to relocate games like Diablo IV or Overwatch, you'll need to manually transfer the game files and then direct Battle.net to their updated location. Here's how:
Find Your Blizzard Games and Create a New Destination
Before you move your games, locate their current home. Blizzard games usually reside in the
C:\Program Files (x86) folder, but yours might be elsewhere (if you installed it somewhere else).
- To find the game files, launch the Battle.net app and then select the game you want to migrate from the title bar.
- Then, click the 'Gear' icon next to the 'Play' button and select the 'Show in Explorer' option.
- Once you find it, keep the folder open for copying files later.
- Next, prepare a new location for your Blizzard games. Go to the drive where you want to move them (like E: drive), right-click an empty space, select 'New', and choose 'Folder'.
- Name it something simple, like 'Blizzard Games', for easy access.
Move Your Games to its New Location
Now, let's transfer the entire Blizzard game folder to its new location.
- Head back to the original game location, right-click the game folder, and select 'Copy'. Don't copy the game files inside the folder, copy the game folder itself (e.g. Hearthstone)
- Then, navigate to your newly created 'Blizzard Games' folder.
- Right-click inside this folder and select 'Paste'. Wait for the files to finish copying.
Update the Blizzard App
We've moved the files, but the Blizzard app still thinks they're in the old location. Let's direct the games to their new location.
- Open the Blizzard app, select the game you just moved, and click 'Settings' (gear icon) next to the 'Play' button.
- In the pop-up window, select 'Game Settings' on the left panel and click the 'Use a Different Folder' button under INSTALL LOCATION.
- Then navigate to the new location where you pasted the game files and select the game folder. Then, click 'Select Folder' in the File Explorer window.
- After that, click 'Done'.
Verify the Files and Get Gaming!
- Before you dive into your games, let's make sure everything is transferred correctly. Click the gear button again on the game page and select 'Scan and Repair'. This will check that all files are in the right place and ready for action.
- Once the transfer is complete, click the 'Update' button (if it's available) to retrieve and install any pending updates for the game.
Repeat the same steps to move any other Blizzard games to a different hard drive.
Moving Blizzard games to a new drive might take a bit of time, but it's a great way to free up space on your primary hard drive. With these steps, you can relocate your games and keep enjoying them without storage issues.
How to Move Steam Games to Another Drive
Steam makes it easy to move your games to different drives by allowing you to create multiple Steam libraries. This way, you can keep your games organized and in the most convenient location for you.
If you have a large Steam game library, you may need to consider moving some of your games to another drive, such as an external hard drive. Even if you hide games in Steam, they will still take up space on your PC as long as they are installed.
Games that you play frequently should go to your primary library, while games that you don't play often can go to a secondary library to save space.
Before you can start moving, first, you need to create a new Steam Library folder on the destination drive. To do this, open Steam and go to 'Steam' > 'Settings' > Storage. Click 'Add Drive' from the drop-down and choose the destination.
Once the secondary drive is created, you can the one or more games you want to move and click the 'Move' button. Then select the drive (or another library folder) to start the process. This may take several minutes, depending on the size of the game.
If you want to learn more about moving games on Steam, check out our detailed article.
Moving Ubisoft Games in Ubisoft Connect App
Moving Ubisoft games to another drive is similar to the process for Blizzard's Battle.net launcher. The key is to move the game files using File Explorer physically, then instruct Ubisoft to locate the game in its new location. Here's how you can do this:
- Launch the Ubisoft Connect app and go to the 'Games' tab.
- Right-click the game you want to move and select 'View game details'.
- On the game details page, go to the 'Properties' tab and click the 'Open folder'. Or, you can directly navigate to the Ubisoft Connect games default location, which is typically
C:\Program Files (x86)\Ubisoft\Ubisoft Game Launcher\games\.
- This will show the game files. Now, go up to the parent folder by clicking the 'Up' arrow in the menu bar.
- Now, right-click the game folder and select 'Cut' or press
Xto cut the game files and paste the game folder into another drive.
- After that, go back to the Ubisoft Connect app, and select the 'Games' tab. Then, right-click the game and select 'Uninstall'.
- Once the game is installed, go back to the 'Game' tab and scroll down to the 'My Games' section. If the uninstalled game is not there, you can search for it in the search box above.
- Then, right-click the game and select 'View game details'.
- Now, you'll see a newly added option beneath Download named 'Locate Installed Game'. Click on it.
- In the small Browse For Folder dialog window, select the game folder you copied to the new location and click 'OK'.
- Ubisoft will discover the game files and recognize the game as installed.
Once Ubisoft has finished verifying the game files, you will be able to launch and play the game from its new location without any problems. This process basically moves the game to the new drive without requiring you to download it again.
Moving Epic Games to Another Drive
If you have a game installed on your computer via the Epic Games Launcher and want to relocate it, you can follow these steps:
- First, create a copy of the game folder you want to move. The default location for Epic game installations is
C:\Program Files\Epic Games[Game Name].
- Copy the game folder and paste it into another location on your computer but not where you actually want to move the Game. You're just making a backup of the game files in temporary location.
- Next, open the Epic Games Launcher and go to your 'Library'. Locate the game you want to move.
- Then, click on the three dots next to it, and select 'Uninstall'.
- If prompted, click 'UNINSTALL' again.
- After that close and relaunch the Epic Games Launcher.
- Go to your 'Library' tab again and click 'Install' below the game name to start downloading it again.
- In the Choose Install Location prompt window, click the 'BROWSE' button.
- Choose the new installation location where you want to move the game.
- Once the download begins, let it run for a couple of percent. Then, click on the three dots next to the game name and select 'Cancel Install'.
- After canceling the game, navigate to the location you copied the game earlier.
- Cut/copy the backup game folder, then go to the new installation directory you selected for the game and paste the backed-up game folder inside it. If prompted to replace duplicate files, click 'Replace'.
- After that, open the Epic Games Launcher and click 'Resume' to resume the installation process.
- Epic Games Launcher will verify the game files and complete the installation.
- Once the installation is complete, you should be able to launch the game from its new location.
Moving GOG Galaxy Games to Another Drive
Similar to the above methods, there is an option to choose where games are installed in GOG Galaxy Launcher, but there is no built-in button to move downloaded games to a new folder. So, you'll have to move the game files manually and then trick the launcher into thinking it's installed the files in the new location.
The exact steps required in order for you to be able to perform this task will vary depending on whether you installed the games by running the installer files normally, or by using a GOG installer like Galaxy.
You can use the Import Folder function on GOG Galaxy to move a game between folders.
- First, find and move the game folder with its files to the new drive manually. It is usually located at
C:\Program Files (x86)\GOG Galaxy\Games. If you can't find the game files, open the GOG Galaxy app, and go to the 'Installed' section. Right-click the game, hover over 'Manage installation', and select 'Show folder'. It will show the game directory.
- After manually moving game files to a different drive, launch GOG Galaxy and go to the 'Installed' section. Right-click the game and select 'Manage installation' > 'Uninstall'.
- On the prompt box, leave the 'Also remove my local savegames and user data' unchecked and click 'Uninstall'.
- Once the game is uninstalled, click on the 'Cogwheel' button on the top-left corner.
- Then, click 'Add games & friends' and select 'Scan folders for GOG Games'.
- Click 'Select folder' in the pop-up window.
- Next, select the new folder where you copied the game and click 'Select Folder'.
- Alternatively, go to the 'Owned games' section on the GOG Galaxy app, and select the game.
- On the game page, click the 'Install' button at the top.
- Click the drop-down next to 'Install to' and click 'BROWSE'.
- Select the directory where you copied the game and click 'Select Folder'.
- Then, click 'Install'.
The launcher will start the game installation, detecting that files are already already on your system, it will wrap up quickly without having to download the files again. Once it's done, you are good to go!
When you're using Galaxy, your saved game files are automatically stored in cloud storage for backup. However, it's recommended to make a manual backup of your saves before attempting this method.
Moving Riot Games to Another Drive
Unlike other game launchers, Riot's launcher doesn't rely on specific installation directories. Instead, it launches games directly through executable files. This makes moving Riot games to another drive an easy process.
- Copy the game folder containing the game files to your desired drive on your computer.
- After that, open the copied game folder and find the game executable file, usually named
[Game Name].exe(e.g., LeagueClient.exe for League of Legends).
- Then, right-click on the executable file and select 'Run'.
- For easier access, create a shortcut to the executable file. Right-click on the executable file, and select 'Create shortcut'. The shortcut will be created and placed on the desktop.
Moving Origin and EA Games to Another Drive
Origin and EA apps are both digital game distribution platforms developed by Electronic Arts. Origin is being replaced by the EA App. EA announced in 2021 that they would be discontinuing Origin and transitioning all users to the EA App. The EA App is a new desktop client that will allow users to manage their EA games and accounts.
Moving Origin Game to Another Drive
If you are still using the Origin app to manage your games, moving your installed game is a breeze. Like Steam, Origin has a dedicated ‘Move Game’ option for the games installed in your library.
- Launch the Origin app and navigate to your game library.
- Right-click on the game you want to move and select the ‘Move Game’ option from the context menu.
- A pop-up window will appear, prompting you to select the new location for the game.
- Navigate to the desired location on your computer and click the ‘Select Folder’ button.
- The Origin app will begin moving the game files to the selected location. The transfer time will vary depending on the size of the game. Larger games will take longer to transfer than smaller games.
- Once the transfer is complete, you can launch the game from the Origin app or the desktop.
Moving the EA Game to Another Drive
If you are using EA's newer platform, EA Desktop, you might have noticed that it doesn't yet have a built-in feature for moving games like the Origin app. While this feature is likely to be added in the future, for now, you can use Origin as a workaround.
Both Origin and EA Desktop recognize each other's games, so you can simply open Origin and follow the steps above in the previous section. If you only have the EA desktop or if the EA game is not recognized by the Origin app, follow these steps instead:
- First, open the Task Manager by pressing
- In the Task Manager window, locate the processes named 'EA' and 'EABackgroundService.exe' and terminate them if they are running.
- First, navigate to the original installation location of the game folder which is usually in
C:\Program Files\EA Games.
- Cut or copy the game folder from the original location.
- Then navigate to the new location where you want to move the game and paste the game folder.
- Launch the EA app and go to the 'Library'.
- Then find the game you moved, click the three dots, and select 'Uninstall'.
- After uninstalling the game, use the search bar to find the game you moved.
- Then, click on the 'Download' button for the game.
- On the pop-up window, click the 'CHANGE' button next to the 'INSTALL LOCATION'.
- In the Browser For Folder dialog box, navigate to the new location where you copied the game and select the game folder. Then, click 'OK'.
- Click 'NEXT' and then, click 'DOWNLOAD'.
- The EA app will verify the existing game files instead of downloading the game again.
Once the verification process is complete, the progress bar will disappear, indicating that the game files are intact and the game is ready to play.
Creating a Symbolic Link to Move Games
If your game launcher doesn't have a built-in option to move games, you can try setting up a symbolic link. It's like a shortcut, but your computer will treat it as the actual folder. This means your game won't know the difference.
A symbolic link is a type of file that points to another file or directory. When you create a symbolic link to a game folder, your computer will treat the symbolic link as if it were the actual game folder. This means that you can move the game folder to a different drive without having to update any of the game's settings or configuration files.
To create a symbolic link to move a game to another drive, follow these steps:
- Close the game and any other programs that are using the game files.
- Move the game folder to the new drive.
- Open a command prompt window as an administrator and run the following command:
mklink /D "C:\Program Files\MyGame" "D:\Games\MyGame"
C:\Program Files\MyGame with the original path to the game folder and
D:\Games\MyGame with the new path to the game folder.
Once the symbolic link has been created, you can launch the game from the original location. Your computer will treat the symbolic link as if it were the actual game folder, so the game will launch without any problems.
Manually Moving Games Without a Launcher
If you have installed games using an installer or your games don’t use a launcher, moving it is as easy as copying and pasting the game folder from one drive to another. However, this may not work for all the games.
Simply copy or cut the game from the original location and paste it into the destination drive.
If you are having trouble launching the game after moving it to the new drive, you may need to update the game's shortcut to point to the new location. To do this, right-click on the shortcut and select 'Properties'. In the 'Target' field, replace the old path with the new path.
Using Third-Party Tools to Move Games to Another Drive
There are third-party tools that can help you move games and applications to another drive in Windows 11 such as EaseUS Todo PCTrans, AOMEI Partition Assistant, and Steam Mover.
Use Steam Mover to Move Games
Steam Mover is specifically designed for moving Steam games but can also work with other other games. It is a popular tool among gamers, as it can save a lot of time and hassle when moving large game libraries. Here's how you can use Steam Mover:
Any drive you want to use with Steam Mover must be formatted in NTFS format. To check this, open Windows Explorer and navigate to This PC. Right-click on the drive you want to check and select 'Properties'. Check to see if the drive is formatted to 'NTFS'.
Once you have confirmed that the drive is formatted in NTFS format, you can use Steam Mover to move your games from one drive to another:
- Download the Steam Mover from the official website and exact it from the zip file.
- Then, launch the Steam Mover. It's a portable app, so it can be run without installing it.
- Click the three-dot button next to 'Steam's Apps Common Folder' and select the folder path on the drive containing the game(s) you want to move. Then, click 'OK'.
- Next to 'Alternative Folder', click the three-dot button to select the drive and folder path where you want to move the programs.
- Select the game from the list that you want to move. You can select multiple games by holding
Ctrlas you click.
- When you are ready to move the game, click the 'right arrow' button at the bottom.
- The Command Prompt window will open and process the move. When the move is complete, you will see the new folder path next to the program in the Junction Point' column.
- Once the game is moved to the desired, you will see a shortcut folder (junction point) icon in the original location. Don't delete it!
Steam Mover works by creating a junction point, which is a type of symbolic link that tells Steam that the game is still installed in its original location, even though it has actually been moved.
If you check the shortcut's properties, it will show the game size, but the game is actually moved and the hard disk size will reflect this.
Moving a Game to Another Drive by Reinstalling it
If you have no other way to move a game, you can move it by reinstalling it. To move a game to another drive by reinstalling, uninstall the game from the original drive and then install it on the new drive.
Before uninstalling the game, back up your save games. After reinstalling the game to the new drive, restore your saved games to their original location. If your save games are stored elsewhere, find out where they are stored and restore them. You can usually find save games in the game's installation folder or in the Documents folder.
Reinstalling a game to move it to another drive is a simple and effective method, but it can be time-consuming. It is best to use this method only if you have no other options.
That's everything you need to know about moving games in Windows 11.