How To Move The Steam Folder To Another Drive

Martin Brinkmann
Sep 2, 2010
Updated • Mar 4, 2016

Valve's Steam platform offers a very comfortable gaming platform. It is probably one of the best examples how an online distribution system can be successful. Not everyone likes Steam on the other hand, which is understandable as it has its quirks and problems, just like any other kind of gaming platform.

One of the most annoying problems of Steam, is the inability to select custom installation folders for Steam games. All games that are downloaded and installed via Steam are installed in the same folder on the same hard drive.

Update: Valve added an option to download and install Steam games to different locations natively in the Steam client. Check out Steam: alternative installation locations now available for instructions on how to do that.

This can be problematic, as even the biggest hard drives eventually run out of space. Many Steam users help themselves by uninstalling games to free up space on their hard drive, before installing new ones on the system.

Moving Steam to a different hard drive can be another effective option, especially if the other hard drive offers more space than the old one.

Steam itself offers no direct option to move the steam folder to another hard drive. It is however possible to do just that with some manual work. The same workaround can also be used to move Steam to another computer.

Lets assume that the Steam folder is currently located on drive c:, which does not have enough space anymore to store all the Steam games. Drive e: is a new hard drive with lots of free space.

To move Steam from c: to e: perform the following five steps:

  • Close Steam, make sure the client is completely closed.
  • Locate the SteamApps folder on the c: drive, it is located in Steam > Steamapps, usually in Program Files or Program Files (x86).
  • Move the entire folder from drive c: to e: root
  • Uninstall Steam completely after the games and files have been moved to the new drive.
  • Reboot your computer once
  • Install Steam again, this time on drive e:
  • Move the Steamapps folder into Steam folder.
  • Start Steam. The client will automatically recognize the games in the Steamapps folder and make them available again.

That's how the Steam folder is moved to another drive or computer. Let me know if you are interested in a tutorial on how to move individual Steam games to another drive.


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  1. Aulus said on March 4, 2016 at 4:22 pm

    Steam now has an option for this in settings. You can add a new steam library location and set the new one as default. Then just close steam and move the contents of you original steamapps to the steamapps in the new steam library you created.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on March 4, 2016 at 5:00 pm

      Thanks, I have to update the guide. I have posted about it in 2012 ;)

  2. Namaewa said on November 1, 2013 at 11:17 am

    I cant delete the stupid .dll file. It says its still open. What can I do?

    1. Anonymous said on February 11, 2017 at 5:43 am

      you can use task manager

  3. Anonymous said on June 20, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    after you did like Gordon said, do you have to delete the first steam folder that is still left in C?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on June 20, 2012 at 8:06 pm

      I would suggest you try if the new folder location works, if it does, you can delete the original folder.

  4. Blackaveli said on August 15, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    does this copy all your saved games too?

    1. Adam said on December 27, 2011 at 12:24 am

      Everything. It’ll be as if nothing happened.

  5. Nick said on April 22, 2011 at 7:13 pm

    Nice clear instructions thanks man

  6. Anonymous said on January 2, 2011 at 2:54 am


    1. ED said on March 1, 2011 at 5:36 pm

      You could’ve replied with a more mature post, ye turd.

  7. Gordon said on September 2, 2010 at 5:14 pm

    Hi Martin – much easier:
    close steam
    then delete the file “ClientRegistry.blob” in the steam folder
    move steam to e: and you’re ready :)
    next steam start all apps will be available again because steam creates a new ClientRegistry.blob

    1. Martin said on September 2, 2010 at 9:00 pm

      Great tip Gordon, saves some steps.

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