Can You Put Steam Games On An External Hard Drive?

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Can You Put Steam Games On An External Hard Drive

If you play games on multiple PCs at once, running a seam library, especially from an external drive, can be a viable option. Even if you are setting your seam library from scratch, it will be a lot easier to set up the library on an external drive.

One of the main benefits of moving your steam libraries to an external hard drive is that you don’t have to delete old games to create new ones again. It helps save space for new games and folders.

So, Is It Possible to Put Steam Games on an External Hard Drive?

Yes, you can put steam games on an external hard drive.

With your steam games stored on an external drive, you will be able o manage them just the way you would on an internal drive.

What Are The Issues With Installing Your Steam Games On An External Drive?

The main issue with installing your steam games on an external drive is that data transmission from an external drive is much slower when compared to data transmission from an internal drive. This means your game will perform slightly slower, and that may be uncomfortable if you are used o a very fast-paced game.

 How To Move Your Steam Games To An External Drive (Windows)

Steam provides multiple library folders, and you can choose from among them to store your games after downloading. With its recent update, you can quickly move a downloaded game without redownloading the game. This update can save you time and data when downloading tons of gigabyte sizes of games, and it is different from moving an entire library of games.

It is better to use an SSD hard drive because it is faster than the regular HDD (hard drive) when powering up your device. Having your games stored on SSD will power-boost your gaming experience.

Moving your steam games to a hard drive on Windows operating system is very simple because it takes just a few steps. To begin the procedures, go to where the steam library is located, and you can do this by first checking where the Steam is located by right-clicking on the shortcut and checking the properties.

Assuming your Steam library is located in “D drive” and you want to move it to a hard drive SDD, the “G drive” shit down the stream before you begin any other thing.

Once you shut down the Steam, drag the entire library to the new location but make sure the SDD hard drive is already connected and you can locate it on your PC. The steam library’s dragging to a new hard drive will take between a few minutes and hours, depending on the numbers and size of games you are transferring.

Once the transfer is complete, you will need to rerun the Steam. You can do the rerun from the Sreme.exe location, but a re-installation is recommended because it will update all shortcuts on your PC.

Once the installer is on, point it to the new destination, and it will automatically update all shortcuts. In case you don’t have the steam installer installed already, go to and download the installer. When the installation is complete, point the installer to the destination to update all your shortcuts.

With this new transfer of games to a hard drive, your games will automatically run from the hard drive the next time you launch it. There is no need to redownload or restore anything from your computer backup once this transfer is completed.

How To Move Your Steam Games To An External Drive (Mac)

The process of moving steam games to an external hard drive is slightly different if you are using MAC operating system.  By default, stream games files are situated inside the Game apps folder. This is the folder you surely want to transfer into your hard drive.

To Transfer the folder, you can easily get into the library folder by simply clicking on the “Go” menu, while you are holding down the “Option” key. It is also important to avoid moving the entire steam folder but only the StemApps folder should be moved. You can move the SteamApp folder from the library to a bigger hard drive location.

Once the transfer has been made, simply open the trusty terminal and then type the command; cd ~/Library/Application\ Support/Steam.

Now that you have converted it into a steam library inside the application support folder, you need o create a symbolic link to where you move the steamapps to. Again, you need to run the following link on the Terminal; ln -s /path/to/new/SteamApps StteamApps.

It is important that you point to a new location inside the first part of your command and the old location remains in the second part. With this in place, you can activate your Steam client once again and your games will be loading from your new location.

You can also move your Steam library whenever you are ready to update your old drive. Once you are sure about your space and speed need, you can easily update and move your Seam library again.

How to Create a Second Steam Folder

Whether you have moved your first steam folder to an external drive or not, you can still create a second steam folder in your current storage medium. To do this, click on “Steam” and click on “Settings”. Choose and click on the “Download” category, and then click on the “Steam Library Folders” option.

Click on the “Add Library” folder, choose the drive you want to create the folder in, and then click on “new folder”. Choose a name for the folder and click “OK”. Click “Select” to choose the folder you have created. The folder you have chosen will now appear in the Steam library folders list. From here, you can close the window and launch your new folder.

How To Move Your Games Files To The Second Library

Now that you have created a second library, you may want to move your Steam games there. To move a steam game once you have created a second library, simply right click on your Steam library and choose “properties”. Click on the “Local files” tab, and then click on “Move install folder” button. Choose the steam library you want to move its game, and click on the “Move folder” button.

Once you click on the move folder button, Steam will move the contents to the second library location. If you want to move other games, simply repeat the procedures for them. When you are installing a new game in the future, Steam will ask what folder or drive you want to save them. If it doesn’t ask, you should be able to save your games to any library or folder.

Other Things You Should Know About Transferring Your Games On Steam To External Drive

You can transfer your steam games to the hard drive but opting for a SDD drive instead is better because it is faster and supports faster gaming than the HDD hard drive. In most cases, SDD costs more than the HDD, but it pays to use SDD for your storage because of its long-term benefits. It takes less time to boot up your PC with an SDD compared to HDD.

When installing your Steam, you have the option of installing it in the default or any other location that suits you.  The Steam app folder is the final designation of all steam games downloaded. However, you can transfer the Steam app folder to any drive you want internally or externally.

It is important to note that you may lose any game due to improper installation. Once your game has been moved out of the default Steamapps directory, you may end up losing it and redownloading it. If you have to re-install a lost game, and then go to the “Add Library” folder and add the Steam app directory as you did before. This should help restore your game. You may still have to transfer the redownloaded game to an external drive if that is the new drive you play the games from.

Uninstalling Steam from your PC means you will likely lose all your games. For this reason, you may want to download and re-install the Steam installer to make it easier to redownload all lost games.


Steam computer games will perform better when transferred to an external drive, and especially when your PC lacks sufficient memory. Insufficient memory can slow down steam games and it is just a matter of time you will start getting notifications to expand your PC internal memory.

To avoid complications like this, you should consider using an external hard drive or SDD. This will help create free space for other things aside gaming.  Instead of deleting old games for new ones on your PC, perhaps you wouldn’t have to do that on your external drive.

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