Finally, An In-Built Way To Choose Steam Install Locations

Not our most dynamic top image.

See what I’m doing? See it? That most basic option we’ve all so desperately wanted from Steam for as long as it’s existed? Well, you can do it too, if you twiddle with the current beta.

You may well remember Alec found a neat third-party app that let you do this. Well now it can be done using just Steam itself.

It’s a fiddle at first, but once done you’re set. First of all, you’ll need to be in the Steam beta. To get there you need to run Steam, click on the file menu option Steam, then pick Settings. In there, you’ll see “CHANGE…” under “Beta participation”. Click on that, and opt into the beta. It’ll automatically restart, but when it’s done you’ll want to quit out completely.

Now you need to add a switch to the Steam shortcut. So find the icon, Start menu option or whatever shortcut you use to load it, right click on it, and choose Properties. In there you’ll see the path it loads from looking something like this:


You want to add “-dev” to it, after a space, so it looks like this:

C:\Steam\Steam.exe -dev

Run that, and now you’ll see an extra page option, on the right after NEWS, called CONSOLE. Click on that one, and then type the following into the text field:


Hit return and it’ll give you a window that looks like this:

Choose “Add install folder”, and pick another place where you’d like to install Steam games. And you’re done!

Now, whenever you attempt to install a game using the new file system (pretty much anything recent, and many will update), when you choose to install you’ll have a dropdown box offering any of the folders you’ve set via the console option. It works. I tried it.

All props go to Reddit user RJacksonm1. And cheers to Craig for the tip.


  1. Chufty says:

    Oh my giddy aunt… this is amazing.

    And also, the fact that it’s amazing, is entirely pathetic.

    • GameStunts says:

      You’ve got that right, this is such a pathetically basic option that’s been needed for so long. I’ve got an SSD and want to have a few games installed on that for fast load times, and others that aren’t so important installed on a conventional HD, but with Steam it always had to be a choice between the two.

      Even Origin lets you choose your install location.

      Thanks for the guide RPS.

      • SuperNashwanPower says:

        There was always command–> mklink /J, which was only a minor hassle. This is taken from Tom’s Hardware, and always worked for me. If you dont want to go beta, you can still use this.

        You just made a duplicate directory on the destination drive, copied the game files to it and then used the command prompt to type:

        mklink /J [old location]
        (simply typing “mklink” will show you the options associated with the command)

        Here’s an example of how I used it.
        I cut and pasted f1 2010 from my steam folder and onto my ssd, then typed this into command prompt:
        mklink /J “d:steamsteamappscommonf1 2010” “c:gamesf1 2010”

        Be careful with the forward and backslashes. The command makes a ‘placeholder’ that steam looks at on the old drive, but is referred to the new location by the ‘Junction’ you just made. Steam still thinks the files are in the same place.

        EDIT: Damn commenting client is removing the backslashes. Link to article is here link to

        • Kaira- says:

          Most of what some software is missing can be replicated with others. Doesn’t make the original software any less lacking.

          • Chufty says:

            Exactly. I don’t have to jump through quite so many hoops to save a Word document to somewhere other than My Documents.

            Symbolic linking shouldn’t be the answer to such a basic requirement.

          • LionsPhil says:

            Bad comparison. One is an actual piece of user work, the other is implementation detail.

            Valve really shouldn’t be offering people more than a drive selection for this, since that’s all they actually want out of it: “SSD, or bulk drive”. Anything beyond that is rope with which to hang themselves.

          • buluke65521 says:

            I use Steammover utility once I have completed a game to send it over to my larger harddisk. Whilst nice this seems to be a little late to the party.

          • LionsPhil says:

            (Yes, it is indeed a spambot. You’d think by now the spamfilter would at least consider “link whose text is a different address” to be a pretty strong indicator.)

          • Thermal Ions says:

            Dear Valve,

            About bloody time, and please don’t listen to LionsPhil, he might be a nice guy but we (and by that I mean I) want the option to install my games where I want, not to default directory paths. Point in case, none of my Steam installations actual sit under Program Files…

            Regards…Long time symlink user.

          • Alceste007 says:

            Thank god, this was the most annoying piece of crap dealing with STEAM. Finally, I can organize my games the way I want to.

    • U-99 says:

      And now the evil Win8 will come out and doom us all!!! At least we have a few months to store games where we want, before imminent and painful death.

    • AngoraFish says:

      Next up, being able to increase the default font size! Well, I can dream…

    • sophof says:

      This comment says everything that can be said about this; end of thread :P

    • Styles says:

      and the fact that basic and important features like this have been missing from steam for so long makes me wonder people choose to worship steam and become rabid valve fanboys. Steam is ‘ok’ ….nothing more, and it’s taken a long time to get there. It used to be absolutely god damned terrible….for a long time. Now it’s adequate.

      • Huels says:

        I don’t think you get it. Valve fanboys and Steam fanboys are two different people. The valve fanboys became fanboys because valve created some of the GREATEST games. YOU CAN be a valve fanboy and still not like Steam. I will agree with you that when Steam launched in 2003 it had many bugs. I don’t think my steam has crashed in over 2 years.

    • ZuperKoggen says:

      I have my steam games installed on my D drive and i want to install My Shogun Total War on my C drive (ssd). When i try to do this i get a pop-up with ¨New steam library folder must be writeable¨. Any suggestions what i should do?

      • michiganjack says:

        Yeah, I also have the “Add Library Folder” and not the “Add Install Folder” and whenever I try and use the “Add Library Folder” I also get the the “New steam library folder must be writeable¨. I’ve tried everything I know to get around this with no solution.

        I really would like to see this option work properly as well.

  2. aliksy says:

    This was one of those things that was completely not important at all for me, but end of the world important for other people. So I guess I’m glad they finally added it.

    • Joshua Northey says:

      My sentiments exactly.

    • D3xter says:

      This here, I’ll be happy when they go ahead and make their EULA more consumer-friendly and less lawyer-friendly…

  3. tlarn says:

    That’s nice! I guess next is offline mode working without an internet connection at the start.

    • Mr. Mister says:

      Doesn’t it offer you too start offline mode when it can’t find any connection at the start already?

      • Ringwraith says:

        It’s randomly broken for some people and not for others. I don’t have any problems with it either, but it does seem to just not work for some people completely arbitrarily.

        • Berstarke says:

          Which is pretty jarring if you are caught with a day without internet and forgot/didn’t expect to change to offline mode previously. Once you do manage to connect to steam during offline mode (just roll with it), though, It actually works.

        • protospork says:

          I have to wonder how many of them have misunderstood what’s possible with offline mode. You can’t play many games unless they’ve checked in online fairly recently, thanks to our good old friend DRM.
          Also, sometimes I catch Steam in a bad mood and it doesn’t even offer to restart in offline mode :\

          It’s definitely not perfect. It’s definitely better than nothing.

          • NathanH says:

            Every game I had on Steam when I was without internet for 20 months except at Christmas worked in offline mode forever…

          • BrendanJB says:

            Much like NathanH, offline mode has worked flawlessly for me, without me having to go in to offline mode while first being online. I’m able to just pack up my laptop and take it anywhere and then boot up Steam and play any game on my list that isn’t online multiplayer(duh). That said, my two housemates can’t even get the damn thing to work at all, when they go in to offline mode Steam just has a sad and wont let them load the program. It’s completely fubar and needs an overhaul.

          • Xerian says:

            The only DRM on steam is chosen by the publisher. Steam isnt DRM in its own right, however Valve have made a toolset for which devs can add DRM to their Steam-games, which some do. This, is what you refer to. And not Steam being evil and DRM-y.
            Also, I’m one of those lucky people whom have never had any trouble with offline mode… Ever. And I’ve had to use it *ALOT*, on trains, etc. I consider myself lucky… I guess, for this reason. (Even if its completely arbitrary when it comes down to it)

            Edit: I also just read the changelog of one of the recent Steam-updates, and it seems one of the offline-mode bugs have been fixed – The one where it wouldnt go to the offline-mode dialogue box if your Steam had shut down incorrectly or crashed, etc… So thats less of a broken offline mode for the unlucky ones out there.
            Oh, and my friends whom have had difficulty with offline mode in the past found a fix for it (which worked for them atleast): Turning off your network card will force steam into offline mode without the “check” being necessary, so it seems its a fault between Windows’ internet-checking and Steam.

        • alundra says:

          There was a recent fix about offline mode refusing to work in certain circumstances, maybe that helps a little, my personal experience has been this, in around 5 years Steam has failed me in this regard twice or thrice, but so many complain about it, I hope it gets totally fixed soon:

          20 Aug 2012
          – Fixed broken offline mode if Steam process didn’t shutdown correctly

          • SominiTheCommenter says:

            And it did. The dialog that asks you about offline mode no longer requires you to be online, it starts properly. Even if you kill the Steam process before. It’s fixed now.

          • Joshua says:

            Oh, it is now? Good. It caused problems for me 3/4 of the times my Internet dropped out (which is distressingly often). I geuss I am an unlucky bastard.

          • alundra says:

            @ Joshua

            No, you are not alone, after like 3 months of stability my connection is back to it’s old bipolar self, this week I’ve had 3 or 4 down times which lasted way more than one hour.

          • Screamer says:

            Uhhhhm no, “fixed” is not what I’d call it. You still have to be online to go offline, and from then on you can connect offline until you go online again.

            That bug fix is when offline was completely broken, you select option to go offline, which then tells you that the steam network cant be reached.

        • TechnicalBen says:

          AFAIK it’s not Steams offline mode that is broken, but Windows failure to tell it if the internet is up or not. Windows reports the internet is working, when really it’s just your network card is turned on (wireless or wired). The trick is to turn it off, then Windows is forced to admit the internet is “down”. Then Steam lets you choose “offline”.

          • KenTWOu says:

            AFAIK it’s not Steams offline mode that is broken, but Windows failure to tell it if the internet is up or not. Windows reports the internet is working, when really it’s just your network card is turned on (wireless or wired).

            That wasn’t a problem for Ubisoft Uplay Launcher, but was a problem for Steam. So Steam was broken!

            P.S: it seems like i can finally switch Steam in offline mode without online connection.

          • LionsPhil says:

            As long as there’s a link of some kind, it’s not really possible to be sure if “the Internet” is on the other end.

            You can see if you have a route to a specific place, but that’s best left to individual applications to deal with. Steam does so badly.

      • Barberetti says:

        Not for a friend of mine a couple of weeks ago. His internet went down for a few days, so he had to lug his pc to a friends house and connect to Steam via the friends internet connection in order to set some of his single player games to offline mode.

    • Dominic White says:

      They fixed that a few updates back. Turns out that the problem was that if you just shut down your PC without closing Steam, it loses authentication. Not an issue anymore, although it was never an issue for me in the first place, as I close stuff on my PC before rebooting.

      • Kaira- says:

        At least seemingly fixed, like they’ve done time after time. Didn’t boot into offline mode for me recently (after the patch was applied), but after re-establishing internet connection it worked fine again.

        • SkittleDiddler says:

          I’m starting to think that Valve are incapable of fixing the issue for good. Either that or they’re just doing a half-assed lip-service job of it.

          • Malibu Stacey says:

            Alternatively the Windows API functions they’re calling are the problem but hey, why let facts get in the way of some good old hyperbole.

          • jrodman says:

            Can you explain how this could possibly be a win api problem?

          • Malibu Stacey says:

            Comments slightly above this explain it. Basically your router/modem is confusing Windows into thinking the internet is available even when it’s not.

            Helps to read the whole thing first instead of trying to pick people to argue with I find.

  4. Mr. Mister says:

    Can you install all the way to the moon?

  5. MiniMatt says:

    Woo, Yay, Hooplah!

    Can’t think if anything more eloquent, not sure I need to.

  6. desolateshroud says:

    Finally! My puny 128gb drive was groaning under the weight of my steam installs. Not that steam tool didn’t work, it is nice to have it implemented in the client.

  7. db1331 says:

    That’s funny. I was just at home for lunch making room for my Armored Kill download with Steam Mover and I was thinking, “How in the hell is this not a basic Steam function?” Really glad to see this.

  8. SF Legend says:

    Will we be able to set a limit on our download speed as well any time soon?

    • RandomEsa says:

      For the love of god this.

    • Miltrivd says:

      And here I am jumping from trees to find a way for Steam to use my whole bandwidth instead 5-20% of it when downloading games.

    • Armante says:

      If we’re building a request list for Steam features, can we PLEASE have a scheduling feature? :)

      My connection allows unlimited dloading between 2 – 8am, and the way I do it now with killing the Steam.exe while a dload is in progress, and restarting Steam via a Win Schedule task at 1.59am is rather inelegant..

  9. bowlingotter says:

    Between this and Big Picture mode and the upcoming Linux release, Steam is firing on all cylinders these days.

  10. Clean3d says:

    Keeping my Wine install updated has managed to break a number of games. I hope that by using this, I can keep my Steam library on another hard drive entirely, while having multiple WINEPREFIX directories customized for different Wine versions, but each with their Steam install pointing at the same library of games.

    Oh happiness!

    • HellHitZ says:

      You can already do that easily with symlinks. For each time you install Steam, just cd into the new installation’s directory and create a symbolic link ‘steamapps’ pointing to the original steamapps dir. You might need/want to do this for userdata too.

      That sounds like a painful setup anyway, having to launch a different Steam version (installed in another prefix) just to play a certain game. I applaud your patience and/or determination!

      • Clean3d says:

        Is that really all it takes to make those games show as “installed” in Steam? I seem to remember having trouble in the past after just dropping folders into steamapps/common. If that works, though, it’s going to save me a great deal of time. Thanks!

        I should also clarify that it’s different version of Wine, not Steam, that I have to switch between. My Linux install is strange in a number of ways, so I’m used to this level of hassle to make anything work. It’s rare that I don’t have a terminal window open somewhere, but I look forward to the day when I don’t need it.

        • Soapeh says:

          This is a feature of Steam that really makes it stand out over Origin. Whereas Origin forces you to redownload the game installer and then go through the process of installing the game on a new/second PC, with Steam you can just throw the game into the steamapps\common\ directory and be done.

          Some newer games also require their respective appmanifest_.acf files to be copied to steamapps\ and these are identified by their IDs on the steam store. For example, Sleeping Dogs is so it’s companion file is appmanifest_202170.acf. Without these .acf files Steam refuses to acknowledge the presence of the main game files and starts redownloading.

  11. El_MUERkO says:

    So what you’re saying is… I can now install my entire Steam library onto my 2tb data drive for shits and or giggles… hmm.

    • fish99 says:

      You could always do that. This is for splitting your steam library over multiple drives.

  12. RandomEsa says:

    Well this is certainly more convenient than cut&paste your steamapps and steam.exe to an another hard drive and then waiting for steam to patch itself up.

  13. Revolving Ocelot says:

    Aha! Installing Witcher 2 over the weekend has dropped my 500gb hard drive below 100gb spare capacity, and with Borderlands 2 on the horizon and various games from the summer sale I haven’t yet installed, space was getting tight. I’ve got another hard drive handy where Windows is installed and precious little else, but it’s not where my Steam install is so this’ll be quite convenient when it goes live.

  14. UncleLou says:

    Nice, but free third-party app Steam Mover is a little more convenient as it let’s you move individual games between drives at any time. I wish they’d incorporate this. Handy if you use an SSD.

    • PleasingFungus says:

      Steammover doesn’t work for a lot of people! (Including me – I’ve been using mklink.)

      So glad that Valve are *finally* implementing this themselves.

      • Premium User Badge

        phuzz says:

        There’s a similar program called SteamTool, which might work better for you.

  15. skyturnedred says:

    I still don’t understand what the heck took them so long.

    • sassy says:

      It’s Valve. Really we should be surprised they were this quick

  16. nasenbluten says:

    Meh too late. I have Steam installed on it’s own G: partition for years now.

    • fish99 says:

      That’s not actually relevant to this new feature. You’ve already could put steam on a secondary drive, or copy it there from your primary drive. The new feature is splitting your steam library over multiple drives.

  17. Mr Wonderstuff says:

    I use Steammover utility once I have completed a game to send it over to my larger harddisk. Whilst nice this seems to be a little late to the party.

  18. Hunchback says:

    1337 hax0r !

  19. l4wl says:

    “New install folders must be empty”
    ah damn…

    • Tiax says:

      That annoyed me aswell.

      Basically, all my non-Steam games are installed in E:Games already, so it’s kind of a let down.

      I was wondering what would happen if I was to rename my current “Games” folder to something like “Games2”, create a new and empty “Games” folder, set it to be a Steam install directory, save the settings and then delete the new folder and rename “Games2” to “Games”.

      I still have a bad feeling about this, so I’m not gonna try this just yet.

      • The Random One says:

        What if you rename the current folder to Games2 (or, you know, Pretzel if you want), create a new Games folder, set it as the Steam install folder, then move everything in Pretzel to it?

      • airmikee says:

        Can’t you just create a new ‘Steam’ folder inside your ‘Games’ folder?

    • SkittleDiddler says:

      Seriously? That’s a shame.

  20. celozzip says:

    bollocks to this, steam needs a way of sticking every savegame from every game in the same folder!! no more of this my documents/user folder/local/roaming bullshit.

    • Leonick says:

      Shouldn’t need Steam to handle that, wouldn’t it be more sensible if all developers started using the same save locations, like, say the Saved Games folder found in the user root folder that was introduced in Vista (if it doesn’t exist they can go ahead and make a mess of My Documents).

    • Keymonk says:

      Well, that’s not a Steam thing – most Steamworks games, to my knowledge, put their savegames in your userdata folder in the Steam directory already. The non-Steamworks games tend to throw them all over the place, since it’s the program itself doing it, I think. So… developers, yes.

    • Stirbelwurm says:

      Well, I guess there won’t be any improvements in the foreseeable future. But in the meantime, you could use this: link to

    • celozzip says:

      developers should do this yes, but we’re specifically talking about steam here – if i’ve bought the steam version of a game then one of the features should be a steam folder save location for every game. adding achievements isn’t enough.

      i’ll check out that prog, i usually do it by hand.

      • Malibu Stacey says:

        Dev’s already bitch & moan enough already about Steam’s approval process.
        You can’t blame VALVe, as other people have mentioned games using Steamworks work exactly like that. If dev’s want to do things their own (non-Microsoft) way go complain to them.

        Personally I think VALVe aren’t strict enough with their requirements for games as it is but if they did what I would like they’d get even more bad press (no extra DRM would be a good place to start, why people need Securom, GFWL et al. when it’s already on Steam is beyond me).

  21. Leonick says:

    That’s nice I suppose, wouldn’t call it the most basic option we’ve all been desperate for, I’m fine with my steam games being in steams folder… Now, where is the “Pause downloads when:” dropdown with the available options of “Playing any game”, “Playing a multiplayer game” and “Never”? Now that is a basic option that should have been added long ago…

  22. povu says:

    First volume sliders for trailers, now this. Revolutionary, I don’t know how Valve does it.

  23. Dr I am a Doctor says:

    How do I do it if I open Steam only on autostart?

    • Premium User Badge

      phuzz says:

      Close Steam, then find the shortcut to Steam in your start menu, and modify it as in the article. Then run it from the shortcut.

  24. VeteranGunner says:

    great now we are only waiting for the offline mode to work, the random glitchs with steam not responding to go away, to stop taking ages to start up, stop claiming i already have steam started or in a different users session… also the option to play the games I own rather than have them always needing updates and deleting half the game just to update even though i want to play singleplayer anyway and not have the update break my modded install. Then there is the problem with the way they claim you can stop auto updating… its outrageous. Not only does it randomly revert to updating again the one time it stayed as do not update it still delete half my game and just didnt start the update…. also i am not going through my hundred of games selecting do not auto update this game for the convenience of them not stealing my bandwidth mid non steam game session….
    Anyone know if we are going to get the option to move installs ( with mods installed) to different locations or intsall twice or will it be another 4 years wait for a basic function?
    I think i am done for today
    Valve are incompetent

    • Dr I am a Doctor says:

      Offline mode has worked forever. Turn off steam before turning off your computer.

      Anyway I too hate having my games upgraded without patch fuckery, I have no idea what to do with those hours I don’t waste now

    • Malibu Stacey says:

      Valve are incompetent

      Really? You went there? After that wall of text?

  25. Iskariot says:

    Very good, I really need this. It is ridiculous we have had to wait for something so basic.

  26. Sakkura says:

    Hahaha, I literally ordered the last parts for my new PC this very afternoon. Very nice of Valve to pitch in to improve how I can set things up.

  27. mr.ioes says:

    I guess it’s not possible to move games form one location to another?

    • Premium User Badge

      phuzz says:

      Doesn’t look like it right now, this is just a beta though.
      If this means Steam can now cope with games installed in different locations, all they need to do is add an option to copy the files and then update wherever Steam keeps track of file paths, should be pretty simple as far as I can tell, but I’m sure it’ll have to go through the customary Valve testing before we get to use it.

    • LazyBoot says:

      I was easily able to move a game from the default steam install dir to the new one without problems at all… Just remember to move over the corresponding “appmanifest_” file as well.

      And make sure to close steam before moving
      (This is also the way to back up or move games between computers…)

  28. Calabi says:

    Excellent I’d just got an SSD drive, I thought I was going to have to use the hack way.

  29. MythArcana says:

    “An In-Built Way To…”

    Wait, what?

    • Vinraith says:

      It takes a long time to add basic functionality to your client when your employees spend the bulk of their time swimming in the money vault, you know.

      • zeroskill says:

        My hobbies:

        1: Making useless and cynical rants on every news arcticle Rock Paper Shotgun happen to post about Steam on their blog. Also known as flamebaiting.

        2: Spreading misinformation about Valve in general when the opportunity shows itself.

        3: NOT collecting silly hats.

        4: Decorating my mom’s basement whenever i’m not on Rock Paper Shotgun scouting for articles about Valve.


  30. psychoconductor says:

    Now, if only there was a way to do this for save games. hmm…

    • Captain Joyless says:

      Precisely. Too bad games will keep trying to ruin my SSD by reading/writing savegames to C:\Users FOREVER.

      • LazyBoot says:

        Moving the “my documents” and “saved games” folders should go a long way towards fixing that issue.
        EDIT: Or you could mess around with ntfs junctions to move the entire profile folder…

  31. Wedge says:

    So… is this going to be a normal feature at some point then? I’d do it now, but I really need to be getting a new HDD eventually anyway before I go installing that much stuff…

  32. Ahtaps says:

    Finally! I’ve been aggressively culling games I’ve played out and putting them in storage on an external drive purely because I have too many bytes of Giga used up on my Steam drive. Now I can utilise the space on my other drives effectively without having to buy a 1.21 GigaWatt hard drive just for Steam games.

  33. rsanchez1 says:

    Will this allow me to move games I already have installed on my primary hard drive to an external hard drive?

    Also, I experienced a problem with steam tool. One day, it seems like it just forgot all about where I installed games on my external hard drive. When I tried to get it to set the directory on the external hard drive as the steam location, it told me that directory wasn’t empty. Well of course it’s not empty, that’s where I moved my steam games before! And, it won’t restore games that were already on the external hard drive anymore. :( Hopefully someone can help…

    Would much rather have a tool baked into steam than have to rely on third party.

  34. Azovyr says:

    Now if only they would let us choose our own screenshot folder too…

  35. Neurotic says:

    I wonder, if I set my ‘new’ extra directory to the folder where my SteamTool games are, will Steam still see them and treat them as intact? I don’t see why it would be a problem unless the magic linky-links are deleted somehow. Hmm.

    My own feature request for Steam is:

    1. Built-in skinning support, or at the least, a facking colour wheel to easily change the colour of the default skin.

  36. Hanban says:


  37. Zarx says:

    Right next up proper download manager with scheduling options.

  38. virtualmatrix258 says:

    I feel that because of Reddit, I get all the information first and I miss out on the shock of something good when it magically appears on other websites.

  39. Williz says:

    Mine install onto my external drive anyway as that where steam is installed… This is old hat my fellow! But I agree this is a good move in the right direction.

  40. Nilsor says:

    Awesome. I simply used symlinks instead.

  41. slpk says:

    Uhhh, i don’t get it. Mine is installed on another partition, any downloaded game goes to the same place, I have Steam installed for some 5+ years and I don’t rememmber ever doing anything special to achieve this.

  42. whoCares says:

    I want to have tags instead of categories for my game-library.

  43. Danny252 says:

    And I had JUST worked out how to use Symlinks. Goddammit, Valve!

  44. Shooop says:

    And still no Offline mode that actually works.

  45. thevioletdivide says:

    Really not sure if this is the best place to ask, but I’ve done a crapload of reading and am now thoroughly confused, so I might as well throw it out here:

    I set up this console option and that’s all fine, only it doesn’t work for TF2, which is one of my most-played Steam games. Presumably TF2 doesn’t use the “new file system”, though it’d be nice if there were a way to tell which games can and can’t before you move 15GB of file back and forth between a few different drives …

    So I thought I’d try SteamTool(s?), and that also doesn’t work for Valve games that sit outside of the /common folder (from what I can tell, anyway). Neither does Steam Mover (though I didn’t try that, just read about other people not being able to do it).

    From what I understand, the only option left, if I want to shift TF2 away from the Steam install location to a completely different drive, is to manually create a crapload of symlinks using mklink /D … because apparently symlinks can point to files (referring here to the problematic, enormous GCFs that older Valve games like TF2 use and which are the reason other tools can’t move them), not just directories. And yes, I have Windows 7, so symlinks are possible. I think.

    … is that correct, or did my brain explode last night and I just haven’t found all the pieces yet?

    • thevioletdivide says:

      Never mind, found the answer myself. For those seeking to do the same thing as me (move Valve games with giant GCFs to another drive), exercise thy clicky finger here: link to

      And apparently this was from way back in 2010. Well, I guess the bandwagon is on a repeating bus schedule.

  46. itsonlydanny says:

    When trying this, I get several ‘dev warning’ messages when I fire up Steam – after pressing ‘OK’ about a dozen times then it works properly.

    Well, the actual message I get is: Key Value Error: RecursiveLoadFromBuffer: got EOF instead of keyname in the F\Program Files\Valve\SteamApps\sourcemods\NAME OF MOD\gameinfo.txt [offset 644]

    Any idea why?


  47. rygle says:

    My Steam client just updated to the latest beta and there was no need for me to do any command line “-dev” or console “install_folder_ui” magic. It just worked for the latest install I’m currently doing. So it seems they’ve updated things in the last week to make it even easier.

    • rygle says:

      UPDATE: Actually it seems to only give the option to install on the other drive when there isn’t enough room on the existing drive…

  48. linguma says:

    I can’t set steam to run in dev mode: link to
    EDIT: I was forgetting to place the -dev after the quotation marks opposed to before

  49. nezbo says:

    Even though i’ve done exactly what it says in this post, the dropdown to select install location doesn’t show up. Even though i’ve created the new location. Also the install_location_ui window doesn’t have the bottom part (with a list of application), this indicates that i probably sit with another version than the op, but dunno why. :/

  50. Nijin says:

    Hey I just wanted to say that this information is still relevant and useful. Thanks RPS team!