If you’ve just bought a fancy new solid state drive, you might want to move a select few games across for improved performance and loading times. You may also just be running out of space on your main drive and feel like relocating a game to a secondary hard drive. Unfortunately the guys at Valve Software have not been kind enough to let you move or install your games in different locations. Thankfully, there is a workaround for this dilemma. Basically we can move a game folder and then create a virtual link to it from its original location. That way we essentially “fool” Steam into thinking it hasn’t moved. Clever eh?
The first thing we need to do is find out the current location of your Steam games. By default, Steam keeps all game files in its initial installation folder. If you’re running a 64-bit version of Windows like myself, that would most likely be “C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common“. If you’re running a 32-bit version of Windows, it would likely be found in “C:\Program Files\Steam\steamapps\common“.
If you chose to install to a different folder, you’ll need to locate it. Right-click on your Steam icon and click properties, take note of the Target location. If you’re in Windows 7 and Steam is running, you might need to right click the icon in the task-bar, then right-click the small steam icon as per the image below.
In my case, I want to make some room for Skyrim (!!!) on my SSD. So I’m moving Supreme Commander 2 to my RAID array. Please follow the steps below, substituting where appropriate:
1. Browse to the appropriate folder – in my case that’s “C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common”.
2. Right click on the game folder and click Cut as per the image below (yes it’s basic stuff, but many people nowadays don’t have a clue about file management).
3. Browse to the hard drive and location that you wish to relocate the folder to. In my case that’s D:\Games. Right click the white space and click Paste. Be patient while the folder moves.
4. Once that’s complete, we need to run a command prompt. Click the Windows button and type in cmd and hit Enter.
5. We need to browse to the original Steam installation folder. So in my case I would type:
cd C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common
6. We then need to create a virtual link to the new location. Very easy to do. Remember that this needs to have exactly the same name as the folder we just moved. In my case, the name of the folder was “supreme commander 2”, so the command is:
mklink /j "supreme commander 2" "d:\games\supreme commander 2"
Hit Enter. If this worked correctly you should see a message that says something like:
"Junction created for supreme commander 2 <<===>> d:\games\supreme commander 2"
Just to recap – the mklink command is used in the following format:
mklink /j "the location where the game used to be" "the location where the game is now"
If you have any trouble, please post below and I will gladly help.