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How to install a Steam game to an external drive on Windows 10

Steam games can be huge. The thing you want to pay attention to is the required disk space and not the download size. A game that is only 2 GB or 3 GB when it downloads will expand to take up more space. It can take up as much as 8 or 10 GB. The larger the download size, the more the required disk space the game will have.

Normally a large game isn’t a problem because hard drives are now easily available in 1TB and 4TB configurations. If you’re using an SSD and your hard drive is external, you can still install a Steam game to it.

Install Steam game to an external drive

If you haven’t downloaded your game yet, installing it to an external drive is going to be simple and obviously risk-free since there’s no progress to lose.

  1. Connect the external drive to your system.
  2. Open Steam.
  3. Purchase the game if you haven’t already.
  4. Go to Library and select the game.
  5. Click Install.
  6. A new window will open. Open the ‘Choose location for install’ dropdown, and select your external drive.
  7. Select the root of the external drive to install the game and click ‘Select.’
  8. On the next window that opens, click OK and do not change the name of the folder that Steam has set.
  9. On the main install window, click ‘Next,’ and the game will begin to download.
  10. Allow the game to finish downloading and play it.

Move game to external drive

You can move a game that’s installed on an internal drive to an external drive. This will work even if you’ve started the game and there is game progress saved. The method is mostly safe however, it never hurts to take a backup of the SteamLibrary folder.

  1. Connect the external drive.
  2. Open Steam.
  3. Go to Library.
  4. Right-click the game you want to move, and select Properties.
  5. Go to the Local Files tab.
  6. Click Move Install Folder.
  7. Open the dropdown, and select your external drive.
  8. Click Move Folder.
  9. Once the folder has been moved, return to the Properties window for the game.
  10. Go to the Local Files tab.
  11. Click Verify Integrity of Game Files. If everything checks out, your game has been moved and can now be played.


When a game is installed or moved to an external drive, all game progress is saved to it. Make sure that when you connect the external drive, the cable is connected securely, and the drive is unlikely to be disturbed. If the drive were to disconnect suddenly, you could lose game progress.

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