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I use (and have it much bigger) drive D: to store all my user data and games, but I have installed the Steam client on drive C:. When I was installing a first game (Warhammer 40000), I've chosen to place my library folder on drive D: and the game went there.

But now as I've got installed the second game (Portal), I can see that it was put on drive C: despite to the choice I've done previously. When I open Steam - Settings - Downloads + Cloud - Steam library folders, I can see both installation places in the list. Can I merge them into one?

I would even agree to use the default drive C: library (as I've replaced it with a symlink already). When I press to remove one library it says it can only remove empty ones.

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Portal 1 I think is one that uses shared content and can't be placed in a non-default game library, so that might explain why you put it on C (you didn't have a choice). –  George Duckett Dec 18 '12 at 9:26
    
@George indeed, I originally tested while writing up my answer with Portal and this doesn't actually get installed into the Steamapps folder, so some games will always end up with at least part of the game in your Steam folder, regardless of which library you choose –  kalina Dec 18 '12 at 9:31
    
Hmm I guess a later question I answered was a duplicate of this one. –  Tacroy Feb 12 '13 at 19:44
    
There is a way, using links. It's even simple, but the question is now protected by community: I can't answer –  Vinz243 Feb 11 at 16:04

5 Answers 5

There is no built in method to move games between libraries

Here is what I did though:

  1. Browsed to the steamapps folder that the game is currently installed into
  2. Copied the game folder for the game I wanted to move into the other Steam library (it's important you copy it; don't move it)
  3. Deleted the game within Steam (delete local content)
  4. Reinstalled the game, selecting the other game library

This finished "downloading" to the new location instantly, since the files were already present in the new location.

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But beware to have at enough space to install the game (as if it weren't) on the new disk: the Steam installer doesn't yet know your game is already there, and if you don't have space it won't let you choose your second library, even if no files need replacement! ;) –  ssice Jun 26 '13 at 18:08
    
Please, a little explanation on what you exactly mean by "steam library"? –  cvsguimaraes Dec 18 '13 at 5:16
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@cvsguimaraes "Steam Libraries" are configured in the "Steam" menu by selecting "settings" -> "downloads" - > "steam library folders" and they act as locations where you can install games –  kalina Dec 18 '13 at 12:27
    
Something weird happened when I tried this. On Steam for Linux, I moved A/SteamLibrary/SteamApps/common/MyGame to B/SteamLibrary/SteamApps/common/MyGame, I then added B/SteamLibrary/ as a new library in Steam, deleted the game, elected to download it again into my new library. Steam said "Discovering existing files", but then seemed to delete the game anyway (dir size reduced) and started downloading it anew. What gives? –  bigbadonk420 Feb 14 at 13:15
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Just a note - if for some strange reason you're preventing a game from auto-updating... this process is dangerous. Once you tell steam to install it in the new location, it will more or less force you to fully update. I appreciate that this is a rare situation... but I encountered it with Skyrim. I was keeping it off of autoupdate due to all the mods I was using. I have not tested it, but I suspect @The Annoying Pyro's method will dodge this complication. –  Mir Feb 22 at 6:30

I took a more... technical approach.

If you're not comfortable with editing files or if you just want a simpler approach, please use one of the other answers. Otherwise, this lets you skip having to "delete" and "reinstall" the game when you relaunch Steam — it's all seamless. It's not actually time-saving or anything, but if you want to feel badass, you can follow what I did:

Note that Steam has updated the format of its .acf files since I originally posted this answer, such that you no longer need to edit them. It does still have the benefit of being seamless and not requiring having to "delete" and "reinstall" the game, however. I've updated my answer in the interest of not confusing future readers, but check out sj26's answer for a summary of basically the same updated process.

  1. Find out the game's app ID in the store. (You can easily get to this by viewing the game in your library, and clicking the link that says Store Page, although this won't work for games no longer in the store such as Deadpool; you'll need to use a search function in that case.)

  2. Open the SteamApps folder where the game resides. Make sure Steam isn't running.

  3. Open the game's manifest file, appmanifest_<app ID>.acf, in a text editor (I did say technical).

  4. Find the line that contains the string "installdir". Here's mine:

    "installdir"        "Team Fortress 2"
    
  5. This is your game folder. Typically, this folder can be found in the common folder within SteamApps; the main exception are Valve games still under the legacy distribution system and not SteamPipe, but that's out of the scope of this answer.

    If you want, back up this folder, as well as the manifest file itself.

  6. Move the game's folder. In my case, I moved Team Fortress 2 in the common folder from the old library to the new library.

  7. Move the manifest file to the new SteamApps folder.

  8. Relaunch Steam, and the game should be there without you having to do anything further within the program. You can just launch the game right away.

    If you want, you can verify that the game is in its new location. You can do this by right-clicking, choosing Properties and going to the Local Files tab. If your new library resides on a different drive letter, this drive letter should be reflected. From here, you can click Browse Local Files.... You can also Verify Integrity of Game Cache... but if you didn't modify any files in the process that should not be necessary.

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The Annoying Pyro's (TAP) procedure works perfectly. No need to backup/restore. The backup and restore process takes twice as long, as you are doing TWO copies rather than one. One of my games had an "appinstalldir" of just "c:\\". I still set to the new absolute path location. TAP says if his procedure makes you squeamish to use the backup/restore, but there's no risk if you save the original ACF files. You can always just move the game back and set the ACF to its original contents. –  user52814 Jul 29 '13 at 19:06
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I found this didn't work for me and Steam kept renaming it back. I then tried moving the game from D:\...\SteamApps\common\game to C:\...\SteamApps\common\game and the .acf file from D:\...\SteamApps\appmanifest_.acf to C:\...\SteamApps\appmanifest_.acf. I didn't edit the .acf file. Then I opened Steam again and it just worked. I'd post as an answer but I don't have 10 rep earned on this site. –  pedro_sland Nov 23 '13 at 15:23
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This answer may be out of date--there doesn't appear to be an "appinstalldir" element in the acf files anymore. Instead we have "installdir" however this value is not fully-qualified; Steam appears to be interpreting it to be a relative path, although how it establishes the app's parent folder, i.e. the correct steam library, isn't clear just yet. –  bwerks Dec 27 '13 at 18:31
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Just like bwerks, there dosnt seem to be an appinstalldir anymore –  Johan Svensson Jan 12 at 16:29
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There is no appinstalldir element in new acf files. If you have games that were installed before the element was dropped, they'll still have appinstalldir in them. I used the powershell command select-string -path .\*.acf -pattern appinstalldir | foreach {$_.path} to find these legacy acf files, deleted them, then manually moved the corresponding game folders to the new library. Those games will show as not installed in Steam, but if you install them, it'll find the existing data. –  JamesGecko Jul 5 at 20:14

I done something similar few months ago.

As far as I remember I simply turn off Steam then cut and paste game folders from my HDD steamapps to external Drive steamapps folder. After turning on Steam "repaired" games downloading 100-200 MB and that was it.

Here you have tutorial from Valve how to do similar stuff.

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While I have not had my steam folder separated like the OP, I have moved the full steam folder several times and across computers (upgrades) by turning off steam and moving the folder. Steam figured this out right away and recovered pretty easily as you stated. –  horatio Dec 18 '12 at 18:16
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This works for moving the SteamApps directory wholesale, but unfortunately not consistently for individual games. One must follow kalina's directions to solve OP's (and my) issue. –  Mike S Mar 31 '13 at 17:16

I have created a video on how to do something like this.

Basically, you backup the games to a location, then delete the games' local content, then go to Steam > Backup and Restore Games

Restore your games and pick the new location for them to install to. All from disc; no downloading.

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Most awful experience ever. tl;dr: Don't do it.. It won't only NOT always succeed, it will last forever.. –  DrFish Jul 17 '13 at 16:01
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@bora I haven't had trouble with steam backups, although occasionally restoring from them ends up with you downloading a lot of data anyway because of updates. I find it best to do backup one game at a time, rather than backing up the whole shebang. –  badp Jul 30 '13 at 13:40

Disclaimer: Back up your library or don't care about the outcome.

Updates to Steam's library folder infrastructure means you can simply exit Steam, move the acf and common subdirectory between library folders, and restart Steam.

  1. Find out the game's app ID in the store.

    Half-Life 2 is on the store at http://store.steampowered.com/app/220/ so its app ID is 220

  2. Open the two library folders' SteamApps directories.

    For example, c:\Program Files\Steam\SteamApps and d:\SteamLibrary\SteamApps.

  3. Move appmanifest_[app ID].vcf from the old SteamApps directory to the new SteamApps directory.

    For example, appmanifest_220.acf is Half-Life 2's app manifest.

  4. Open the appmanifest_[app ID].vcf with Notepad or your favourite text editor and look for "installdir" "[directory name]" where is the [directory name] is the next directory your need to move.

    For example, "installdir" "Half-Life 2".

  5. Open the common directory in both SteamApps directories.

    Again, c:\Program Files\Steam\SteamApps\common and d:\SteamLibrary\SteamApps\common

  6. Move the game directory named as above from the old common directory to the new common directory.

    Completing our example, copy c:\Program Files\Steam\SteamApps\common\Half-Life 2 to d:\SteamLibrary\SteamApps\common\Half-Life 2.

  7. Restart Steam.

If you want to just move all your steam apps you can probably just copy all the acf files and common sub-directories.

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