Recently got a new pc, put the HDD from old pc into new one, reinstalled Steam however I want to use the library from old pc on new one but keep it on external.

New pc has a SSD which I do not want to fill up so going to put everything going to the external.

Any ideas please?

  • I believe you should be able to create a library one another drive in the new Steam install and point it at the one on the old drive, and it should recognize (and verify) the installs. i've yet to try this myself, however.
    – Xantec
    Mar 24, 2014 at 19:09
  • says folder must be empty, try making a new one and dumping in maybe?
    – Marriott81
    Mar 24, 2014 at 19:18
  • This reddit thread says that should work. Worth a try anyway, if you have the free space to temporarily duplicate the data.
    – Xantec
    Mar 24, 2014 at 19:37
  • Actually looks like the answers here apply to yours as well, although the questions aren't exactly the same. gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/96370/…
    – Xantec
    Mar 24, 2014 at 20:07
  • Running games on the external is going to slow the performance down dramatically if you are thinking of doing that...
    – Dupree3
    Mar 24, 2014 at 20:50

2 Answers 2


According to this reddit thread, it should be possible to create a new steam library on the external drive, and then copy the games from the old install directory to the new library.

Yes. You have to make Steam create the directory first. Then copy the games into the directory afterward. It won't let you create the directory if it isn't empty. Then afterward just install games like normal and it will "detect already installed data" when it tries to install your game and jump to 99% and then complete.


Go to Steam -> Settings, and find this button:

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Click it, and you will see this:

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Add the location of your old library found on your HDD there, and Steam will immediately recognize it.


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