I have a 1 TB HDD and a 120 GB SSD. On the HDD I have all my data along with Steam and—currently—all my games. On the SSD I have Windows 7 and programs, but there's 50 GB of unused space that I wish to use for the games I most commonly play on Steam (for quicker loading times, etc).

To summarize, I want to have this situation:

  • 120GB SSD (C:\): Windows, programs, and a few Steam games.
  • 1TB HDD (D:\): data, Steam, and most games.

Is this possible? If not, what other choices do I have to do something similar?

  • 3
    Just wanted to jump in and say that I do this for a lot of games and it's AWESOME. Nolonar's point stands, although the only games I've had problems with are Tribes: Ascend and (non-steam) Starcraft 2. Jan 13, 2015 at 21:08
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    I have this setup. I've found that simply having the OS on an SSD an the games on another disk is a tremendous boost. The whole computer runs faster. The spinning disk, free of other tasks, is much faster reading game files. Managing the meager amount of space on the SSD hasn't been worth the trouble of putting games on it.
    – Schwern
    Jan 14, 2015 at 2:38
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    Keep in mind that if you fill you SSD beyond about 75% of it's capacity you'll start to notice a reduction in it's performance. I dropped over a whole point on the Windows Experience Index by nearly filling my SSD.
    – Ian
    Jan 14, 2015 at 11:16
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    I recommend not using symlinks ('junction points' as some call them) because I tried doing that with my AppData folder and it was hell. In comparison, I have actually partitioned my steam games into two libraries and it works just fine. I have considered just moving all the games to the hard drive and leaving just Steam on the SSD, but the one game I have left to move is TF2.
    – Pharap
    Jan 15, 2015 at 4:38
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    @kenjara You are correct, SATA 3 is faster than SATA 2, thanks. Don't forget to enable AHCI on all drives. I would be interested in knowing the speed benchmarks of your old system.
    – MonkeyZeus
    Jan 15, 2015 at 14:54

4 Answers 4


You can create multiple 'game libraries' in Steam, each one going in a different location on your computer, in your case, 2 different hard disks.

Nolonar adds a good point:

Keep in mind that not all games can be installed on a library other than where Steam is installed; most notably old games like Half-Life 2

How to

Steam > Settings > Downloads tab > Click 'Steam library folders' button.

Next time you download a game you can choose where to put it.

Look here for 2 ways to add the library.

Read this question if you want to move games between libraries.

  • 5
    Keep in mind that not all games can be installed on a library other than where Steam is installed; most notably old games like Half-Life 2. I originally installed Steam on my SSD and wanted all games to be stored on my HDD, but had to move Steam from SSD to HDD because of that.
    – Nolonar
    Jan 13, 2015 at 19:49
  • Even some new games fail to run this way! XCOM for example.
    – Nick Veys
    Jan 13, 2015 at 22:03
  • @NickVeys It works fine on Windows. Those kinds of issues crop up all the time when people are doing "smart" things and don't test all the relevant edge cases. The much more important point is that you even got a response from a support team, that's awesome!
    – Luaan
    Jan 14, 2015 at 9:46
  • Another added benefit of installing games to a non-OS drive is if you ever have to re-roll the OS drive, you can point your fresh Steam install to the install folder on your second drive and all your games will magically appear again. I had to do this after a mishap in toying around with dual booting Linux on my machine caused me to have to reinstall Windows due to a borked bootloader, and it was nice to have 95% of my games back without having to redownload them simply by pointing Steam to the install location I made on my D: drive.
    – MattD
    Jan 15, 2015 at 14:48
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    @Nolonar Half-Life 2 being an old game. B-but that was just... 11 years ago?! Shiiiiiiiiiieeet. Jan 16, 2015 at 5:27

Personally I use junction points. Install everything originally to the SSD as it is your base/original Steam install location then you can move the data folder and create a "junction point" to generate a virtual link to the new physical location of the game data. This really can be done for a lot of other things than SteamApps.

See: http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2181335

And the example given is

 mklink /d "D:\program files\Steam\TF2" "C:\Steam\TF2"
  • 2
    This is what I do. As it's what you had to do before the Steam client add the multiple library features mentioned in Jonathan Drapeau's answer there are third party utilities specifically designed to manage these junction points for you.
    – user86571
    Jan 14, 2015 at 3:17
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    I did that too for some games before finding about the libraries, which is less troublesome than symbolic links. Unfortunately, for some games it is the only way indeed. The transfer time to the new location is all that makes this less attractive. Jan 14, 2015 at 13:28
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    Considering Steam now has an official way to solve this problem. I would advise against using symbolic links. Steams solution is easy and anyone can do it. Using symbolic links requires either third party software or use of commands that users may not be comfortable with.
    – kenjara
    Jan 15, 2015 at 12:32
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    @kenjara The problem with Steam's official solution is that it makes it much harder to move games between drives. Officially you need to uninstall the game and reinstall it in the new location, though you can use the trick linked in Jonathan's answer instead. Either way, it's much easier and quicker to use one of the third party utilities to do the move. Since which games I want on my SSD at any given time depend on which games I'm currently playing, I like being able to easily move games.
    – user86571
    Jan 15, 2015 at 19:06
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    @kenjara If you chop and change, with junction points, you don't have to worry about whether Steam's tool does the job nicely, redownloads etc. You have full control over where the content resides at any point in time without using a black box installer.
    – Shiv
    Jan 15, 2015 at 23:39

There is actually a utility someone created for just this reason. Steam Mover creates junction points and moves the actual game contents to a new location of your choosing and keeps track of moved games in a nice interface.

For your use case you might install all your games to your 1TB hdd, and then use Steam Mover to move select games for which you want to gain the advantages of ssd performance.

  • Haven't tried yet the Libraries method, but I ask you any way. This utility you mention has to be open/active all the time for it to work and for updates to know where to go? And also, how outdated is it? Because Steam changes things all the time and I can see a disk mess happening in the future. Thanks for your answer!
    – Magnamuz
    Jan 15, 2015 at 19:14

Each time you install a game from Steam, you can select where you want to install it. I have an SSD for my OS, but some of the larger games where performance isn't a huge deal go on a 1TB HDD. Every time I click the "install" button it prompts me for the location. Fortunately it remembers each location and offers them as default options.

Personally I wouldn't chance moving a game, and I've never used junction points (although they sound cool until something doesn't work with them, then they sound like a nightmare to troubleshoot) so I'd either verify the steam cloud has my save info, or copy off the save games then delete/reinstall the game on the other drive. I have no complaints thus far with that procedure. (Granted I did this after a fresh Windows install, so I had to reinstall everything in Steam anyway.)

Edit: I saw the answer about Steam Libraries -- and I wasn't sure if that was the same thing as what I just posted, so I left my answer anyway... if it is, then so be it.

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