I'm looking at upgrading to Windows 10 Beta through a clean install. I have Steam and all my games installed on my secondary drive. If I wipe and reinstall Windows, can I point steam to my D:\Steam folder without having to redownload all my game files?

  • Yes. Like this but you don't move them, you leave them where they are. The basic idea is the same. Jun 22, 2015 at 17:12

2 Answers 2


You don't even need to download and reinstall Steam. After you've installed the new version of Windows all you need to do is run D:\Steam\Steam.exe and it'll figure everything out for you. I haven't used Windows 10, but you should be able to pin it to the task bar or the start menu by right clicking on Steam.exe in Explorer. You should also be able to make a shortcut and drag it to your desktop.

  • It's a good idea to reinstall Steam over the existing directory. This ensures that everything that needs to be done outside the install directory is done.
    – MBraedley
    Jun 23, 2015 at 1:45
  • @MBraedley Steam.exe is the installer, it will figure out everything that needs to be done both inside and out.
    – user86571
    Jun 23, 2015 at 1:59

Yes you can. Mostly it will work out of the box. Just link Steam after your fresh installation to the correct folder, restart Steam and everything should be fine.

I've encountered some cases, where this haven't worked. In those cases, I point to a newly created folder in the same partition. I start a clean download/install of a game. After I've added all needed games to my queue, I stopped steam. Now you can cut and insert your games to the new folder (this will be much faster than copying the files - a thing of a few seconds!). Now start steam again, resume download. Steam will load a few MB and the games are ready.

This normally works very fine for me.

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