I do not mean the library folder, but the place where the downloaded files are stored to and then installed from.

Windows Resource Monitor shows that they're downloaded onto the same drive the library resides on. The whole installation (especially of patches) could probably be sped up, if you could tell it to download the files to a different, physical drive, so that the drive wouldn't have to read and write to the same place.

So can you change the download location, and if so, how? It works with GOG, so it would be a bummer if you couldn't do it with Steam.

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    You're really solving a problem that does not exist. The scenario you are imagining is completely imaginary. Unless you are simultaneously using the drive to do read/write heavy processing, like encoding a video, there's no way your internet download will come close to using up your HDD buffers. – Nelson Oct 27 '16 at 1:36
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    @Nelson I thought so, too, until I saw Steam reading and writing to the same directory in Resource Monitor. – DanMan Oct 27 '16 at 19:09
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    I agree with Nelson BTW. If you have an SSD, this is a non-issue and if you have an HDD, it is still likely going to be faster than internet bandwidth, up to what 200Gbit(?). – Yorik Oct 27 '16 at 19:25
  • Steam is using another drive as a "downloading" folder besides the "library" that the game is installed on, @DanMan is right – Facundo Colombier Apr 15 '20 at 13:26

So you are asking if you can move the steam/steamapps/downloading folder to a different drive, for speed reasons.

If there is no built-in facility for this in Steam, you can use mklink.

However, this is probably not a good idea, since steam downloads updates to this folder and then moves the files (unless the update is some for of delta patcher).

Moving files on a single volume is usually a simple edit of the file system which can be achieved nearly instantly, but moving from one drive or volume to another involves actually copying the data.

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    If you read Vemonous' post, you will see that there is indeed a way to do it without getting involved with things like mklink. – Kaizerwolf Oct 26 '16 at 19:23
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    This isn't a question about the library folder locations ("I don't mean the install/library folder"), the OP wants to have the updates sent to a different disk than the library. Vemonus' answer is not relevant for this reason. – Yorik Oct 26 '16 at 19:25
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    I believe you're reading too far into it. OP's question is literally "can you change the download location, and if so, how?", and Vemenous answered this perfectly. – Kaizerwolf Oct 26 '16 at 19:33
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    "I don't mean the install/library folder" [...] "the whole installation could be sped up, if you could tell it to download the files to a different, physical drive [than the library]." – Yorik Oct 26 '16 at 20:05
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    there are two ways to make symbolic links IIRC. I had a USB external once that didn't share properly on a makeshift backup server whenever it was rebooted. I resolved it by linking a "local" folder on the C drive to the USB. Not sure if it was with mklink. Again, I want to emphasize that your idea is probably going to harm your disk performance. you can move 30gb from one location to another instantly on the same volume, but if you link it or cross volumes, you need to actually copy the data. this is many orders of magnitude slower. – Yorik Oct 27 '16 at 19:19

You can create a new steam library folder to accomplish what you want. Try the steps here:

Go to Steam -> Setting -> Downloads -> STEAM LIBRARY FOLDERS

Add Library Folder. On the drop down menu, select which drive you want. Select which subfolder you want to put the new SteamLibrary in. For me its E:/Games/SteamLibrary.

Next time you download a game, you have the option of saving it in the new spot.

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    It's great to do this when you have an SSD and HDD. I don't like installing certain things on the SSD, so having a second location on the hard drive is convenient. – Kaizerwolf Oct 26 '16 at 19:00
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    Again, that's not what I meant. – DanMan Oct 27 '16 at 19:09
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    What you meant isn't clear – Ramhound Oct 28 '16 at 2:46
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    He's not trying to create a new library, he's trying to change the default "downloading" location – Facundo Colombier Apr 15 '20 at 13:28

After doing some research seems that Steam looks for free space on the drive that the game is installed, if you have enough free space then the download location will be in the same disk that the game is, if not then will try another disk. Hope this helps.

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