Battlefield 3 created its game data folder for settings and screenshots at the top level of my documents folder: \My Documents\Battlefield 3.

Most games get this right, saving their data in the Windows-standard Saved Games folder. I'll skip the rant, but if every program selfishly dumped its settings at the top of My Documents it'd become an organizational outhouse.

I haven't found a way to tell Battlefield to move this folder to the right place. In fact I'd be happy to put it anywhere but the top of My Documents. Any ideas?

Note: there was an an earlier question about the game installation directory, but I haven't found an answer to this question there.

  • Isn't there some kind of .ini-file? One that sets where this folder is set to be? I do not own the game so I'll leave this open for anyone who has more to bring to the table regarding this.
    – gburning
    Nov 3, 2011 at 0:00
  • I believe that since this is run through Origin, that settings are done that way, not through the game itself (but I do not own the PC version of BF3)
    – SSumner
    Nov 3, 2011 at 16:37
  • @burnso I've looked through the files in the game folder (C:\Program Files (x86)\Origin Games\Battlefield 3). Unfortunately very few files are user-editable, most are binary formats. And the few that are plain text seem irrelevant to this problem. Bad Company 2 also mindlessly dumps its data files in the root Documents directory, so I have the feeling we might be stuck with it for BF3 too. Nov 3, 2011 at 21:52
  • OMG. I just noticed that Bad Company 2 left a folder smack at the top level of my C drive. So maybe I shouldn't complain about BF3 dropping a folder in the My Documents folder. :-\ Nov 10, 2011 at 5:05
  • @DrewG Maybe do it the same way as you would linking steam folders to another drive in the form of a simlink?
    – Lyrion
    Dec 1, 2011 at 11:00

2 Answers 2


Are you feeling brave? You could try experimenting with mklink in Windows...



This could, however, cause Origin (or Steam, too) to wig-out and stop the game working due to copy protection issues.

There's a 3rd party app around that uses symbolic links behind the scenes to let you change Steam's game data dir so hopefully it's feasible in this case too.

  • +1 for the suggestion. But as I understand symbolic links, you still need to leave a visible file sitting in the source location. In other words, the contents of the folder would move elsewhere, but in place of a top-level folder named "Battlefield 3" I'd have a top-level file named "Battlefield 3". If so, that still leaves me with an unwanted name gunking up the top-level of \My Documents. I'm not concerned about the space those files take, just the precedent: the more rogue applications squat at the top of \My Documents, the harder it is to find things that are in their proper places. Dec 3, 2011 at 18:23
  • Yep, that's certainly the case. As far as I know, that's unavoidable. The other option would be to set your %USERPROFILE% variable to point somewhere else but that'd be a far more 'all emcompassing' change that'd affect a lot more than just Steam/Origin.
    – Beeblebrox
    Dec 4, 2011 at 22:37


I just spent an hour making illustrated instructions, but I do not yet have enough reputation to use images in posts. However, the method below is correct for changing the directory.


Go to: C:/Program Files (x86)/Origin and copy the Origin file


Paste the copied file onto the drive of your choice. If the drive is blank you'll need to create a new file extension. Click on this text to learn how.
I’ll use F Drive for the example. F:/Program Files (x86)

*Note: These big files can take some time, depending on your drive speed, to Paste onto the new drive. Mine took 18 minutes transfer the files but it beats countless hours of internet download! :-)


Now follow the same procedure to Copy and Paste the, "Origin Games" file into "Program Files ( x86)", in the new drive (F: Drive in this example) exactly as before.


Now you need to open Origin and change the default directory location by doing the following:

  • Open Origin
  • Click on the Origin Tab (top left)
  • Now click on “Application Settings” and in the sub category click on “Advanced”. on the right you’ll see, "your games will be downloaded here". Click "Change..".
  • Since we already created the correct folder and subfolders, just click in the text box, and go to the Drive letter and change it from the old drive (example C:\Program Files (x86)\Origin Games\) to the new drive (example F:\Program Files (x86)\Origin Games\)

STEP 5 (Now comes the fun part!)

Close Origin and go to "Add or Remove Programs" and uninstall BF3. Open Origin back up, go to "My Games" drag your mouse over Battlefield 3, and chose download. Amazingly enough it should take a total of 3 to 10 seconds for the entire operation. If it’s taking too long then close Origin and restart the download. Again it should be done almost instantly!

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