I have two drives in my pc. A 2tb HDD and a 1tb SSD. Naturally, I want to keep some games on my SSD for the quicker load times.

I've already added my SSD as the default library folder in my Steam settings. My issue is that I have a game downloaded on both drives but it is still running on my HDD.

I've already gone into the game properties and tried to move the install folder to my SSD but it says 'Game install folder already exists in selected Steam library' because it's already been downloaded there. I also know that the download works as when I manually run the .exe for the game, it will run off the SSD.

Is there any way to keep the game downloaded on both drives and just switch which drive the game uses?

  • 1
    You are probably already have multiple libraries and you can choose where to install new game. Why you want new game to be downloaded into both libraries? Which problem you are solving by that?
    – user135338
    Aug 16, 2019 at 12:30
  • No, the game is already downloaded in multiple libraries, I just want to chose which library it loads the game from without deleting it from either library. Aug 16, 2019 at 12:34
  • 3
    Why? Assuming you have game XYZ installed on both C: and D:. When you run it from C it's slow, when from D it's fast. Why would you want to keep it on C? Moreover, save game location, if it's not steam cloud, you will have to manually copy saves from last played location. Why don't you simply delete game from C? Why you want game to say on C and D at the same time?
    – user135338
    Aug 16, 2019 at 12:37
  • The game is already on both drives because of some issues I was having with Steam after adding the SSD to my PC. I want to keep it on both drives in case A) Something happens to my SSD or B) I decide I want to delete it on my SSD to free up space. Either way, It would be nice to have it already downloaded on my HDD instead of having to spend ages re-downloading it. Aug 16, 2019 at 22:30

2 Answers 2


The only way to do this would be to trick Steam into running the game from the SSD when it thinks it's running it from the HDD.

This can be done by creating a junction folder (or on Mac/Linux, a symbolic link) in the HDD Steam Library pointing to the SSD game folder.

You'd have to first move the actual game files on the HDD to a backup folder. Then use a program like Link Shell Extension to create the junction, or ln -s SSD/game_folder HDD/game_folder to create the symbolic link.

If you want to go back to playing the game from the HDD, delete the junction folder or symlink and move the game folder out of backup.

Steam should always be pointing to the HDD the whole time.

This is a pretty convoluted method to save the few minutes maximum it would take to transfer between drives when you want to swap out games on the SSD, but if it's what you want, it's what you want.

It is, however, the best way to move a game from an HDD to SSD for game clients or direct installs that don't support install directory transfers.


Steam recognizes what games are installed to certain Steam Library Folders based on the "appmanifest_#" files in each of their steamapps folders, where # is a Steam appid unique to each app/game.

Without a manifest a game is not shown as installed in the Steam client whether or not the installation data is in it's proper place. So, you could just delete one and move the other appmanifest file for that game between folders for your desired effect.

If you do this though you want to make sure you don't leave yourself with a version of the manifest that's newer than the installed version of the game. If that happens trying to update or verify will likely cause a lot of the game to need to be downloaded again, if not the entire thing. A backup of the currently installed game versions appmanifest should be enough to prevent this.

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