My computer has only 512GB disk space.

AAA games are taking more and more disk space (GTA V requires 100gb, SW Fallen Order 70, ...) which can quickly cuse disk space issue.

Performant external SDD are in the market, and I seriously think about buying one of them to extend the computer disk space. However, as this is a laptop, I don't want to have a always plugged disk, but only when required.

Regarding the main online game digital market, what is the support of installing games on removable drives ? From "clearly supported" to "will cause troubles", or "may work following some steps".

I play with Steam, Origin, Epic and GOG, but the question probably should be extended to other platforms too

  • 1
    This probably depends wildly by platform. Related question for Steam in particular
    – Unionhawk
    Jul 10, 2020 at 15:50
  • @Unionhawk: I'm aware the answer will depends on the platform. I was hoping to get a table that list platforms and corresponding answers. That said the link you put is 7 years old. Not sure if it's still valid
    – Steve B
    Jul 10, 2020 at 15:55
  • Stack Exchange generally doesn't support list-style answers, so a list of the various platforms is likely to cause issues. It would be better to have a separate question for each platform for a number of reasons. Also, SE is not against updating years-old content if it becomes outdated, so if the Steam answer isn't valid for you, it can be updated.
    – Batophobia
    Jul 10, 2020 at 16:28
  • 3
    Are you sure you mean "Mb"? Most OS take up more than that. Most browsers take up more than that.
    – zero298
    Jul 10, 2020 at 19:51
  • Good catch @zero298.
    – Steve B
    Jul 11, 2020 at 6:49

1 Answer 1


Steam, GoG, Origin, Epic, Blizzard Battle.net, and UPlay all support using an external drive.

Symbolic links (Wikipedia) would work no matter if the launcher supports external drives or not, but may be problematic if the external drive isn't plugged in when you attempt to play a game as they will "not exist" and it may start installing the game or just throw an error. Also important to distinguish between "symbolic link" and "junction" on Windows as junctions are handled differently sometimes, especially by non-standard programs.

The "Symbolic link" Wiki entry above has a nice table of differences between symlinks, junctions, and hard links. I excluded hard links from this because they are not desirable as they can't cross filesystem boundaries and don't even support folders.

So, in short, symlinking folders is an option if you use a launcher that doesn't support external drives. Just make sure to symlink the folder of the game rather than the launcher's folder, e.g. for Steam you would move the installed app data from Steam/steamapps/common/appname to the external and symlink from there to appname on the external, like ln -s /mnt/external/games/appname .../Steam/steamapps/common/appname.

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