I'm having a little trouble to get Max Payne 3 installed on my pc. The trouble is that I have only 20 gb of free space left on my ssd where my steam is installed, and there is no way for me to create extra room. Now the Max Payne 3 game is about 30gb in size. But because it is so big, there is no way for me to download the game. What i would usually do is download the game and then cut and paste it to my other drive and make a symlink.

But because there is no way for me to download the game I can't do that. Is there a way for me to trick steam into thinking that it is installing/downloading the game on my ssd while it is actually doing that to the other drive?

  • You'll probably have to move some of your existing data. Maybe you can use the symlink trick you're talking about on something else that's large?
    – agent86
    Jul 7, 2012 at 20:01
  • 4
    Related to, but certainly not a duplicate of: gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/1580/… despite the similar-sounding titles.
    – agent86
    Jul 7, 2012 at 20:02
  • @agent86 The problem is I can't tho, because there is not that much for me to move. For some strange reason if I select everything on C. I get 30 gb, if i then add the 20 gb space I have 50gb, but there is 20gb being eaten somewhere.
    – Lyrion
    Jul 7, 2012 at 20:05
  • Regarding the "missing" space on your drive. It it possible to regain some of it by disabling hybernate. Windows reserves as much space on your OS drive to fit the content of your RAM for hibernate. So if you do not use that function its a easy way to free up some space link
    – Cresh
    Jul 8, 2012 at 1:01
  • 1
    Close Voters: If you read the comment carefully, @agent86 specifies that it is certainly not a duplicate. The 'duplicate' asks if it is possible to install games in two places at once, including the provision of installing it and then moving it over. OP is specifically asking how to install in a different place, due to the inability to do what is permitted in the original question.
    – user106385
    Nov 24, 2015 at 22:52

5 Answers 5


I don't know when this changed, but now you can download games to another drive with ease in 3 easy steps.

  1. Open your steam settings, go to downloads + clouds and click on Steam library folders
  2. Click on add library folder and add a new folder on a different drive
  3. Install the game, and right before change the folder you want to install it to

Added pictures for your comfort: Steam library Steam install


I'm assuming you have a SSD with OS install, etc. and a larger, spinning hard disk. I have a similar set up myself. The solution should work regardless.

You can create a directory junction using the process described at: http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/using-symlinks-in-windows-vista/

I would suggest making the steamapps directory itself a directory junction to your larger hard drive/partition.

For the games you feel absolutely must be on the SSD, simply move them to a separate folder on the SSD and create a second link for that from the "new" steamapps directory on your spinning disk.

  • But wouldn't that still leave me with the problem of not downloading? Because I think steam doesn't place it in the steamapps folder.
    – Lyrion
    Jul 8, 2012 at 0:39
  • Steam will place things in the steamapps folder when downloading.
    – TZHX
    Jul 8, 2012 at 20:12

You can move games easily with certain programs.

If you are using windows Vista or higher, Steam Mover works great. This way you can have one steam folder and create Microsoft's version of symbolic links (Junctions).

I tested this with steam and whether the drive is attached or not, it did not try re-download the games. When the drive is disconnected it just says "Cannot find executable." Then you just plug in your external HDD and all works well and games update.


Game Save Manager also works well, it has many more features, but I like it simple.

It creates some sort of shortcut (I don't know if it is a symbolic link) but Steam responded the same as above.

The app can also sync your gamesaves to a cloud server or a local drive (and possibly to a network drive).


  • For people wondering more about Windows symbolic links. 1. Windows has two versions of directory symbolic links (Junctions, and Directory Symbolic Links). 2. They are similar to linux symbolic links but you can't use windows links on linux. 3. You can only have 32 symbolic links per folder (so junctions are better for this tool). 4. Symbolic link needs admin privileges, junctions do not. 5. Symbolic links use stored paths (similar to a shortcut), so network access to a C:\ folder will point to the users local machine. Junctions will point to the actual network path on the network machine. Feb 27, 2014 at 7:01

well... you could transfer yous steam entirely to the other driver, just save your steamapps folder, unninstal steam and reinstal it on the other driver, download a small f2p game (realm of the mad god for example) in order to create all the default folders, and put your old steamapps folder on it, the game will be on the new driver so your downloads will go there by default and you'll have all your already downloaded games.


Shameless plug: I have written a program to move games between multiple Steam libraries: http://res2k.github.io/SteamLibrarian/

The difference to SteamMover (and possibly other tools) is that it uses Steam's native library support instead of filesystem features (ie junction points) to place Steam apps on other drives. I believe that to be more robust.

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