Although solid state drives have steadily increased in capacity, so too have the size of game installs. Today’s triple-A titles commonly occupy upwards of 20GB with many approaching or exceeding 60GB, especially after accounting for downloadable content.
Ironically, it’s often these large releases that benefit the most from the improved load times of a speedy drive, which is likely to be filled faster than you’d expect if it’s on the smaller side of SSDs — e.g. a 250GB model would be stuffed with four GTA V-sized titles
Moving a single game between drives
- Go to Steam > Settings > Downloads > Steam Library Folders
- Make a new Steam library folder on the desired new drive (you can right click on one of these folders to set it as your default installation path, although the next time you install a game, Steam will ask where you want it to go).
- Move an already installed game to the new drive:
Right click on the game in your Steam library > Properties > Local Files tab > Move install folder… > Choose the directory > Move folder
I want to move a game back off my SSD
The easiest way would be repeating the last step above by using Steam’s integrated feature for moving installation folders, though this method works, too:
- Using Windows Explorer, move the game folder from your SSD back to the original steamapps\common directory or some other library folder that Steam recognizes.
- From Steam, right click on the game in your library and delete its local contents, which shouldn’t actually delete anything because you just moved all the game files.
- Install the game again but point the installer to wherever you moved the files in step one, which should prompt Steam to verify the data and not download anything
Moving your entire Steam install
- Close Steam and head to your Steam folder or library via Windows (probably C:\Program Files\Steam (x86)).
- Copy and paste your Steam folder to the new location (rename the old folder and leave it in the original directory as a backup — or delete it if desired).
- You can run Steam.exe from the new location or download and run the Steam installer and point it to your new location (this can help clean up shortcuts, etc).
Something isn’t right with my Steam install!
- Copy and paste your SteamApps folder to a backup location
- Uninstall Steam
- Reinstall Steam and copy your SteamApps folder back into the Steam installation directory
If a game has become corrupt, you can also have Steam automatically seek and swap damaged files by verifying the integrity of your local data:
- Right click on the broken game in your Steam library > Properties > Local Files > Verify integrity of game files…
If it’s been a while since you’ve done this, note that it doesn’t completely freeze the Steam client anymore so you can continue chatting etc.