I have 2 SSD-s, a smaller 120g for the system and a bigger 500g for other files, game installs, etc. Both drives have a single partition with C and E labels accordingly.

I already installed steam to the default directory on C. I'd like it to install my games into E:/games/{game-title}. I already have Origin games in that directory.

I don't want steam to copy content between drives, because that shortens SSD lifetime. I am not certain how it does game installs, but it would not be acceptable to download game files to C into a temporary directory and copy/move the same files to E by installation.

How should I configure steam to achieve all of this?

1 Answer 1


Go to the Downloads section in Steam settings.

At the top of the Downloads tab of Steam settings, there's a button to manage Steam library folders.


Steam shows a list of folders it uses to store games and such.

You can add a new folder here. Steam will create a folder inside that folder called steamapps to use for game files, as you can see here:

Here's what my Games folder looks like, the one I moved the Steam library to.

Now whenever you install a game, you can pick the directory:

The dialog that pops up when I install Pony Island, which lets me pick which Steam library folder to install to

You can also change the default installation folder by right-clicking the folder and selecting Make Default Folder:

Here's that list of Steam library folders again.

  • 4
    A note regarding "I don't want steam to copy content between drives, because that shortens SSD lifetime": Steam will download the temporary files into a subfolder on the Disk with the Steam library. E.g. E:\Games\Steam\steamapps\downloading.
    – adiuva
    Apr 27, 2017 at 7:43
  • I got an error message that the games folder must be empty...
    – inf3rno
    Apr 27, 2017 at 10:30
  • 2
    @inf3rno That's correct. it must be a empty folder because Steam places additional information besides just the game folders, and that might destroy existing files with those names. To play safe, they require an empty folder. Just create another subfolder! (e.g., I have D:/Games/SteamLibrary as my Steam folder, while non-steam games go directly to D:/Games)
    – Kroltan
    Apr 27, 2017 at 14:36
  • Oh wow, TIL. I guess I always had Steam higher up in my build checklist than other platforms, so I never noticed. Apr 27, 2017 at 15:03

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