How to Transfer Games to an External Hard Drive

Brithny posted on Feb 19, 2020 to PC Transfer | How-to Articles

Manually Transfer PC Games to an External Hard Drive
Move Games to an External Hard Drive with PC Game Mover

Games often take a lot of space in your PC space. If you install too many games on your internal drive, you may easily receive a C drive full or not enough space waring. Using an external hard drive is a great way to have more storage space. Usually, there's an external hard drive for most gamers and common users. Gaming requires a lot of memory on your computer for games, and external HDDs take the pressure off your PCs. You can have all the gaming power without having to work on the inside of your computer. All you need to do is plug in the external hard drives, and move PC games to an external hard drive in two ways.

how to  move games to an external hard drive

Method 1. Manually Transfer PC Games to an External Hard Drive

The most straightforward way to transfer PC games to an external hard drive is manually copying and paste the game. Before you are going to try this method, you must know that this method only works for a few programs - the portable programs. As there are a variety of games, manually copying to an external disk may miss the necessary components for some specific games. This method may not work as well for games installed without a manager like Steam or Origin, but for everything I tested, it worked like a charm. Here, I'd like to take Origin games for example.

Step 1. Open Windows Explorer and create a folder on the external hard drive where you'll store your games.

Step 2. Head to your current Origin folder and find the folder for the game you want to move. Copy it to the new location, and delete the old files.

Step 3. Open Origin and head to "Origin > Application Settings > Installs & Saves". Under "Game Library Location", click the "Change location" button and direct it to the folder on your new hard drive. 

manually copy games to an external hard drive

Close origin completely, even from the background. This only affects newly-installed games, so your current library will not be affected.

Step 4. Return to "My Game Library" and click the "Download" button to re-install the game. 

go to my game library

Instead of re-downloading the game, Origin will detect the existing files there and make any necessary minor changes. When it's done, you should be able to play the game as usual.

Method 2. Move Games to an External Hard Drive with PC Game Mover

Compared with method 1, this method is much better. You don't need to manually copy and paste the games to change their location. You can easily make it by using professional game mover - EaseUS Todo PCTrans. This PC transfer software helps transfer your data, applications, and account settings from one PC to another in one click. Besides, the "App Migration" option enables you to transfer an application from one drive to an external hard drive. What else can this tool do for you? Let's see.

Download this software and directly launch this software to help you move games or apps from PC to an external hard drive.


For Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP

Step 1. Connect your external hard drive to your computer. Open EaseUS Todo PCTrans and select "App Migration > Start".

select app migration

Step 2. Find and choose the applications (marked as "Yes") that you want to transfer. You can select multiple apps. 

Click "Browse" and select your external hard drive as the destination to store the apps. 

select app migration

Step 3. Then, click "Transfer" to move your programs to an external hard drive

transfer app to external hard drive

People Also Ask

In addition to game moving, most users are interested in the following questions:

1. Can I use an external hard drive for gaming?

Yes, you can. The best external hard drives are extremely easy to use. All you need to do is plug them in. Besides, an external hard drive can be a great way to install games on multiple computers. Generally speaking, no file formatting is needed to use an external hard drive for gaming.

2. Can I move other apps to an external hard drive?

EaseUS Todo PCTrans supports to move a lot of programs to an external hard drive, including Microsoft Office, Adobe, Google Chrome and more.


For Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP

3. Is SSD or HDD better for gaming?

An SSD is much better for gaming than an HDD is. But SSD is not without fault. SSDs are not that good as long-term storage solutions, both because of their shorter life-span and because high-capacity SSD prices are bordering on ludicrous.

4. Can you run apps from external hard drive Mac?

Yes, Macs don't care where programs are launched from - there is no especially blessed location, so you can run them off an external drive.


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About EaseUS Todo PCTrans

EaseUS Todo PCTrans can transfer settings, applications and data between PCs and HDDs. Your all-round PC transfer and migrate software to upgrade devices without re-installation.