Moving Epic Games Store games without re-installing them

A lot of folks on the net seem to be interested in moving games from the Epic Games store from one drive to another, usually because they’re running out of space on their disk or they want to move the game to faster storage. I installed a bunch of games when I first built my new workstation, before I built a VROC RAID0 of M.2 NVMe SSDs, and wanted to move all of the games to the new large and fast storage array. Unfortunately, all of the advice I’ve found so far is basically to move the game files somewhere, re-install the game from within the Epic Games Launcher, pause or cancel the install, copy the game files into the target location, then resume the install or verify the game files. This is an error-prone and messy approach and you don’t need to do it.

The Epic Games launcher stores information about the games you have installed in manifest files. These are kept in C:\ProgramData\Epic\EpicGamesLauncher\Data\Manifests and C:\ProgramData\Epic\UnrealEngineLauncher. You can edit these manifests to change where the launcher looks for the game. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Exit the Epic Games Launcher. Check you didn’t just send it to the tray.
  2. In Explorer, go to C:\ProgramData\Epic\EpicGamesLauncher\Data\Manifests and open all of the .item files in a text editor (e.g. Notepad) until you find the one for the game you want to move.
  3. Move the files from wherever you installed the game to the new drive or directory.
  4. Modify the ManifestLocation, InstallLocation, and StagingLocation values in the manifest to point to the new install directory.
  5. Save the manifest.
  6. Open C:\ProgramData\Epic\UnrealEngineLauncher\LauncherInstalled.dat in a text editor (e.g. Notepad) and change the InstallLocation value for your game to point to the new install directory.
  7. Save LauncherInstalled.dat
  8. Open the Epic Games Launcher again.

Your game should show as ready to launch. If it shows as “Repair” then you either forgot to exit the launcher (just restart it and the error will go away) or you did something wrong when you edited the manifest files.

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