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.

8 thoughts on “Moving Epic Games Store games without re-installing them

  1. Thank you! If you move the files first and then run the launcher (like I did), you can just do steps 2-5, and it’ll recognize the new locations!

    1. Without editing LauncherInstalled.dat I found that it would allow me to launch the game directly from the button in the Epic Games window, but it caused the start menu and desktop links to just open the Epic Games store and not actually launch the game.

  2. I did this and initially got “Repair” even though I closed Epic Launcher. The solution was to go to Task Manager and kill the Epic Launcher process.

  3. This is such an ingenious solution! Thanks for sharing it. Do you know if this works with other applications that make it difficult to transfer the installation location? Such as Photshop?

    1. Photoshop is likely to be a much more complicated process, unfortunately, because of all the additional services and other resources it installs. The reason that the process I described works is that the game installations are entirely managed by the Epic Store application, so you don’t (usually) have to worry about messing with registry keys, other application components, or services. It’s not the same for applications that you just install directly on Windows.

  4. I wanted to move the game to a new PC (that is, download and install Epic Games Launcher on the new PC and then move the game files). But this method did not work because:

    After freshly installing the Epic Games Launcher, there is no Manifests folder and .items files in that directory to open and change ManifestLocation, InstallLocation, and StagingLocation values.
    Also, when you open the LauncherInstalled.dat file, you will only see:
    ‘{
    “InstallationList”: []
    } ‘
    so there is no InstallLocation value to change.

    Therefore, this method will not work when transferring to a new PC where you have freshly installed the Launcher.

    1. You may be able to just copy the metadata files over from the old computer and edit them to point to the correct location, but I’m not sure how effective this will be – I don’t know what other metadata the Epic Games Store application keeps regarding installed games, and there may be application dependencies. The game might require an anti-cheat service, a particular .NET Framework version, or some other runtime, which was automatically installed on the system when the game was installed. If you just move the game files across to a new computer, these dependencies may be missing. It’s probably fine for many cases, but your mileage may vary.

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