I’m a data hoarder, which makes sense given the fact that all of my Jobs have to do with files and images. Though whenever I get a new PC I try to ensure I always purchase a hard drive big enough to store that juicy music, FFXIV Screenshots and the unedited version of videos I film, it seems my data always catches up to me and I’ve been the unfortunate victim of having Hardrives corrupt leading me to finally invest in cloud storage.
In most recent years, I’ve fully segregated my hard drives, making my C: Drive only for video games, D: Drive for work files and E: Drive for my media files, my C: Drive has been getting hammered because some video games are inherently massive. Given that I was a 5-7 day a week variety streamer I couldn’t simply remove games from the hard drive since my schedule had me rotating games daily and let’s just say when you stream games like the Sims and FFXIV you’re looking at about 150 GB being used just from those two games alone.
Although I’ve slowed down the Variety Streaming and have been focussing on predominantly creating FFXIV content, I’ve been hearing more and more that community members are struggling to keep their hard drives clear enough for new video games and even unable to update old games due to update files being too large.
So, in hopes of aiding these community members as well as you, I thought I would give you some tips on how to move FFXIV onto another drive since chances are it’s going to be one of the largest games you have on your hard drive. This is also useful for folks who use an HDD as their C: Drive as video games tend to run more smoothly on an SSD which is still more commonly the average users side drive and not main drive.
I will give you a few different methods by which this can be done, but as a warning please make sure you backup and save any of your game files as unfortunately when files are moved a user will always run the risk of breaking or corrupting their game. Quite frankly, since FFXIV is an MMO and the most important files will be safe such as your inventory and Job Data, players will want to make sure they back up things like Custom Menus made with Macros and Hotbar layouts as both are terribly annoying to rebuild.
Don’t worry, I won’t leave you hanging, I’ll let you know which folder these live in so you can quickly and efficiently protect yourself from any issues that may arise.
Note: If you have any questions about FFXIV that you want me to cover feel free to leave them in a comment below, you can also ask me while I am streaming on Twitch, YouTube or in our community discord.
WHERE IS FFXIV SAVED BY DEFAULT ON MY PC
There are two places FFXIV creates save files on a PC by default, though each has its purpose. Generally, this shouldn’t deviate unless you chose different file paths when initially installing the game, though I’d be curious if anyone has had a different experience.
As a note depending on how the files were installed your Folder may either appear as “FINAL FANTASY XIV Online” or “FINAL FANTASY XIV – A Realm Reborn”. There is no real difference other than making it a bit harder to locate if you use the wrong words to search. Players should not ever have both folders on their computer, though again, let me know if for some reason you do and what types of files are inside each of the folders. It seems to only happen with players who use the Steam Launcher and as I don’t use the Steam Launcher for FFXIV I can’t test when and why this happens.
If you are using the FFXIV/Square Enix launcher on Windows, the launcher is located at:
C:\Program Files (x86)\SquareEnix\FINAL FANTASY XIV – A Realm Reborn.
If you are using the FFXIV/Square Enix launcher on Windows your Character Files are located at:
%USERPROFILE% \ Documents \My Games\FINAL FANTASY XIV – A Realm Reborn\
If you are playing on MacOS the launcher is located at:
If you are playing on MacOS your Character Files are located at:
$HOME /Documents/My Games/FINAL FANTASY XIV – A Realm Reborn/
If you utilize the Steam Launcher on Windows or are using Linxus your Character Files are located at:
<Steam-folder> /steamapps/compatdata/ 39210 /pfx/
*Note: sometimes the Steam Folder is hard to find and I will typically either search for “steamapps” or use the command prompt to pull it up. You can also right-click the game in your Steam Library, select Properties and head to the Installed Files menu. Here you will see a button labelled “Browse…” which should take you directly to your game files.
IS IT OKAY TO HAVE DUPLICATE FFXIV FILES ON MY COMPUTER?
While the majority of the time there is no problem with having duplicates of the same FFXIV files on different Hard Drives, issues can arise during patches and updates.
I’m uncertain why this happens during some patches and not others, but after the most recent patch my husband had all of his HUD Layouts and Hotbars reverted to an old version of them because he still had older backups on a different hard drive.
What was especially weird about this occurrence was that these files were segregated in their own file folder and had no other FFXIV files alongside them. Now, as this didn’t happen to me, I was unable to test whether or not simply renaming the folder would have avoided this problem as my husband left the name the same after when he backed up these files.
I would appreciate it if anyone has insight on this as the next opportunity to test this out will be months from now and it’s not a guarantee that I will go through the same issue as I have not in the past. That being said, there have been many tech issues my husband and I have experienced that were unique to our own PCs even though we have identical setups, but that’s the beauty of tech sometimes it just doesn’t make sense. Like why does my sister’s graphics card only work on my brother-in-law’s computer even though they also have identical setups? Who knows…
FFXIV FILES YOU SHOULD BACK UP AND POTENTIALLY STORE IN THE CLOUD
In all cases, I would back up any of your Character Configurations in the Cloud or another Folder. These contain all of your Macros, Hotbars, Gearsets and generally any local files that are not saved in the FFXIV Cloud.
Unfortunately, players on Steam do not seem to have the luxury of being able to utilize the Steam Cloud to back these up, though this may have changed since the last reports I witnessed of this.
While technically Square Enix offers a way to upload these settings into their Cloud in the launcher, I can attest that it does not function in the manner intended. 15 of us have tried it in total and only 1 got it to function, though we all followed the same steps. Of all the tech things to not work, this has been the most unclear and has resulted in the remaining 14 of us relying on simply copying and saving our character files.
Quite frankly, it takes very little time and is extremely useful for players who have Alt Characters and want to duplicate their Menus and Hotbars when they are playing on these Characters.
I personally don’t back up my Character files every single time I make changes, however, if I ever make big changes such as making a Custom Menu or fully remapping a Job’s Hotbar I typically will. This is especially true if I play the Job on my Alt as I typically only run Savage content on it and would prefer not to risk making mistakes due to using an archaic Hotbar layout.
If you keep these files anywhere on your computer (whether it’s on the same Hard Drive or not) I would recommend zipping these files (.zip) so the game doesn’t somehow begin to think it should pull from these files as it did with my husband. I can foresee an issue with the game overwriting one of the two instances with the player being unaware, leading them to copy the wrong instance in the future. Of course, if you want to be extra safe you can always check the date the file was updated, if one is more recent than the other, always use the more recent one as this date should not change unless it is accessed by the game. Of course in the instance where the wrong Hotbar was seen in the game, the older date would most likely be the more recent files.
HOW TO MOVE FFXIV TO ANOTHER HARD DRIVE IF USING THE SQUARE ENIX LAUNCHER ON WINDOWS
There are two things to keep in mind when it comes to moving FFXIV to another Hard Drive when playing on Windows. First, you can only begin this process if you have already launched the game once successfully, so make sure you do this if you have just freshly installed it. Second, sometimes there are hiccups when a new patch is released as the path may revert to your C: Drive.
If the latter is true, you would simply need to follow the same steps as below when this happens, but it shouldn’t be anything more than a slight annoyance.
Genuinely, it’s quite simple to start playing FFXIV from another Hard Drive, though as mentioned weird hiccups can arise. At the most, players will be required to re-install a fresh copy of the game if files get corrupted, but this isn’t a typical occurrence.
Simply head to the game files in C:\Program Files (x86)\SquareEnix\FINAL FANTASY XIV – A Realm Reborn and move the Square Enix Folder and all of its contents onto your preferred Hard Drive. I would avoid using the copy function to do this, though if you do not have the choice ensure that you delete all the Square Enix Folder (as long as it has no other games) off your C: Drive.
The game should automatically repair itself once moved, though sometimes the shortcut to the game may break. Simply head to the new location of the game head into the “boot” file folder and locate the “ffxivboot.exe” file as this is the launcher.
HOW TO MOVE FFXIV TO ANOTHER HARD DRIVE IF USING THE SQUARE ENIX LAUNCHER ON MacOS
I can’t lie, although I use the MacOS to edit music, I hate everything to do with the functionality of the system especially when it comes to programs.
Yeah, it’s cute that all of my programs are little app bundles, but when it comes to certain programs it feels like Mac just wants to throw a wrench at my face and break my skull.
Quite frankly, moving the game can be a very complicated process and I’d more readily recommend just re-installing the game by executing it in whatever Hard Drive you want it to end up in by the end of the process. This SHOULD install the game onto that Hard Drive by default, but you know🤷Mac.
I’ve honestly written this part about 6 times and have deleted it all because all of the methods I could come up with are extremely complicated and genuinely confusing, so… I’m about to cop out a bit. If you simply copy and paste the application folder doesn’t work for you, honestly just re-install the game on your external by opening the package there.
Too much can go wrong when you play around with the files and symlink on MacOS and even though I’ve done it before the amount of time it takes to double-check your mistakes is quite ridiculous. I’ll let you know if there’s another method I discover, but realistically since the .app is self-contained you shouldn’t need one.
The folders you want to keep track of are as follows:
Users > yourUserName > Library > Application Support > FINAL FANTASY XIV ONLINE
HOW TO MOVE FFXIV TO ANOTHER DRIVE IF USING THE STEAM LAUNCHER
If FFXIV follows the same rules as other games in the Steam Launcher this should be easy to do, however, if it doesn’t I’ll provide you the manual method of moving your game files.
When a user opens their Steam Library they will want to hit the word Steam in the top left of the launcher. Here you will see the word “Settings”, click this. Navigate to the Storage menu, which is depicted by a Hard Drive and is about halfway down the left-hand side menu.
When in the menu, below the word Storage users should see their Local C: Drive, click this menu and see whether the Drive you want to utilize is listed. If it is not, add that drive to this list.
Once this is completed locate FFXIV, select the check box and hit move.
At the time of writing this all of my currently installed games can be moved this way, so I cannot see why FFXIV would be any different, though if it cannot be you can follow these steps:
Head to <Steam-folder> /steamapps/compatdata/ 39210 /pfx/ or right-click the game, hit Properties and head to the Installed Files tab to click on the “Browse…” button and copy everything in everything in the FFXIV Folder and paste it into a new folder labelled SteamLibrary.
Once this is done you will need to delete this folder from the Hard Drive it was originally on.
There’s the more difficult part that could potentially end in a mistake. Open your Command Prompt as an Admin and create a symlink between the folders. This is done as follows, assuming your new Drive is the D: Drive and the old is C:
“C:\Games\SteamLibrary\steamapps\common” “D:\SteamLibrary\FINAL FANTASY XIV Online”
Of course, if there are any differences between the paths on your computer, alter these to fit them. Unfortunately, this method has a higher likelihood of breaking, though it should be generally minimal.
Otherwise, there’s a third method which should be a bit easier than creating a Symlink:
You will still need to copy your game files to a new location and once that is complete uninstall the game from the Steam Launcher. When it is fully uninstalled, go back to Steam and install the game, but change the File Path to the exact location of where you placed your files.
Steam will simply “repair” these files and should only take a few minutes to “install.”
At the end of the day, if the move function built into Steam is the safest method, though as it is newer many users may not know it exists.