OS X Moving MAS games to secondary HDD

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by saturnotaku, Jun 17, 2014.

  1. saturnotaku macrumors 68000

    Mar 4, 2013
    I think I might know the answer to this, but I want to make sure. As most of you probably know, Steam gives you the option of where you would like to have your games installed, at least in most cases. So if you want to put them on a separate partition or hard drive/SSD, you can easily do so.

    Now for games purchased on the MAS, they automatically install to the Applications folder on your primary drive. In these instances, can you simply copy the application to your desired partition/drive and go from there, or is there more that needs to be done with regard to changing/adding symbolic links, etc?
  2. AppleNiels macrumors newbie

    Jun 8, 2014
    It's possible, for little programs by sure.
    Games for example need to save their date somewhere on the main HD, in the libary folder. You can copy the game to an other disk, but you can open it only on your Mac because of the saved date that's on the Libary folder. It should also be easy to copy the data of your game to an other disk, I think.
  3. Janichsan, Jun 18, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2014

    Janichsan macrumors 68000


    Oct 23, 2006
    That answer's giving a wrong gist. All MAS apps are completely self consistent. The only thing stored in the Library folder are directly or indirectly user generated files, like preferences and game save files. These have to be in their corresponding places in the home folder and cannot be stored for immediate use on another drive. That shouldn't pose much of a problem, though, since these files are usually comparatively small.

    It's perfectly safe and unproblematic to move any MAS acquired app to an external drive. As long as the drive is connected and mounted, the MAS also finds the apps there for updates.

    It's basically also possible to move MAS apps to different Macs this way, with two caveats: you'll going to have to re-authenticate the purchase on the other Mac the first time you open it there, and the mentioned user generated data don't automatically transfer if the app is not iCloud enabled (I currently can't think of any game that is, though).
  4. edddeduck macrumors 68020


    Mar 26, 2004
    This is completely correct and works for all games from Feral. We very often have Mac App Store games running off secondary partitions during testing without any issues.

    Thanks for the explanation Janichsan nice and clear as always.
  5. antonis macrumors 68020


    Jun 10, 2011
    Using an external storage, however, requires the partition to be formatted in hfs+ journaled, case insensitive (as a typical mac system volume would be). And to be writeable, of course, during runtime of the game.
  6. saturnotaku thread starter macrumors 68000

    Mar 4, 2013
    So the volume can't be formatted as exFAT or NTFS with 3rd-party driver?
  7. edddeduck macrumors 68020


    Mar 26, 2004
    OS X applications can dislike launching on unsupported file formats so your experience may vary from app to app.

  8. antonis macrumors 68020


    Jun 10, 2011
    Yes, I had some problems when tried launching games from my NAS directly (moved them there after downloaded from MAS), which is actually formatted in ext4 filesystem (it's a format being used in linux, as the NAS is running a linux flavor underneath). Moving them back to the internal drive they worked.

    While, on the other hand, I was able to run the same games directly from an external firewire 800 disk, formatted in hfs+ , used mainly for time machine backups.

    There is no other reason for a game not to run, though, as the config files, save games etc are all located in your local Library folder, anyway.

    But as Eddie said, this behavior may vary. I haven't tested a wide range of applications for this.

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