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[Guide] Save up to 20% disk space and redirect game update downloads

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2,400 posts
14,997 battles

Hello fellow captains!


This is a 2-part guide for Windows 10 users that will show you how to save up to 20% of your valuable HDD/SDD space on your WoWs Installation without noticable performance penalty - in my case and game version 0.9.4 the size went down from 52.3GB to 42.5GB. The second part of this guide will show you a way to redirect the update downloads to a folder or drive of your choice, because WG neither give us the option to set a download folder nor respect the system-wide settings for downloads and temporary files.



Part 1: Save up to 20% of disk space with negligible performance penalty


Note: depending on your computer and chosen installation options when Windows 10 was installed for the first time, you may have the following change already enabled and you can skip this guide.
We will use the Windows 10 compress function to reduce the used disk space and apply it to the WoWs installation folder. Each step has one or more screenshots, they are hidden in a spoiler box to reduce the length of the page.


Step 1:
Use File Explorer to navigate to the location of your WoWs Installation folder. If you don't know where this is, open the Wargaming Game Center and on your WoWs page click Game Settings and then Show in Folder (spoiler box below, screenshot 1). File Explorer will open inside your WoWs installation, click on the parent directory in the address bar, in my case this would be 'Games(E:)' (spoiler box below, screenshot 2). Now you should see the WoWs folder and not the content of the folder.







Step 2:
Right click on the WoWs folder and then click on Properties. This will open a new window, click on Advanced. For comparison look at the 'before' size on disk.





Step 3:
Look at the 'Compress contents to save disk space'. If there is no checkmark click the box to set one and click OK.
Note: If there is already a checkmark, hit cancel and you are done. This guide is not for you because your compression is already enabled.





Step 4:
The confirm changes window will open. Make sure to click the 'Apply changes to folders, subfolders and files' option, then click OK.





Step 5:
Now is a good time to go for a walk or have lunch or do whatever. Depending on your computer hardware this can take anywhere between 15 minutes and one hour. Usually it should not take longer than 25 minutes even on very slow computers, if you do not run resource-hungry applications in the background.





Step 6:
The final step is to look at the 'after' size on disk, smile and click OK.





A few simple steps to save up to 20% disk space, which is especially on a SSD very valuable. The Windows 10 compress is not comparable to something like a Zip or RAR file, it works completely different. The performance impact is negligible, which makes it even more impressive. If you are not happy with the changes simply repeat the steps to undo the changes.
If WoWs updates the game files don't worry, Windows 10 will automatically compress the changed files so you don't have to do this every time there is a new update.




Part 2: Redirect the Update download folder


NOTE: this part of the guide is for advanced users only!
I will not provide screenshots and will not explain in depth how it works, because i assume that you know what you are doing with your computer.

The WGC let us download game updates in advance. This happens usually up to a week before the update release and it occupies several GB SSD space - e.g. 0.9.4 was more than 3GB in size of blocked, unusable disk space. WG doesn't offer the option to set a temporary download folder for updates and all files are downloaded into the installation folder. It's annoying to have limited SSD space occupied with large temporary files when there is a 2TB HDD right next to it. So let's fix this problem with a Symlink.


Step 1:
Open your text editor of choice, this will make it easier for us in a minute.
Create a new folder on your target drive/partition/whatever and give it a descriptive name like e.g. WoWs Update Download. This will be the folder where WGC will download the files to. Copy the full path of the newly created folder, including the folder name, to your text file. If there are any spaces in the path or folder name wrap the path in double-quotes.
For instance, in my case this is "F:\WoWs Update Download". This is very, VERY, V E R Y, important that you wrap the path in DOUBLE-quotes. I hope this was clear enough that this is REALLY important. 


Step 2:
Navigate to your WoWs install folder and delete the 'Updates' folder. Don't worry, we will create a symlink here in a minute that redirects requests internally to the newly created folder in step 1. Copy the path to your WoWs install folder to the text file and … well, you know the deal with the double-quotes, right?!


Step 3:
Now here are 2 scenarios possible. You are either a Command Prompt user or a PowerShell user. Both version are a bit different, i explain both versions below.
Right click on the Windows Start Button and here you will have the option Command Prompt or Windows PowerShell. Whatever prompt you have, click the '(Admin)' version. The prompt must be launched with admin rights or the whole thing will pretty certain not work. If, for whatever reason you don't have the option to launch CMD or PS, ask Google how to fix it.




For Command Prompt user:
In your text file prepare the command that it looks like this

mklink /D "path\to\wows\install\Updates" "path\to\new\folder\WoWs Update Download"
For example:
mklink /D "E:\World of Warships\Updates" "F:\WoWs Update Download"

Now copy and paste it to your CMD and press enter.


For PowerShell user:
In your text file prepare the command that it looks like this

New-Item -ItemType SymbolicLink -Path "path\to\wows\install\Updates" -Target "path\to\new\folder\WoWs Update Download"
For example:
New-Item -ItemType SymbolicLink -Path "E:\World of Warships\Updates" -Target "F:\WoWs Update Download"

Now copy and paste it to your PS and press enter.


Step 4:
Close CMD/PS and open the new WoWs Update Folder that we can test if it worked. Create a new textfile or copy any random file to this folder. Now navigate to your WoWs install folder and there you should see an Updates folder (the one we deleted a minute ago), but it should have an arrow symbol representing a link. Open the Updates folder. You should now see the testfile that you've created or copied there. If so, congrats it worked! You will also notice, if you look at the address bar, that the path still shows as "E:\World of Warships\Updates" yet the content of the folder is somewhere else. Windows will now treat requests to this Updates folder as usual, but interally it will redirect any request to the new location. WGC will now store its files at the new locations and stops wasting our valuable SSD space.

If you want to get rid of the link again, simply delete it like you delete any other file and you have restored the original state.



That's it guys, i hope this guide was useful for someone.


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And what is the most important, move Your mod folder by using mklink out of World of Warships directory, to prevent automatic deletion. Especially when You have some important and customized files in it ex. sound, graphic or You are just modding something etc.

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