Microsoft is finally updating the Xbox and Microsoft Store apps on Windows so you can specify a folder to install your games to. The change will be available soon to people who install the Xbox Insider Hub app and is expected to be in beta before the release of Halo Infinite on December 8, according to The Verge.
With the update, you'll be able to choose a hard drive and a folder inside it as a location to install your game. Like any other program on your PC, you'll be able to access the folders without Windows marking them as hidden, like it does currently with the WindowsApps folder.
The change removes the barriers Windows uses to prevent you from accessing your game files, which has kept people from installing and using mods. Some games currently allow mods, but they only allow you to access a dedicated mods folder. With this change, you'll be able to install mods directly into your game files like you can do on Steam.
It's unclear if the update to the Xbox and Microsoft Store app will fix an ongoing problem where Game Pass games won't fully uninstall and clear up the space on your hard drive. Several users on Reddit and Resetera have reported this problem since 2019. With direct access to your files, you might be able to solve this problem by manually cleaning them out yourself.
In a video announcing the upcoming change, Microsoft also noted that downloading games will be faster through the app too.
Game Pass PC subscribers will surely welcome this change as it makes managing your files a lot easier as you install games frequently. You can finally know exactly what's going on with your precious C drive.
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Tyler has covered games, games culture, and hardware for over a decade before joining PC Gamer as Associate Editor. He's done in-depth reporting on communities and games as well as criticism for sites like Polygon, Wired, and Waypoint. He's interested in the weird and the fascinating when it comes to games, spending time probing for stories and talking to the people involved. Tyler loves sinking into games like Final Fantasy 14, Overwatch, and Dark Souls to see what makes them tick and pluck out the parts worth talking about. His goal is to talk about games the way they are: broken, beautiful, and bizarre.