Anyway to backup the installed game?

I’m gonna do a clean install of Windows 11. Is there anyway to copy it to an external hard drive and copy it back to where it is supposed to be installed? I seem to recall I did this once and it didn’t work out. So if it’s possible to backup the install I’d love to hear how. I really don’t wanna have to download like 100gb again.

What I have found that works best for me, is to backup only the “Official” and “Community” folders.

Then reinstall MSFS and let it download a few files. This creates all the folders and pointers. Then pause it, exit from MSFS and copy from the backup.

Then relaunch MSFS and it will detect that everything is there and only update what needs to (if any).


Thanks, I will try this. I think when I did it before I copied the whole folder and the launcher started downloading the game like it wasn’t there.

Yes, same here when I first tried it just after release.

I should mention that I install outside of the default. So when MSFS asks where I want to put it, I choose C:\MSFS (or whatever drive you wish to use). That way the base install is out of the Windows system control area and easier to copy files to without getting a permission error. :slight_smile:

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Good idea as well.

I seem to recall I had some mod content, but the community folder is empty now. I’m not sure if an update wiped it out, or it’s in another spot. The official folder is full though, so I’m copying that. I just don’t know where my mod went. I downloaded an F-22 and am pretty sure it was supposed to go in the community folder. So I’m not sure what happened. But if I get the official content I guess I’ll be okay since that’s the most of it.

Hi @Gojacv3,
If you had installed MSFS to it’s default location at one point and MSFS detected any issue, it will wipe out your community folder. I’ve learned that by error! This needs to be changed in how the installer works!

I’ve not noticed that it wipes the Community folder if not installed to it’s default location. Others may chime in on it! :slight_smile:

What I’ve been doing is always backup both the Community & Official every time I add to them. Marketplace items do go into the Official folder.


in addition to the game Packages (the bulk of the game) which may save you time

i tend to back up some other stuff, i have the store version so locations will vary for steam but here are some additional files you may want to grab

Controller Settings

Completed Bush Trips

UserCfg.opt, GRANTEDREWARDS.BIN & GrantedRewardsOld.BIN (skip the UserCFG.opt for a new pc install, its pc specific)

removed possible misinformation

These locations are only valid when:

  1. You have the store version
  2. You have installed packages in the default location and didn’t specify a custom location

not necessarily, i use a custom install “D:\MsFS” for Packages (specified on first launch After the Launcher is installed by the ms store)

the files i list are part of the Launcher, the only time they should be different is for steam, or if you move the Launcher - either thru the Windows App Settings or thru the MS Store by setting a custom default “Apps” location

same for steam but the launcher is (by default) in a slightly different directory

Which is exactly my point.
And if you have the physical disk version it again is slightly different from both Steam and Store.

You are right that the repository location doesn’t alter these locations. I read wrongly

as the repository directory. But you’re right, this one doesn’t hold the default repository location.

thats true, i have the store version, i mentioned that for this exact reason
the files will be in a Very similar folder structure but in the steam default install which i dont have access too
according to the info ive seen it will be

%APPDATA%\Microsoft Flight Simulator\

rather than what i have which is

i cant verify this so i did not try to transpose these directories for steam
the rest of the address will be the same

search for that UserCFG.opt file, everything will be in the ‘relative’ location from there
as you point out there are lots of vairables (its possible to have these on another drive)
i cant possibly cover them all, and can only verify what i have

You are wrong. Please read carefully :wink:



That :point_up_2: is an excellent reason to use the amazing and free MSFS Addons Linker

It uses symbolic links so you can keep your Community folder anywhere. The main files remain untouched. As far as MSFS is concerned it “thinks” the mods are in Community. Fantastic bit of software.

If you know this already just ignore me aha!

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i read that, infact thats what i refered to specifically
i dont use custom views which is why i said ‘May be wrong’ as well as ’ it ‘may’ save it’

thats the first ive seen of anything other than hours in them so ty
i removed the confusing notation, it certainly wont hurt to back them up

All - Have complained since Release about the insane distribution model. Europe got DVD’s, no not ordering from Walmart/eBay/etc. Asobo should make them, and allow purchase. X-Plane has them, 8 of them. Takes 4 hours or so to install all of it. For me to DL game over, would take 5 days. If something happens to it again, I am DONE. Back to FSX and XP. This simulator has been and continues to be more work than it’s worth. I do not see that changing, but after SU6 it’s much better than it was. The distribution model sucks bigtime and everyone knows it, even those people with fast internet, mine is 15MBTS, abysmal slow.

The DVD released contains only the initial release. As soon as you install, there will be many updates to bring it current.

Most don’t own DVD drives anymore as all new systems; this type of drive is optional.

It wouldn’t make sense to mass produce that type of media.

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Yes, but with the initial release, I would have the bulk of the sim on my PC, only certain files would need updates, and, it would not take 5 days to get. So from the point of view of anyone with slow internet, it would be bonus.

And portable Blu-Ray drives are about 50 dollars for a decent USB drive. My old laptop has one built in, and for the new one I got a portable drive. With slow internet, streaming does not work here even. If I am using PC, and we are watching TV PLus, the digital interferrence for the tv is so bad, so I have to stop using PC, so the tv works. There is no alternative to the provider unless I go with Elon’s skylink, and it’s not even close to covering everyone, two years out at least. So in my case, and I suspect others, the DVD option is better than current provisions.

Then a special order option for discs should be available, X-Plane charged me the 20 dollars, which I gladely paid because to download the same thing was 72 hours continious.

first, this is Completely OFF TOPIC, you should really start a new thread rather than hijack someone elses

i dont think it would help near as much as you think it would, the game overwrites Many old files with these updates, they are Not all new files
the game was never intended to be delivered by DVD, they only had that ‘Limited’ release, no idea why