Moving and running specific CrossOver bottle on external drive

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Games today are getting very large. You can change the default CrossOver bottles location entirely. But having the option to move specific CrossOver bottles to an external drive is also great. Sometimes you will want some bottles to take advantage of the super fast internal SSDs, while the others in the external drive for the space it needs.

Here’s a quick guide how to do it.

Moving the CrossOver bottle to an external drive

Firstly, move the bottle of choice to your external disk. You can find the bottles in ~/Library/Application Support/CrossOver/Bottles. To get there, just use Finder and use the Go To Folder… command and paste the path in. The folder is hidden so you can just find it as per normal in Finder.

Remember to quit CrossOver just to be sure.

Finder Go to Folder... command
Finder Go To  ~/Library/Application Support/CrossOver/Bottles

You should now see all your bottles. Move the one you intend run on the external disk. In my case, I will be moving the Steam bottle to my external SSD drive.

CrossOver bottle's default location
Moving CrossOver Steam Bottle

Using Symlink to create an alias to the CrossOver bottle on external drive

As the header says, the trick is to simply use a symbolic link to create an alias to the CrossOver bottle on the external drive. You would be using the ln -s <source> <target> command to do so.

Here’s an example of mine. You will need to change it accordingly of course to the actual paths on your Mac.

cd ~/Library/Application\ Support/CrossOver/Bottles
ln -s /Volumes/ExtremeSSD/Bottles/Steam Steam
creating symlink of crossover bottle on external drive
Symlink/Alias of CrossOver bottle created

Running CrossOver bottles on external drive

If all goes well, the bottle will function just as normal. Only the loading time will be slowed down based on the transfer speed of your external drive. I recommend using a fast one that runs on at least USB 3.1 or better yet, a thunderbolt interface. I’m using the Sandisk Extreme SSD that can read/write close to 900+MB/S. Nothing compared to the internal SSD, but fast enough.

Steam crossover bottle running on external drive

On the first run, macOS will require you to allow the bottle’s executable to gain access to removable volumes. Just click OK. After that, the game will run. In my case, Steam loads just like normal.

Steam bottle requesting access to removable volume
Steam bottle running on macOS

This trick also works for other CrossOver dependent apps like Heroic Launcher. I have tested this and was able to run a game when the bottle is linked to external drive.

Heroic Launcher crossover bottle running on external drive

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