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itch-io client download goes.. where? And it leaves it on disk, wasting disk space

A topic by Hispeeday created Oct 15, 2016 Views: 1,929 Replies: 6
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just had the pleasure of using the client in the current version for the first time.

I proceeded to reinstall the AvenColony installation on another harddrive (which was set up as the _DEFAULT_ install dir in the itch-io client). After an hour the download finished in the background, did something random and then installed nothing.

The drive I was forced to install the itch-io client upon (C:) was/is full with the download completely unpacked unto my system's SSD.. there's a 2.7 GB download in the default-install location/downloads/ directory, which is obviously not enough and thus fails to unpack.

My C: drive is stuck at 20 MB of free space, and I have no idea where the itch-io client decided to waste the about 10 GB of free space before starting the 4.7 GB download. The usual suspects (windows-temp, user appdata-local-itch, etc.) don't contain the files.


I just found you are using the roaming-directory/itch/ to contain the download archive while downloading, and you also unpack the whole frigging (in this case) ZIP archive in that directory... WHILE you are installing the game to a wholly different drive. Did anyone think this through?

--- Found out myself where it clutters up my system harddrive..

* WHY doesn't it clean up after itself when it is done ?

* And why does it not resume partially downloaded files, but instead redownload everything from scratch ?

Also, you can't limit the bandwidth usage, same as with the GOG Galaxy client, so you are in good company there ;)

Any ideas?


New versions?




Hey Frederic!

I understand the frustration & have been working on it ever since Aven Colony was released on

Trying to handle one thing at a time:

It downloads to the wrong directory / extracts into the wrong directory

this sounds like the Install Location you added wasn't the default when you installed Aven Colony. I just started downloading a big game (using itch 18.10.1) and, as designed, it downloads to the right directory:

(It also extracts in the same disk, as `Quote-stage` folder, then merges with `Quote`)

What I think happened is: you had Aven Colony installed (in the default install location, which is `%APPDATA%/apps`), then changed the default install location because an update was downloading and it filled your SSD. This doesn't change the install location of Aven Colony, you can check by using the "Show local files" button in the right sidebar when the game is opened.

WHY doesn't it clean up after itself when it is done ?

The historical reason for this is to allow re-installing without re-downloading. The app deletes the download when you uninstall the game instead.

For small games (<300MB), which was the main use case for the itch app originally, it sounds reasonable. For large games like Aven Colony, it's a disaster - it gets especially bad in a scenario where:

  • The initial download is kept around (4.6GB)
  • A few patches are downloaded, they apply cleanly (a few hundred MB)
  • A patch fails to apply, so the full latest version is redownloaded (4.6GB again)
This has happened to a few people, and it's bad! Keep reading to know the solution I'm working on.

And why does it not resume partially downloaded files, but instead redownload everything from scratch ?

I promise it does resume - again, what I think happened is a "patch failing to apply cleanly" scenario as described above. If you want to convince yourself it does resume, just pause downloads and start them over again (if it doesn't resume, it's a bug, and I'll be wanting to look at some log files).

Here's what I'm working on: instead of storing the .zip file in a downloads folder, I found a way to extract it while it's downloading. This means:

  • No downloads folder needed anymore
  • No staging folder for extraction (copying 10GB around takes time!) - the game is installed faster
It supports resumes, just like regular downloads.

For games not in .zip format, the old "download, then extract" behavior will still be there (since the app has to use another extractor then), although it won't keep the archive around in downloads once it's done.

Keeping patches after they've been applied is a bug - in the new version, they're simply applied while they're being downloaded, so, not even written to disk - problem solved.

Patches that fail to apply (because it needs files that have been modified since to reconstruct new files) will no longer trigger a full re-download, but instead, only re-download the files in particular that couldn't be reconstructed.

As for download speed limits, I'm working on it in the same iteration so, Galaxy will be on its lonesome soon!

These are big changes, that's why they took a whlie. It's not quite ready yet, but I'll be releasing beta versions of the app on our canary channel (which we use for QA).

Thanks for raising these issues and giving me a chance to post a definitive answer in the meantime!


First off, thanks for your quick answer.

The game was never installed using the client before I started the AC download; so it probably didn't have anything to do with the zip file ending up on C: . It may have been because the client foolishly ;) treats the download location in the user's profile directory as more important than the manually added directories.

Anyhow, the full download was on C: . The client showed the game as not installed, and when I clicked download again, it started the download at 0% again. My take? The client ONLY ever looks in the "default" location for games, even for the downloaded ZIP files. So it didn't look at the file it just downloaded to C: and instead started again from 0% on another drive.

And patching.. yes, I was hoping for this. It's kind of a drab to redownload AC fully every week with a 16 MBit/s line ;-)

Well, the client looks well-polished (and is for the most part).. these things just caught me in a bad moment :p

Keep up the good quality.

Thanks a lot and out,



Ah, then the solution is probably even simpler! When adding a new install location, you need to click on it to make it the default: your preferences tab should look like this:

I'm making a note to make the UI clearer!

And patching.. yes, I was hoping for this. It's kind of a drab to redownload AC fully every week with a 16 MBit/s line ;-)

Oh yeah, it's been annoying me as well! As a motivation, I promised myself I wouldn't play anymore AC until that's fixed :)

Thanks for your patience!

I know.. and I did that (the click on Location to set it as default). One thing though: Does it make sense to waste SSD space with static binaries? In my case the games are on the SSD, thus the zip files are using writes on my SSD, for no good reason. :-)

In other words: Being able to choose one location for putting the zip and patch files, another for putting the games would be preferrable.

Thanks for your great work.

Did this ever get anywhere? I still have a 'roaming/itch/downloads' folder that's nearly as big as my 'roaming/itch/apps' folder...

(Also, inexplicably, there are 58 items in my downloads folder, but only 35 items in my apps folder, and only 30 items listed as installed in my Itch client?)


The new version of the app (which handles this cleanly) is being released soon. It includes a lot of underlying changes, so it took a long while to prepare. It also includes a notification that lets you know you can clean up your downloads folders to free up disk space (that was used by previous versions of the app).

In the meantime, I still recommend just wiping the `downloads` folder yourself if you find that it gets too big.

For the curious: v25 of the app uses for all install tasks, and download folders are tracked more closely:

  • Most archives are not even stored on disk, they're directly decompressed
  • Same goes for patches - only windows installers need to be downloaded first to disk, then executed
  • The folder for a download is wiped as soon as an install succeeds, or after it fails, if it's discarded (instead of retried).

My apologies for the amount of time it has taken - I'm really excited to release it so everyone can benefit from the improved overall reliability and performance!