Forcing Epic Games Launcher to Install into the 64-bit Program Files Folder

Epic Games Jun 28, 2018

Epic Games' own launcher that you can use to install such marvels as the unfinished (and probably never to be finished) Unreal Tournament, Paragon and of course Fortnite, has one annoying aspect to it (actually it has several but this one becomes apparent the second you install the thing): By default the installer puts its shit into Program Files (x86) and that folder is reserved for 32-bit application programs only. The thing is the launcher is available in a 64-bit version too but only once it's installed, so as a result you get the updated 64-bit version of the launcher installed to the wrong bloody place.

This is actually quite a prevalent 'issue' among these sorts of applications. Steam is another example, in so much as although the client itself is 32-bit, it installs all the games you download by default into a subfolder of its installation directory, even if they're 64-bit. Although you can move the entire Steam games directory it only allows you to move it onto other drives, not into other folders on the same drive, nor can you move individual game folders, it's all or nothing. At least with Epic's Launcher it does allow you to install games wherever you like.

OK so this isn't exactly a glaring issue as it mostly makes zero difference in the grand scheme of things where the files are installed, but Micro$haft coded 64-bit versions of Windows to have two program folders; one for 32-bit apps and one for 64-bit apps. It usually goes out of its way to prevent programs of one or the other architecture getting installed in the wrong folder, but the only reason Epic's launcher gets away with it is because the initially installed program is actually 32-bit and the MSI is marked as such (so Windows forces it to be installed in Program Files (x86) regardless). Then when it runs for the first time it detects if you have a 64-bit OS and downloads the updated 64-bit version of itself into its own installation directory.

Epic acknowledged this issue at least two years ago as the related help article on their support site existed at least since mid 2016 as that's when I first read it, but it has since apparently been deleted. In the preceding two years they haven't fixed anything, probably because it would require them to create a new installer that contained both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the launcher and make changes to how it updates itself after install. That's just too much like hard work for Epic (if UT's development progress is anything to go by); they'd rather be arse-deep in the money they're making from Fortnite to give a shit. But there is a solution, thanks to a workaround I came across that someone had came up with for a similar issue.

Firstly, download the launcher from Epic. It'll be named something like EpicInstaller-7.16.0.msi depending on where you download it from. Stick it somewhere easily navigated to via a command prompt, such as the root of C:\ and then (you guessed it) open a command prompt with admin privileges. CD to where you put the installer or when typing the following command you can just put the path to the installer in it, but it's probably easier to just put the installer in the root of C:\ and type CD.. a couple of times to change directory.

I'm going to assume you know what I'm talking about, if you don't then go learn how to use command prompt. Anyway once that is done enter this command: msiexec /i "C:\EpicInstaller-7.16.0.msi" INSTALLDIR="C:\Progra~1\Epic Games" Click thru any prompts you get and bish bash bosh it installs the initial 32-bit version of itself in the Program Files folder, then downloads the 64-bit files as normal. So in fixing one issue you've sort of created another one because now the 32-bit launcher is in the 64-bit programs folder, on the other hand you now have your 64-bit launcher in the right place, so who gives a fuck.