How to Change Install Folder Location for Windows 10 Apps

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Matthew M. White
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By default, all apps — including traditional Win32 apps, as well as those you can get from the Store — will end up on your PC's main hard drive. This is usually the "C:" drive. Changing the location of these apps is easy and can be very useful in some cases.

The most common reason for changing the default install drive is that you're running out of storage space, which is especially common on laptops with solid-state drives. Unusually demanding apps are best installed on SSDs, so you can set the default fastest drive for apps. This is all very easy to do on Windows 10.



Windows Store apps

Windows Store apps are designed completely differently than Win32 apps. First, the way they are installed and downloaded is more like using a smartphone store. Microsoft came up with this in order to emphasize the responsive design of their tablets and mobile phones. Whether or not that's a smart move is debatable, but making sure all Windows Store apps are installed in one place can help you make better use of your storage.

Installation on a separate drive

If Windows 10 has made anything easier, it's by tweaking its new features. While they don't want to change the way traditional programs and apps work too much, the new features they've introduced are much easier to tweak. Changing the default install location of these apps is a great example.

  1. Click on in the search bar and tap "Settings".
  2. In the search results, select the Parameters
  3. Select System from the menu.
  4. In the left menu, select Storage room.
  5. Now under More storage settings, Click on Change where new content is saved.
  6. Select your new default location.

Every app you download from the Windows Store will now automatically install to your new default location. Keep in mind that you can also use this menu to change where other types of files are saved, such as documents, music, photos and videos, movies and TV shows, etc. .



Moving to another drive

Even if you created your new default install location, the Windows apps you previously installed will still be located on your primary drive. You don't need to uninstall and reinstall them to move them to another drive. Instead, you can move apps one at a time, leaving some on the main drive if you want.

  1. Open Parameters.
  2. Select applications.
  3. Find Applications and features.
  4. From the list of apps, select the one you want to move to a new location.
  5. Click on the app and select Move.
  6. Choose the drive you want to move the app to

Keep in mind that the Applications and features list shows both Windows Store and Win32 apps. You can only move Windows Store apps this way. If you try to move a Win32 application, the Move the button will be replaced by Edit.

Applications Win32

More traditional applications, familiar to Windows users for a decade, can also be installed on a separate drive. In fact, when Windows runs a Win32 application, it prompts you to select the installation folder.

With Windows Store apps, you can only select the drive where you want to install an app, while the Win32 install wizard offers you to select the exact file location. This means you can create a new folder for your new app and install it there.


But unlike Windows Store apps, Win32 apps cannot be moved to another drive. The only way to do this is to uninstall and then select a different destination folder when reinstalling. This is mainly because the way these apps are installed is completely different.



Changing the default location

Instead of changing the drive and location every time you try to install a Win32 application, you can change the default location. While this also lets you select the exact default installation folder, unlike Windows Store apps, this process is a little less user-friendly. Here is what you need to do:

  1. press Win + R to raise the Run
  2. Open Regedit by typing the word in the Open:
  3. Navigate to the following in the list on the left: "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersion"
  4. In the right pane, open the value Program Files Directory/ProgramFilesDir (x86), depending on whether your Windows is 32-bit or 64-bit.
  5. Once you double click on it, the value will open an edit box.
  6. Sous Value data: type in your new desired default location.

Should you install your apps on a separate drive?

As you may know, savvy Windows users tend to recommend that you add at least one drive to your PC. This is useful for two main reasons: more storage and backup possibilities. That is, by adding a drive, you automatically increase the space on your PC and ensure that there is a hard drive to save things to.


That being said, you should always keep in mind that installing applications on different drives will only increase the number of points of failure on your computer. The more different variables there are on a PC, the better the chance of a complication or error occurring. It's suggested that you use one of your drives for apps (Windows Store and Win32) while using the other for storing things like movies, music, documents, files - basically use your second drive for anything that doesn't require installation.

Manage your storage

It's very important that you learn how to properly manage your storage, especially if you don't have much to do with it. Make a plan before deciding where you want to install your apps and make sure you know where everything is in case you need to start using external storage.

Do you prefer using Windows Store or Win32 apps? How do you manage your storage? Are you using an external hard drive for backup? Let us know in the comments.

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