How to Move Default Windows Program Files to Another Drive

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As you know that SSDs and some of them are very small by 120 gigabytes and 256 gigabytes that sometimes is not enough to put all your programs on. Now you can change the installation path on the installation of whatever you’re installing to another drive location. Let’s just say the 1 terabyte mechanical storage you may have and you can change that to the D installation folder on that D Drive. So you would have to keep doing that, that’s very time consuming.

I want to show you a quick way of changing the registry so you don’t have to keep doing it. So, let’s take a look at what I mean here so we’re going to right click on the start button and hit File Explorer. If we look at File Explorer you can see there’s a load of folders here which are related to this machine. So if we look at the path here you can see the path the location for this is on the C Drive no.

If you’ve got loads and loads of files some people keep loads of documents on their desktop and sometimes this can fill up the drive very quickly you may want to move this to another partition or another Drive. So if you’ve got another driver your mechanical drive that’s one terabyte or 500 gigabytes you may want to click on move and select that drive and move this over they can do it also to the Downloads folder you can do it to all these actual folders here. If you wanted to do that that’s fine, but what happens if you want to change all the programs folders? Well that’s more difficult you can’t just go ahead and change those because that’s going to be a little bit more difficult to do and time consuming.

This tutorial are going to guide you at how we can change the default Windows program files installation directory inside Windows 10. It is also possible to do on all other versions of Windows.

How to move windows program files to another drive on Windows 10/8/7?

As mentioned above, you cannot directly drag your Program files and program files (x86) to another drive whether on the same disk or different physical disk. Below, I will show you two different methods.

Solution 1. Using Registry Editor

Before you use this method, there are two things you need to do.

Create a folder named Program files (x86) on another drive (eg: D: drive)

Copy “Program Files” and “Program Files (x86)” directories to the new location first.

Create Program Files and Program Files (x86) on another drive

Run CMD as administrator and type following command prompt

Robocopy “C:\Program Files” “D:\Program Files” /mir
Robocopy “C:\Program Files (x86)” “D:\Program Files (x86)” /mir

Now, continue to open Regedit/Registry Editor:

Step 1: Press “Win + R”to summon the Run window, then type Regedit.exe

Step 2: Find the following path on Registry Editor and change drive letter from C: to D:

Windows 7/8/8.1:

”HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion”

Windows 10:

“HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion”

Change drive “C” to “D”

Change drive letter “C” to “D” or other drive location where new Program Files and Program Files (x86) you have created above.

Perform the steps listed below and easily relocate program files to another drive in Windows 10, 8, 7 etc. Just follow the complete step as listed below:

Step 1: First of all, launch “File Explorer” and then browse to the root on the destination drive. Right-click and choose “New…” then “Folder” Add a name for the folder in which you will save program files on the disk.

Step 2: Now, open a new “File Explorer” wizard and browse to the source drive folder that consists the program files. Select the highlighted folder containing the program files that you need to move and press “Ctrl-C” to copy the folder. Then switch to the other File Explorer window and choose the folder you created and press “Ctrl-V” to paste the program files to the new drive.

Step 3: Here, select the other File Explorer window and click on to highlight folder containing the program files you moved, press “Delete” button and then “Yes” to confirm.

Step 4: Choose “File” on the ribbon and select “Open command prompt as admin” and confirm the user access control prompt.

Step 5: Then, type “mklink / j,” using the full drive letter and path of the old and new locations of the program files and press “Enter”.

Step 6: Lastly run the program to ensure it executes appropriately.

Ok now obviously, once that drive has been changed all the installations for all your programs will not go onto your C Drive. They will be pointing to whatever Drive letter that you’ve changed anyway. So I hope this simple guide helps you out.

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