You probably know that Windows 10 allows you to change the default install location of apps to help users free up space on the system drive. Although this an excellent feature, the feature applies only to apps that are installed from the Store. In other words, the traditional desktop programs can’t be installed to another drive or location using the official method.
The inability to change the default install location has been haunting PC users for years. While many programs allow you select a location other than the default system drive, most of the programs out there don’t offer to choose a location and automatically get installed on the drive where Windows is installed.
If you have searched the web hoping to find a way to change the default install location of programs, you likely have come across guides that tell you to manually edit the Registry to change the default install location of applications in Windows.
Change the default install directory of programs in Windows 10
Warning: Since none of the versions of Windows, including Windows 10, doesn’t officially support changing the default install directory, when you change the default install location by making appropriate changes to Registry, some of the programs that have been installed already might not work as expected. So it’s always advisable to change the default programs install folder on a fresh install of Windows before installing third-party programs.
We also advise you to create a system image backup or at least create a system restore point before changing the default install location of programs in Windows. We are not responsible for any data loss, program loss, or system crash, which might happen after changing the default install location using this tool.
Install Dir Changer for Windows
Install Dir Changer is a free program designed to easily change the default install directory of traditional programs in Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10. With Install Dir Changer, you can change the default install folder with a few mouse clicks.
After downloading (be sure to download the latest version from the link provided at the end of this article) and running the program, click Enable editing button, click Yes button when you see the User Account Control prompt, select a new location for Programs Files and Program Files (x86) directories. As you likely know, the Program Files (x86) directory present only in the 64-bit type of Windows install and includes all 32-bit programs running on your 64-bit Windows install. Once the new location is selected, click the Apply Changes button.
To check your install type, refer to our check if you’re running a 32-bit or 64-bit version of the Windows 10 guide.
Finally, Install Dir Changer will not move currently installed programs to the new location. This means that applications that you install in the future will be installed in the new location instead of the default directory. If you want to currently installed programs, you can uninstall and then install the same to install them in the new location.
We tested Install Dir Changer on Windows 10 Pro (x64), and so far, we have no issues neither installing new programs or launching old programs.