These days, more and more devices are shipping with little or limited storage space as most of them are offering expensive SSDs. Most of the smartphones and tablets out there offer limited storage space, and a significant percentage of in-built storage is mostly occupied by the operating system only.
Those of you who own devices with limited storage might want to change the default install location of Windows apps downloaded from Windows Store in Windows 10 to avoid running out of free space on the system drive. As you likely know, with default settings, Windows 10 installs all Windows apps as well as desktop apps (traditional programs) in the system drive, which is usually C drive.
Default installation location of apps in Windows 10
If the drive where Windows 10 operating system is installed is running out of disk space, you can configure Windows 10 to use a different drive to install apps. The good thing is that you can make it happen without downloading or installing any third-party software. There is a built-in provision to change default install location of apps in Windows 10. And yes, this method can also be used to configure Windows 10 to install apps on external storage.
Note that when you change the default install location of apps, Windows 10 will not move existing Windows apps to the new drive. Only apps that you install in the future will be installed in the new drive.
If you have already installed hundreds of apps from the Store and would love to free up some disk space by moving already installed apps to a different drive, there is a nifty feature available to move installed apps to a different drive without having to re-install them. Go through our how to move installed apps to a new drive guide for detailed instructions.
In our opinion, if you have limited storage on your device or default drive, it’s a good idea to change the default install location as soon as you install Windows or start using your device rather than moving them at a later stage. While moving apps is relatively easy, you need can’t move multiple apps at once.
Change the default install drive of apps in Windows 10
Complete the given below directions to change the default install location of apps in Windows 10.
Important: Please note this method is applicable only to Windows apps or modern apps. Traditional desktop programs will continue to use the Windows installed drive.
Step 1: Open Settings app. There are a couple of ways to open Settings in Windows 10. One of them is to navigate to Start menu and then click Settings icon. Settings app can also be launched using Windows + I keyboard shortcut.
Step 2: In the Settings app, navigate to System > Storage page.
Step 3: On the right-side, under the More storage settings section, click the Change where new content is saved link.
Step 4: Here, you can view the default locations for new apps, documents, pictures, and music. To change the default install drive of apps, under New apps will save to, click the drop-down and then select a drive. Once selected, you will see the Apply button.
Click on the Apply button to change the default install location. Note that this won’t move apps installed already on your PC. To move apps installs already, refer to our how to move installed apps to another drive in Windows 10 guide.
Joel Minisquero says
Alex Reynoso says
I tried the Windows default changing location and it does work. Just brought a new Dell laptop with SSD (Cdrive) and HDD (Ddrive).
new win 10 update is crap. i had to wipe my old drive clean and do complete install since old win 10 would not completely update. now it wants to fill up my smaller c drive SSD instead of letting me install programs to other drive of my choice as before. also when going into system, storage, change where new content is saved…this doesn’t work either for installing new programs. get your shit together microsoft.
I changed the settings, all good, but new apps still install on the C Drive despite the E Drive being displayed in the NEW APPS WILL SAVE TO menu.
I think Windows 10 does not respect user settings, or another bug….. back to Ubuntu ;)
Brian Wescombe says
Using Windows 10 1607 here. The default apps location isn’t greyed out, I can select another drive BUT when I hit apply, it reverts not only the apps location back to C: but all the User folders (music, pictures etc) back to C: as well. Apps can’t be moved either – I just get an error.
dude needs to take his whole article off because he doesn’t know jack shit!! what’s his solution to the greyed out problem we all have? I have a feeling that answer is never!
This feature does not work in Win 10 x64 1607.
After setting apps downloads drive to D the following error happens while trying to download something: 0x80070490
George Lee says
I tried to change location to my sad card. When I hit apply it returns to this pic
None of the drop-downs are greyed out for me.. maybe because im on a completely new computer that i built so there aren’t that many files on my ssd or my hdd
If the options are greyed out you might want to check if you have Administrator privileges on your user account.
So anyone knows how to change grayed options?
Paul Goodacre says
The option for “new apps will save to” is greyed out. How do I change this
Why waste people’s time posting these obvious generic answers that any sensible person can find themselves.
What you don’t say is how default save to a particular folder.
i upgraded to windows 10, after a month i got a notification my drive was full. i have a 2tb hard drive so i was concerned. i checked my drives and everything was installed on my 125gb ssd. tried this but the option is greyed out. tried to downgrade to windows 8 but i am too late! now i have a 2tb hdd i cant use because of microsoft -__-
Mx Scott says
Same issue with greyed out options. Really need to know when this feature will return as the current default installation setup means I can’t install the software I need. Now thinking this ‘upgrade’ was a bad mistake…
David Schreiber says
Same problem as the other have experienced with the drop down menu for applications greyed out.
Daniel Evjen says
If anyone discovers the greyed out problem mentioned above, please contact me with the solution?
The “NEW APPS WILL SAVE TO” drop down box is greyed out. This admin that wrote this article does nothing to correct this issue.
i also have the new apps will save to dropdown greyed. any ideas on what causes this? version, reg key?
It will not let me change where new apps are installed. I am able to change where documents, music, etc. are installed, but the drop down menu under new apps is gray and does not do anything when i click on it.
I just updated my desktop to Windows 10, and the option for “new apps will save to:” is greyed out and cannot be changed.