How To Change Program Files Location In Windows 10

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  1. Posts : 3
    Win 10

    topgundcp said:
    You can easily create a symbolic link.
    1. Move the whole "C:\Program Files" folder to "D:\Program Files" folder
    2. Open Admin Command Prompt and cd:\C
    3. Type: mklink /D "Program Files" "D:\Program Files"

    Install any programs/Games as normal, take the default install path as C:\Programs Files but all the installed files will be stored in D:\Program Files. This way you don't have to mess with registry or anything else.

    More Info on Symbolic Link: Link Shell Extension
    How do I delete the program files directories after copying to the new drive? I like your method better but I can't delete the original folders from my 100gb ssd OS drive...
      My Computer

  2. Posts : 193
    Windows 10 Enterprise LTSB N 1607 x64

    I would ***NOT*** use a symbolic link/NTFS junction for this. Things may appear to work at first, but then something will break, a Windows Update will fail to install for no apparent reason, etc. I've tried this on 7, 8.1, and 10, this is always what happened. In short, there is no official way to move Program Files/Program Files (x86). Your best bet is to just manually choose the location you want when installing something.

    I tried this method awhile back, it works fine, but requires a lot of manual work. I haven't tried it with 10 though. This method is very comprehensive and involves Registry editing/NTFS junctions. But I would first test it out thoroughly in a virtual machine before trying it on your real system. It's for Windows 7 but I had it working with 8.1 too:
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  3. Posts : 3
    Win 10

    Grrr. I was hoping to get away from reinstalling the os on my bigger ssd drive and I don't really want to use a raid configuration. I currently have the OS on my 100gb ssd and wanted programs running on my 512gb ssd... Any suggestions before I reinstall everything?
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  4. Posts : 193
    Windows 10 Enterprise LTSB N 1607 x64

    @messyjesse: If I were you, I would figure out which of your SSDs is faster, then install Windows onto that. Your OS should always be on the faster drive, your programs will run fine. You can use CrystalDiskMark for this. Just make sure to run the benchmark while nothing else significant is running. I would also recommend a minumum of 100GB so you have room for Windows, updates, drivers, you know, the critical stuff. Nothing worse than having to reinstall the OS later because you're low on space. It doesn't really matter whether it's bigger or smaller, as long as it's faster. You can always install certain programs onto either SSD, depending on where you want them to go. No advice other than that.
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  5. Posts : 34,934
    Win 10 Pro (1903) (2nd PC is 21H2)

    Do not do this- do not mess around with ProgramFilesDir.
    Not unless you enjoy creating problems for yourself.

    If you do, Windows upgrades (new major builds) will fail with a message you won't understand. (Likewise in-place upgrade repair installs of course).

    Microsoft warns this is not supported. Please heed that.
    To save space on C: manually install programs elsewhere if you absolutely have to (e.g. large games).
    Better - move your personal data off C: which is very good practice. Think- if you have to reinstall your OS, your data would then be untouched.
      My Computers

  6. Posts : 3
    Win 10

    Thanks fellas, my Samsung ssd (512gb) is more effecient than the Intel ssd (100 gb). So I will reinstall the os to the bigger drive.

    Is there a way I can make use of the 100gb ssd? This is a build for music production (2.6ghz with 32 threads, 128gb ram).

    Can I put the page file on the Intel drive? Could I offload system cache on the Intel drive? What would you guys do to make use of this extra ssd drive?
      My Computer

  7. Posts : 13,934
    Windows 10 Pro X64 21H1 19043.1503

    I'd put it in my old laptop :)

    That's actually what I did with a 128GB Kingston when I replaced it with a 250Gb Samsung EVO. My laptop is much happier.
      My Computers

  8. Posts : 2
    Windows 10

    May I delete the files from C drive?

    Hydranix said:
    Did you first copy the "Program Files" and/or "Program Files (x86)" directories to the new location?

    cmd.exe as admin
    Robocopy "C:\Program Files" "D:\Program Files" /mir
    Robocopy "C:\Program Files (x86)" "D:\Program Files (x86)" /mir
    After completing this and then changing the Registry info as outlined by the original poster above, may I delete all the files off of the C drive?
      My Computer

  9. Posts : 34,934
    Win 10 Pro (1903) (2nd PC is 21H2)

    IF you do that, you will NOT be able to upgrade your Windows to the next major build or do an in-place upgrade repair install. You will get a puzzling message if you try to do so.
      My Computers

  10. Posts : 2
    Windows 10

    SignedAdam said:
    When I change the Program Files / Program Files (x86) / ProgramData / Users Directory, to a another drive letter, the Built in Windows Apps, stop working, and wont open, anyone sorted this out ?
    ~ May I delete all the files from C:\Program Files and C:\Program Files (x86) directories after I follow your instructions and change the registry? ~
      My Computer


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