How to Change Program Files Directory on Windows 10

Written by | Categories: Computers - Tips & Tricks - Computers - Windows 10

Do you want to change the default installation folder (Program Files) directory?

As you know, Windows by default install all programs in the folders C:\Program Files or C:\Program Files (x86) for 32-bit applications if you have a 64-bit Windows 10.

Since lot of users opt for an SSD drive for their system and may shortly run out space, they look for ways to save up space like changing the installation folder every time they install a new program, but this takes some time and getting used to. Some programs like Kaspersky Internet Security and Norton don’t allow you to select the default installation folder.

So, in order to change the installation directory we are going to change some values in the Registry Editor, it’s easy and will save you a lot of space and time.

Please create a Registry backup or a create restore point so you can easily restore original settings if required.

Changing Default Installation Directory

In my case I have three drives, Windows is installed in an SSD drive and is running out of space.

Open Run using the Windows+R keyboard combination and type in “regedit“, click “OK” or press Enter to execute the command.

Then follow this path in the Registry Editor:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE -> SOFTWARE -> Microsoft -> Windows -> CurrentVersion

On the right-side, you will find the two values named ProgramFilesDir and ProgramFilesDir (x86).

Double-click on the string value “ProgramFilesDir” and change the path in the field “Value data“, click “OK“.

Then double-click on the string value “ProgramFilesDir (x86)” and change the path in the field “Value data“, click “OK“.

For the changes to take effect, you have to restart your computer.

Next time you will try to install a program, it will show the new installation directory during the installation!

Please keep in mind that programs that are already affected by the change, you should reinstall them or follow our guide on how to move installed apps to another drive in Windows 10.



The author:

Soufiane is a young computer scientist and specialist in web design, knows a lot of things in the computer world. This enthusiast enjoys helping people innovate and learn more about the IT world...

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