How to change the default installation location of programs in Windows

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Catherine Le Nevez

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Most applications ask users where they want to install the application on their computer. But in many other cases, users have no choice but to accept the location chosen by the program to install itself. Windows 10 offers the ability to install software downloaded from the store to install it anywhere. But other apps don't have that luxury. Where we install our new applications is important as it greatly affects the size of the system drive and CPU usage. The purpose of this article is to familiarize you with a free tool for changing the default installation path in Windows. The tool is Install Dir Changer. You can Get Install Dir Changer from here. This is a small program that has the most useful application for changing the default installation folder in Windows. Before continuing to experiment with this free tool, don't forget to create a system restore point, as it will help you get back to your stable version of Windows in case of any problems. Find out how to create a system restore point from here. Once you are ready, follow the steps below to effectively change the Windows default installation folder.

Read also: How to move installed apps to another location in Windows 10


  • Download the Install Dir Changer app from the direct link given above. Once the application is downloaded, simply double-click on it to run it.


  • When the application starts, click Allow Change to change the default installation location for programs. Program Files folder is for 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows, while Program Files (x86) is for 32-bit versions of Windows.


  • If you click on the three dots icon corresponding to Program Files or Program Files (x86), you will be able to navigate through a window to select the default installation folder. Once finished the selection part, press firmly as shown in the image.


  • When you're ready, click the Apply Changes button to make the changes take effect. Now, all future applications that you will install on your system will be saved in the default location you have specified.

Note that this change will not move previously installed applications to the new location. It is applicable only to future installations. It's always fun to outsmart a car. Changing the default Windows installation location is something to tinker with. Hope you found the article useful.

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