Upon setting up Windows 11, the default storage location for all its files, including the ubiquitous Program Files, is the “C” drive. For many, this is a familiar setup, where programs—whether 64-bit or 32-bit—find their homes in either “C:\Program Files” or “C:\Program Files (x86)” directories. While this organizational system simplifies the storage process, it becomes problematic when the “C” drive nears its capacity and the need arises to install new software elsewhere. While one might ponder on expanding the “C” drive, situations could dictate otherwise, such as when the internal storage is brimming, and the next feasible option is an external hard drive.
The scenarios prompting a change in installation paths could be myriad, but the silver lining is Windows 11’s adaptability. It offers a straightforward solution to direct software installations to an alternate partition or drive. And the best part? This flexibility isn’t exclusive to Windows 11. Those operating on Windows 10, 8, or 7 can also capitalize on this method to diverge from the standard installation directory. While delving into the registry might seem daunting, rest assured, with our step-by-step guide, even the most non-tech-savvy can effortlessly make the necessary modifications.
How to change the installation path from “C” to another drive in Windows 11?
Step 1: To launch the Run dialogue box, press and hold the Windows key while pressing the R key.
Step 2: To open Registry Editor, put the following into the Run box and press the Enter key on your keyboard:-
Step 3: From the left side pane of the Registry Editor window, select the following registry key:-
Step 4: Double-click on the String labeled “ProgramFilesDir (x86)” to the right of the CurrentVersion key and change the default value of “C:\Program Files” to your new disc path (address).
Step 5: Click on OK after applying the updated path in the Value data field.
Step 6: Next, alter the default value of the String labeled “ProgramFilesDir” from “C:\Program Files” to your new drive path by double-clicking on the string (address).
Step 7: Click on the OK button.
Step 8: You can now close the Registry Editor window.
Step 9: Reboot your computer or laptop as the final step.
Installing software or program on your computer requires downloading them first. The new installation directory that you designated in the previous steps should be where it installs.
Repeat the steps above and change the installation path to the old one to return the previous installation directory to the default location.
That is it.
In the vast realm of Windows operations, the seemingly innocuous task of software installation can, at times, pose challenges—especially when storage constraints become evident. The default pathway, set towards the “C” drive, while being systematic, might not always be the most feasible option, especially when you’re nearing storage saturation. However, Windows 11, in all its innovative glory, provides a streamlined process for those looking to reroute their installations. By tweaking the registry, users can dictate where their new software nestles. This is not only a testament to the OS’s adaptability but also its universality, as this method is applicable to users of Windows 10, 8, and 7 as well. Remember, while venturing into the registry might feel like charting unknown territories, with the right guidance, it’s a journey that’s easily navigated.