Change Default Installation Directory In 2023 Windows 10/8/7

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Change Default Installation Directory In 2023 Windows 10/8/7; By default, Windows installs all programs in C:\Program Files or C:\Program Files (x86) depending on the type of Windows 10 and the program you are installing.

You may want to change the default installation directory if your "C" drive is running low on free space. While some programs allow you to select the installation drive and folder, most programs do not provide an option to select the installation drive. For example, the configuration of anti-virus programs such as Kaspersky Internet Security and Norton does not provide an option to choose a default installation directory during product installation.

If you want to change the default installation location of programs in Windows 10/8/7, there is an easy workaround. You just need to edit the registry to change the default installation directory or path. And if you want to move installed programs, please refer to how to move installed programs to another drive in our Windows 10 guide.

To start with this guide, make sure you have enough free space in your new directory which you are going to make as default one.

You need to do a small registry change in order to change your default installation directory as follows:

Changing the default installation directory

IMPORTANT: We recommend you create a manual system restore point or backup registry so that you can easily restore original settings if required.

WARNING: This is an advanced guide. So, proceed at your own risk.

Step 1: Type Regedit in Start menu/taskbar search box or in the Run dialog box and hit enter key to continue.

Step 2: Navigate to the following registry key in the Registry Editor:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion

Step 3: On the right side, locate the value named “ProgramFilesDir” and change the default value “C:\Program Files” to your new directory path (address).

Next, find ProgramFileDir (x86), double-click on it and change its value data to a location where you want to install programs by default.

Step 4: Finally, close Registry Editor and reboot your system to apply the change. You may need to restart your computer for the change to apply. Download a program and try to install it and check if it is installed in the new installation directory.

If you are experiencing any issues, please restore Windows 10 to an earlier date using the previously created restore point.

PS: This tweak should work fine with Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1 as well.

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