How does it matter, if applications are not installed in C Drive?

NndnG 966 Reputation points


Apart from Windows, we install various applications.

Almost all applications either by default or by our choice are installed in C Drive.

If I install all applications in another drive, please let me know what can be its pros & cons?

Some applications do not give options to change installation path and directly installed in C drive. Can I change the installation path for such applications? If yes, how?

With Regards

Windows 10
Windows 10
A Microsoft operating system that runs on personal computers and tablets.
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  1. Castorix31 68,856 Reputation points

    You can install applications anywhere
    For example, I have Windows installed normally on C:\
    and all applications on E:\ (E:\Graphism, E:\System, E:\Music, etc...)

    When applications are hardcoded to be installed on C:\, you should let them there
    (you could move them on another drive, but it depends if they use a lot of registry keys (or files) with C:\ in some values, which should be changed too)

  2. misar 76 Reputation points

    You should also be aware that when you install on another drive the program is still likely to make use of the C: drive. Most programs store settings etc in the Registry which lives in files on the C: drive. Even if you choose to save data on another drive many programs also store important settings and data in your account folder under C :\users.

  3. NndnG 966 Reputation points

    @Castorix31 @misar Thank you for replying for my question.

    I want to install all applications and their related settings and files in another drive but I do understand that there may be some issues.

    I am using a laptop whose specifications as i5-8Gen, 12GB RAM and 2GB dedicated AMD graphics. Basically, I have to work on virtual machines but even with one virtual machine, most of time HD is at 100% usages. After all diagnosis, it is recommended to us SSD.

    The laptop supports only 256 GB SSD.

    If I am right, Windows 10 takes up to 50GB and rest space are taken by user accounts, applications and related settings.
    That’s why I am thinking about installing applications in another drive.

    Sometimes I think, if I add SSD, install Windows and all applications in SSD and keep virtual machine files in another drive (HD) but I believe this will not be helpful because when I open hypervisor, it will access virtual machine files (virtual HD) which are in another drive (HD) and there will be same issue.

    I explained scenario. What do you advice?

    With Regards

  4. AliceYang-MSFT 2,071 Reputation points


    If install all applications in another drive

    • Make sure C drive has enough space to avoid that system runs slow
    • Protect system from attacks from applications that been tampered maliciously or malwares which are downloaded mistakenly
    • Have to choose installation path every time
    • Applications run slower than those installed in C drive
    • Applications have potential for being deleted accidentally while those installed in C drive have not. Because fewer people would fiddle with C drive

    Change installation path of applications which are directly installed in C drive
    It’s recommended that you let them be there. But you can change the installation path by

    • Press Windows + R keys, run regedit
    • Locate Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion
    • Change value of CommonFilesDir and CommonFilesDir(x86) to another drive

    In your scenario
    If you are using Hyper-V, you can change the path of your virtual hard disk to other drive, that helps a lot.


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  5. AliceYang-MSFT 2,071 Reputation points


    Using SSD is a good recommendation.

    The reason why your HD is at 100% usage is that the read/write speed of HD is slow. When your operation involves large files such as VHD, your HD has to read or write it for a long time. During the time, HD is at 100% usage.

    But if SSD is used, the read/write speed will improve a lot. Refer to SSD vs HDD: Which Is Best for You? – Intel
    A typical SSD from Intel with a middle-of-the-road 512 GB capacity (Intel® SSD 760p Series) offers up to 10x faster read speeds and up to 20x faster write speeds than a midrange HDD (such as Seagate 2 TB Barracuda* 5400 RPM 128 MB Cache SATA* 6.0 Gb/s 2.5" laptop internal hard drive ST2000LM015), which only offers data transfer speeds of up to 140 MB/s.

    So, as you said that you have to work on virtual machines, if possible, I would suggest that you store your VHD in SSD and install other applications on HD.

    I haven’t had a chance to use SSD but I’m positive about it. Hope it can solve your disk usage issue.

    Please note: Information posted in the given link is hosted by a third party. Microsoft does not guarantee the accuracy and effectiveness of information.


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