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

NndnG 1,101 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 81,861 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)

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  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.

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  3. NndnG 1,101 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

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  4. AliceYang-MSFT 2,081 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 2,081 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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