By default in Windows 8, any apps which you download from the App Store will be installed to your C drive. However, if you’re the type of person to go a bit crazy and download a lot of apps, you may find you’ll be filling up space on your C drive. You may even be a bit of an organized person and want your downloads in one place, this guide will teach you how to change the default installation location for Windows 8 Apps.
The good folk at Microsoft currently do not have an actual system that will allow you to do this, however there is a work-around for those wanting to change the location.
Before we begin, we recommend that you close all applications on your computer as a precaution.
First of all, you’ll want to press your Windows Key and the R key at the same time to bring up the Run dialog box.
Once you open this window, simply type CMD into the text area and hit Enter. A new window will open that will look something like this.
For the next set of steps, you’ll need to pay careful attention to what you are typing. One error could mean the command does not execute, and that will slow us down!
Once you are taken to a window that looks like the above, you’ll want to change the working directory to System32, and you do that by typing in the following command:
Once you’ve typed that in, you’ll then need to type another command in the prompt. The next command you need is:
takeown /F “C:\Program Files\WindowsApps” /A /R
After inputting that command, your window will fill with text as it executes the command. This may take a couple minutes or longer depending on how many apps you already have installed
The next step once all that has stopped is to copy the current Windows Apps folder to your new location. We won’t be doing this by the usual method though, we’re sticking with the CMD here!
In this case, we’ve got a USB drive which has the letter ‘N:\’ as its drive letter. The following command will copy the Windows Apps folder to the N drive on our USB stick.
robocopy “C:\Program Files\WindowsApps” “N:\WindowsApps” /E /COPYALL /DCOPY:DAT
Once more, a load of text will show up in the command prompt when the files are being copied from the destination folder to the source folder. This will go on for a while depending upon how many files are being transferred.
[alert style=”alert-info”]IMPORTANT – Before this next step, ensure that your files have transferred to their intended destination in full. We always recommend taking a backup before this step, we are not responsible for any loss of data.[/alert]
Once your data has successfully transferred, it’s time to remove the original folder from your C drive and give yourself some more free hard-drive space. Again, we’re staying in the command prompt and the command you have to type is:
Rmdir /S “C:\Program Files\WindowsApps”
After that, simply type ‘y’ and press enter to confirm the decision and your original folder will be banished to the dreaded recycle bin.
You’re near the end now, for our final command in the command prompt, we have to ‘connect’ to the folder in order to ensure any new apps you download are stored there from now on.
In order to do that, type the following into the command prompt:
mklink /D “C:\Program Files\WindowsApps” “N:\WindowsApps”
Now all you have to do is reboot your computer and you’re done! Any future apps you download will go to the folder you specified, helping you free up space or just become a bit more organized.
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