4 Easy Ways to Change Program Files to D Drive Quickly

What’s the best way to change Program Files to D drive without data loss? Still plan to do it in the copy method? Don’t be innocent! In this article, 4 easier ways will be provided to help you get it done effortlessly.


By Michael / Updated on May 12, 2023

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Help! My C drive is running out of space and my PC is extremely slow nowadays. Can I move Program Files to D drive so that I can make enough space for the OS?


Why change Program Files to D Drive?

Generally, when we download an app or other program from the internet, it will be automatically stored in Program Files or Program Files(X86) folder in C drive by default. In this case, over time, the storage space of the system drive could become smaller and smaller which can result in quite a lot of problems including very slow system speed, frequent system crash and low disk space warning.

 So, under this circumstance, it’s quite necessary to free up C drive to keep the OS in the best state. In this holistic post, I’ll provide some techniques to help change Program Files to D drive efficiently when the system partition is running out of space.

How to change Program Files to D drive?

As mentioned above, the best way to free up the system drive is to move Program Files to D drive. When it comes to this point, the first method people probably come up with could be copying programs in Program Files from C drive to D drive one by one which is time-consuming and could cause data missing. Actually, there’re better alternatives to make it.

Note: Any operations involving system drive are risky. Once you made a wrong step, you might suffer from serious system errors. So, before we start, make a backup first!

Part 1. Move the Program Files folder to D drive

If you hope to move the entire Program Files folder to D drive once for all, you can turn to useful Windows inbuilt features for help.

Send the Program Files folder to D drive using Registry Editor

By using Windows Registry Editor, you’re able to transfer the entire Program Files folder to D drive within clicks.

Warning: If you do so, you may experience either of the following problems:
1. Microsoft hotfixes, updates, and security updates may not be installed correctly.
2. New versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer or Microsoft Windows Media Player may not be installed correctly.

Step 1. Copy the folders of Program Files and Program Files(X86) in the system drive and paste them onto the D drive. It may take several minutes before it’s done and so, be patient.

Step 2. Hit “Win” + “R” keys simultaneously to bring up the Run box. Then, in the box, type “regedit” and hit “OK” to launch Registry Editor.

Step 3. After the main window of Registry Editor appears, follow this path: “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\MICROSOFT\Windows\CurrentVersion”.

Step 4. Right-click on “Program Files” and then, hit “Modify”.

Step 5. Under “Value data”, change the letter “C” into “D” and then, hit “OK”.

Step 6. Right-click on “Program Files(X86)” and hit “Modify”.

Step 7. Under “Value data”, still change the letter “C” into “D” and hit “OK”.

regedit modify

Now, Program Files and Program Files(X86) have been successfully moved to the D drive.

Move Program Files folder to D drive using mklink

Can I move Program Files to another drive besides using Registry Editor? In fact, you can also use mklink command through Command Prompt to create a directory or symbolic file, or hard link. Then, you’re able to link Program Files to the D drive.

1. First of all, copy the folder of Program Files and Program Files(X86) from the system drive to the D drive.

2. In the search box on the lower left of the desktop, type “cmd” and under “Command Prompt”, select “Run as Administrator” to bring up Command Prompt

3. In the Command Prompt window, type “mklink” and hit “ENTER”. Then, type the following commands: mklink /D “Program Files” “D: Program Files”. Hit “ENTER” again.


Part 2. Send an individual or multiple apps from Program Files to D drive

If moving the entire Program Files folder to D drive is not what you want or you think it’s too difficult, you can still transfer an individual or several programs from the folder to D drive.

Transfer apps in Program Files to D drive in App & Features

To move single or multiple apps from Program Files to D drive, you can try the Windows feature Apps & Features in Control Panel.

1. Open Windows start menu and select “Settings”.

2. In the window of Windows Settings, click on “Apps”.

3. Click on “App & features” on the left side.

4. Scroll down and select the program you wish to move. Then, click on “Move”.

5. Select the D drive as the destination drive and click on “Move” to transfer the selected program.

Note: It’s possible that there is only a “Modify” option next to the selected program or the “Move” and “Modify” options are greyed out. It means you are not allowed to move it to another location by the publisher.

Relocate apps in Program Files to D drive using third-party software

When you find you can’t transfer Program Files’ apps to D drive as mentioned above, don’t be upset because in this case, you can still turn to some more reliable third-party software for help. AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional should be your best choice. Within only several clicks, any apps in Program Files like Microsoft Office and games can be transferred to D drive without any data loss. After the transfer, you can also restore those moved applications by sending them back to where they previously were by using the inbuilt file restoring feature. What’s more, if you hope to move all the data on one partition or one disk to another, you can try its partition clone or disk clone features.

Can I transfer program files from C drive to D drive? Download the demo of the best disk management software to get it easily done!

Download Demo Win 10/8.1/8/7/XP
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 Step 1. Install and launch AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional. Then, all disks and their info will appear on the main interface.

Step 2. Click “Free up” on in the top toolbar, and choose “App Mover”.


Step 3. Select the C drive and hit "Next".

select partitions

Step 4. Tick the applications and programs you want to move and preset a destination for them.

tick apps

Step 5. Click on "Move" and then, "OK" to start the transfer. Several minutes might be required before the process gets completed and be patient. 


Step 6. When it's done, hit "Finish".


In this tutorial, you’ve learnt why change Program Files to D drive and how to get it done. 4 pragmatic methods are introduced in explicit words. If you ask which one is the best, I would recommend AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional for it’s easier, safer, and more feature-rich. However, if you want to use this software on Server computers, you should try AOMEI Partition Assistant Server.

Michael · Staff Editor
Michael is a professinal editor of AOMEI editor team.