Safely Move Installed Programs to Another Drive in Windows 10 & 11

This article shows how to move installed programs to another drive in Windows 11/10/8/7 and ensure them run successfully.


By Lucas / Updated on April 17, 2024

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Can you move installed software to another drive?

When you download and install a program from a website or platform, the Downloads folder is the default storage location that is used to store the files or programs. That's why when you download programs, those you downloaded will be automatically saved on the C drive. Therefore the free space on your C drive will decrease little by little, which may cause slow performance of your PC and your games may often get stuck. 

Some users will change the default store path while downloading. But what about those programs that have already been installed? Unloading and reinstalling are not nice choices. Thus, some users wonder if they can move installed software to another drive. 

The answer is Yes, and there is more than one way to do this job. Only some of these ways are not convenient and unsafe. So, to help you securely move installed programs, you can read this guide.

How to move installed programs to another drive in Windows 10 & 11

Many users may have encountered a difficult position where the installed program was moved but it couldn’t run successfully. And some methods are complex for laymen.

Therefore, in this part, we’ll introduce 3 pragmatic methods to quickly transfer your installed programs from one drive to another or from one disk to another disk. Please read the following details carefully.

Method 1. Move programs to another drive with a handy tool

How can we transfer installed programs to another hard drive or partition safely and easily? Instead of manually uninstalling and reinstalling applications to a new drive, any smart Windows user would prefer to apply handy tools to perform this work.

As a practical l Windows PC disk management software, AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional is the best answer to meet your needs. This powerful and convenient software has various functions to solve many kinds of problems with hard drives and partitions.

One of those efficient features is “App Mover”. With this function, you can move your installed programs without any fear of unfamiliar operations. After the move, you can also use "Duplicate File Finder" to release more available space.

You can trust this tool for:

✨ 1. User-friendly interface for seamless program transfer with just a few clicks.
🤗 2. A reliable solution for transferring apps & files between the C drive and the D drive, or to another disk.
⚡ 3. Efficient migration calculations to streamline the process of transferring programs to another drive.
👍 4. It facilitates the seamless transfer of applications, data, and settings across different computers and drives.

Now, let’s see how to transfer installed programs to another drive via this application.

Free Download Win 11/10/8.1/8/7
Secure Download

After you install and launch Partition assistant, let's see details of how to move programs from one drive to another.

Step 1. Enter "App Mover" function.

Click “Free up”, then select the “App Mover” feature.

App mover

Step 2. Confirm move subject.

In the new window, click “App Mover”. If you want to move folders, you can choose "Move Folders".

Two options

Step 3. Select one partition that you want to move applications.

In the new window, you will see all partitions, and the number and size of installed programs on every partition will also be displayed. Select one partition where the target programs are stored and click "Next".

Select partition

Step 4. Tick Apps you want to move.

Choose the applications you want to move and select the target location, then click "Move".

Tick app

Step 5. Confirm the moving task.

In the pop-up window, you need to confirm forcibly closing running applications when moving starts. Click "OK" to begin the process.


Warning: To ensure the apps run properly during the moving, please don't move or delete files by yourself in the source and target directories. Just leave it all to the software.

If you also want to know how to move installed programs to another drive in Windows 7/8/10/11 or an external hard drive, now you know the answer.

Method 2. Move installed programs to another drive via Settings

Of course, Windows also offers an app-transferring service. But this way only avails programs that download from Microsoft Store. You can use Setting to transfer your programs to Windows. Please follow the steps to move your programs.

Step 1. Press “Win” and “I” at the same time to open Settings.

App and Features

Step 2. Click “Apps”, you can see all installed programs in the “Apps & features” list.

Step 3. Choose the program you wish to move, click “Move”, select another drive to place that program, and click “Move” to confirm.

Move app

Warning: This method is not suitable for all programs; if the "Move" button under the selected programs is grayed out, we suggest you use the first method.

Method 3. Transfer installed programs to another drive by modifying Registry

This method is offered by a user from Microsoft Community, we sort out it for you. The registry includes information that’s used by programs and Windows itself, thus it assists the OS to manage your computer. You can move your installed programs by editing the registry.

Step 1. Create a new folder named "Program Files (86)" in the C drive or another drive.

Create program files folder

Step 2. Copy "Program Files" and "Program Files (x86)" directories to the new folder.

Copy program files folder

Step 3. Insert “CMD” in the search bar, right-click it, select “Run as administrator”.

CMD administartor

Step 4. Insert the following commands and press “Enter”.

Robocopy" C:\ Program Files" " X:\ Program Files" / mir
Robocopy" C:\ Program Files(x86)" " X:\ Program Files(x86)" / mir

Tip: X” is the drive letter of the created file.

Step 5. Press “Win + R”, then type “Regedit.exe”.

Step 6. Find the folder path and change the C to another drive.

For Windows 10: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Wow6432Node \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion

For Windows 7/8/8.1: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion

Regitry editor move programs

Warning: If you misapply the registry, your system may crash.

Final lines

In this article, all three approaches are available. However, the operation of AOMEI Partition Assistant is simple for you to safely and quickly move your installed programs, and all programs you see in the list are moveable, so you don’t need to worry about boot failure.

AOMEI Partition Assistant also has other helpful functions such as disk clone, OS migration, allocating free space to extend partition, converting disk to GPT/MBR, etc, and if you need, you can go to the Server Edition to manage your Server computer efficiently.


♦ Q1: Can I move installed programs to another drive without reinstalling them?
Yes, it is possible to move installed programs to another drive without having to reinstall them. However, not all programs support this feature, and it primarily depends on the software itself. Some applications offer built-in options to change the installation directory, while others may require additional steps or third-party tools.

♦ Q2: How do I check if a program can be moved to another drive?
To determine if a program can be moved to another drive, you can start by checking the program's settings or options within the application itself. And you can refer to the program's documentation or contact the software developer for guidance on moving the program.

♦Q3: Are there any risks involved in moving installed programs to another drive?
Moving installed programs to another drive involves some risks, especially if not done correctly. It's crucial to follow the proper steps and ensure the program is compatible with the new location.

Lucas · Staff Editor
I prefer peaceful and quiet life during vacation,but sometimes I watch football match if my favorite club performs brilliantly in that season. And I love reading, painting and calligraphy, thus I send my friends festival handwriting cards every year.