How to Put Windows 10 Apps on a Flash Drive

How to put Windows 10 apps on a flash drive to free up disk space on your PC? In this post, you can discover how to migrate programs to a USB device without reinstalling.


By Lucas / Updated on August 29, 2023

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Can I move installed programs to a flash drive?

While numerous Windows 10 applications are compact, quite a few can occupy substantial space, ranging from hundreds of megabytes to even gigabytes, particularly when factoring in game installations.

Although USB storage has become economical, posing little concern for many computers today, certain devices like budget laptops and tablets are often equipped with limited storage capacities. The act of simply installing a handful of apps and a couple of games can swiftly saturate the entire hard drive.

In response to this, Microsoft has enhanced the Windows 10 operating system's capacity to manage app and game storage. This empowers users to seamlessly transfer apps from one drive to another.

Moreover, for those who possess a sizeable USB or external disk consistently connected to their computer, the option exists to relocate certain sizable apps to these external sources, thereby liberating valuable space on the primary disks.

3 ways on how to put Windows 10 apps on a flash drive

Now, since it’s possible to easily move those apps installed on your computer to another SD Card, microSD, USB flash drive, or external hard drive, in this guide, you’ll learn the steps to quickly move apps to a USB to free up space in your disk space.

Way 1. Move apps via Windows Settings

To move Microsoft or Windows apps, the system offers a built-in way to easily and quickly move installed apps.

Step 1. Press “Windows + I” to open Settings.

Step 2. Click Apps > Apps & features. Here you will find a list of apps installed on your drive.

Step 3. Click the three vertical dots to choose “Move”

Apps and Features

Step 4. Select the new destination drive and click “Move” again.

It's worth noting that this method also works with Windows 10 Mobile, however, the settings are in a different location: System > Storage > This PC > Apps & Games.

The only point is that you can only use this feature to move applications installed from the Microsoft Store or the apps will be marked unmovable, and the move button will be greyed out.

Way 2. Move apps to a USB manually by Registry

If you are an experienced computer user, you can use Registry Editor to transfer installed apps to a USB device, but this requires inputting command prompts, which can crash the system if done incorrectly. As a result, you must be quite confident.

Step 1. Create a folder called Program Files (86) in the other drive and copy the "Program Files" and "Program Files (x86)" to this new folder.

Copy Programs

Step 2. Run CMD as administrator and type the following command (X is the drive letter):

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

Step 3. Next, press "Windows + R", enter "Regedit.exe" and open.

Step 4. Find the folder with the following path and change C to another drive.


Move Program

Way 3. Put Windows 10 apps on a flash drive with professional app mover

Both of the approaches already stated have limitations and may not be perfect. So, how can you effortlessly and safely transfer Windows 10 programs to a flash drive? Your best option is AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional.

This disk and partition manager has an App Mover function that allows you to transfer programs between Windows 11, 10, 8, and 7. And the relocated apps are fully functional on the new route.

Download Pro DemoWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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Step 1. Install and launch PA Professional. Right-click the target drive and hit the "APP Mover" option.

Click App Mover

Step 2. There are two options: App Mover and Move Folders. Here, we choose App Mover. If you need to move folders from C drive to D drive, you can select the latter one.

Two Options

Step 3. Then, select the C drive and click "Next".

Select Partition

Step 4. Choose the apps you want to move and select the destination location, then click "Move".

Move Adobe Installs

Step 5. In the pop-up window, you need to read the prompts. Click "OK" to begin the process.

Click OK to Start

Ending lines

You now understand how to put Windows 10 apps on a flash drive. These three methods are especially beneficial if you have a laptop or tablet with limited storage space, so give them a shot if you have a spare flash drive. Or if you have a gaming PC and want to install all of the games you purchased from the Windows Store somewhere other than your primary disk.

AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional also has some advanced features that are popular with many users, such as allocating free space from one drive to another, deleting large files by type to save more space on PC, cloning disk to a larger one, migrating OS to SSD, and so on. And If you use Windows Server, please utilize AOMEI Partition Assistant Server, which is tailored for Windows Server users.

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.