Is it Better to Install Programs on a Separate Hard Drive?

Is it better to install programs on a separate hard drive? If you’re not sure, this post will give you an answer and some solutions to manage your programs.


By Lucas / Updated on May 12, 2023

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Is it better to install programs on separate drives on one PC?

Most PCs will preinstall with a single hard drive that is more than adequate for the average office user. Although, in some circumstances, a single disk may not be an ideal option for many users, and you may want to acquire numerous drives for your workplace PCs.

Another case is Home PC. For users who love games or technology, separate drives are necessary. Modern video games require huge storage capacity (no one wishes to delete his favorite games) and adapting a PC might cause a data crash or other irreversible consequences. Multiple drives can divide your OS, programs, data, backup… that will be safer for users to run unstable programs and tasks.

Besides the conveience of installing programs on separate drives, there are other advantages of multiple drives to help you manage your devices better.

The advantages of multiple disks on a PC:

Extending storage space
A big quantity of storage capacity might be one of the key reasons you consider installing additional hard drives in a PC. Adding another TB or two to your computer is a quick and easy solution to increase storage, providing you have the space within your computer or a spare USB port on the outside.

Classifying storage
If your computer needs to regularly deal with huge files If your computer has to deal with exceptionally huge files on a regular basis, like graphic design or video editing work...putting two large hard drives on your PC to store different files may be more convenient for management.
Keeping business programs on a different drive from the OS might make software upgrades easier to install, such as upgrading the Windows installation on the system drive while keeping business database information intact. Multiple drives can also allow you to run multiple operating systems on the same computer.

Making backup
A backup disk will always be useful to avoid losing your important files or business data on your PC when your disk clashes entirely. You can just replace it and restore the most recent backup.

No matter for more capacity, classification, or backup, a second hard drive or multiple disks are perfect. So, the answer is “Yes, it’s better to install programs on separate drives”.

How do I install programs on a separate hard drive?

However, if you have lots of useful programs that are already installed on the current hard disk, reinstallation will waste too much time and you’ll lose tons of data. So, in this part, we’ll show you how to install new programs on another disk and how to move installed programs from one disk to another disk while preventing reinstalling.

Way 1. Install the new program on another disk

For the programs you’re going to install, you can change the storage settings in Windows to store them on another disk.

Step 1. Press “Windows + I” on the desktop. Click “System” and choose “Storage”.

Step 2. Select “More storage settings” and “Where new content is saved in Settings”.

Step 3. Now, you can change the storage settings based on the types of new files and programs.

Change stroage location

If the new disk is an external disk, make sure it connects well.

Way 2. Transfer installed programs on another disk via App Mover

For installed programs, the moving cannot be executed by users themselves. Because the data file of programs might be hidden deep in the C drive, even though the program is installed on another drive, some data is still stored on the C drive.  You will never find and move all related files to the target location.

So, to move installed programs, a professional app mover would be a better option. The “App Mover” function of AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional is what we’ll introduce next. This feature allows users to move several programs to the target disk (including external disk) at once, so you don’t need to repeat the moving. After the move, the moved programs can directly run as before. What’s more, it also allows you to restore the relocated software to its original place.

Download Pro DemoWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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Step 1. After the download is complete, open AOMEI Partition Assistant Pro and find the App Mover function in Free up.

App Mover

Step 2. In this window, select the disk where the program you want to transfer is located, and then click “Next”. You can also click "Manage/Restore Apps" to restore the moved programs.

Select target deisk

Step 3. Check the applications you want to move; you can select single or multiple selections. Then select the external hard drive to be moved, and click “Move”.

select app

Step 4. Read the prompts, click "OK" and "Move".

Click OK

Step 5. Click “Finish” to over the task.


Then you can try to launch the programs you moved to check if it’s successful. Then you can scan your disk to find and delete large files to release more available space.

Tip: If you want to directly make a backup for the entire disk or a single partition, you can choose “Disk Clone” and “Partition Clone”.

Final words

After you read this post, you’ve known how to install programs on a second hard drive via Windows Settings or move installed programs to a separate hard drive with AOMEI Partition Assistant.

As a professional disk manager, it can help Windows 11/10/8/8.1/7/XP users to easily organize their devices, while the Windows Server users can also get help by selecting the Server Edition.

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.