XP: Change Default Installation Directory

Posted November 30, 2003 by AlexTheBeast in Windows

This recipe will change the default location where Windows installs programs.


I utilize two hard drives because I want to keep my main drive running efficiently, with mainly just the OS running. I install the majority of my programs on my second drive.. However, Windows always wants to install programs to “c:\program files” and changing it every time can be time consuming.

After you back up your registry, this is how you can change this default location.

1. Navigate to the following:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion
2. Find ProgramFilesDir whose default should be C:\Program Files
3. Change this to whatever directory you wish. I changed it to D:\Program Files for example.

Remember you have to reboot for your changes to show.

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