How to Change Default Program Files Folder Location in Windows

If you’ve ever installed a Windows program or even if you have used Windows for any part of time, then you will probably know that whenever you install a program on your Windows system, all those installed programs are stored in C:\Program Files or C:\Program Files (x86) folder. In fact, most Windows programs are stored in these directories.

But there will be times when you want to change the default program files directory. Maybe you have a second hard disk or may be the disk space of your C drive is running out. No matter what the reason is, here is how you can change the default location of Windows Program Files folder in Windows.

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Note: Even though I’m showing the procedure in Windows 7, the same procedure applies to Windows 8 or 8.1.

Change Default Program Files Location in Windows

Since Windows doesn’t provide any native options, you need to hack Windows Registry. To start off, press “Win + R,” type “regedit” and press the enter button to open the Windows Registry.


Once the Windows Registry has been opened, navigate to the following key in the left pane.



Once you are here, find the key “ProgramFilesDir” and double-click on it. This action will open the Edit String window. Here, enter your desired location and click on the “Ok” button to save the changes. As per me, I want my program files location to be in my D drive, so I’ve changed it accordingly.


If you are using a 64-bit system, then you also want to edit the key “ProgramFilesDir (x86).”


Once you are done with the editing, this is how it looks like in your Windows Registry.


That’s all there is to do, and it is that simple to change default program files location in Windows.

Even though the process of changing the default Program Files location is pretty easy, Only do it when it is absolutely required. This is because Windows doesn’t natively support changing program files directory and because of that, some Windows programs may have trouble functioning as they should.

That’s all there is to do, and it is that simple to change default program files location in Windows.

Hopefully, that helps and do comment below sharing your thoughts and experiences about changing the default program files location in your Windows system.

Vamsi is a professional freelance writer, copywriter and blogger.

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