How to change the default location of “Program Files”

Have you ever given thought that why all the applications in Windows O.S. getting installed at default location “C:\Program Files” ?
Can’t it be according to our choice?

Yes it can be. And I have two reasons to change it default location anyway (either you feel its necessity or not but it’s good to install application at other location instead of “C:\Program Files”).

Why we need to change the default location of Installed application?
Reason is very simple:
1.       If you are a computer geek like me 😛 or you belong to a profession where you need to install many large sized applications like CAD apps, MS Office, Adobe Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Visual Studio, media players, games etc. Once you will feel that C drive (By default O.S gets installed in this drive only) is not sufficient for installing applications because of growing size of “program files directory” which may slow down your system. So its better to install applications in other drive rather than C

2.       Windows O.S is how much promising with its robustness, how much its virus free, you people know it very well. It may crash because of any silly mistakes that we may do like opening virus contained files, using thumb drive (pen drive) and many more. By that time all installed application will also go in vain and you need to install everything from the beginning. Why not to install applications in other location, so that it may not get affected even O.S gets crashed?

How we could do it?
We could do it by two ways:

1.       While installing application, it will ask for location where it will install it. At that time itself we can provide some other location. For example: D:\Program Files (if Program files folder is not there then create it first and locate it while installing applications).

Through this way you can install software according to your choice of drives. Say all media apps should get installed in D drive and all web tools should get installed in F drive.

2.       We could change the default location permanently using registry editor.

a.       Click on start->run (windows XP) and type regedit, sand then press enter. (Shortcut key for run command is windows key + R)

b.      Look for “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion”

c.       When you will click on Currentversion, You will see a value named ProgramFilesDir  at the right side of that window. By default its value is “C:\Program Files”

d.      Double click on that value and change the default location wherever you wish to install your application from now onwards. Ex: “D:\Program Files”

Sanjeev Jaiswal

He loves web programming and security and co-founder of Alien Coders. He usually shares and helps engineering students and IT professionals in academics and jobs. An avid reader and quick learner.

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