I recently installed Windows 10 on my laptop, which has a 18 GB SSD and a 300 GB HDD. Although installing the OS on the SSD worked out okay, since the setup of office 2016 doesn't allow the specification of a install location, I'm in quite a pickle. Leaving office on my SSD isn't an option, since there's only roughly 500MB of disk space left that way.

Any idea how I could install office on another drive?

  • Can't you install it on ssd then use symbolic link to store it on a different drive? – Mustafa Aktaş Feb 1 '16 at 15:44
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    No duplicate, since information concerning my problem (changing the installation path of office) in the linked thread is wrong. See my answer for details. – deemel Feb 1 '16 at 18:33
  • Actually it is correct it just not applicable to your license. – Ramhound Feb 1 '16 at 20:41

My research turned up, that it is in fact NOT possible to change the installation directory for office.

Quoting the references for the Office Deployment Tool:

You cannot customize the installation location for Click-to-Run for Office 365 products. Click-to-Run can only be deployed to the system drive which is typically drive C.


Since this question is hereby definetly answered, I'd suggest removing the duplicate tag. I suppose this answer might save others the time I took to find this out.

  • Oh, it's the Click-to-Run nightmare. Yeah, that explains it. Duplicate tag removed. – Mekki MacAulay Feb 1 '16 at 21:18

Frustratingly, Office 2016 has obfuscated the installer options to "help" people. This thread explains how you can set the options manually including desired components, install location, etc.

  • Thank you for the quick reply, I'll try that and report back here ;) – deemel Feb 1 '16 at 16:01
  • I changed the product ID in the config to 'O365HomePremRetail' and set the language to german. I started the download based on the config file, but it seems to stop once the folder size hits 176 MB. – deemel Feb 1 '16 at 16:42
  • Have you deleted the old one and restored enough disk space on your main drive? – Mekki MacAulay Feb 1 '16 at 16:59

You cannot change the installation location, but you can move it.

That is to say you can tell the computer that the office install directory should be redirected elsewhere.

Command Prompt, administrator mode

Here, I am telling windows that the Office directory should be STORED On D:\ drive. Substitute your path as desired. And yes, you must have two Microsoft Office directories.. just because.. Microsoft.

Uninstall office if it is there. First, you must create the directory where Office would be installed.

>md "c:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\"

>md ""c:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\"

Then you "make a link" (mklink) between the directories.

>mklink /J "d:\programs_x86\Microsoft Office\" "c:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\"
Junction created for d:\programs_x86\Microsoft Office\ <<===>> c:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\

>mklink /J "d:\programs_64\Microsoft Office\" "c:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\"
Junction created for d:\programs_64\Microsoft Office\ <<===>> c:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\

Note that you cannot link to a new directory that already exists.

>mklink /J "d:\programs_64\Microsoft Office\" "c:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\"
Cannot create a file when that file already exists.

You can change the Install Directory, but it is not suggested. You can only do this by changing the default ProgramFilesDir in the registry. Please consider all that this will do. For example, it will break your installation of Google Chrome and probably many other things. There is probably a reason that page has this posted at the top:

Microsoft does not support changing the location of the Program Files folder by modifying the ProgramFilesDir registry value

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    Chrome would be the least of your worries... – Basic Nov 8 '17 at 16:36

I have what I think is a suitable workaround, but it requires a bit of time.

GBee what you think: Go to Control Panel > System and Security > Storage Spaces

Here you can form a virtual merged drive between your super fast SSD and that old clunker HDD (or SSHD), but there are some disadvantages and advantages to consider.

1) First you have to be able to offload a backup copy of everything on those drives to someplace secure (like a $100 5TB external drive in my case) 2) That takes a lot of TIME - I did it overnight.

3) Now you have to get rid of everything on your SSD - I did a windows restore, chose to delete all my files (since I had them on an internal SSHD and on that external as a backup)

4) IMPORTANT: When you do that windows re-install, don't include the drive where you saved your files!!! (I even disconnected that external HDD incase I screwed up here.)

5) Now you can create a new pool and storage space which will delete all data from the HDD you are adding to boost your SSD's space.

6) You might lose the ability to insure what goes on the SSD (like gamers who want to run really fast might wish) But Windows operating files should all be there.

7) You might be able to install all future apps to the HDD by selecting a folder that is physically located there.

8) Why bother with all this? There's another solution that might work very well for you. Have you considered the fact that a new windows install only takes up 19.7GB? (That's with the HP bloatware on my SSD). Immediately after you re-install windows do this: Settings > Storage > Change Where New Content is Saved under each type of new content is a drop down box. Just make all those point to your HDD. It may or may not redirect your Office 365 new install (hope you kept that product key!). Either way, there's room for 1-3GB of office 365 on the SSD. Especially since all your new files are on the HDD.

I'm sure there are other drawbacks to making the shared storage space that I didn't mention, but that solution and #8 above sure seem a lot easier to me than having to edit the registry, especially knowing that the next office 365 update could break your registry 'fix'.

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