My SSD is 80 GB which I installed the Windows 8.1 on. The size of Windows on the SSD was about 30-35 GB, and I have a very limited space left.

Now when I try to install any software, such as Chrome / Norton Antivirus / CCleaner and etc… they are all automatically installed on my SSD. I don’t want to change the registry as mentioned on this answer:

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

I don’t want to change the default folder; I just want to change it for certain programs.

  • Commonly used applications like Chrome and Norton (well, Norton runs without you using it) are better to be on the SSD for speed reasons. Of course, install it on another drive if you only use it twice a year :) Feb 1, 2015 at 1:19

2 Answers 2


During the install process for an application, you will (or should) be asked for a location to install to. Note that you will usually need to choose the "custom" option on most install wizards, like the below:


The "express" or "normal" option usually skips this step.

This location usually defaults to C:\Program Files, but should display a 'Browse' button next to the text box. If you choose the root drive (i.e. D), the installer should auto-fill the Program Files bit.

  • yes, that was my assumption too, but none of the programs above asked for a custom location. Now I am afraid the majority of software I install wont allow me to select a custom directory. Is there an option/settings in windows 8 which disables custom directory by default?
    – Jim
    Jan 31, 2015 at 9:15
  • @Jim you'll need to dig into the installer - see the screenshot I've added. Jan 31, 2015 at 9:32

You can easily identify space hogs with WinDirStat (or another similar tool). Just move the bloated directories to another partition/drive of your choosing. Then, create a directory symbolic link with mklink:

mklink /D "C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome" "D:\My Custom Location\Google Chrome"

Of course, you’ll have to carefully consider if this is the correct choice. Very few programs have problems with this, but with AV scanners and the like, which are tightly integrated to the OS, this might not be a good idea.

You’ll also have to make sure the programs you’re moving aren’t running. Programs might ship with Windows services or other background tasks. You’d have to stop/kill those before moving the folder.

This is of course only a last-resort solution. If the application’s setup lets you choose a custom target folder, use that.

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