How to Change the Install Location of Windows 8 Modern Apps

How to Change the Install Location of Windows 8 Modern Apps

As a Windows 8 user, do you care where Modern apps downloaded from the store are installed on your computer? Well, I never did until today. I was running out of space on my Windows directory and after installing a couple of apps from the Store, the icon turned red. This left me thinking about where these apps installed in Windows 8 and how I could better manage them, if at all.

In this article, I will tell you where the Windows 8 Modern apps are installed by default and how you can change the location to save space on your system drive. If you are ready, let’s begin.

The answer to the first question – where are Modern apps installed – is the C:\Program Files\WindowsApps folder. I am assuming Windows 8 is installed on your C: drive. If it’s on a different drive, the path will need to be adjusted.

How to Change the Install Location of Windows 8 Modern Apps

The folder is hidden by default and to see it you will have to enable the option to see all the hidden files. To enable the option, open the View tab in the Explorer and check the Hidden items option under the Show/hide section.

When you try to open the folder, it will give you an error that you don’t have enough privileges. The folder is protected as one of the fundamental rules of the operating system is to protect itself from the user.

We will not change the default download directory completely, but create a symlink for the folder. Using symlinks has two advantages over permanently changing the directory. First, the links to your currently installed apps will remain intact, allowing for easy updates without uninstalling. Second, symlinks are simpler to use than registry editing.

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Before we can start linking, we must gain full control over the WindowsApps folder. Right-click on the folder and select “Properties” to open the folder properties window. Then, go to “Security” and click on the “Advanced” button.

How to Change the Install Location of Windows 8 Modern Apps

Click on the “Change link” next to Owner, add your name to the list, and double-check the names. Then, reopen the folder properties to access detailed security settings.

How to Change the Install Location of Windows 8 Modern Apps

Grant yourself full control over the folder (and all sub-folders) and save the settings. Now when you try to open the folder again, you will be able to access it. Successfully completing this task allows us to use symlinks to move the folder to a new location without breaking the Explorer link.

How to Change the Install Location of Windows 8 Modern AppsHow to Change the Install Location of Windows 8 Modern Apps

I used SymMover and it worked great. We have already covered how to use SymMover in detail, so you can check the article for more information. It’s easy and simple.

Windows 8 installs its Metro Apps in a specific location, and it is possible to change this default location. When modifying the folder permissions, exercise caution to avoid encountering errors when moving the apps using SymMover. Additionally, be sure to run SymMover as an administrator to successfully complete the task.

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