How To Set to Install Apps to External Storage in Windows 10

Just like what’s available in Windows Phone 8, we now get to choose where to install Windows Store Apps in Windows 10, both desktop and mobile editions. If you are using a device with a limited local storage, this is going to be a relive to you.

Open Start Menu, click Settings to open Settings modern app, then select System, and Storage. Under Save locations, you can select to change the default location where you want your apps, documents, musics to save to. If you have a second storage drive attached, whether it’s a second hard drive, an external storage, or a USB¬†flash drive, you will see them listed above and will be able to select from the drop-down menu.

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The change kicks in place right away so you don’t need to Save or restart the computer to see the change. Note that the feature doesn’t require you to format the drive. Unless you plug in a drive that’s formatted other than FAT or NTFS, you can safely plug in any drive you have, new or old, with or without the data on it, and are ready to go.

Once the location changed, Windows 10 will create total of 4 new folders in the root of the new selected drive.

  • An empty folder named with your login name
  • WindowsApps – to store all installed apps, all encrypted using Windows built-in EFS.
  • WpSystem – to store all application related data
  • WUDownloadCache – well, as the name implies, it’s a temporary place for caching purpose.

So what happens if you disconnect the drive?

Nothing serious will happen. The app will simply not start but as soon as the drive reconnected, everything will back to work again.

What happens to old apps on the local storage?

At the moment, the only way to bring these apps to a new location is to uninstall and reinstall the app. Microsoft is building a feature that will move the existing apps to a new location but hasn’t released it yet.

Kent Chen

Microsoft MVP, IT Professional, Developer, Geek, and the co-founder of Next of Windows.

Last updated: 01/29/2016

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