How to Change Metro Apps Default Installation Location in Windows 8?

One of the best and most impressive feature of Windows 8 is the new Store and its apps. Microsoft has added Google Android and Apple style apps and store in Windows 8 which allows you to download lots of free and paid apps on your Windows 8 PC, laptop, mobile phone or tablet.

But no one knows where are these apps installed in the computer? There is no information shown about the installation location when you are installing an app using Windows Store. If you manually browse the C: drive where Windows 8 is installed in your computer, you can't see any folder containing these apps files.

I have received many emails from various AskVG readers asking questions about apps installation folder. A few of them are as following:

  • Where does Windows 8 install and store apps in computer?
  • Where can I see metro apps files?
  • How can I change the default installation location of apps in Windows 8?

There are many people who want to know the installation folder of apps and also want to change this location with their desired folder or drive.

So today I decided to create this tutorial which will tell you where does Windows 8 store all built-in as well as downloaded apps and how to change this location to your desired folder.

For your convenience I have divided this tutorial in 2 parts:

  • Part 1: Default Installation Location of Metro Apps in Windows 8
  • Part 2: How to Change Default Installation Location of Metro Apps in Windows 8?

So without wasting time lets start the tutorial:

Part 1: Default Installation Location of Metro Apps in Windows 8

By default Windows 8 stores all apps in a folder "WindowsApps" present in "Program Files" folder. To access this folder follow these simple steps:

1. Open My Computer and go to C: drive. Now double-click on "Program Files" folder.

2. This folder contains "WindowsApps" folder but you'll not be able to see it because its a hidden folder.

3. You'll need to enable the option to show hidden files and folders. You can enable the option by clicking on "View" menu in ribbon and enable "Hidden items" checkbox.

4. Now you'll be able to see "WindowsApps" folder as shown in following screenshot:


5. If you try to open this folder, you'll get following error message:

You don't currently have permission to access this folder. Click Continue to permanently get access to this folder.

And if you click on continue button, you'll get another error message:

You have been denied permission to access this folder. To gain access to this folder you will need to use the security tab.

It happens because you don't have sufficient permissions to open the folder.

6. You'll need to take ownership of the folder. Just follow the steps given in following tutorial:

[Guide] How to Take Ownership (Permission) of a File or Folder Manually in Windows?

7. Once you take ownership, you'll be able to view the content of "WindowsApps" folder. You'll find various folders containing all installed apps as shown in following screenshot:


So this is the folder which stores all built-in and 3rd party installed apps in Windows 8.

Part 2: How to Change Default Installation Location of Metro Apps in Windows 8?

Now the question comes how to change this installation location of apps? How to install metro apps in our desired folder or drive in Windows 8? Many times we may want to install apps in a different location other than the system drive because of low disk space or any other reason. If we install apps in a different folder, we'll be able to view its content without any permission problem.

Windows 8 installs all the apps in "WindowsApps" folder because its path is stored in Registry. If you change the installation path in Registry, you'll be able to install metro apps in your desired location.

So if you want to change default installation location of metro apps in Windows 8, follow these simple steps:

PS: Please read the NOTE given at the end before following the steps!

1. Press "WIN+R" key combination to launch RUN dialog box then type regedit and press Enter. It'll open Registry Editor.

2. Now go to following key:


3. In right-side pane, you'll see a String PackageRoot containing "C:\Program Files\WindowsApps" as its value.


4. You just need to change its value to your desired drive or folder. But Windows will not allow you to modify its value because you don't have required permissions.

To change the value, you'll need to take ownership of "Appx" key using following tutorial:

[Guide] How to Take Ownership (Permission) of a Registry Key in Windows?

5. After taking ownership and assigning full control to your user account, double-click on PackageRoot and change its value to your custom location such as E:\WindowsApps or any other location.


6. That's it. Close Registry Editor and restart your system and now whenever you'll install a new app from Store, it'll be installed in the new location instead of default installation location.

NOTE: There is a drawback using this method. Since you change the app install location, whenever you try to update already installed apps which were installed in default location before applying this Registry tweak, the apps will refuse to update and will show error message. It happens because the old installation path and the new installation path at the time of update do not match.

To fix this issue, you'll need to first uninstall all built-in and 3rd party apps before applying this Registry tweak. First uninstall all apps, then change location using Registry method given above and then reinstall the apps. Now everything should work fine.

To uninstall or reinstall apps in Windows 8, check out following tutorial:

How to Restore Accidentally Uninstalled Built-in Apps in Windows 8?

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Posted in: Troubleshooting, Windows 8 / 8.1

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  • wow that was fast! Thanks a lot Mr. VG! :D

  • update, i uninstalled all the apps, changed the registry, restored back the apps and it's not working..
    what did i do wrong?

  • Thanks man.i want to know how to make backup of the installed apps.i have used a tool named recimg manager but it makes whole system there any way to do it.i asked this question on many forums but no one has the answer.

  • off topic:: Hi Vishal, Have you shared "Add Windows Media Center to Windows 8 Pro for free" to your readers??? can get here:

  • @tariq - once you have purchased the app (either free or paid) it will remain on your account. and i think it can be installed on 5 different machines.

  • @ikns, thanks for your suggestion but i want to know how to make backup of the apps bcoz i dont want to download the apps everytime i format my pc which will eventually lead to simply loss of bandwidth and time.

  • Awesome VG. Worked like a charm. I tried with Fruit Ninja and it installed in new location. :D

  • I have tried to take ownership off but it is not working. It displays an error "Acess denied" in cmd.

  • aWesome, seems you really love Registry Editor can you please explain all about Registry or a tutorial based on video with voice :)

  • Doesn't seem to be present in Release Preview. Looks like MS added it for RTM?

  • Awsome VG!, it would better if there is a way to backup downloded Metro apps.
    Thanks 4 Sharing VG.

  • I did every step carefully...when i try to open an app from new location it says "a problem with windows is preventing opening this app"..other apps working properly

  • When I open the Program Files folder I don't have a View option! How do I fix this? I just want to add my Windows 8 games to my Steam software so all my games appear in the same spot!

  • VG

    ^^ View tab is present in Ribbon.

  • I really learned so much like this... thanx :)

  • anyone tried this with windows 8.1?

  • Yes tried it with 8.1 not working. Getting error 0xd00002b8. Going back win 8 sadly because I have ssd for my win directory and I would pike to separate apps and programs but im not able to do it with 8.1. Tried everything and searched a lot no answers.

  • This does not work for 8.1, has anyone found a way to do this in 8.1?

  • I recently purchased 8.1 and found out about windows store apps NOT BEING SHARED WITH OTHER USERS, which is unbelievable to me. I mean who is going to feel good about buying an app such as a utility (printing,scanning,photo editing, etc...) and having to pay for it for all of your family? Anyway my son bought a game while logged in under my account. He cannot play it while logged in under his account. I have spoken to Microsoft support on a couple of occasions and they were not able to resolve the issue. Meanwhile the game (1.05Gig) has been installed twice to my drive and all files where copied over to his user account and modified by microsoft support (much the same as in this article above). I am truly amazed at how bad the windows 8 experience is. Metro and windows trying to mesh is SOOO strange. I am going to try and return windows 8 and buy windows 7.

  • yeah, it doesnt' work I winodws 8.1 and even I change back to folder, the update of apps doesn't work.

    before I change back to the original folder, execution of apps and installaetion of apps don't works!

  • I am able to uninstall all the apps but have found the apps which were previously installed willl not reinstall. But I can install new apps. Any thoughts?

  • Altering the registry key to change the app install directory does not work in Windows 8.1

    It results in the Store not being able to install any new apps, giving the error 0xd00002b8

    Changing the reg key back to "C:\Program Files\WindowsApps" restores functionality, but I still want a way to change where the data is stored as my C: drive is a 64GB SSD, leaving little space for installed apps along with system files. I've already relocated my User directories and libraries to alleviate the problem, but I expect my app usage to grow and this drive will soon run out of space.

  • Dows not work on Win8.1, right?
    +: There's still (will never be?) no workaround / other way to change Metro/Win-Apps-folders location, right?

  • Ah, I should have read the comments before trying this. No luck with Windows 8.1 which is such a pitty. The other option Can you change target folder once you have full permissions. I would like a work around for this if possible.

  • Infact i have given wrong email adress which doesnt exist dats whyy whole apps are not updating anymore.. I wan to change my email adress or needs to update each n every app updates.. Wat to do .. Plz somebodly help me..

  • Worried about a "chicken and the egg" problem regarding this & changing the default app installation path.

    If one changes the installation path, they have to install the store. However, they have to launch the installed store to install the store?

    I really wanna do the path change, but can't wrap my head around uninstalling the store to re-install the store...

  • Thanks vg but iam concerned about backuping these apps when i change OS . please help

  • how long does it gonna take to change ownership!!???

  • I have done everyting but when I want to instal apps I have this error: 0x80073cf9

    Any help? please

  • for windows 8.1 -

    preliminarily SOLVED, permission issue. see link

  • how to run metro apps on windows 7
    i want to know

  • Hi

    After i change the location to my external disk like D:/WindowsApps, it won't install. please help me

  • I believe I followed all your directions correctly but I received error code 0x80073cf0 when trying to install apps to new folder

  • Nice one, really helpfull, fast and to the point! GJ

  • Excellent piece !
    The writing is really clear and easy to follow.
    Thanx 4 posting.

  • How can I create a new file inside me Application folder?
    It always gives me access denied message.

  • VG

    ^^ Take ownership:

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