Change Program Files folder in Vista

By lopdog
Nov 4, 2007
  1. I'm about to make a clean install of Vista Ultimate x64 on a notebook, and right after the installation I want to change the location of the Program Files folder. Does anyone have suggestions how to do it (it would be great to move the entire folder, but at least change the default location for installation of other programs.)
    I've done this before with XP, and the reason is that in Spanish windows this folder is called "Archivos de Programa", and since this is a quite long name that has to be written in the registry a LOT of times I figured it would be better to use a short name like "prog" or something.
  2. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    Dont know about Vista, but yes, in XP you would just edit the registry, changing all copies of 'Program Files' to whatever you wanted. This would work for most applications - others might need .ini or .cfg files changed as well. There are packages designed to do all this for you (including the ini, cfg etc). At least one came with Partition magic and was called drive changer or similar.

    This does not affect the fact that Program Files is always the default installation choice, but I've never come an install that would not let you over-rule that at will.

    Anyway, thinking about it, after installing Vista, there is probably NO WAY to avoid installing everything all over again anyway, so your question is a non-event. This is because Vista (as usual) has yet another way of doing things, and cannot use the original registry, unless you do an upgrade install, which most people would not recommend.
  3. lopdog

    lopdog TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 295

    Change default folder

    I was actually looking for a tool to change the default folder location. In XP I could use both System Mechanic (5) and TweakUI to change any of the default system folder locations, but I´ve heard that SM is not to happy with Vista...
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