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How to change Chrome install location in Windows 11

SSD drives are pretty expensive, so most of the modern computers (both PC and laptops) comes with a smaller size SSD and an HDD (if required). The idea is to install Windows (or any other OS that you might be using) and in the SSD, which is designated as the primary boot drive (or the system drive), and majority of the programs in the HDD.

However, there are certain rogue programs which doesn't let you choose their installation path and end up getting installed in the SSD drive. Slowly, over time, the SSD drive becomes full and you have to upgrade to a bigger and more expensive SSD. Google Chrome is one of those rogue programs.

When you start installing Chrome, it simply let's you agree to it's licensing agreement, and guess what, the very next thing you see is Chrome getting installed in your system drive. Is there a way to change its installation path? No. But there is a workaround to this issue, and if you want to install Chrome in a different folder on your Windows 11 computer, or a different drive altogether, simply follow the below steps.

Delete exiting Chrome installation

To install Google Chrome on a different drive you need to install a fresh copy of Chrome. Which is why if Google Chrome is already installed on your Windows 11 computer, you need to uninstall it from Windows 11 and then remove every trace it leaves from your computer even after being uninstalled.

1. Click on the Windows Start menu, then go over to Settings

2. Inside Settings, click on Apps and head over to Apps & Features by clicking on it from the left panel
3. Now scroll down on the right side of the panel to locate Google Chrome, click on its entry, then click on the Uninstall button next to it. Follow the instructions and uninstall it from your Windows 11 computer
4. The Chrome uninstaller might ask you to restart your computer once it has been uninstalled, please reboot your computer. Then go to the below folder, remember to replace <username> with your Windows 11 username

C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Google\

5. Once you are in the Google folder, locate a folder called Chrome inside it and then delete the Chrome folder (DO NOT TOUCH the Google folder)

Install Junction app created by Mark Russinovich

All versions of Windows from Windows 2000 onwards support creation of junction points. Junction points are folders (or directories) which becomes an alias to another directory on your computer. You need to create a junction point to install Chrome in a different folder in Windows 11.

1. Download the Junction app from the Microsoft website using the below link. You can read more about the Junction app from here.

https://download.sysinternals.com/files/Junction.zip

2. The downloaded Junction app would be in a ZIP format. Unzip the ZIP file, and extract the junction64.exe file in the below folder. If you are not using a 64-bit computer, then extract the junction.exe file instead). The Junction app doesn’t need to be installed separately, simply extracting it would do the job

C:\Windows\System32

Create a junction point using the Junction app

Now that we have installed the Junction app, it's time to create a junction point in Windows 11 where you would like to install Chrome on your computer. Junction app is a Command Line tool, so we would be using the Windows 11 Command Prompt to create the junction point.

1. Click on the Windows Start menu and search for cmd. Once you see Command Prompt listed under Best Match on the left side of the search pane, click on Run as administrator on the right side of the pane
2. Depending on your UAC settings, it might ask you to allow Command Prompt to make changes to your computer, please click on Yes and it should bring up a Command Prompt window like the one shown below
3. Now you need to create a new directory in your Windows 11 computer where you would like to actually install Google Chrome. For example, here I am creating a directory called Chrome in my D: drive, for that I am first changing the drive to D: and then using the mkdir command to create the directory inside D: called Chrome. You can change the command accordingly, or you can even go back to Windows 11 and create a directory like you would do normally
4. Now use the below command to create a junction point. Remember to replace the "D:\Chrome" part of the command with the respective directories as you had created in the previous step. Once done successfully, it should show a confirmation on the Command Prompt window

junction.exe "C:\Users\Administrator\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome" "D:\Chrome"

Install Chrome to new directory

Good! Now we have created a junction point, so it's time to install Google Chrome in this new directory. This will not be that difficult compared to the previous steps.

1. Download Google Chrome using the below link, and install it normally on your Windows 11 computer. The Google Chrome application will still be installed in the default location on the system drive, however, it's respective Data folder will be created in the new location as specified from your end in the previous steps. Since the Google Chrome application is just 300MB and does not increase in size over time, you might think of leaving it there in the system drive. However, if you still want to move the Chrome application to where the Data folder for Chrome is stored, follow the below steps

https://www.google.com/intl/en_in/chrome/

2. Go to the directory in the below mentioned path, Cut the folder called Chrome (remember to use Cut and not Copy), go over to the "D:\Chrome" folder and then paste it inside that folder

C:\Program Files\Google

3. Now Google Chrome has been completely installed on a new location on your Windows 11 computer. However, there is one last thing we need to do. Even though Chrome has moved to a new location, the shortcut to Chrome created on your desktop still points to the old destination. If you double click on it, the shortcut will not work. So, we need to change it. Right click on the Google Chrome shortcut on your Windows 11 desktop, and click on Properties
4. In the Chrome Properties box that opens up, change the path to Chrome in both the Target and the Start in text box to "D:\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe" and "D:\Chrome\Application" respectively, then click on OK, or even better, create a new shortcut to Google Chrome at the new location and you're done!

Remove the junction point

If ever you want to remove the junction point for some reason, you can use the below command on a Command Prompt window (like we did above) to do remove the junction point we created.

junction -d "C:\Users\Administrator\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome"

We agree, the above method can be a little bit tricky. But then, there are no official ways with which you can change the install location of Google Chrome in Windows 11 (or any other version of Windows for that matter). However, the good news is, you can use this method on any rogue application that doesn’t let you set an installation path, and not just on Google Chrome. The method would remain the same, only the path to the folders would change. Once you understand what we are trying to do here, we are sure changing the path would not be much of a problem for you. Also, as you can see from the screenshot, they were taken in Windows 10, so this workaround works for Windows 11 as well as Windows 10.
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