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  • (01. January 2010., 09:27:49)

Author Topic: Long term project: move AppData to SSD or even RAM Disk: how to  (Read 984 times)

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Why I want to do that? Speed :)

FROM: Can I move Window’s AppData directory to another partition?:

15 Oct 2014

Can I move 11,380.2 MB out of Window’s %AppData% to a different D: drive (Datapart1) in order to free up space on C Drive?

Kannon Y
October 15, 2014
Hello Ian, that’s a really good question.

My understanding of AppData is that so many programs rely on it, moving would cause a lot more problems than it would solve. There’s a method called “symbolic linking” that can solve this issue, but it takes a fair amount of work to set up. We refer to symbolic linking as “symlink” for short.
It works like this: A symbolic link refers programs that reference it to another location within the file system. A symlink can point to another hard drive or storage format, including (I believe) external drives. However, if those drives ever become inaccessible, you won’t be able to access it.

Danny Steiben wrote a good guide on SymLinks below:
Here’s some basic instructions on how to symlink AppData:

Hope that helps! Good luck!

Oron J
October 15, 2014
As Kannon says, a symlink (or a junction) is the best way to do it, but comes with a certain risk. What essentially happens is you move the files to, say, D:MyAppDir (the actual name is up to you). then replace the folder C:windows with a symlink calls AppDir. Whenver a program looks at C:WindowsAppDir it is directed to the folder D:MyAppDir . The risk is that if anything happens either to the D: drive or to the folder (such as being renamed or moved), C:windowsAppDir will point to nothing and you’ll get serious errors. Still, if it’s important to make more space available this may be the way.

Jan F.
October 15, 2014
You already got the essential feedback to your question so I will just add what I feel necessary.
First off all, you will be having trouble moving the AppData folder while you are logged in. You will have to create another temporary administrative user to so.

The drive you are moving the folder to needs to be NTFS formatted.

The AppData folder basically contains all sorts of data vital for your every day use. You should make sure that the drive you are moving it to does not spin-down. Otherwise you might be experiencing occasional freezes of applications if not the entire system until the drive is spun up again.
Moving the User profile or parts of it will break future system upgrades, if not more. I haven’t heard issues with normal Windows Updates but at least for system upgrades (e.g. upgrading to Windows 8, 10, …) it is known fact that the installation routine does not cross volumes.

To quote Microsoft:
“By changing the default location of the user profile directories or program data folders to a volume other than the system volume, you cannot service your Windows installation. Any updates, fixes, or service packs cannot be applied to the installation. We recommend that you do not change the location of the user profile directories or program data folders.”
In short: You are asking for trouble.

My personal opinion:
Your AppData accounts for 11GB, your Windows installation probably for another 20-22GB.
Where did the rest of the space go? What speaks against moving that? Most likely a lot of it is used by applications which in 99% of the cases can either be moved to another drive or re-installed onto another drive.
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