Application Mover: how to move programs in Windows
Application Mover is a commercial program for Microsoft Windows that enables you to move installed programs to another location.
Maybe you have encountered the following situation before: the hard drive where you install the majority of software programs on is filled to the brim, and it becomes clear that you will need to move some of the installed applications to another hard drive or storage device to make room for additional installs (or find other means to free up disk space, for instance by uninstalling software).
Some software programs do not take it lightly if you move them in Windows Explorer. They will stop working as the information in the Windows Registry and their new location do not match up.
Could be fatal for commercial software that has been bought as it may stop working altogether, or revert back to a trial version that is most likely expired already.
You could uninstall and reinstall the software program. Could be trouble for users who do not have the serial number at hand anymore if the software is commercial. Could also be problematic because of custom settings that will most likely be gone unless they are stored globally.
A quick search on the Internet revealed no free software programs that aids users in the process. The most popular commercial software program seems to be Application Mover by Funduc which costs $15 for a single user license. We like free here at Ghacks which is why the following way to move applications from one location to another should work as well for you.
Symbolic links come to the rescue. They can be used to point from the original folder to a new folder without losing the reference. Windows will recognize this as one folder in the original location although the files are located on another drive. To move c:\program1 to d:\program1 one would move the contents of c:\program1 to the d drive and create a symbolic link in c:\program1 pointing to the new location.
The process would therefore involve the following steps:
- Move (or copy) the files on c:\program1 to d:\program1
- Create a symbolic link from c:\program1 to d:\program1
There are several programs that can be used to create symbolic links, for example Junction by Sysinternals or SHJunction by Bitsum. The first program is command line driven while the second comes with a graphical user interface.
Note: You may want to use JunctionMaster by Bitsum instead of SHJunction as the latter has not been updated in a long while.
There is also a Windows Shell Extension for those who prefer to create the symbolic links in Windows Explorer.Advertisement