Moving an installed program from one partition or hard drive to another in Windows is actually a straightforward process if you have the right tools for the job. You may have different reasons for this, from running out of disk space on the partition the software is installed on, to moving the folder to a folder that is synchronized with the cloud, to pure cosmetic reasons for moving a program folder.
The application I'm going to demonstrate the process with is SymMover, an easy to use program for the Windows operating system - Vista and up only - that you can use for that purpose. You can even use it to move a set of folders to another hard drive if you prefer that over moving folders individually.
Take note that it will move the files to the new folder before it creates symbolic links from the old to the new.
Update: The program website is no longer available. We have uploaded the latest working version of SymMover to our own server. Click on the following link to download the program: Setup1510.zip
First thing that you need to do is download and install the SymMover application on your system. The developer website links to a download on download.com, so make sure you click on the direct download link option on the page to avoid the download wrapper. Installation should not pose any troubles. You can start the program afterwards from the start menu, which will trigger an UAC prompt.
Before you start moving folders around, you need to make sure that you have everything planned out correctly. I suggest you check the size of the program's folder by right-clicking on the folder and selecting properties in Windows Explorer, and the available size on the partition you want to move the folder to.
Once you have verified that click on the plus icon to start the process. It may take a few seconds before the window that you see on the screenshot below opens.
One of the great features of SymMover is that it taps right into the listing of installed programs on the system, making it super easy to move any of those applications to a new drive.
If the software that you want to move is listed there, select it, and then change the destination folder to the folder you want to move the program to. If it is not in that list, click on the Folders on your computer tab instead, and select a folder there. Usually though, you should find all programs listed on the first page that are installed on the computer.
SymMover displays the selected program or folder in its main interface. Since you can only select one application or folder at a time, you may need to repeat the process until you have added all folders and programs to the queue.
The program displays the storage space needed in the interface as well, which you can use for verification purposes to make sure you have got enough free disk space available on the target drive. A click on the green right pointing arrow in the program window moves the selected folders and programs to the new destination. You will see a prompt that you need to confirm before the folders and files are moved. You can at any time move select folders or programs back to their original location, for instance when you encounter errors using them after the move. The programs should however work just like before after you have moved them.
SymMover is pretty handy for the purpose of moving programs to another drive or partition which can mainly be attributed to it displaying all installed programs in a list for easy selection. If you do not need that, you can also make use of previously reviewed programs like Application Mover, Steammover or Dopboxifier, with the latter two primarily designed for very specific purposes.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.