Microsoft, why is it still not possible to move all Windows apps to another location?

Martin Brinkmann
Aug 17, 2020
Windows, Windows 10

Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system ships with dozens of applications included. The majority of these are Universal Windows Platform applications but some, like the new Chromium-based Microsoft Edge, are not. While there has been some shuffling around in regards to included apps, e.g. some were removed or replaced, others added, it has always been the case that users don't get much control over these apps by default.

Power users may know that apps can be removed using PowerShell or third-party tools that offer the functionality, but the built-in options never supported removing the majority of apps. Similarly, when it comes to moving apps from the default location to another, a feature that Windows 10 supported for a long time, it has always been restricted to a selection of apps.

The feature looks like a good one, on paper, considering that it allows you to move installed apps from the main hard drive to another. Useful if storage space on the main drive runs low, e.g. if Windows 10 is installed on a SSD with little space while you have a platter-based drive with Terabytes free sitting idly around.

To check out the feature, open Start > Settings > Apps to get started. Alternatively, you may use Windows-I to open the Settings app directly without having to use the Start menu.

windows 10 apps settings

The page that opens lists the installed applications and some sorting and filter options. Note that Universal Windows Platform apps and classic Windows programs are mixed in the listing, and that Windows 10 permits the moving of some UWP apps only but not of classic programs. For the latter, you'd have to use symbolic links, e.g. by using programs such as Linkmaker or Junction.

If you are low on space on the main drive and want to move apps to another drive or partition to free up some space, you'd start by selecting the size sorting option; this lists installed apps by size from largest to smallest in the interface.

Ignore any classic Window program and select a UWP app that you would like to move. Windows 10 displays a move and uninstall option, and either one or even both may be grayed out. Grayed out means that the functionality is not available.

windows 10 apps move

Take Mail and Calendar as an example. The app, that is never used on the test device, occupies 237 Megabytes of space. Move is not available but uninstall is. While you could uninstall the app if it is never used, that option is not viable if you use the app.

A quick check of all installed apps on a Windows 10 version 2004 test device (Home edition) confirmed that several apps cannot be moved:

  • 3D Viewer
  • Alarm and Clock
  • App Installer
  • Calculator
  • Camera
  • Cortana
  • Feedback Hub
  • Get Help
  • Grove Music
  • HEIF Image Extensions
  • HEVC Video Extensions from Device Manufacturer
  • LinkedIn
  • Maps
  • Mail and Calendar
  • Microsoft Photos
  • Microsoft Solitaire Collection
  • Microsoft Store
  • Mixed Reality Portal
  • Movies and TV
  • Office
  • OneNote for Windows 10
  • Paint 3D
  • People
  • Snip and Sketch
  • Sticky Notes
  • Surface
  • Tips
  • Voice Recorder
  • Weather
  • Web Media Extensions
  • WebP Image Extensions
  • Xbox Console Companion
  • Xbox Game Bar
  • Xbox Live
  • Your Phone

The majority of apps don't allow you to move them to another location using the Apps section of the Settings app. It is unclear why some apps can be moved while others cannot. Since it is only possible to move a minority of pre-installed applications, it begs to question why the option is there at all. One answer could be that it is designed for third-party applications installed from the Store predominantly, but since Microsoft never made that clear, it is nothing more than a guess.

The ability to move programs to another drive is a useful option on devices with low storage space, and many system administrators would probably welcome an expansion of the option to include all installed programs and not just some UWP applications.

Now You: Is move broken? Would you like to see universal move implemented?

Microsoft, why is it still not possible to move all Windows apps to another location?
Article Name
Microsoft, why is it still not possible to move all Windows apps to another location?
Windows 10's option to move installed applications to another location works only for some apps and not for all.
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  1. Dan Donx said on January 15, 2023 at 10:29 am

    What mental age of reader are you targeting with the first sentence? 10?

    Why not write an article on how to *avoid* upgrading from W10 to W11. Analogous to those like me who avoided upgrading from 7 to 10 for as long as possible.

    If your paymaster Microsoft permits it, of course.

  2. Dexter said on January 15, 2023 at 11:14 am

    5. Rufus
    6. Ventoy

    PS. I hate reading these “SEO optimized” articles.

    1. cdr said on January 15, 2023 at 3:32 pm

      I used Rufus to create an installer for a 6th gen intel i5 that had MBR. It upgraded using Setup. No issues except for Win 11 always prompting me to replace my local account. Still using Win 10 Pro on all my other PCs to avoid the bullying.

  3. sv said on January 15, 2023 at 6:40 pm

    bit pointless to upgrade for the sake of upgrading as you never know when you’ll get locked out because ms might suddenly not provide updates to unsupported systems.

    ps…. time travelling?
    written. Jan 15, 2023
    Updated • Jan 13, 2023

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 16, 2023 at 5:49 am

      This happens when you schedule a post in WordPress and update it before setting the publication date.

  4. Anonymous said on January 16, 2023 at 8:24 am

    Anyone willing to downgrade to this awful OS must like inflicting themselves with harm.

  5. basingstoke said on January 16, 2023 at 11:18 am

    I have become convinced now that anybody who has no qualms with using Windows 11/10 must fit into one of the following brackets:

    1) Too young to remember a time before W10 and W11 (doesn’t know better)

    2) Wants to play the latest games on their PC above anything else (or deeply needs some software which already dropped W7 support)

    3) Doesn’t know too much about how computers work, worried that they’d be absolutely lost and in trouble without the “”latest security””

    4) Microsoft apologist that tries to justify that the latest “features” and “changes” are actually a good thing, that improve Windows

    5) Uses their computer to do a bare minimum of like 3 different things, browse web, check emails, etc, so really doesn’t fuss

    Obviously that doesn’t cover everyone, there’s also the category that:

    6) Actually liked W7 more than 10, and held out as long as possible before switching, begrudgingly uses 10 now

    Have I missed any group off this list?

    1. Heinz Strunk said on September 19, 2023 at 3:57 pm

      You have missed in this group just about any professional user that uses business software like CAD programs or ERP Programs which are 99% of all professional users from this list.

      Linux doesn’t help anyone who is not a linux kid and apple is just a fancy facebook machine.

  6. ilev said on August 24, 2023 at 7:34 pm

    Microsoft has removed KB5029351 update

    1. EP said on August 24, 2023 at 9:21 pm

      only from windows update though
      KB5029351 is still available from the ms update catalog site

  7. Anonymous said on August 24, 2023 at 11:05 pm

    1. This update is labaled as PREVIEW if it causes issues to unintelligent people, then they shouldn’t have allowed Preview updates ot install.

    2. I have installed it in a 11 years old computer, and no problems at all.

    3. Making a big drama over a bluescreen for an updated labeled as preview is ridiculous.

    This is probably another BS internet drama where people ran programs and scripts that modified the registry until they broke Windows, just for removing stuff that they weren’t even using just for the sake of it.
    Maybe people should stop playing geeks and actually either use Windows 10 or Windows 11, but don’t try to modify things just for the sake of it.

    Sometimes removing or stopping things (like defender is a perfect example) only need intelligence, not scripts or 3rd party programs that might mess with windows.

  8. john said on August 24, 2023 at 11:17 pm

    Windows 11 was a pointless release, it was just created because some of the Windows team wanted to boost sales with some sort of new and improved Windows 10. Instead, Microsoft cannot support one version well let alone two.

    1. John G. said on August 25, 2023 at 12:08 pm

      Windows 11 is the worst ugly shame by Microsoft ever. They should release with every new W11 version a complete free version of Starallback inside just to make this sh** OS functionally again.

  9. EP said on August 25, 2023 at 3:10 pm

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released a statement regarding the “unsupported processor” blue screen error for their boards using Intel 600/700 series chipsets & to avoid the KB5029351 Win11 update:–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–Error-Message-of-Windows-11-Update-KB5029351-Preview-142215

  10. EP said on August 29, 2023 at 7:32 pm

    check out the following recent articles:

    Neowin – Microsoft puts little blame on its Windows update after UNSUPPORTED PROCESSOR BSOD bug:

    BleepingComputer – Microsoft blames ‘unsupported processor’ blue screens on OEM vendors:

  11. Leonard Britvolli said on August 30, 2023 at 10:33 pm

    While there may be changes or updates to the Windows 10 Store for Business and Education in the future, it is premature to conclude that it will be discontinued based solely on rumors.

  12. sembrador said on September 5, 2023 at 9:32 pm

    My advice, I left win 15 years ago. Now I’m a happy linux user (linuxmint) but there is Centos, Fedora, Ubuntu depending on your needs.

  13. EP said on September 6, 2023 at 11:55 am

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released new BIOS/firmware updates for their Intel 600 & 700 series motherboards to fix the “UNSUPPORTED_PROCESSOR” problem (Sept. 6):–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–caused-BSOD-on-MSI-s-Intel-700-and-600-Series-Motherboards-142277

  14. Raphael Benzo said on September 24, 2023 at 9:52 pm

    I try to disable the Diagnostics Tracking Service (Connected Devices Platform User Services) but it wont let me disable it, any help will be greatly appreciated.
    Tank you for your help

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