Unlike the regular Win32 apps, the applications installed using Microsoft Store are in a different location. Generally, the default Microsoft Store install location is hidden and a bit hard to find. However, what if you need to access the Store app files to troubleshoot an issue, or perhaps you want to copy the files to a different location for debugging purposes? Whatever the reason, knowing where Microsoft Store apps are located in File Explorer can come in handy.
For example, let’s say you downloaded a game from the Microsoft Store, and you want to copy the game files to a USB drive to back up or play it on another computer. You would need to know where the Microsoft Store app files are stored on your computer to do this.
Or, maybe you’re experiencing a problem with a Microsoft Store app and need to troubleshoot the issue by modifying the app files. Again, you would need to know where the Microsoft Store app files are stored to do this.
In this quick and easy guide, let me show you where Microsoft Store app files are saved in File Explorer on Windows and how to find them in simple and easy-to-understand steps.
Table of contents:
- What is the install location of the Microsoft Store apps?
- How to open WindowsApps folder in File Explorer
- How to change the installation location of Microsoft Store apps?
- Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
What is the Install Location of the Microsoft Store Apps?
Microsoft Store apps are different from the regular Win32 apps you install using EXE or MSI installer. For that reason, Windows stores all the Microsoft Store apps in a special folder called WindowsApps in your C drive, and it is a hidden and protected folder.
The default location where Microsoft Store apps are installed on Windows can be found in the ‘C:\Program Files\WindowsApps’ folder. However, being a protected folder, accessing this folder isn’t as simple as navigating to it in File Explorer.
The WindowsApps folder is hidden by default. That means you have to unhide it before you can see it in the File Explorer. So, unhide the folders and go to the ‘C:\Program Files’ folder to see the WindowsApps folder.
How to Open WindowsApps Folder in File Explorer
Even when you know where the WindowsApps folder is located, you cannot open it by simply navigating to it in File Explorer, even as an administrator. If you try to open it, you will get the Access Denied error. This is because the WindowsApps folder is a protected system folder.
To open a protected system folder like WindowsApps, you need to take ownership of the folder. It requires changing the Advanced Security Settings of the folder. I’ve already written a detailed and extensive guide on how to do it. Follow the linked guide.
If you don’t want to follow the manual method, you can add the take ownership option to the right-click menu and then change the folder ownership from the context menu.
Once you have access to the WindowsApps folder, you can copy and modify the files as required. However, remember to be careful when accessing or changing files in the WindowsApps folder. If anything goes wrong, it might corrupt the store app and might even require reinstalling Microsoft Store or Windows itself.
How to Change the Installation Location of Microsoft Store Apps?
By default, Microsoft Store saves all the installed apps to your C drive. Specifically, ‘C:\Program Files\WindowsApps’ folder. If you are low on disk space or for any other reason, you want to change the installation location of the Microsoft Store app using the Settings app. Here’s how.
- Press the Windows key + I to open Settings.
- Click on System on the sidebar.
- Scroll down and click on Storage.
- Expand the Advanced Storage Settings section on the Storage page.
- Click on the ‘Where new content is saved’ option.
- Select a drive of your choice from the ‘New apps will save to’ dropdown.
- Close the Settings app.
- Reboot your computer.
- With that, you’ve changed the Microsoft Store apps install location.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Here are a few frequently asked questions about the default install location of the Microsoft Store apps.
The default install location for Microsoft Store apps is ‘C:\Program Files\WindowsApps’ folder.
By default, the WindowsApps folder is hidden and protected at the system level to prevent accidental modification of the app files. You’ll need to take ownership of the folder to open it.
Yes, you can move Microsoft Store apps to a different location by changing the default install location. If the app is already installed, you can also use the ‘Move’ option on the ‘Installed Apps’ page to move an installed app to another drive.
Modifying files in the WindowsApps folder can be risky and may cause issues with the app. It’s recommended that you back up the app files before making any changes and use caution when deleting files.
No, you cannot access the WindowsApps folder without taking ownership. The folder is protected at the system level for security reasons.
Microsoft Store Apps Location — Conclusion
As you see, finding where Microsoft Store apps are installed is nothing hard. In fact, it is fairly easy. Once you know the location, you can take ownership of the WindowsApps folder and get to the task. Of course, if you are low on disk space or want to save Store app in another change, follow the instructions provided in this article to change the drive where Microsoft Store installs the apps.
That is all. It is that simple to find Microsoft Store apps location on Windows.
I hope this simple and easy Windows how-to guide helped you.
If you are stuck or need help, email me, and I will try to help as much as possible.