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How to Set an External Hard Drive as Default Save Location in Windows 10

By Vivek Nayyar

Posted in Windows-10

Windows 10 allows you to set an externally connected hard drive as the default save location for your newly created documents pictures and downloaded music files.

This allows you to maintain enough free disk space on your main hard disk to allow Windows 10 to breath and function properly. This also ensures that your important data does not get accidentally removed in case the entire space of your main hard disk is allocated to the system drive (C:\) and gets corrupted.

Even though setting a different hard drive as a default save location for your files is an attractive feature you cannot configure Windows 10 to install the new apps on the external drive. That makes sense because almost all the Windows-based applications are developed keeping in mind that the end-users would always want to install the new programs in the Program Files folder.

To set an external hard disk drive as the default save location in Windows 10 you must follow the steps given below:

  1. Log on to your Windows 10 PC.
  2. Connect an external hard drive to the computer.
  3. Click the Start button when on the desktop screen.
  4. From the displayed Start menu click Settings from the left section.


  1. From the SETTINGS window that opens up click System.


  1. From the left pane of the opened SYSTEM window click to select the Storage category.


  1. From under the Save locations section choose your preferred location (partition of an externally connected hard drive) from the New music will save to drop-down list.


  1. Similarly choose the locations for the other two file types as well.
  2. Close the SYSTEM window and restart the computer when done.
  3. Start using Windows 10 with the changed settings normally.