Windows 10 Tip: Store Content on Removable Storage

Posted on November 23, 2015 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 10 with 0 Comments

Windows 10 lets you store documents, music, photos and videos to removable storage devices such as SD or microSD cards. But with version 1511, you can now store apps there as well.

Note: This tip is derived from my new e-book, Windows 10 Field Guide, which is now available for purchase from LeanPub.

Note: To be clear, here “apps” refers only to mobile apps, meaning Windows 10 universal apps and Windows 8 Windows Store (Modern) apps. You cannot use this method to change the location in which desktop applications are installed.

These capabilities have evolved since Windows 8 and they largely mirror how things work on Windows phones as well. And as is the case on Windows phones, the ability to store content on a removable storage device makes the most sense on lower-end devices with minimal amounts of internal storage.

To configure new apps, documents, music, photos and/or videos to a microSD card or other external storage device, navigate to Settings, System, Storage.

storage-settings

Then, just select the drop-down next to the content type you wish to change and choose the removable storage device. Repeat as necessary for other content types.

Making this change won’t move any existing content from internal storage to removable storage. But you can do so.

You move documents, music, photos and videos using File Explorer. I’ll assume any self-respecting Windows user can handle that one.

But apps are different, and you can move installed universal apps (and other mobile apps) from the Storage settings interface. To do so, select the drive (This PC, or C:, perhaps) at the top of Storage settings. The Storage Usage view displays.

storage-usage

Select Apps & Games from the list. The Apps and Features view appears.

apps-features

Now, select the first app you wish to move. Move and Uninstall buttons appear. Select Move and then the correct drive to move the app to a new location. Then, repeat for any other apps you wish to move.

Note: As you will discover, Windows 10 will not let you move (or, for that matter, uninstall) some of the apps that come bundled with the OS.