How to Change Primary Hard Drive on Windows 10

You can easily change primary hard drive on Windows 10 by going to the Settings. Select the Storage tab from System and click the option Change Where New Content is Saved. Next, select the drive you want to set as default.

However, this method only lets you save the future apps and files to the new primary drive. But, what if you want to transfer the old content too? In this case, you’ll need to shift the entire Windows to a new primary hard drive.

This guide will tell you how to change primary hard drive on Windows 10 using both methods. So, let’s begin!

How to Change Primary Hard Drive on Windows 10?

Windows 10 stores all the new apps and data on drive C by default. However, you can also use a new destination as the default drive. Here’s how to change primary hard drive on Windows 10.

  • Click the Windows Logo and go to Settings.
  • Select System and open the Storage tab.
  • Click Change Where New Content is Saved.
  • Choose the drive you want to select as the default drive.
  • All your new apps and data will now be saved to the new drive.

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What to Do If Your Primary Hard Drive is Running Out of Space?

If you store too much data on your primary hard drive and it doesn’t have the space to handle it, the drive bar will become red. This indicates that it has no more space. However, you can fix this problem with the help of the following methods.

1. Extend the Primary Drive with the Help of a Partition Tool

You can now solve the low disk space problem with the help of a partition tool such as MiniTool Partition Wizard. Let’s find out how.

  • Download and install the partition software on your PC.
  • Open the Extend Partition option from the action panel.
  • Choose the drive whose free space you want to take from the option Take free space from.
  • Decide how much space you need.
  • Click Ok to continue.
  • Go back to the main interface and preview the changes.
  • Hit the Apply button located at the left upper corner.
  • Your primary drive will now be successfully extended.

2. Free Up Drive Space on Windows 10

Freeing up space on your primary hard drive is also a good idea to solve the low disk space issue. Here’s how you can release some free space.

  • Type disk clean-up in the search box located right next to the Windows icon.
  • Select your primary hard drive from the options and click Ok.
  • Your PC will calculate how much space it can release. This may take a while so be patient.
  • The dialog box will now list the files and the space they are consuming.
  • You can tick the ones that you want to delete.
  • Click OK.
  • The files will be permanently deleted from your system.

3. Transfer Files to Another Drive

You can also transfer some files such as pictures, videos, and music from your primary drive to another drive. However, this method won’t work for the Program Files or My Documents folder.

  • Let’s find out how to transfer files to another drive.
  • Open your primary drive and search for the files you want to transfer.
  • Right-click the files and select Send to.
  • Choose the destination folder.
  • Select OK.

4. Move Apps from the Primary Hard Drive

Moving apps from the primary hard drive isn’t as simple as moving files. You need professional utilities such as AOMEI Partition Assistant Pro for this. The step-by-step instructions to do so are mentioned below.

  • Download and install AOMEI Partition Assistant on your PC.
  • Select All Tools from the menu bar located at the left.
  • Click App Mover.
  • Select your primary drive from the list of partitions. Click Next.
  • Check the applications you want to move.
  • Choose a target destination drive for the apps and click the Move button.
  • A pop-up message will appear asking you to close the running apps. Click Ok.
  • The apps will be successfully transferred from the primary hard drive.

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How to Shift Windows 10 from Primary Hard Drive to a New Hard Drive?

A built-in option known as System Image in Windows 10 lets you create a complete replica of your Windows along with its partitions. To transfer your Windows to another disk, you need a minimum 8GB USB to store the image.

Here’s how to change primary hard drive on Windows 10 by shifting Windows to another drive.

  • Download and install Windows Media Creation Tool on your PC.
  • Launch the software and select Create installation media for another PC.
  • Click Next.
  • Select the correct language, edition, and architecture of Windows 10 and click Next.
  • Now select the USB Flash Drive option when asked Choose which media to use and hit the Next button.
  • Follow the instructions that appear on the screen and click the Finish button.
  • Remove the old primary hard drive from your system.
  • Install the new primary hard drive on your PC.
  • Now insert the bootable USB into your system and reboot it.
  • Boot your PC from the installation media.
  • Your Windows will automatically enter the setup mode once you boot it from the USB drive. Here, you need to set up preferences and click Next.
  • Now click Install Now and enter the license key.
  • The system will ask you where you want to install Windows. Click Custom: Install Windows only.
  • Choose the drive which you want to set as the primary hard drive and click Next.
  • Wait for the OS to be installed on the new disk.
  • Restart your computer once the installation is complete.
  • Enter BIOS and open the Boot tab.
  • Select the drive you want to set as the primary hard drive.
  • Save the changes and exit the BIOS menu.
  • Shut down your PC and remove the USB drive.
  • If your PC boots without any trouble, Windows 10 is successfully shifted to a new hard drive.
Umar Farooq
Umar Farooq
Umar Farooq is a digital Evangelist having right commands on writing, also he is a web developer. He has a BS(Computer Science) and now he is Full-Time writer of TechanZone.

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