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How to install an app for a single user on Windows 10

Apps on Windows 10 normally all install to the same folder i.e., the Program Files or the Program Files (86) folder in the C drive. When you’re going through the initial installation steps for an app, it will offer to create a folder in one of these two folders. You may also have noticed that it allows you to change the location which means you don’t necessarily have to install apps to the C drive. In fact, if you’ve installed a UWP app, you can move it to a different drive whenever you want. If you’re installing a desktop app and would like to install it for a single user, you only have to change where it is installed.

Install app for a single user

Most desktop apps allow you to choose where an app is installed. There will be some exceptions where an app must be installed to the Program Files folder but in that case, the app won’t allow you to change where it is installed.

In order to install an app for a single user, it needs to be installed in the user’s AppData folder. It is located in the following location;

C:\Users\YourUserName\AppData\Local

This folder is normally hidden so make sure you have hidden folders set to be visible or you won’t be able to select it. Once the hidden items are set to be visible, run the app installer.

When you get to the install location screen, click the browse button and go to the AppData folder. Select the Local folder and create a new folder in it for the app. If you don’t create the folder, the app will be installed to the Local folder and that will leave you with a mess of files in it.

Proceed with the installation like normal. When it is complete, the app will be added to the Apps’ list in the Start Menu. If you chose to add one, there will also be a shortcut for the app on your desktop.

You can run the app like you normally do. If you need to uninstall it, you can do so from the Control Panel. Go to the uninstall programs screen, and the app you installed will be listed among the programs on the system. Select it, and click the Uninstall button.

In most cases, the app will run without any problems but if you have other apps that rely on it, it is possible they may not be able to find it since it is installed in an unconventional location. Keep that in mind when you choose to install an app for just a single user.

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