How to Move Apps to External Hard Drive in Windows 11: A Step-by-Step Guide

Moving apps to an external hard drive on Windows 11 helps save space on your internal drive and can improve system performance. You’ll need to make sure your external drive is formatted correctly and then use Windows settings to transfer the apps. Follow along with the steps below for a hassle-free experience.

Step-by-Step Tutorial to Move Apps to an External Hard Drive on Windows 11

The following steps will guide you through moving your apps from your internal drive to an external hard drive using Windows 11 settings.

Step 1: Connect Your External Hard Drive

First, connect your external hard drive to your computer.

Make sure it is properly connected and recognized by your system. You can check this by opening File Explorer and ensuring the external drive appears under "This PC."

Step 2: Format the External Hard Drive

Open File Explorer, right-click on the external hard drive, and select "Format."

Follow the prompts to format the drive. This step is crucial to ensure the drive is in the correct file system (NTFS) for app storage.

Step 3: Open Settings

Click on the Start menu, then select "Settings."

This will open the Windows Settings window, where you can access various system options.

Step 4: Go to Apps & Features

In the Settings window, navigate to "Apps," then select "Apps & features."

Here, you will see a list of all installed apps on your computer.

Step 5: Select the App You Want to Move

Click on the app you wish to move, then select "Move."

A new window will pop up, allowing you to choose the external hard drive as the new location for the app.

Step 6: Choose the External Hard Drive

From the dropdown menu, select your external hard drive and click "Move."

The app will now be transferred to your external hard drive. This process might take some time depending on the app’s size.

Step 7: Confirm the Move

Wait for the process to complete and then check the external hard drive to ensure the app has been moved.

You can verify this by opening the external hard drive in File Explorer and locating the app.

After completing these steps, your selected apps will now reside on your external hard drive, freeing up space on your internal drive and potentially enhancing overall system performance.

Tips for Moving Apps to an External Hard Drive on Windows 11

  • Ensure your external hard drive is always connected when using moved apps to avoid any disruptions.
  • Regularly back up your external hard drive to prevent data loss.
  • Keep your external hard drive in a safe location to avoid physical damage.
  • Consider using a high-speed USB or Thunderbolt drive for faster data transfer rates.
  • Regularly check for software updates to ensure all apps function correctly from the external drive.

Frequently Asked Questions about Moving Apps to an External Hard Drive on Windows 11

Can I move any app to an external hard drive?

Not all apps can be moved, especially system apps and certain third-party applications that require installation on the internal drive.

What should I do if the "Move" button is greyed out?

Ensure the app is not currently running and check if the external hard drive is properly connected and formatted.

Will moving apps to an external hard drive affect performance?

In some cases, accessing apps from an external drive might be slightly slower, especially if the drive has a slower connection interface.

Can I move apps back to the internal drive later?

Yes, you can follow the same steps and select your internal drive as the destination to move apps back.

What type of external hard drive should I use?

Ideally, use an external hard drive with a high-speed interface like USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt for optimal performance.


  1. Connect Your External Hard Drive
  2. Format the External Hard Drive
  3. Open Settings
  4. Go to Apps & Features
  5. Select the App You Want to Move
  6. Choose the External Hard Drive
  7. Confirm the Move


Moving apps to an external hard drive on Windows 11 is a straightforward process that can help you manage your internal storage more efficiently. This operation can be particularly useful for those with limited internal storage space or those who want to keep their system running smoothly. By following the steps outlined above, you can easily transfer your apps and potentially boost your computer’s performance.

Remember to keep your external hard drive connected when using these apps, and consider using a high-speed drive for better performance. If you’ve been struggling with storage issues, moving your apps could be a game-changer.

For more detailed guides and tech tips, keep exploring our site. Happy computing!