Changing the Installation Location

Reference Number: KB-00348
Last Modified: June 28, 2018

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect Interiors

Home Designer Professional or Home Designer Architectural or Home Designer Suite or Home Designer Interiors or Home Designer Essentials


I would like to install the software to a location other than the default of the C drive. How can I accomplish this?


The Chief Architect software program can be installed to a different internal hard drive location than the default of C. If your goal is to try to install to a different location than the default drive for your operating system due to limited space, then it is important to be aware that the Core, Manufacturer and Bonus library catalogs can potentially take up over 10GB, depending on what you choose to load.

To change the installation location

  1. When you start the installation of the software, whether it be from physical media or software download, the Setup dialog displays.

  2. The first window shows the End User License Agreement, you will need to check the "I accept the terms in this license agreement" box after reviewing the EULA information in order to be able to select the Advanced button.

    • In Microsoft Windows, this will look like the image below.

    • In Mac OS X, the installer begins with the Welcome to the Installer screen, where you will need to click Continue to access the next screen, then Continue and Agree in order to progress to the part of the installer which allows you to select the Change Install Location button.

  3. Once you are in the part of the installation dialog which allows you to change where the program will be installed:

    • For Windows users, click on the Change... button in order to open the window that allows you to navigate to a different location to install the software to, select the appropriate location, then click OK to close this dialog, and Next in order to start the installation at the new location

    • For Mac OS X users, under the Destination Select part of the dialog, select the disk where you want to install the software, then click Continue and Install in order to start the installation at the newly chosen location.

      Please note that installing the software to an external hard drive or network location is not supported

In addition to changing the installation location of the software itself, after the program is installed, you can also choose to move the software's Data folder, which stores important user-specific information and is located in your Documents directory by default.

While you cannot change the name of this directory, you can change its location. 

To set the Data Folder location

  1. Navigate to Edit> Preferences if you're on a Windows PC or Home Designer/Chief Architect> Preferences if you're on a Mac.

  2. Select the Folders panel and next to the My Data Folder heading, click on the Browse button to choose a different location for the Data folder, highlight it, then click on Select Folder.

    To avoid unexpected results, it is best to use a location on your local hard drive.

    If you move this folder on your computer without specifying its location here, the program will automatically replace it using default information from the installation folder. The same result will occur if you specify a location on a network or removable device and this location becomes inaccessible. When this occurs, customized user settings will not be used and custom library content will not be available.

  3. Click OK to apply this change.