Changing the Installation Location

Reference Number: KB-00348
Last Modified: February 11, 2019

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. How can I accomplish this?


Chief Architect programs can be installed to a different internal hard drive location than the default. If your goal is to try to install to a different location due to limited space, then it is also important to be aware that the Core, Manufacturer and Bonus library catalogs can potentially take up over 10GB of space, depending on what you choose to load. Starting with Chief Architect X10 and newer program versions, however, you can designate where library catalogs are placed and stored on your system. Please see the Related Articles section for more information on relocating your libraries.

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, where 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.

      Click the Advanced button in the Setup wizard after accepting the terms of the license agreement

    • In macOS, 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.

      Select the Change Install Location button in the Install wizard

  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 macOS 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.

      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 programs 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 a 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.

  3. Click OK to apply this change.