Where to install custom / portable programs in Windows10/8.x?

There are a couple of programs that cannot be installed / put into the regular locations (c:\Program Files and c:\Progam Files (x86)) as they cannot be run in non-administrator mode. So – where should you put / install those programs?

Fortunately Windows comes with a good place for those programs. Just put them into %LOCALAPPDATA%\Programs which expands to C:\Users\...\AppData\Local\Programs.
No need to tweak permissions (as it is in your user directory).

Downside: If you are part of a large domain (which you will not be with your private computer), your programs will not be synchronized to other computers where you log on. If you would like that you would have to place it in %appdata% (which expands to C:\Users\...\AppData\Roaming). But it would also mean that possibly large installations are synchronized. Don’t blame Windows if you are suffering from long login-times then!

In case you want to go deeper into the differences between Roaming, Local and LocalNow, have a look at the answers at superuser.com:

Roaming. (%appdata%) contains data that can move with your user profile from PC to PC – because data is synced with a server (e.g. web browser favorites or bookmarks.

Local. (%localappdata%) contains data that can’t move with your user profile. This data is typically specific to a PC or too large to sync with a server (e.g. temporary files).

LocalLow. (%appdata%/…/locallow) contains data that can’t move, but also has a lower level of access. E.g., a web browser in protected or safe mode, will only be able access data from the LocalLow Folder.

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