Almost every time that you open an app, it will be through a shortcut. Every app on your desktop is really a shortcut to the actual app, even the entries in the Start Menu are shortcuts. This can occasionally make it annoying to find out where an app is actually installed.
Knowing the location of an executable file can be particularly useful for gamers looking to mod their games. Typically, game mods need to be placed in the same folder as the executable file, or in a nearby folder. Similarly, if you’re following a guide that instructs you to modify a configuration file for the app, these config files can generally be found in or around the same folder as the excitable file is installed in.
To find out where an app is installed, the easiest method is to go through a shortcut used to open it. to do so, right-click on a shortcut and select “Open file location”. If the shortcut is in File Explorer, or on the desktop, this will take you straight to the location of the app.
If you’re in the Start menu, however, you, need to hover your mouse over “More”, then click on “Open file location”. One thing to note is that this will open only the location of the shortcut used in the Start Menu. To locate the actual executable file, you’ll need to then click “Open file location” again, this time on the shortcut in the open File Explorer window as normal.
Microsoft Store apps
This method works for locating the executable file for standard applications; however, it doesn’t work for UWP apps, aka Universal Windows Platform apps, installed via the Microsoft Store. Frustratingly, it’s not possible to access the install directory for UWP apps. By default, they are installed to “C:\Program Files\WindowsApps”, however, even administrator accounts do not have the necessary permissions to see this folder. It is technically possible to change the folder permissions to grant yourself access, however, we highly recommend against fiddling with core Windows file and folder permissions as this can cause serious system stability issues.