Fix: “You can’t keep Windows settings, personal files and apps because your current version of Windows might be installed in an unsupported directory”

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This means that Windows might be installed to an unsupported directory in the update area. If this error occurs, you will also not be able to keep your personal files and applications during the update. The only choice is nothing.

If you continue this path, Windows will remove all files, folders, and applications installed on your computer. This is not a widely documented solution, so your experience may be different, but it has worked for me in the past.

This issue occurs when Windows Setup cannot find the default folders for files and applications on your computer. By default, Windows tries to find them in the C: \ Programs directory. However, if you installed them elsewhere, you may encounter errors.

The complete error looks like this:

You cannot save Windows settings, personal files and applications because your current version of Windows might be installed in an unsupported directory.

Case 1: Inconsistency between the current version and the installation media

For some users, there are differences between the versions of the installation media and the installed Windows. For example, you can’t use the Windows 10 Professional installation media to properly install Windows 10 Home. Also check if your Windows is monolingual or not. The problem can also occur if you are using 32-bit installation media on 64-bit Windows or vice versa. Make sure the installation media and the current version are in the same Windows variant category. You can see most of the information about your computer by right-clicking the This PC icon and choosing Properties. Also use the official Windows installation media tool to complete the installation.

Updated: July 2024

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Case 2: The user’s folder was moved

On your computer, there is a user folder under drive C, namely “C: \ Users \”. This is the default setting for all Windows installations. However, you can accidentally move your “user” folder that corresponds to your account. Without this folder in the right place, Windows cannot clean up the installation, because before a new installation it is necessary to back up the lost files. Find the folder and put it back in place. Otherwise, you have no choice but to manually back up this folder and perform a clean install.

Case 3: Changing registry values

There are certain values ​​in the registry. If they are changed, it may interfere with the update or new installation. These registry values ​​can result in an unsupported directory error. Press Win + R and type regedit to open Registry Editor. Navigate to the next button:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion
  • Now locate the ProgramFilesDir registry value and make sure the corresponding value is C: \ Program Files, where C is the drive you previously installed Windows on.

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