How To Install Software In An External SSD | Tips & Guidelines

Installing software on an external SSD (solid state drive) is a clever and efficient way to improve computer performance and expand storage capacity.

Using an external SSD for software installation can be a game changer, whether you have limited internal storage or simply want to keep your system clutter-free for “how to install software in an external SSD” ?

However, there are a few considerations to bear in mind. To begin, ensure that your computer’s BIOS is set to boot from the external SSD. Second, make a new partition for the software you intend to install.

Whether you’re a professional working with resource-intensive applications or a casual user looking to streamline your system, this article will give you the knowledge and guidance you need to successfully install software on an external SSD. Let’s get started and realize the full potential of your computer storage solutions.

Also: External RAM Laptop: Install Procedure

Installing Software on an External SSD

Installing software on an external SSD provides a number of benefits that can significantly improve your computing experience. Let’s explore some of the key benefits:

Increased Storage Capacity:

External SSDs provide additional storage space, allowing you to install more software without worrying about running out of internal storage on your computer.

Improved Performance:

SSDs outperform traditional hard drives in terms of read and write speeds, resulting in faster software load times and overall system responsiveness.

Portability and Flexibility:

You can easily carry your applications with you wherever you go if you have software installed on an external SSD. This is especially useful for professionals who work on multiple computers on a regular basis or for individuals who want to access their software on multiple devices.

Enhanced System Efficiency:

You can free up valuable internal storage and reduce the burden on your computer’s system resources by offloading resource-intensive software to an external SSD, resulting in improved performance and smoother multitasking.

Easy Software Management:

Installing software on a separate drive makes managing and organizing your applications easier. You can keep your critical software separate from your operating system, which makes backups, updates, and reinstalls easier.


As technology advances and your computer’s internal storage becomes obsolete, having software installed on an external SSD allows for easy migration to newer systems without having to reinstall and reconfigure your applications.

Selecting the right External SSD for Software Installation

Selecting the right External SSD for Software Installation
Source: Everything USB

It is critical to select the right external SSD for software installation to ensure compatibility, performance, and reliability. When choosing the best external SSD, keep the following factors in mind:

Storage Capacity: Determine the amount of storage space required based on your software requirements. Consider not only the size of the software you currently use but also any anticipated future software additions or updates. Choose an external SSD with sufficient storage capacity to meet your needs.

Speed and Performance: Choose an external SSD with quick read and write speeds. The interface of the SSD, such as USB 3.0, USB 3.1, or Thunderbolt, usually indicates this. Faster interfaces lead to faster software load times and overall system responsiveness.

Interface Compatibility: Check that the interface of the external SSD is compatible with your computer. Most computers now support USB 3.0 or USB 3.1 interfaces. Consider an external SSD with Thunderbolt connectivity if your system supports it for even faster data transfer speeds.

Form Factor and Portability: Consider the external SSD’s physical size and weight. If portability is important to you, choose a compact and lightweight model, especially if you intend to carry it frequently.

Durability and Reliability: Look for an external SSD with durability and reliability features like shock resistance and sturdy build quality. These features are especially important if the SSD will be used in a portable or rugged environment.

Price and Value: Compare the prices of various external SSD options while taking their features and performance into account. Look for a good balance between price and the value that the SSD provides in terms of storage capacity, speed, and reliability.

Also: What to Do After Installing A New Hard Drive

Preparing the External SSD for Software Installation

It is critical to properly prepare an external SSD before installing software to ensure smooth and efficient operation. To prepare your external SSD for software installation, follow these steps:

  • Check that the external SSD is compatible with the operating system on your computer. Check to see if any additional drivers or software updates are required for seamless integration.
  • If the external SSD is new or needs to be formatted, make a backup of any critical data or files before proceeding. Formatting the SSD will erase all existing data on it.
  • Connect the external SSD to your computer and launch the Disk Management (Windows) or Disk Utility (MacOS) utilities. Select the external SSD, then the format option (such as exFAT or NTFS for Windows or APFS or macOS Extended for macOS), and then follow the on-screen formatting instructions.
  • Some external SSDs include software utilities or firmware updates to improve performance. Visit the manufacturer’s website and check for any available updates or performance-enhancing tools specific to your SSD model.
  • Trim is a feature that helps maintain the performance of solid-state drives by efficiently managing data storage. Check if your operating system supports Trim for external SSDs and enable it if necessary.
  • Go to the manufacturer’s website for any firmware updates for your external SSD. Firmware updates have the potential to improve compatibility, performance, and security. Install any available updates by following the instructions provided.
  • Check the external SSD for errors or bad sectors using a disk scanning tool (such as CHKDSK for Windows or First Aid for macOS). Address any issues that are discovered.
  • To avoid data corruption, ensure that you properly eject the external SSD whenever you disconnect it from your computer.

Transferring Software to the External SSD

Transferring Software to the External SSD

After preparing the external SSD, you can begin transferring software from your computer to the SSD. Here’s a step-by-step guide for moving software to an external SSD:

  1. Connect the external SSD to a USB port on your computer. Ascertain that the SSD is properly identified and accessible.
  2. Select the software to be transferred to the external SSD. This can include applications, programs, or games that you want to remove from the  internal storage of your computer.
  3. Consider uninstalling the software from your computer to free up space on your computer’s internal storage. This step is optional, and if desired, you can keep a copy on your internal storage for backup purposes.
  4. Navigate to the location where the software is installed using your computer’s file explorer or finder. The software files, folders, or installation packages should be copied or cut.
  5. Open the external SSD’s file explorer or finder window and create a new folder to organize your transferred software. Name the folder something descriptive, like “Installed Software” or “Applications.” In this folder, paste the software files, folders, or installation packages.
  6. You can create shortcuts on your computer’s desktop or taskbar to quickly access the transferred software. To make a shortcut, right-click on the software executable or application icon in the external SSD folder and select “Create Shortcut” or “Send to.”

Configuring Software Settings for Optimal Performance

It is critical to configure the settings after transferring software to an external SSD to ensure optimal performance and utilization of the external drive. Following are some steps to take when configuring software settings for maximum performance:

Launch the software:  As usual, launch the software from the external SSD. Allow it to fully load before proceeding with the settings configuration.

Check for performance options: Look for performance-related settings in the preferences or settings menu of the software. These options may differ depending on the software you’re using. Graphics settings, resource allocation, caching, and memory usage are all common performance options.

Adjust Graphics Settings: If the software contains graphics-intensive components, such as games or design applications, optimize the graphics settings to achieve a good balance of performance and visual quality.

Lowering graphics settings can help save system resources and improve overall performance.

Allocate Resources:  Some software lets you manage system resources like CPU cores, memory, and GPU usage. Adjust these settings based on your computer’s capabilities and the software’s requirements. Appropriate resource allocation can improve performance and prevent bottlenecks.

Configure Cache and Temporary Files:  Examine whether the software includes options for configuring caches or temporary file locations. Consider transferring these files to an external SSD to take advantage of its faster read and write speeds. This can help improve loading times and overall software performance.

Optimize Save Locations: Configure the software to save files, projects, or user data directly to the external SSD. This ensures that new files are stored on the faster drive, which reduces access times and improves performance. Check that the external SSD is recognized as the default storage location by the software.

Update the software: Check for software updates provided by the software developer on a regular basis. Performance improvements, bug fixes, and optimizations are frequently included in updates. Keeping your software up to date can help you get better performance from your external SSD.

Launching Software from the External SSD

Once properly configured, launching software directly from the external SSD is a simple process. Here’s a step-by-step guide for launching software from an external SSD:

  • Connect the External SSD: Ascertain that the external SSD is connected to your computer using the proper interface, such as USB or Thunderbolt. Check that your operating system recognizes and can access the SSD.
  • Locate the Software: Navigate to the folder where the software is stored on the external SSD using your computer’s file explorer or finder. This is the folder to which you copied the software during the installation process.
  • Identify the Software Application: Look for the executable file or application icon that corresponds to the software you want to run. The file’s extension could be.exe (for Windows) (for MacOS).
  • Double-Click to Launch: To run the software, double-click on the executable file or application icon. This action will start the launch procedure.
  • Interact with the Software: After the software has been loaded, you can interact with it as if it were installed on your computer’s internal storage. Use the software’s features and functionalities in accordance with your requirements.

While running the software, keep the external SSD connected to your computer. If you disconnect the SSD while the software is running, it may become unresponsive or encounter errors.

Also: How To Connect A Sata 2 5 SSD Externally

Troubleshooting How To Install Software In An External SSD

While launching software from an external SSD is generally a simple process, there may be some glitches. Here are some common problems and troubleshooting steps to help you resolve them:

Software not launched:

Check the external SSD connection  Make sure your external SSD is properly connected to your computer. Reconnect the SSD or try a different USB port.

Confirm software compatibility: Check that the software works with your operating system and any system requirements specified by the software developer.

Reinstall the software: Remove the software from your computer, restart it, and then reinstall it on the external SSD. Follow the software’s installation instructions carefully.

Slow load times: USB Port: If you’re connecting via USB, make sure it’s a USB 3.0 or higher port for faster data transfer speeds.

Check the external SSD’s health: To check for any issues with the drive’s performance or health, use the diagnostic tools provided by the SSD manufacturer. Resolve any detected issues as directed.

Reduce software load at startup: Disable any unnecessary software from starting up with the system, as it may contribute to slower load times. Change startup options using the software or your operating system’s settings.

Error Messages or Crashes: Update software and drivers: Make sure that both the software and the drivers on your computer (especially the external SSD) are up to date. Install any updates made available by the software developer and SSD manufacturer.

Check system resources: Inadequate system resources, such as low RAM or excessive CPU usage, can result in errors or crashes. To free up system resources, close any unnecessary applications or processes.

Reinstall software: If the error persists, uninstall the software, restart your computer, and reinstall it on the external SSD. Examine the installation instructions and compatibility requirements.


Installing software on an external SSD provides several advantages, including increased storage capacity, improved performance, and the ability to transport your software. You can successfully install software on an external SSD and optimize its performance by following the steps outlined in this guide.

We talked about how important it is to choose the right external SSD based on factors like storage capacity, speed, interface compatibility, and durability.

Formatting the external SSD, enabling Trim (if applicable), installing firmware updates, and scanning for errors were all part of the preparation process.

It is simple to launch software from an external SSD; simply navigate to the software’s folder on the SSD and double-click on the executable file or application icon.

Troubleshooting common problems, such as software not launching, slow load times, error messages, and incompatibility issues, entailed checking connections, verifying compatibility, updating software and drivers, and seeking help when necessary.

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