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How to Install Software in an External/Portable SSD?

    Do you think your computer’s HDD is so slow to run certain software or games?

    Or, the storage is already full so that you want to use an external SSD to store your software/game files and then run it from there?

    Well, the reason could be anything and I should say that external SSDs are good to solve most of your storage issues.

    SSDs are fast and portable SSDs give you a lot more freedom as an external storage device. So, today, I am here with another question which I found quite interesting.

    The question is: How to install a software or game inside an external SSD?

    Well, the process is very simple.

    Because, your OS files are stored in a separate drive (HDD or SSD), you just have to choose your portable SSD as the storage location for all your software files.

    I will guide you through the whole process step by step. But, before that, let’s discuss some other important things.

    Role of USB Port

    The overall read/write speed of your SSD will depend on the type of USB port you are using for the connection.

    Officially, the speed of USB 2.0 is 480 Mbps, USB 3.0 is 5 Gbps, and USB 3.1 (Gen 2) is up to 10 Gbps.

    Even if your system is equipped with USB 4.0, you will get a speed up to 10 Gbps.

    So, if your SSD is capable of running at a speed faster than 480 Mbits/second, you may not be able to get all its juice if you are using it with a USB 2.0 port. That is the reason why it is always advised to connect your SSD only with a USB 3.0 or above port.

    If your system is equipped only with a USB 2.0, that’s a different case. You can’t do anything in that situation. But, if you have the option, make sure to go for the highest version possible.

    How to check your USB port type in Windows?

    You can check your PC or laptop’s user manual to get this information pretty easily. Alternatively, you can visit the official website of your computer manufacturer and check the USB specifications from there as well. However, the procedure to check it from within the system is as follows.

    1. Press Windows + R keys together to fire up the Run Command
    2. Enter msinfo32 and hit Enter
    3. Now, go to Components>>Storage>>USB
    4. Under Device on the Right side, you will get your USB version written.

    How to check the USB Port type in MacOS?

    1. Go to the Apple Menu and click About This Mac
    2. Now, click System Report
    3. Inside the System Report menu, click USB under the Hardware section
    4. You will find multiple USB controllers available on your system
    5. Click on the Device under any controller and it will show you the specification along with the USB version.

    Is it safe to install a software in an External SSD?

    Yes. If we talk about the SSDs, it is totally safe and easy to install and use the software using this drive as external storage. But, you should always keep the total storage space requirements in mind. If your SSD has less storage as required by the software, it may cause problems.

    I have personally used my external SSD multiple times to run software like Adobe Photoshop, Android Studio and I saw no issues at all.

    Some issues are definitely there which we are going to discuss further but before that, let’s see how you can easily do these installations.

    But, I would suggest you do all these things only with a new or a good quality SSD. If you are working with a defective piece, you will surely see problems.

    How to install software in a Portable SSD? (Windows)

    Windows systems allow you to easily install our software within our desired disks and folders. It would be a good decision if you do the installation from the beginning by following this procedure. It means, if you have already installed that software on your computer and you want to run it from an external SSD, you should uninstall it first.

    1. Plug-in your SSD to your system using the suitable medium i.e. USB Port
    2. Download the installation file of the software or game from its official website
    3. Double-click that file and proceed with the installation by agreeing to the terms
    4. Now, if you are seeing a section where the menu asks you to confirm the installation path, just choose your SSD drive there
    5. In some cases, you may be asked to choose an option from Regular or Custom installation. In that case, choose Custom and then pick the SSD as your installation path
    choose your ssd as the installation path
    1. Just proceed with the installation and you are done.
      1. Now, you can run your software or game anytime from that folder
      2. A shortcut will be created but if it doesn’t, you can do it by finding the application file and right-clicking it.

    How to install software in a Portable SSD? (MacOs)

    Since MacOs will allow you to install your applications and games in the Application folder, you just have the option to firstly install your program in your system and then move it to your external SSD. The process is as follows.

    How to move existing app to external SSD in MacOS?

    1. Plug-in your SSD inside your Mac
    2. Format your SSD first of all. For that, go to Disk Utility, select your external drive and click Erase
    3. Now, name your SSD and make sure to choose the APFS as the Format
    1. Open the Application Menu and your SSD Drive at the same time
    2. Now, drag and drop your desired app from Mac to your SSD
    1. All your app data along with the app is move. You can open your app or game now from your external drive.

    How to Benchmark your SSD’s Read/Write Speed?

    If you want to play games using an external storage device, the minimum read speed should be 30 MB/s or more. In the case of an SSD, you are going to get a speed much more than this.

    You can use any popular benchmarking software but I would suggest using CrystalDiskMark for accurate results. Just open this software and test your SSD speed if you want.

    What if I want to use this SSD to run the same software in another computer?

    Most of the time, these software or games will run properly even if you are using them on a different system. But, sometimes, you may see various issues related to DirectX, dll, Microsoft Visual++, etc. You can easily search the internet to fix those issues as well.

    Final Verdict

    I hope you now know how to install a software or game in an external SSD. Whether you are using a Windows, Mac, or Linux computer, installing a software in a third party storage location is pretty easy.

    Thanks for reading!

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