How to change Visual Studio 2012 install directory


I've uninstalled VS11 using the the windows installer, and deleted just about every registry key I could find relating to it, but it still pops up with this when I try to reinstall it:

And I can't click the "…" or edit the path. Right-clicking does nothing either.

What do I have to destroy to change the install directory?

Still happening in official release:

Best Solution

I had the same problem though instead of forcing me to install into "c:\program Files" it forced me to install to the directory which I used for the Visual Studio RC. After using Process Monitor and the setup's logfile I was able to find a registry key that needed to be deleted.

The key was located at


The SID will most likely be different for other systems yet you might be able to find the last string (31F687BD8A467D54C830E018D99F7F3B)

In order to find the key I did the following:

  1. Downloaded ProcessMonitor from Sysinternals
  2. Started Processmonitor with filter

    Image Path ends with vs_premium.exe

  3. Started vs_premium.exe

  4. Closed the setup
  5. Waited until Processmonitor didn't fetch anymore events
  6. Opened the newest dd_vs_premium_.log file from %TEMP%
  7. Searched for something and found

    Condition 'VS_Install_path_KeyExists' evaluated to false. (i guess it will evaluate to true on affected systems. I tried this on a clean windows installation)

  8. One line above it said

    Registry key not found. Key = 'SOFTWARE\Microsoft\VisualStudio\SxS\VS7'

  9. Searched for


    in Processmonitor

  10. A few lines down ProcessMonitor shows me the key I had to delete