Possible to change where Android Virtual Devices are saved?

The question:

I’ve set up the Android SDK and Eclipse on my machine running Windows XP and AVDs (Android Virtual Devices) are saved to “Documents and Settingsuser.android” by default. Is there any way to change this behavior? I have all of the other components saved in a directory on a separate partition and would like everything to be consolidated. Obviously not a huge deal but does anyone here know a workaround for this?

The Solutions:

Below are the methods you can try. The first solution is probably the best. Try others if the first one doesn’t work. Senior developers aren’t just copying/pasting – they read the methods carefully & apply them wisely to each case.

Method 1

Add a new user environment variable (Windows 7):

  1. Start Menu > Control Panel > System > Advanced System Settings (on the left) > Environment Variables
  2. Add a new user variable (at the top) that points your home user directory:

    Variable name: ANDROID_SDK_HOME
    Variable value:
    a path to a directory of your choice

AVD Manager will use this directory to save its .android directory into it.

For those who may be interested, I blogged about my first foray into Android development…
Android “Hello World”: a Tale of Woe

Alternatively, you can use the Rapid Environment Editor to set the environment variables.

Method 2

Based on official documentation https://developer.android.com/studio/command-line/variables.html you should change ANDROID_AVD_HOME environment var:

Emulator Environment Variables

By default, the emulator stores configuration files under
$HOME/.android/ and AVD data under $HOME/.android/avd/. You can
override the defaults by setting the following environment variables.
The emulator -avd command searches the avd directory in the
order of the values in $ANDROID_AVD_HOME,
$ANDROID_SDK_HOME/.android/avd/, and $HOME/.android/avd/. For emulator
environment variable help, type emulator -help-environment at the
command line. For information about emulator command-line options, see
Control the Emulator from the Command Line.

  • ANDROID_EMULATOR_HOME: Sets the path to the user-specific emulator configuration directory. The default location is
  • ANDROID_AVD_HOME: Sets the path to the directory that contains all AVD-specific files, which mostly consist of very large
    disk images. The default location is $ANDROID_EMULATOR_HOME/avd/.
    You might want to specify a new location if the default location is
    low on disk space.

After change or set ANDROID_AVD_HOME you will have to move all content inside ~user/.android/avd/ to your new location and change path into ini file of each emulator, just replace it with your new path

Method 3

Modify the file “virtual_android2.2.ini” in “C:Documents and Settings{your windows login}.androidavd”:


And move the folder “virtual_android2.2.avd” from “C:Documents and Settings{your windows login}.androidavd” into “E:android_workspaceavd”.

Method 4

Move your .android to wherever you want it to.

Then, create a symlink like this:

# In your home folder
$ ln -s /path/to/.android/ .

This simply tells Linux that whenever the path ~/.android is referenced by any application, link it to /path/to/.android.

Method 5

Go to the Android tools directory. Edit the android.bat command file. At about the end of the command file, find a line similar to

call %java_exe% -Djava.ext.dirs=%java_ext_dirs% -Dcom.android.sdkmanager.toolsdir="%tools_dir%" -Dcom.android.sdkmanager.workdir="%work_dir%" -jar %jar_path% %*

and replace

call %java_exe%


call %java_exe% -Duser.home={your_prefer_dir}

where {your_prefer_dire} is your preferred directory without braces but add doublequotes,


call %java_exe% -Duser.home="E:Program Files (x86)android-sdk-windows"

Method 6

Check this out.
using the android command to create avd you can specify where to place files.

-p --path     Location path of the directory where the new AVD will be created

Method 7

You can change the .ini file for the new AVD:


I don’t know how to specify where the .ini file should be stored 🙂

Method 8

For Visual Studio 2017 on Windows 10

Copy C:UsersYOURUSERNAME.android folder to (for example) E:avd

Open the environment variables window:

  1. Go into Settings and click on System.
  2. On the left, click About and select System info at the
  3. In the new window, click Advanced system
    settings on the left.
  4. Click Environment Variables at
    the bottom of the resulting window.

Add a new variable:

  • Variable name: ANDROID_SDK_HOME
  • Variable value: a path to a directory (e.g E:avd)

Don’t include .android in the variable value.

Restart Visual Studio.

For change SDK & NDK location go to:

Tools -> Options -> Xamarin -> Android Setting

Method 9

In Windows 10 I had that problem because My C Drive was getting full and I had needed free Space, AVD folder had 14 gig space so I needed to move that folder to another driver, first answer not work for Me so I tested another way to fix it this problem,
I make a picture for you if you have the same problem, you don’t need to move all of the files in .android folder to another drive (this way not work) just move avd folders in ….androidavd to another drive and open .ini files and change avd folder path from that file to the new path.
Like this image:

Possible to change where Android Virtual Devices are saved?

I hope this works for you.

Note: careful about a separate character before and after the path in ini file that you cannot see,if you remove that character it’s not works

Method 10

The environmental variable ANDROID_AVD_HOME can be used to define the directory in which the AVD Manager shall look for AVD INI files and can therefore be used to change the location of the virtual devices;

The default value is %USERPROFILE%.androidavd on Windows (or ~/.android/avd on Linux).

One can also create a link for the whole directory %USERPROFILE%.android on Windows (or a sym-link for directory ~/.android on Linux).

When moving AVDs, the path entry in AVD INI file needs to be updated accordingly.

Method 11

Another way to specify ANDROID_SDK_HOME without messing around with environment variables (especially when using ec2) is simply create a shortcut of eclipse and add the following as target


This will set ANDROID_SDK_HOME as system variable whenever you launch eclipse.


Method 12

Please take note of the following : modifying android.bat in the Android tools directory, as suggested in a previous answer, may lead to problems.

If you do so, in order to legitimately have your .android directory located to a non-default location then there may be an inconsistency between the AVDs listed by Android Studio (using “Tools > Android > AVD Manager”) and the AVDs listed by sdk command line tool “android avd”.

I suppose that Android Studio, with its internal AVD Manager, does not use the android.bat modified path ; it relies on the ANDROID_SDK_HOME variable to locate AVDs.

My own tests have shown that Android tools correctly use the ANDROID_SDK_HOME variable.

Therefore, there is no point, as far as I know, in modifying android.bat, and using the environment variable should be preferred.

Method 13

there are major 4 steps
1. copy the .android folder to your desired location as i did in D:Android.android
2. set ANDROID_AVD_HOME in environment variables like ANDROID_AVD_HOME D:Android.androidavd
3. change avd name.ini file contents with new location like

4. restart android studio

Method 14

1 – Move AVD to new Folder

2 – start Menu > Control Panel > System > Advanced System Settings (on the left) > Environment Variables
Add a new user variable:
Variable name: ANDROID_AVD_HOME
Variable value: a path to a directory of your choice

3 – Change the file .INI Set new folder.

4 – Open Android Studio

WORKS – Windows 2010

MORE INSTRUCTIONS : https://developer.android.com/studio/command-line/variables

Method 15

In my case, what I concerned about is the C: drive disk space.
So what I did is copy the “.avd” folder(not file) to other drive, and leave the “.ini” file there but change it to point to the moved

Method 16

I think the easiest way is to move the avd folder from C:Users[USER].android folder to your desired location then create a symbolic link to it in C:Users[USER].android with the same name.

If you wonder how to do this, first install Link Shell Extension. After folder movement right click on it and select Pick Link Source then right click in .android folder and in Drop As… sub menu select Symbolic Link.

Method 17

I followed https://www.mysysadmintips.com/windows/clients/761-move-android-studio-avd-folder-to-a-new-location.

  1. Start copying a folder “C:Usersuser.androidavd” to “D:Android.androidavd” (or something else).

  2. Close Android Studio and running emulators.

  3. Press Win + Break and open Advanced System Settings. Then press Environment Variables. Add a user variable ANDROID_SDK_HOME. (I didn’t experiment with ANDROID_AVD_HOME.) In Variable value field write D:Android. If you also moved SDK to another folder, change ANDROID_HOME (I forgot to change it and some emulators didn’t launch, see https://stackoverflow.com/a/57408085/2914140).

  4. Wait until the folder will finish copying and start Android Studio.

  5. Open Android Virtual Device Manager and see a list of emulators. If you don’t see emulators and they existed, then probably you entered wrong path into user variable value in step 3. In this case close AS, change the variable and open AS again.

  6. Start any emulator. It will try to restore it’s state, but it sometimes fails. A black screen can appear instead of Android wallpaper.

  7. In this case you can:

    a. Restart your emulator. To do this close running emulator, then in AVD Manager click Cold Boot Now.

Possible to change where Android Virtual Devices are saved?

b. If this didn’t help, open emulator settings, found in file “D:Android.androidavdPixel_API_27.ini”.

Possible to change where Android Virtual Devices are saved?

Change a path to a new AVD folder. Restart the emulator.

  1. Delete old AVD folder from “C:Usersuser.androidavd”.

Method 18

ANDROID_SDK_HOME also worked for me on Windows 8 x64
also find all location (in my case it was d:.android) and delete it. You won’t need it anymore.

Method 19

In AVD manager, after setting up AVD using a target with Google APIs, on run was getting error.

Detail showed: “AVD Unknown target ‘Google Inc.:Google APIs:…… “

During install (on Win7 system) I had chosen a SDK directory location, instead of accepting C:Users...
I’d then added that directory to environment variable ‘path’
Command line: android list targets did show a couple of Google apis.

Setting ANDROID_SDK_HOME to my install path fixed the avd run error.

Method 20

Variable name: ANDROID_SDK_HOME
Variable value: C:Users>User Name

worked for me.

Method 21

Get a directory adv

./emulator -help-datadir

the default directory is:


and then Go to avd Folder edit .ini file with path to your custom emulator directory
example :


and then save. Now your Emulator haschange

enter image description here

And Result:

enter image description here

Method 22

For Windows 10 :

this link helped me.

Then just moved all content of “avd” to the new location. Now you may need to change the value of “path=” in the configuration Setting file of each avds to the new location. You can see the old avds in avd manager in Android Studio and they work.

All methods was sourced from stackoverflow.com or stackexchange.com, is licensed under cc by-sa 2.5, cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0

Leave a Comment