Windows 7 - Moving My Documents

Moving the My Documents folder

 There could be many reasons for moving your My Documents folder.  You may want to keep the folder safe by storing it on a seperate drive and free up space on your system drive.  Perhaps you want to have it located in a directory with other personal files so that you can back it up easily.  Whatever the reasons are, it is still a simple proceedure with Windows 7.

 Follow these easy steps to change the location of the My Documents folder and repeat for each User Account.

1)   Click on the Start button and then click on Documents

Click on Start, and then click on Documents
Click on Start, and then click on Documents
Libraries   Documents
Libraries Documents

 2)   In the left panel of the Libraries\Documents window, click on the arrows to expand Libraries>Documents>My Documents (C:\Users\[User Name])

Navigate to Libraries Documents My Documents (C:\Users\[User Name]
Navigate to Libraries Documents My Documents (C:\Users\[User Name]

 3)   Right click on My Documents and then click on Properties in the menu that opens.

Right click on My Documents and then on Properties
Right click on My Documents and then on Properties

4)   In the My Documents Properties window, click on the Location tab

5)   Click on the Move button in the Location tab of the My Documents Properties window

Click on the Location tab and then click on the Move button
Click on the Location tab and then click on the Move button

 6)   Navigate in the Select a Destination window to the location where you would like the My Documents folder located

Navigate to the new location
Navigate to the new location

 7)   Create a new folder.  Name it whatever you would like.

Create a new folder and name it
Create a new folder and name it

 8)   Click on the Select Folder button and then click on the OK button in the My Documents Properties window.

9)   click on the Yes button in the Move Folder warning window that pops up, since the objective is to move the My Documents folder.

Click on the Yes button in the window that pops up
Click on the Yes button in the window that pops up

10) It may take some time to move the contents of the My Documents folder, so be patient...

11) When it has finished moving the contenets of the My Documents folder, you can close the Libraries > Documents window

You are done!


Other Windows 7 Hubs

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Comments 114 comments

Ali 7 years ago

Thank you ... it worked :)

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Headstrong Farm 7 years ago from Rhode Island Author

Good to hear Ali. I'm going to be publishing a few more Windows 7 articles very soon. Stay tuned...

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Markjen73 7 years ago

Hi, thanks for the article. I used to have XP that I recently changed to Windows 7 RC Ultimate. Before this change I had moved the XP My Documents from my C:/ drive to a 500GB internal D:/ drive. I also have a 500 GB USB drive F:/ that auto backs up the My Documents from the D:/ drive.

Now that I have Windows 7, (haven't really been using the Win7 My Documents, just put a shortcut on the desktop to the D:/ drive), if I move the Windows 7 My Documents to the D:/ drive will there be a conflict? Can I merge the two different My Documents? Hmmmmm...(scratching head). Thanks for any help you can offer.


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Headstrong Farm 7 years ago from Rhode Island Author

What I've done on my multi-boot setups is simply to name the folder that the My Documents link points to as "My Documents XP Pro" or "My Documents 7RCx64" (Step 7 above - Make sure it updates the name in the Folder window). As for merging them, you could do that, but I'd worry about overwriting older folder content and such. I don't think it would be too hard to manually copy and paste from one folder to the next.

win7 fan 7 years ago

hi this is really cool! thanks for the article.

but do you also know how to move the applcation data file (i'm not sure where to find that) to another driver?

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Koby 7 years ago from Ohio

Windows 7 is so cool, i wish i had it

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Headstrong Farm 7 years ago from Rhode Island Author

win7 fan: Moving an application data file would involve changing entries in the registry and it's really dependant on what application it is. The only thing that I would personally try is moving the entire Users file, but I have yet to find anything on moving that. I do have a future hub planned on moving the Documents and Settings folder in Windows XP, but that won't directly translate for 7.

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Headstrong Farm 7 years ago from Rhode Island Author

Koby: I believe you can still download 7 RC from the Microsoft website. At least the download was still there the last time I checked a few days ago (I needed a key). The page is still up.

Edit: (copied from an e-mail I just received)

Meanwhile, RC's downloads are still available. You can get the release candidate download until August 20, 2009. After that, you won't be able to get the download, but if you have the software, you can still install the RC and get a key if you need one. (Keys will be available till March 2010.

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Lisa Luv 7 years ago from Conneticut, USA

Thank You for this!

A. Phillips 7 years ago

I have done this (moved My Doc folder to a network drive) many times and it is simple is XP. I couldn't work out how on Win7 so I searched and found your instructions. Thanks for them but there is a problem. In step 5 I have no Locations tab. I think there is something not set up right in the registry but this is a pretty pristine install and I don't know how anything could have got messed up.

Another puzzling thing is that the when I go into the "My Documents" folder it is only shown as "Documents" in the address bar.

I hope this is nothing to do with the really bad idea introduced in Vista of disk "virtualisation". This caused me no end of problems (in Vista) and is the main reason I went back to XP for all our systems.

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Headstrong Farm 7 years ago from Rhode Island Author

Thank you A. Phillips.

I know it's hard to see in my screen shots (I need to re-take them or see if I still have them full-sized), but the 'My Documents' folder is actually within the 'Documents' folder under 'Libraries'. Under 'Users', 'My Documents' is just listed under each user name. You should be able to move it from either location, though I haven't actually tried from 'Users', though it's more direct. The 'Documents' library does not have the option to move it.

Bill R. 7 years ago

In XP I move the Favorites folder and my Outlook .PST file into My Docs, then move it to D: and XP tracked the change correctly. This allowed me to image my C: to D; with no data overwrite in restoring, and backing up the D: saved both my data and system images. Although I couldn't go to Vista primarily due to lack of driver availability, it had this 28 step procedure for moving the folder which just added decision to stay with XP. Now that I'm close to moving to W7, your article is confirming the decision. Just out of curiosity, did you ever try moving them in Vista? Even the complicated procedure that I tried left a folder or two on the C: drive, if I remember correctly.

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Headstrong Farm 7 years ago from Rhode Island Author

Thanks Bill R. I never tried it in Vista because Vista didn't last on my system due to said driver issues. The big one was that it wouldn't run my printer (HP Deskjet 9800) but it also wouldn't run my DVD burner. After screwing around with it for a week, which was all the more frustrating due to it's lack of pep, I ditched it. Part of the reason was also, at that time, there was talk of 7 beta coming along in a few months. It felt like a waste of my time to even bother with it.

daki 7 years ago

On my 7 installation, tab was under Lybraries/Documents/My Documents, and on that last folder u have to right click and chose location, but thanks anyway for the hint

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Headstrong Farm 7 years ago from Rhode Island Author

"2) In the left panel of the Libraries\Documents window, click on the arrows to expand Libraries>Documents>My Documents (C:\Users\[User Name])"

You're wecome anyway. ;)

David Clover 7 years ago

I used to be able to map 'My Documents' to a server shared area - but this seems not possible in W7. Anyone any ideeas?

Chris M 7 years ago

Thank you for this tip.

Justin 7 years ago

Great tutorial - I have a couple of quick questions if you're still monitoring this thread :). I moved the My Documents relatively painlessly for my wife and I, but the interesting thing is that the original folders are still in my Windows partition and show up with a little padlock graphic (I assume they're locked somehow). Not only that, the originals are all of about 3 GB combined, but the new ones are significantly less. Any guesses as to what is going on? Finally, I was going to try to move all of the "Public" files the same way but there doesn't appear to be the same "move" functionality. Can I get away with a good ole cut and paste for the public folders?

Thanks in advance,


Kulwant 7 years ago

Despite all the improvements MS would have you believe have been made for Windows 7, basic things like moving potentially large folders like the Public documents folders is still far from straightforward.

In XP and Vista it could sometimes be achieved by making changes to the Registry (sometimes even that didn't work). I suspect it's the same in Windows 7, but too many basics continue to be neglected in Windows.

Nelson 7 years ago

Hi. Thank you for the helpful info. My question is, can you do the same thing for Program Files. I read somewhere that it's a good idea to keep the Windows OS files in a partition all to themselves; then, create a separate partition for all your other programs. But, how do make this other partition the default so that program install files go there by default, instead of automatically going to C (where the Windows files are)?

Thanks again.

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Headstrong Farm 7 years ago from Rhode Island Author

The only really acceptable way to install programs on a non-system partition is when you install the program, chose your install directory using the program's installer. I don't see any benefit to installing on a separate partition on the asme disk. In fact, that may actually be detrimental. However, installing on a separate physical drive has advantages, but not if you already have your personal files and page file there. If you have three drives, then you could have your OS on one, your program files on a second, and your page file and personal files on a third. It really depends on the drives and what you need. With three drives, if they're the same, you'd really be much better off with a RAID setup than spreading out like that. Personally, I keep my OS and programs on the same drive and put my page file on a small partition at the beginning of a second drive, which also has my personal files.

Hayden 7 years ago

Wow, a change to Windows that doesn't require hacking around in the registry. Not even a restart. Windows 7 really is good isn't it :)

wayne 7 years ago

can you move the mydoc's for users on xp too? this is news to me. coming from the unix world I've asked many windows techs to put mydocs home dir on another disk but nobody said it was possible.

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Headstrong Farm 7 years ago from Rhode Island Author

It's absolutely possible in XP. You can even move the entire Documents and Settings folder. If you only need to move the My Docs folder, check out my other HubPage.

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OldBob 7 years ago

It's odd what happens if you open Downloads via the Documents Library (rather than via My Documents - Downloads) it displays not only the filenames of htm pages as expected, but expands to show ALL the associated bits that are normally tucked away neatly in filename_files

Jay 7 years ago

Any one know how to move the desktop location, I like to keep it on my D drive with all my documents and mail. Just in case something happens to my system drive.

chris 7 years ago

it didn't work. i wanted to move 1 folder but instead i moved all of them. THANKS A lot JERK

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Headstrong Farm 7 years ago from Rhode Island Author

Jay, you can move the Desktop folder the same way you move the my Documents folder.

Chris, you're welcome. I'm here to help.

Catherine 7 years ago

Your tutorial is nicely detailed. The problem I'm encountering is when I right-click on the folder I don't have anywhere near the amount of tabs shown in the tutorial. Of course this means I don't have a "Location" tab.

Is there something I need to enable? Thank you.

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Headstrong Farm 7 years ago from Rhode Island Author

Catherine, thank you for the compliment. Are you sure that you right-clicked on the My Documents folder and not the Documents folder? Aside from that another thing to check are that you have administrator privilages.

Catherine 7 years ago

Hi Headstrong! I'm back. I have admin privileges and right-clicked on the My Documents Folder. I did a little research and found that the problem lies in the UAC. I had to disable it in order to see the Location tab........Now I'm off to move my data files with the help of your tutorial.

Thanks for getting back to me:) Keep writing!

Bane 7 years ago

Thanx Headstrong Farm, some small obstacles appeared though the whole operation is finally done. My PC is dual boot XP(x86) and 7(64) and i wanted to use same My Documents folder for both systems (my docs is a separate partition on primary drive). Followed your instructions and nearly everything done well, all files in the root of my docs directory were changed but, folders like my music, my pictures, etc... have not, what to hell happened

Bane 7 years ago

Just forgot to say, moved all of them manually and everything's fine now. Cheers

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Headstrong Farm 7 years ago from Rhode Island Author

Glad you have sorted things out, Bane. Unfortunately, I can forsee and write for different configurations you may want to use.

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sns3 7 years ago

Hi! I'm new to W7 and am experimenting with the file system before moving my data from an XP environment to the W7 computer.

I found that if I moved certain folders under \users\\ (e.g., "My Music") the move operation (say to the "desktop" with right click, drag and drop) left a link to the folder behind in the original location.

I've searched for a good article on why this happens and it seems you might either know what is happening or point me in the right directions.

In contrast, if I move a folder that I've created under users\\, they "move" to the location I pick without leaving any vestige of themselves behind.


Jeff Smith 7 years ago

Hi Headstrong Farm - Thanks (I think) for posting this. I'm a bit snake-bit with this whole business of moving these special user folders (or junction points/libraries/whatever) though. I have been through h*** with this for days ... ending up with (seemingly) things like 2 folders with the exact same name in the same location (can't be, right? ... but it looks that way). I rename one of them and they both change. I delete one of them and they both disappear.

Anyway, I finally went back to a Restore Point for other reasons and tried again. Went down your instructions here, verbatim. Got to the point where you say: " Create a new folder. Name it whatever you would like." And since I was moving my personal 'My Documents' folder from my C:\ partition to my D:\ partition, I clicked on the 'New Folder' button, specified 'Jeffrey' as the new folder name on the D:\ partition (Note: 'Jeffrey' is also the name of my User Profile ...), clicked to confirm the "the Yes button in the Move Folder warning window", and then came back to the 'My Documents' Properties window and I don't think anything was happening until I clicked 'Apply' at which time the Move operation began and concluded 'successfully'. What's funny, though, is that when I now click on Computer and drill down to the D:\ partition, my new folder 'Jeffrey' is nowhere to be seen. There is, however, a 'My Documents' folder on the D:\ partition. Yet when I go to 'Start | Jeffrey' & click on 'My Documents' it opens a Windows Explorer window with 'My Documents' in it that reads in the address bar as 'Jeffrey > My Documents' and when I click into the address bar, it then resolves to 'D:\Jeffrey'. If that wasn't confusing enough, if I click 'Start | Documents' it opens an Explorer windows with the address bar saying: 'Libraries\Documents' and indicates in the left-hand (folder) pane: 'My Documents (C:)' and in the right pane: it indicates these 3 things: a) 'My Documents (Empty)'; b) underneath that,it says 'C:\Users\Jeffrey' and c) it says further: 'This folder is unavailable'.

So, questions that come to mind are: 1) Did I do this right? Is this supposed to be the way things are when I'm done? 2) If not, how can I fix it? 3) I still have to move the rest of the user folders (well, at least Pictures, Music and Videos I guess) ... unless I've done something wrong, when I go to move these other folders, do I again 'create' this 'ghost' folder of 'D:\Jeffrey' as the destination location (it doesn't appear when I browse D:\ ...) by specifying 'New Folder' of 'Jeffrey' again?

Sorry to have so many questions but, as said, this whole process has caused my a lot of frustration and days of lost time. Thanks for any help you might be able to provide.

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Headstrong Farm 7 years ago from Rhode Island Author

sns3, the reason that you get a shortcut from drag/dropping a folder such as My Music is that it's a system folder and isn't moveable in the typical way (drag/drop, cut/paste, etc.). You can right click on it and under properties if it has a "Location" tab, you can use the method in this hub for moving it as is done with the My Documents folder.

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Headstrong Farm 7 years ago from Rhode Island Author


Thank you for the e-mail. I didn't get notification of a new message on this hub for some reason...

I've looked into the issue you've reported and it seems that Windows does indeed change the label on the new folder to "My Documents" after you've moved My Documents to the new location. I hadn't noticed this before, so thank you for pointing it out. I think that the reason that I didn't notice is that I hadn't performed the operation for multiple users. Using your example, the "Path" to your new My Documents folder *is* "D:\Jeffery", but the folder is labeled "My Documents". So if you want to move the My Documents folder for another user, you will have to use the other user name for the folder that you are pointing to. Windows will call the new folder My Documents as well, but this isn't something that will cause a conflict as the paths will be different. By that I mean that the one that you have now is My Documents [D:\Jeffery] and the new one will be My Documents [D:\*other user name*]. I tried this on my own system with a second test user account and it went perfectly. Both folders showed up as My Documents, but when they were selected and I showed the path in the address bar, I saw "D:\Brett's Documents" and "D:\Test Documents". I hope that makes sense and clears things up for you on the issue. I am going to be updating this hub now that I've been using Windows 7 Ult. x64 for a while after switching from the RC version and I will be sure to add the information that you've brought to my attention to prevent further confusion.

Scenarious 7 years ago

I have moved my special folders to a separate drive since XP. It has worked flawlessly in XP, XP 64, and Vista 64. Now, in 7 64, I have moved the My Documents folder to drive E:\My Documents. Unfortunately, although all my documents are being saved in the custom location, my save game folders are still being created in the C:\Users\(username)\My Documents folder! You wouldn't know if there is a way to remedy this would you?

Thanks a bunch.

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Headstrong Farm 7 years ago from Rhode Island Author

Scenarious, that's a really good question. Does this happen with games that you're currently using when you moved the My Documents folder, or is it just with new games that you installed after the move? In either case, you may need to check out any help forums on the game's website. My guess is that it would require some registry entry changes to fix the problem and would probably be unique to each game in question. This doesn't happen with all games.

Scenarious 7 years ago

When finished installing a fresh OS, the first thing I do is point my 'My Documents' folder to its custom location, so unfortunately I don't know if it would have moved previously installed game data. I now have to copy all my saves back to the default location on C to get them working again. It's not that big of a deal really, it's just that I like to keep all important data in a separate location. It's nice to be able to format and reinstall my OS without having to move any data around. The way it worked in Vista and XP was, when games are re-installed, normally they'd see the save games and configs right away. Something has changed in 7. Just to let you know, the only program that is doing the same thing as the games is PowerDVD 9. Everything else so far is using the custom location. I will continue looking into this. If I find a solution I will let you know.

Scenarious 7 years ago

OK. Here's something interesting for you. When I moved the Documents folder, I had done it the same way you show here. A minute ago, just out of curiousity, I navigated to C:\users\(username)\My Documents in the explorer and right clicked on it there. Low and behold, it's not using the same location as the new Libraries\Documents link is. I moved it and now they are both pointing to the custom loction on E. Problem solved.

Check yours too.

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Headstrong Farm 7 years ago from Rhode Island Author

Scenarious, that's strange. I've had no problems with the games that I have installed. On my system, C:\Users\(user name) is only a [placeholder] shortcut, and every My Documents shortcut points to the new location. I think that maybe having the tutorial change the location from C:\Users\(username) might be a good idea and might have prevented your glitch.

Thanks for the comments and I'm glad you worked it out.

Scenarious 7 years ago


I did a bit of pondering on this issue. JFYI, I remembered that I did not change the locations the way you show here. If I'm remembering correctly, I believe that I clicked on Start and then right clicked on Documents and chose Properties. From the Library settings there, I added the folders that I wanted to include and then removed the default ones. This must be the reason it did not work the way I expected it to. I did the same for Music, Favorites, Pictueres, etc..

After changing the location of the links under C:\Users\(user name)\ all is working the way it should. Next time I will have to try the same way you describe here.

Sorry for the confusion, and thank you for your advice.

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Headstrong Farm 7 years ago from Rhode Island Author

Thanks for the clarification, and you're welcome.

I wasn't looking foreward to taking new screenshots and all that, so it's good to know what the cause was.

keni 7 years ago


Start btn-> type "Folder Options" [enter]

view tab-> Hidden Files and Folders [tick]

Hide protected operating system files(not too sure if this is necessary but its worth doing it)[untick]

[Apply] then [Ok]

Local Disk/Users/username/

Use Headstrongs instructions

-> because you have moved the system files hidden in each folder you wont get duplicates in this folder :)

Dont forget to hide system folders and hidden folders again

Smile :)


Kevin McIntyre 7 years ago

very helpful. got the documents and stuff to the Mirror drive now. Thank you !

Cathal 7 years ago

Thanks. One of the many irritaions with my new machine gone.

Scott Malestorm 7 years ago

Hi - I had no difficulty changing locations the standard folders - Many Thanks, ... but I ran into trouble trying to change the location of the Desktop. While the location of the \user\users\desktop file was changed to D:, the computer still continued to display as the desktop C: even after restart - which of course is not what I desired.

Any suggestions?


HellRider 7 years ago

Ok, I have installed Win7 on an SSD and would like to have the My Documents on my 2nd drive (G:). I therefore experimentd with My Picutres folder by going to Windows Explorer and then right clicked on My Pictures then selected properties and then location tab. I then selected the G:\ drive. I didn't name a new folder as I assumed it would retain it's origional name.

The folder was moved but it doesn't show up in Windows Explorer under the G:\ drive. It does show up in the Libraries on the left with correct path. However, if I create a new folder on the G: drive the new folder shows up in both the G:\ drive and the under the My Pictures folder under the library. It doesn't make sense.

Does anyone know how to correct this?


kreeves 7 years ago

I believe this was asked above, but my scenario may be a bit different.

I also have a small 40 GB SSD where I plan to install Win7. Before installing any software, I'd like to point all of the user profile folders to another drive so that applications wont fill up the folders with configuration files, etc etc.

Could the fix above potentially be applied to the ENTIRE "Documents and Settings" folder? (assuming Win7 is setup similar to XP in this respect).

candraa 7 years ago

thank, really usefull for me..even in microsoft website no tutorial like this

Bill Ritzel 6 years ago

I'm not on Win7 yet. Accomplishing this in Vista was (like so many other things) a nightmare - I finally gave up and went back to XP Pro. Can I drop my Favorites folder into My Documents before I move it, or is it already there in Win7? I ghost images of my C: drive to D: as a backup, so getting My Documents, Favorites, and email off C: is important to how I do things.

Sammy 6 years ago

Help! i followed the steps from headstrong (thank you) but the problem i have is (step 7) i didn't create a new folder i just selected drive (D) now it directly saves on the drive how can i get My Documents folder back ?? thank you

p.s. i also did the same for music , video folders now i have the D drive under libraries plz help

Jaime Diaz 6 years ago

Thank for your posting, is very clear and friendly.

TT 6 years ago

wow its working thx man.. = )

sean in Toronto 6 years ago

Awesome job, first time and it seems to be working. Go figure.

thanks a llot for the help

tupac 6 years ago

Hey, great tips, i tried relocating to my partition, success but there is a duplicate folder in the original location, for eg, i have now "my pictures" and "pictures", "my documents" and "documents", when i open "my documents" it points to the moved location, great, but when i open "documents", i have an error reading "location is not available"

Yehia 6 years ago

Thank you for the help

hmmm 6 years ago

Am a fan that you can change the locations. Am not a fan that they insist on moving files that were in a specific games folder to the user location (whatever you may have it be). Want to kick Microsoft.

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osubuc90 6 years ago

I think this was exactly what I was looking for as well! Once you follow these directions, the next time you click Start button and click on Documents, will it go to the new location? Moreover, will it automatically save files to that location?

Thanks again!!

Austhinker 6 years ago

Thanks Headstrong Farm! Found this very useful.

Unfortunately it seems I'll have to edit the registry to do the same for Public folders, but this has helped me get a better understanding of what to do.


if you're still stuck, try following Headstrong's instructions again, and specifying a folder (eg D:\Sammy\documents) instead of just drive D. You'll probably have to manually sort your music files etc. from your documents, if they're currently all in the same folder. Using explorer details view, and clicking the "Type" column heading should help, but you probably already know that.

Chris Robertson 6 years ago

This is useful for several reason. I now create 3 partition. OS(50G), Restore(50G), Data (remaining drive)

Using a program like easeus' todo backup. Backup your OS drive to your restore drive. Backup your data drive to an external drive. Now you can store your data offsite. If your windows get corrupt, or you get a trojan you can't remove, simply restore your OS drive.

Nike Sanchez 6 years ago

Dear Headstrong: I hope you're still answering on this thread. I want to move My Documents file to another drive but my question is: How would I access the folder through my desktop? Would I have to navigate to it's actual location or just create a shortcut? Also, A lot of applications save on My Documents, will the applications "know" where to go to save files if I relocate the folder? Thanks in advance.

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Headstrong Farm 6 years ago from Rhode Island Author

Nike, to access the file, you can use the usual method through the start menu, or you could certainly create a desktop shortcut. In step 8, after you've created the new file and before you click on OK, just right click on the new file and then click on 'send to' and then click on 'desktop'... As for other programs, many check the registry for the path for the My Documents folder and of course the registry is updated with the new location, so they are good to go. You could also in many applications change the default locations for many things including backups, but those settings can be buried in the application.

Nike Sanchez 6 years ago

Thanks for the excellent information, Headstrong. One more question if it's possible: In the event that I want to re-install my Win7 OS, will My Documents be still re-directed to the new location I put it in? Or in other words: In a Win 7 fresh install, when I click My Documents in Libraries, will this open the My Documents folder where I located it before the OS re-install?


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seadley 6 years ago

On moving My Music from 'C' to 'E' drive I manged to lose the 'MY Music' folder. 'My Music' shows up as E drive in the Music library. I understand I left out the 'create a folder stage'. The Music Library shows I have 2 locations , one 'Sample Music' on C, and two 'E' drive with all its contents. I have removed E drive from the Music library and then hit restore default, E drive comes back. Is there a way to recover the location 'My Music'? If not what is the best approach to create a My Music folder in the music library on drive E? Any help will be appreciated.

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Headstrong Farm 6 years ago from Rhode Island Author

Nike, if you reinstall Windows, just follow the steps for moving My Documents again.

seadley, I'd maybe back up your music, reverse the process and then try again, creating the folder in the process...

Chris Harper 6 years ago

It's funny, when I go to the location tab....there isn't a Move fact there are no buttons at all. Any ideas on this one?

Smart 6 years ago

Thanks for the very useful info. But I want to know how to relocate the Desktop location. I tried and failed to relocate the desktop as you said using the same steps. Please brief in XP, Vista and 7 if it differ in each one.

Nero39 6 years ago

Hi, I moved my music folder using the above method but now I have the D drive visible under the music icon on the left and no music folder at all!!

Any help welcome

Many Thanks

Romel 6 years ago

Thanks, the instruction are very detailed.

mike 6 years ago


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Headstrong Farm 6 years ago from Rhode Island Author

Chris, Which version of 7 are you using? Also, where are you navigating to the My Documents folder from? There is a 'pointer' that isn't the actual folder and that may be why you don't see the location tab.

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Headstrong Farm 6 years ago from Rhode Island Author

Nero39, I believe the instructions should work for any of the music/pictures/videos folders. If you didn't follow the step involving creating a new folder to move your files to, that may be the problem, but without more details, I can't be sure.

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Headstrong Farm 6 years ago from Rhode Island Author

Romel and Mike, you're very welcome. I appreciate the feed-back.

Jaaaaaaa 6 years ago

thanks for the info. This process also applies to other libraries, such as music or pictures. Although I didn't see a way to move all libraries in one fell swoop.

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Headstrong Farm 6 years ago from Rhode Island Author

Thanks Jaaaaaaa.

It should be do-able, like it was in XP with 'Documents and Settings', to move the entire 'Users' folder. However, it would involve working in the registry and that's not really something I feel comfortable with putting on a hub. That's something that would really require a familiarity with Windows and the Registry for the user to work through it.

MikeR 6 years ago

W7 Home Premium 64bit

Thanks Headstrong for the tutorial!

So far I really like the way W7 handles admin and standard users. Just what I want! However have you tried your process with changing the location of an admin and a standard user to the same drive partition? I can see others have had problems and note Keni's advice above. However I very quickly got to the point where both my users were pointing at the same My Documents and both appeared to have the same access...

Have restored back to a previous restore point before I created the second user which has unravelled the admin's My Documents pointer but left a duplicate copy of the data on the partition as you'd expect...

Any thoughts on how this should work?

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Headstrong Farm 6 years ago from Rhode Island Author


My advice on naming the 'new' My Documents folder in the new location would be to add the user name. So in Step 7 above, you would name the file "Mikes Docs" and then point to that as the new location.

Then for subsequent users, you would use their name, therefor keeping their files separate.

MikeR 6 years ago

Thanks Headstrong that's clear now, although I was expecting to see the "new" My Documents folder still there with My Documents as a sub-folder, after the move. Instead I got the two My Documents folders which I simply renamed to make more sense.

One final point - in the process of moving the My Documents location to the new partition, the Authenticated Users group is added in security, which in my case allowed the standard user access to admin's folders. Moving the location back to the original source, removed the Authenticated Users group and hence prevented access by others. Have you come across this and if so what's the best way around the issue? Sorry if this is a stupid question but I'm still trying to find my way around W7.

Thanks for your help!

James 6 years ago

i am running a gaming pc wih windows 7 on it, i have multiple user's but when i remove an icon on my user account it removes the icon on the other user accouts too is there any way i can stop this from happening?

Francis Parent 6 years ago

Thanks for this tutorial it really helps me in my backup strategy to have my documents on an other partitions.

helmi susanto 6 years ago

hei...thanks for your article...

Karen 6 years ago

Thanks for your help.

Dave Menconi 6 years ago

Thanks. Not sure I would have found that on my own!

Simon_from_Wales 6 years ago

Hi HSF, thanks vm for your advice. Worked a treat for music & docs. Initially I had a bit of difficulty getting it to show a 'location' tab but I think that was because I was in the wrong place, or something. Anyway, when I did it right, it worked! Much appreciated.

M2C2E 6 years ago

I would like to move my music file from Drive C to Drive D. Because it is iTunes, I'm concerned that everything will not transfer, and only iTunes downloads will transfer. Is that a wrong assumption? Want to make sure before I lose any files!

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proberts 6 years ago

Help. We just got a new computer with Windows 7. I set up two user accounts. Inadvertantly I was in my son's account when I created a folder which is under the Libraries. The folder's path has his usrname in it. How do I change the folder to be in my username and not his?

Bear 6 years ago

Here's an odd one for you.

I move all my USERNAME\DIRECTORIES to another drive as a matter of course. My issue is that sometime after I have done that, when I open my USERNAMEicon, I'll have double entries for each dir. One set is correct, the moved set. the NEW set is a return to all the C:\Usersname...blah..

How can I stop this perversion from happening again?

desi 6 years ago

Great instructions... works like a treat.

lingbee 6 years ago

thanks headstrong farm for the clear explanation. But to call this procedure easy? Remember, we are trying to move a folder from A to B, and that takes 11 steps? Even under DOS, or actually on old mainframes this was much easier. Not to blame you, but i personally do not understand why MS makes it so complicated and -even worse- un logical and unpredictable. E.g. when i simply drag 'my pictures' to another location, explorer shows the folder twice. Anyway, thanks for the post, i was trying to do what you explained above.

Holykev 6 years ago

Excellent post. Had the problem and this sorted it! Top of my Google search and that counts for a job well done!

Sarah 6 years ago

Finally! This worked like a charm. Thanks so much.

olivier 6 years ago

thanks a lot this worked

Kaz 6 years ago

you are my flippin hero!

raz 5 years ago

hi! i got a problem :(

i moved every single folder in my User to D: successfully, but my desktop keeps jumping back to C:

when i move it, it goes, but after a while it jumps back. so now i have two desktop folders in both C and D drives

any help?


empoy 5 years ago

somehow my "my documents" folder was duplicated after i moved it to a different drive. location still shows the new drive but it also resides in the default location. same thing with my downloads folder. i don't know what happened but i think clicking on the "blank" folders in c:\users\**** gave the folders the distinct icons then the contents got duplicated.

i'm sorry the details are sketchy and i can't retrace the exact steps that led to this issue

Newguy 5 years ago

Im doing these steps for my downloads folder, but it appears that it just copied the contents from c drive to d drive.Shouldn't it remove the folder from c drive?

Open File Guy 5 years ago

Security Question:

When you move the folders from C:\users\* to D:\*, your file become viewable to any user. How do you restrict access to only the user.

i.e. there are 2 users: U1 and U2. They should not be able to see each others folders.

or if some steals the hard drive, they can not see all the files.


goentropo 5 years ago

I have followed instructions and the first few times I had problems with an error message stating the process had been cancelled by the user. Finally got the transfer done and Word now automatically shows my partitioned D drive to be the default location. However, Recent documents still shows C drive as their location and there is still a folder under users with a lock symbol on it. (There is no way I can transfer this folder as per your directions.)The first time I accessed a file, it opened the one on C drive under users and didn't show the changes in the main documents library now located on D. I have had to manually copy it across. Is there a way I can 'fix' the files so they are linked or do I have to do a fresh open from D drive for each older document?

Jerryrigged 5 years ago

Open File Guy,

I have the exact same question... after moving the My Documents folder, it is now viewable by any user. So somehow the move stripped the security from the folder. I HATE working with permissions, but someone please advise how to correct this.

Bryan 5 years ago

Worked perfectly, thanks for the post.

devisallen1 5 years ago

I do this above steps. Moving system folders can be a lot of trouble, but in Windows 7 it’s really easy to move the folder so thanks for the help.

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whitepeaches 5 years ago

I moved my My Documents (in Windows 7) to my external drive. I was happy for a little while until I discovered SugarSync doesn't like it, so I want to move it back. How do I reverse the steps? The folder that used to be My Documents is now named the same thing as the name of the external hard drive. In other words, the external hard drive is now acting as the My Documents folder. When I click on Properties of this folder, I can't see a way to reverse this. Can you walk me through this, please?

heavyrope 5 years ago

Hi so I followed these instructions exactly until I got to step 7. I didn't create a new folder, I just saved it into the hard drive directly. Now it looks like the My Documents library sees the hard drive as the My Documents folder. I was able to this perfectly for My Music and everything else perfectly but My Documents is different. I can't restore to default. Can anyone help me with this?

steven 5 years ago


Robert 5 years ago

I moved the mydocument folder. Worked great, but I need to move it again and the location tab is not available any more. Ever time I do this, the location tab goes away. Anybody know where it went to and how to get it back

Ameez 4 years ago

What will happen to the files and folders if I did not

click on the Yes button in the Move Folder warning window that pops up?

Terry 4 years ago

There's a great guide to installing XP on an old laptop here

Shar 4 years ago

would the same thing work with music files, photos, and videos?

Guest36 4 years ago

Thank you so mcuh!

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sherylnyc 4 years ago

I get to the open properties, but there is no location tab (it has an asus web storage tab instead).

this is a new computer and I really want to move files to better subfolders.

Saurabh Gupta 3 years ago worked for me...

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