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Windows 7: Two 'My Documents' Folders

21 Oct 2010   #1

Windows 7 Pro x64
 
 
Two 'My Documents' Folders

Hi

I have just noticed that I have two 'My Documents' folders in my user folder. The first points to the location to which I set it, my D drive which is where I store all my data. Exploring that folder reveals all my data folders as expected. This folder has a location tab confirming the above, showing D:\Documents

The second 'My Documents' points to what I think is the default location: C:\Users\[username]. It has no location tab and is to all intents and purposes, empty.

I know it was not like this originally. Just set up a Homegroup between my laptop and the desktop and the user account has same name on both machines. Wondering if this could somehow be the cause....?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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21 Oct 2010   #2
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Hello Kevvyb,

You can do OPTION TWO in the tutorial below to restore this default user folder's location.

User Folders - Restore Default Location

Hope this helps,
Shawn
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Oct 2010   #3

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit
 
 

kevvyb,

If you rename the empty one to some other name,
then does all still work correctly?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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22 Oct 2010   #4

Windows 7 Pro x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Brink View Post
Hello Kevvyb,

You can do OPTION TWO in the tutorial below to restore this default user folder's location.

User Folders - Restore Default Location

Hope this helps,
Shawn
Hi Shawn, sorry to say that I really wanted to know exactly what has casued this. How can there be two? I know how to change locations that's how one of the two folders I mentioned point to my D: drive

Before I make any changes think it best to try and work out how it has happened.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Oct 2010   #5

Windows 7 Pro x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by karlsnooks View Post
kevvyb,

If you rename the empty one to some other name,
then does all still work correctly?

Hi

The empty one won't accept renaming. Just reverts to My Documents.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Oct 2010   #6

 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by kevvyb View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Brink View Post
Hello Kevvyb,

You can do OPTION TWO in the tutorial below to restore this default user folder's location.

User Folders - Restore Default Location

Hope this helps,
Shawn
Hi Shawn, sorry to say that I really wanted to know exactly what has casued this. How can there be two? I know how to change locations that's how one of the two folders I mentioned point to my D: drive

Before I make any changes think it best to try and work out how it has happened.
It happens when the user folder is improperly moved. Shawn's link shows you how to restore the user folder back to default, at which time you should revert to only one folder. You can then properly move the folder as shown here:

User Folders - Change Default Location

Take note of item#9 in 'Option Two'. This will likely explain how you came to have two identical folders.

James

Edit: It might also be worth mentioning that if you don't move all files to the new location (including any hidden files), the original will remain (also resulting in duplication). Following the tutorial for proper relocation will avoid this issue as well.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Oct 2010   #7

Windows 7 Pro x64
 
 
Two My Documents Folders

Hi James, Thank you for that reply and to the others for their replies too.

That's weird because I originally relocated this folder when i installed Windows 7 and have not touched it since as far as I am aware.

There is another user of the PC but don't think they would have got near this and I would have thought it a difficult thing to do accidentally so I am bemused.

Anyway will have a go at restoring and then relocating again.

Will update on outcome.

Thanks again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Oct 2010   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

It may even be because you didn't have permission to access the folder when you moved it. I had this happen once.

When you reinstall Windows, you have to open all the folders on the D partition that were set to User Folders before at least once to get permission to access them.

At least thats what caused it for me.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Oct 2010   #9

Windows 7 Pro x64
 
 
Two My Documents Folders

Hell this is complicated
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Oct 2010   #10

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

I have had this happen on computers that I set up where the Documents or Desktop folder were moved using correct procedure. The problem is due to poorly written applications that upon installation are needing to write (or to prepare to write) to the Documents folder. The installation routine then writes to C:\Users\(username)\Documents, and since the folder is missing it is created.

It is actually a harmless situation, more of an irritation. But if you want to fix it, you can set up symbolic links that will remedy the situation.

If you are interested I can find some info on the procedure. I've done it numerous times on Vista, but I've not bothered on the Win 7 machines I've set up, so not sure if there are any "gotchas" that may pop up.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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