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Windows 7: Documents vs. My Documents - Relocating folders off c: to data drive

30 May 2014   #1
Akimbo

Win 7 64
 
 
Documents vs. My Documents - Relocating folders off c: to data drive

Hi all,

I've built another new PC, but for the first time I've installed a SSD to hold Win7 while all my data (in theory) will be held on my data drive (2 TB Hard Disk).

I've redirected most of my user folders just fine, "My Documents", My Music, Downloads etc. however when I installed my first game on this system, it's placing its saved games into "Documents"; note: NOT "My Documents".

Of course all my google searches throw back results for redirecting "My Documents" which is already done...

So is the "Documents" folder stuck in my user folder permanantly? Over the course of a year I don't doubt it will get very bloated with saved games, screenshots etc. so I really don't want it on my SSD drive and want to nip this problem in the bud if possible.

Basically is this possible to "fix" without relocating the entire "Users" folder?


p.s. Out of interest, I tried creating a "Documents" folder on my F: drive (my data disk) and it said that it already existed as "MY Documents"...Annoying


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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30 May 2014   #2
Mcgluke

Kali Linux, Custom OS's
 
 

Navigate to the start menu, Right click on Documents and assign a new location, By doing so, If your external HDD fails you will lose all your data.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 May 2014   #3
Akimbo

Win 7 64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Mcgluke View Post
Navigate to the start menu, Right click on Documents and assign a new location, By doing so, If your external HDD fails you will lose all your data.
Hi, again that is "My Documents" and not "Documents".
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

30 May 2014   #4
Mcgluke

Kali Linux, Custom OS's
 
 

Quote:
So is the "Documents" folder stuck in my user folder permanantly?
Which one are you wishing to relocate?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 May 2014   #5
Akimbo

Win 7 64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Mcgluke View Post
Quote:
So is the "Documents" folder stuck in my user folder permanantly?
Which one are you wishing to relocate?
If you look in the user folder there is a folder named "Documents" there is also a folder named "My Documents".

I've relocated "My Documents" without issue; just changed the location on the location tab.

However "Documents" doesn't have a location tab. This is the folder I don't really want on my SSD.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 May 2014   #6
Sir George

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Akimbo View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Mcgluke View Post
Quote:
So is the "Documents" folder stuck in my user folder permanantly?
Which one are you wishing to relocate?
If you look in the user folder there is a folder named "Documents" there is also a folder named "My Documents".

I've relocated "My Documents" without issue; just changed the location on the location tab.

However "Documents" doesn't have a location tab. This is the folder I don't really want on my SSD.

The target folder is called Documents but Explorer shows it as My Documents. This is because those "My ..." folders in your user profile folder are actually not real folders, they are directory links.

The following link may prove useful;

MKLINK Create and Use Links in Windows

HTH
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 May 2014   #7
Akimbo

Win 7 64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Sir George View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Akimbo View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Mcgluke View Post
Which one are you wishing to relocate?
If you look in the user folder there is a folder named "Documents" there is also a folder named "My Documents".

I've relocated "My Documents" without issue; just changed the location on the location tab.

However "Documents" doesn't have a location tab. This is the folder I don't really want on my SSD.

The target folder is called Documents but Explorer shows it as My Documents. This is because those "My ..." folders in your user profile folder are actually not real folders, they are directory links.

The following link may prove useful;

MKLINK Create and Use Links in Windows

HTH
Thanks George, that's an exceptionally useful link. If I ever get issues with space on my SSD I'll make sure I have this bookmarked to use. At the moment my brain is a little fried after all the other setup procedures etc. I've had to do, so I'll leave it as-is for now!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 May 2014   #8
LuzTeTT

Windows 8 Pro x64
 
 

You can change the link of My Documents and so and so forth because they are just links, but the folders Documents, Links, Music and what ever are just folders inside C:\Users\<You>\, so you can't really change their location per se because software will still want to write to those locations, and Windows will end up creating the folders again because of this. These folders are apart of your profile.

Some software, particularly Windows XP-based software, is hardcoded to write to these specific locations.
That is why there is a link called Documents and Settings that really just forwards on to the other relevant, since updated, profile folders. e.g. Documents, AppData.

You can change your profile directory to be on another drive or identify with another address somewhere 'else' on the file system, but this is known to cause a lot more problems that simply outweigh the minor benefit of having your files all in the one location.
What you are asking for is precisely what Libraries were added to Windows for. Libraries can be anywhere on any disk or even removable storage, and are conveniently accessed in Explorer with the simplest of clicks regardless where and what you have considered apart of the library. So, multiple drives and folders. It doesn't matter. You might notice, however, that when pasting in to the library, the file will be usually be written to what ever folder's actual location is at the top of the library.

If you'd like to change the location of your profile and its associated automatically generated directories including Documents and so on and so forth, see this article: User Profile - Change Default Location
I suggest you avoid this at all costs. It is simply too much complication for something that may as well be a minor aesthetic.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 May 2014   #9
Akimbo

Win 7 64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by LuzTeTT View Post
You can change the link of My Documents and so and so forth because they are just links, but the folders Documents, Links, Music and what ever are just folders inside C:\Users\<You>\, so you can't really change their location per se because software will still want to write to those locations, and Windows will end up creating the folders again because of this. These folders are apart of your profile.

Some software, particularly Windows XP-based software, is hardcoded to write to these specific locations.
That is why there is a link called Documents and Settings that really just forwards on to the other relevant, since updated, profile folders. e.g. Documents, AppData.

You can change your profile directory to be on another drive or identify with another address somewhere 'else' on the file system, but this is known to cause a lot more problems that simply outweigh the minor benefit of having your files all in the one location.
What you are asking for is precisely what Libraries were added to Windows for. Libraries can be anywhere on any disk or even removable storage, and are conveniently accessed in Explorer with the simplest of clicks regardless where and what you have considered apart of the library. So, multiple drives and folders. It doesn't matter. You might notice, however, that when pasting in to the library, the file will be usually be written to what ever folder's actual location is at the top of the library.

If you'd like to change the location of your profile and its associated automatically generated directories including Documents and so on and so forth, see this article: User Profile - Change Default Location
I suggest you avoid this at all costs. It is simply too much complication for something that may as well be a minor aesthetic.
Thanks for the reply. I agree it looks like a lot of potential trouble. I think I'm just paranoid about filling my SSD up, but honestly it'll probably be fine.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 May 2014   #10
LuzTeTT

Windows 8 Pro x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Akimbo View Post
Thanks for the reply. I agree it looks like a lot of potential trouble. I think I'm just paranoid about filling my SSD up, but honestly it'll probably be fine.
Put your photos, games, music and what ever else on another HDD. If you're worried about having to make the extra clicks to get to the other data, there's always the Library function that Windows so respectably now employs.

Take a look at my beautiful setup. http://i.imgur.com/MQNNqqG.png
Apparently I have even been using OneDrive through it without knowing for all of this time. Even my Windows phone is happily sharing files through it. Go figure!
Note: It looks a lot better on Windows 7. Since 8.1 they've messed with Explorer and everything looks all over the place.
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