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Windows 7: How to move program folders to new location (default is My Documents)

18 Feb 2015   #1
stebobibo

Windows 7
 
 
How to move program folders to new location (default is My Documents)

Programs that I have installed on my computer (mostly games) have automatically made their own folders, mainly in My Documents, but also in My Pictures and My Videos. When I move these folders regularly, the program just makes a new one in the previous location when I start it again. So, my question is: how do I move these folders permanently (without losing any information)? Below is a screenshot of the folders in My Documents that I would like to move.
How to move program folders to new location (default is My Documents)-game-date-folders-my-documents.jpg
Also, here is a screenshot of what files are in the folder "Electronic Arts> The Sims 3" as an example.
How to move program folders to new location (default is My Documents)-electronic-arts-contents.jpg
Thanks for your help!




My System SpecsSystem Spec
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18 Feb 2015   #2
Kaktussoft

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bits 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

Use regedit to find the key(s) that point to that location.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Feb 2015   #3
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Check in Properties of the folders whether they have a Location tab. That would be the only other way to move them - other than the proposed regedit. Any other attempt to move them will break the path and the games will not find them.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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18 Feb 2015   #4
gregrocker

 

Why are programs installing to Documents folder. I've never had a Program install anywhere except to the Program Files which is where WIn7 always directs them. Did you redirect them elsewhere? I would not do that.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Feb 2015   #5
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Greg, those are not really the program folders per se. Those are folders that the games installed - kind of repositories.Many programs do that, just not so many.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Feb 2015   #6
gregrocker

 

Visual Studio?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Feb 2015   #7
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Probably the same for Visual Studio. I have about 10 folders of that kind in my big system's Documents - ranging from the Macrium XMLs to the Format Factory output files.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Feb 2015   #8
Alejandro85

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

It's a common flaw in many programs to store their internal data in "my documents" and similar paths, thus polluting them and making it difficult to use for its original purpose: to store user-generated work.

Many games store their saves there, as well as Visual Studio and some others too (interesting enough, showing us how MS breaks their own rules), and deleting or moving them will only mean that such programs will fail to find their settings/saves.
The worst of that is that they're almost never configurable, but hardcoded into each game.

One option would be to make a junction or symlink to take its place in "my documents" while moving the real content out of the way. This makes the data easily accessible where you most want it, but still leaves the clutter in the folder.

My personal choice due to these problems and a few others is to simply abandon "my documents" to be bloated by anyone and store my data in another place, out of any predefined system paths.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Feb 2015   #9
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

One reason to make separate data folders for the user data and place them into a separate partition or disk. Leave the default folders for the programs. And it is not only the Documents folder, some video programs use the Video folder too.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Feb 2015   #10
stebobibo

Windows 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
Check in Properties of the folders whether they have a Location tab. That would be the only other way to move them - other than the proposed regedit. Any other attempt to move them will break the path and the games will not find them.
None of the folders have a location tab. Thanks anyways for the advice.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 How to move program folders to new location (default is My Documents)




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