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Windows 7: How to restore user directory configuration - My Documents?

15 Oct 2016   #1
Carson Dyle

Win7 Pro x64 SP1
 
 
How to restore user directory configuration - My Documents?

I use the free Dropbox to store most of my non-sensitive personal files. Since I use several computers in the house and for work, I find it handy to have everything right at hand on each of them.

A couple of years ago I found a hack to redirect 'My Documents' to 'C:\Users\Jim\Dropbox'. This worked well enough, but I've found that it's not really necessary and it results in some things being stored there that I don't need taking up the limited space I have on Dropbox. So I want to restore the original configuration, but I'm having some trouble.

First, I used Dropbox's running software to move all the files to C:\Dropbox. That took a little doing, as it complained of open files. I moved a few things that need to be in My Documents to the existing 'My Documents' folder. Mostly RDP files for remote desktop and a couple 'My ..." subfolders, like 'My Data Sources', logged off, back on again, and it was able to move everything.

Then I tried getting My Documents back to the standard My Documents (or Documents), but here's where I ran into problems. First, I noticed two 'My Documents' shown in my user folder. So I figured out which one seemed to be used and deleted the other one. I might have screwed up here, because I did notice the date on the one I deleted was from when the OS was installed.

Then, I was looking at the security settings and under Properties > Security, I notice it says Object name: C:\Users\Jim\Dropbox. So I suspect things aren't quite back to normal yet. I just want to restore the original user folders and My Documents link.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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15 Oct 2016   #2
Carson Dyle

Win7 Pro x64 SP1
 
 

Ok, I think I may be part of the way there...

I found the Documents folder that I deleted in the Recycle Bin and restored it. Now I have a 'Documents' folder in my user folder.

I moved the contents from the 'My Documents' showing to safe place, then deleted this folder/link/whatever.

Found that there's a registry setting at

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders\Personal

which is used for the location of the 'My Documents' folder in Explorer and changed it from '%USERPROFILE%\Dropbox' to '%USERPROFILE%\Documents'.

So far, so good. Rebooted and logged back in again. Only problem now is that 'Documents' shows up just like that and isn't relabeled 'My Documents'. That's workable, but I want to get it completely back to normal.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Oct 2016   #3
Brink

64-bit Windows 10 Pro
 
 

Hello Carson,

If you like, you can use step 4 in OPTION TWO of the tutorial below to help restore the default location of your My Documents folder.

User Folders - Restore Default Location
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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15 Oct 2016   #4
Carson Dyle

Win7 Pro x64 SP1
 
 

Thanks. I'd already done that.

But I think I got it now. I just had to rename it from within Explorer. If I look in the user folder from a command prompt, it's still call Documents, but shows up in Explorer now as My Documents. I think that's back to the original setup.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Oct 2016   #5
Brink

64-bit Windows 10 Pro
 
 

It sounds like you got it back to default now.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 How to restore user directory configuration - My Documents?




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