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Windows 7: User Folders - Restore Default Location


User Folders - Restore Default Location

How to Restore Default Location of User Folders in Windows 7 and Windows 8
Published by Brink
28 Jul 2009
Published by

How to Restore Default Location of User Folders in Windows 7 and Windows 8

information   Information
This will show you how to restore the default location of all or a single user folder of your choice in Windows 7 and Windows 8.

Note   Note
If you have duplicate user folders instead, then you will need to backup the contents of the duplicate user folders, do OPTION TWO below, delete the duplicate folders, then you may need to restart the computer a couple of times first before the default location is restored.

Windows 8.1 Update released on April 8th 2014 via Windows Update, renamed SkyDrive to OneDrive.



CONTENTS:
  • Option One: To Restore Default Location of User Folders in Properties
  • Option Two: To Restore Default Location of User Folders using a BAT file
EXAMPLE: User folders
NOTE: This is at the default C:\Users\(user-name) location.
-example1.jpg

-windows_8.1.jpg



OPTION ONE
To Restore Default Location of User Folders in Properties

NOTE: If using this option does not restore the user folder back to the default location, then use OPTION TWO below instead.
1. If you are in a homegroup, then you will need to change the homegroup settings to no longer share the user folder (ex: My Music) that you want to move first by unchecking the folder and clicking on Save Changes. (see screenshot below)
NOTE: This is so the user folder (ex: My Music) will not be shared on the homegroup anymore.
-homegroup.jpg
2. Press the Windows+R keys to open the Run dialog, type shell:UsersFilesFolder, and press enter.
NOTE: This will open your C:\Users\(user-name) folder.

3. Right click or press and hold on the user folder (ex: My Music) that you want to restore the default location for, and click/tap on Properties.

4. Click/tap on the Location tab, and Restore Default button. (See screenshot below)
Name:  Properties1.jpg
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5. Click/tap on OK. (See screenshot below)
NOTE: Notice that the location has changed to the default C:\Users\(user-name) location.
Name:  Properties2.jpg
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6. Click/tap on Yes. (See screenshot below)
Name:  Properties3.jpg
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Note   Note
If you have a folder in the default location named for the user folder already, then you will not see this dialog box.

Windows 8 will not have the "My" in front of the user folder name anymore.

User Folder Folder Name
ContactsContacts
DesktopDesktop
My DocumentsDocuments
DownloadsDownloads
FavoritesFavorites
LinksLinks
My MusicMusic
My PicturesPictures
OneDrive (Windows 8.1 Update)OneDrive
Saved GamesSaved Games
SearchesSearches
SkyDrive (Windows 8.1)SkyDrive
My VideosVideos


7. Click/tap on Yes. (See screenshot below)
WARNING: If you do not click/tap on Yes, then you will have two copies of this user folder at the C:\Users\(user-name) location. One will be a normal folder (same name) with the contents and the other as the now restored user folder. It is recommended that you click/tap on YES.
Name:  Properties4.jpg
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8. After a few seconds when the location has been restored, the Properties window (screenshot under step 5) will then close.

9. If you are in a homegroup, then you can now change the homegroup settings back to share the user folder (ex: My Music) again if you like by checking the folder and clicking on Save Changes. (see screenshot below)
-homegroup.jpg



OPTION TWO
To Restore Default Location of User Folders using a BAT file

Note   Note
This is an example of the contents of the .bat files below. The parts in red are what will vary per .bat file based on what user folder it is for.

Code:
@echo off 
 
taskkill /f /im explorer.exe
 
timeout /t 2 /nobreak >nul
 
if not exist "%UserProfile%\Pictures" mkdir "%UserProfile%\Pictures"
 
reg add "HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders" /v "My Pictures" /t REG_SZ /d "C:\Users\%USERNAME%\Pictures" /f
 
reg add "HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders" /v "My Pictures" /t REG_EXPAND_SZ /d %%USERPROFILE%%"\Pictures" /f
 
attrib +r -s -h "%USERPROFILE%\Pictures" /S /D
 
timeout /t 1 /nobreak >nul
 
start explorer.exe
1. Do step 2 to 13 below for what user folder you need to restore the default location of.


2. To Restore the Default Contacts Folder Location
A) Click/tap on the download button below to download the file below, and go to step 14 below.

Restore_Contacts_Default_Location.bat

download
3. To Restore the Default Desktop Folder Location
A) Click/tap on the download button below to download the file below, and go to step 14 below.

Restore_Desktop_Default_Location.bat

download
4. To Restore the Default My Documents Folder Location
A) Click/tap on the download button below to download the file below, and go to step 14 below.

Restore_Documents_Default_Location.bat

download
5. To Restore the Default Downloads Folder Location
A) Click/tap on the download button below to download the file below, and go to step 14 below.

Restore_Downloads_Default_Location.bat

download
6. To Restore the Default Favorites Folder Location
A) Click/tap on the download button below to download the file below, and go to step 14 below.

Restore_Favorites_Default_Location.bat

download
7. To Restore the Default Links Folder Location
A) Click/tap on the download button below to download the file below, and go to step 14 below.

Restore_Links_Default_Location.bat

download
8. To Restore the Default My Music Folder Location
A) Click/tap on the download button below to download the file below, and go to step 14 below.

Restore_Music_Default_Location.bat

download
9. To Restore Default OneDrive Folder Location in Windows 8.1 Update
A) Click/tap on the download button below to download the file below, and go to step 14 below.

Restore_OneDrive_Default_Location.bat

download
10. To Restore the Default My Pictures Folder Location
A) Click/tap on the download button below to download the file below, and go to step 14 below.

Restore_Pictures_Default_Location.bat

download
11. To Restore the Default Saved Games Folder Location
A) Click/tap on the download button below to download the file below, and go to step 14 below.

Restore_Saved_Games_Default_Location.bat

download
12. To Restore the Default Searches Folder Location
A) Click/tap on the download button below to download the file below, and go to step 14 below.

Restore_Searches_Default_Location.bat

download
13. To Restore the Default My Videos Folder Location
A) Click/tap on the download button below to download the file below, and go to step 14 below.

Restore_Videos_Default_Location.bat

download
14. Save the .bat file to your Desktop.

15. Unblock the downloaded .bat file(s).

16. Double click/tap on the downloaded .bat file to run it.

17. The .bat file will now kill explorer causing your screen to go blank, then open a command prompt to quickly restore the default location of the folder in the registry, restore the default attributes of the folder, restart explorer, and close the command prompt.

18. Repeat step 1 above for any other user folder you need to restore the default location of.

19. When finished, check the user folder(s) to verify that they have been restored to their default location.

20. If the user folder(s) still have not been restored to their default locations, then restart the computer and check again.

21. When restored, copy your files from the old folder location back into your now restored default folder location in "C:\Users\(user-name)".
That's it,
Shawn





11 Oct 2009   #1
crasher23

Windows 7
 
 

Hi, I was doing this procedure and mistakenly click "yes" as warned in step 6, now I have to desktop folders, and I can't eliminate the duplicate. Can you please give me a link to the post were this is being solved?, I tried trough the search but I couldn't find any solution.
P.D. I now this is a how to but I don't wanna open a new post unless is necessary. Thanks a lot


My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Oct 2009   #2
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 10 Pro
 
 

Hello Crasher,

The duplicate Desktop folder, without the default icon and just a yellow folder, should just be a normal folder without the Location tab in it's properties page. Copy all of the contents of this folder into the true Desktop folder, with the default icon, then see if you can delete it.

If not, then do OPTION TWO in the tutorial, restart the computer, and see if you can delete the duplicate Desktop (without default icon) afterwards.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Feb 2010   #3
doctorJ

Windows 7
 
 
Tried this and still no "my pictures"

I attempted this solution several times and have rebooted a number of times, but still "My Pictures" doesn't show up under my User directory. I used method 2, the registry fix and shell command. I used regedit to look at the value and it seems right. I have checked ownership of "pictures" and I own the folder.

But nothing I do seems to make the "My Pictures" show up where it can actually be used.

I have attached a screen shot. Any and all suggestions welcome.


Attached Thumbnails
-clipboard01.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

07 Feb 2010   #4
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 10 Pro
 
 

Hello DoctorJ, and welcome to Seven Forums.

Sometimes it may take a bit for it to return. When you type in the Shell command for it, where does it open to?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Feb 2010   #5
doctorJ

Windows 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Brink View Post
Hello DoctorJ, and welcome to Seven Forums.

Sometimes it may take a bit for it to return. When you type in the Shell command for it, where does it open to?

It opens the correct location, My Pictures. I just can't see it in my user directory (nor can programs).

I have been trying other things, I changed to folder setting to display hidden files. It turns out "My Pictures" is a hidden folder. When I click on properties for that folder, the "hidden" property is checked, but greyed out so I can not alter it.

Any suggestions on how to unhide the folder. I think I will be good if I can restore the directory to be not hidden.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Feb 2010   #6
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 10 Pro
 
 

DoctorJ,

Open a elevated command prompt, then type the command below and press enter to see if that may help bring it out of hiding for you.

attrib +r -s -h %USERPROFILE%\Pictures /S /D
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Feb 2010   #7
doctorJ

Windows 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Brink View Post
DoctorJ,

Open a elevated command prompt, then type the command below and press enter to see if that may help bring it out of hiding for you.

attrib +r -s -h %USERPROFILE%\Pictures /S /D
That worked! For some reason it took a couple of attempts (or maybe the effect just was not immediate). But eventually it worked. Do I need to reset that folder to be a system folder? (thats what the -s does, right? make it not system).

Thank you very much for you help. All this was a fix to a previous botched attempt to move My Pictures to a different drive. I will be more careful this time.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Feb 2010   #8
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 10 Pro
 
 

You're most welcome DoctorJ.

No need to reset it. That is the default attribute setting for that user folder.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Mar 2010   #9
TheTalker

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I want to say thank you very much! I've had this problem for months now---I was afraid of changing the registry. Well, I finally did it and at first I thought I messed something up but after restarting everything is back to normal.

Thank you so much!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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