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Windows 7: User Folders - Change Default Location

28 Oct 2009   #30

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Thank you Brink

My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Oct 2009   #31

64-bit Windows 10 Pro

You're welcome Sinclair.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Nov 2009   #32

Windows 7
can't move the local directory

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by BFG View Post
Just thought I'd add/share that you can also move the Roaming, Local, and LocalLow folders as well

Start > Run appdata will show you the three folders
Right click select properties
and you'll see there's a location tab just like the other folders mentioned in this guide
This was a good tip and it worked for Roaming and LocalLow. However, for Local it won't let me complete the move operation as there are some files that are in use when I'm logged in as that user. I tried logging in as the Administrator user (which I enabled to move my public stuff) and it doesn't give me the location option in the Local folder properties. I also just tried moving everything over, which completed successfully but when I logged back in as the core user the location was still set to the C: drive (I'm trying to move my profiles onto my D: mirror drive) and I still couldn't complete the move operation for the same reason (some of the files were locked). Has anyone managed to move the Local folder and if so, how. I have everything else done.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Nov 2009   #33

Windows 10 Pro x64 x2 Windows 10 Enterprise x64, Ubuntu

Have not used this in your situation but you could have a look at Movefiles from Sysinternals which allows you to move system files by performing the moves during a re-boot

PendMoves and MoveFile

Use MoveFile and PendMoves to Move a File That is Always in Use
My System SpecsSystem Spec

02 Nov 2009   #34

Windows 7
Still having trouble...

I signed up here basically to post two things:

First, thank you for this info. It's been extremely helpful.

Second, as someone noted, I was able to change the location of LocalLow and Roaming, but Local still evades me. It seems that no matter what I try (PendMove and such didn't work for me) I can't find a way to move the Local folder location. It keeps running into things which are in use by the user data itself (i.e. UsrClass.dat)

If anyone has found a workaround, to allow moving the Local folder location (and as it has a "Location" tab, I'm assuming there mus be a way), I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Nov 2009   #35

Windows 10 Pro x64 x2 Windows 10 Enterprise x64, Ubuntu

Strange that movefiles didn't work as I have seen that used to move parts of the actual system structure (WinSXS) in the past.

As it operates totally outside of windows before the system or users are loaded this should not apply.

The only other way I can think of is by the use of a second operating system in dual boot or a live Linux distro that can see and move the data. once the data is moved the use of the hard link should work without issue.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Nov 2009   #36

Windows 7

If I understand correctly the problem would be that this movefiles command doesn't solve the problem. Not because it doesn't allow you to move the directory, it probably does, but because it doesn't change the operating system level 'location' of the directory. So when you log back in, its just recreated on the C drive and repopulated with the files that you just moved.

I'm assuming this because I've been able to happily move the directory without the movefiles command. I just logged in as the default Administrator user and then moved the Local folder for my normal user. The folder moved just fine but when I logged back in to my normal user the Local directory location was still C:\users\USERID\Appdata\Local instead of in the same path on the D drive, which is where I moved the folder to and want it to be. Trying to move the directory again with the location tab resulted in exactly the same error that I had prior to this whole activity.

Hope that helps
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Nov 2009   #37

Windows 10 Pro x64 x2 Windows 10 Enterprise x64, Ubuntu

Ok I think I see the potential issue

What needs to be done is, at the time that the data is moved to the alternate location you need to create a hard link, (Junction Point), named Local in the user folder that points to the new location.

Command line tool Mklink

When you now log in to the user account the system will see the junction point as the original folder, (with it's complete contents), and therefore not attempt to re-create the folder and contents.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Nov 2009   #38

Windows 7

Good news! I found the solution to moving the Local folder. Thank you Gellio for posting what you did. What you said made me think: When using the location tab, it's probably updating some registry entries. Copying the files is just part of the moving. So I put this theory to the test. The following process will allow you to move your Local folder as well:
  1. Log into the default administrator account. (instructions can be found here: Built-in Administrator Account - Enable or Disable)
  2. Copy the Local folder to the location you desire. Be sure to take note of the exact path.
  3. Log off the default administrator.
  4. Log in to your main account, and type "regedit" into the Start Search field, and open it.
  5. Browse to the following: HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Explorer \ User Shell Folders
  6. You'll see a list, and any of the folders you have already moved will show the new absolute path to their new locations.
  7. Find Cache, History, and Local AppData and replace the "%USERPROFILE%\AppData\" with the absolute path that leads to the new local folder (which may or may not include \AppData\, based on how you structured your personal folders).
  8. Log off the account, and log back in again. Browse to your new location for the Local folder, right-click and select "Properties," close it, and open it again. You will now see the "Location" tab, with the new path in the location field, and the move has been successful.

P.S. If you're on Windows Home Premium like me, you'll have to enable the Default Administrator account via the Elevated Command Line option.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Nov 2009   #39

Windows 7

Yup, this worked just fine. However, I strongly recommend doing it before installing anything as some installations have the original path hard coded. Do it on a dummy user, then create a new user and then delete the dummy one.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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