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Windows 7: User Folders - Change Default Location

User Folders - Change Default Location

How to Change the Default Location of User Folders in Windows 7 and Windows 8
Published by Brink
29 Jul 2009
Published by

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

information   Information
This will show you how to change (move) the default location of your account's C:\Users\(user-name) folders to another location of your choice instead in Windows 7 and Windows 8, and still have access to the user folder from the Start Menu (Windows 7 only) location.

Tip   Tip
If you are just wanting to save HDD space, then you might consider this below to be able to access the files from your libraries with the files actually located where you like instead. This way you will not have to worry about any potential issues that come with moving user folder locations. For example, whatever partition you move your user folders to will now be included in a system image in Windows 7 and Windows 8.
  • Create a new folder at any location you want.
  • Move any files you want into the new folder.
  • Include the new folder into a library (Windows 7 or Windows 8) of your choice.
  • If you like, you can also set the new folder to be the default save to location (Windows 7 or Windows 8) for the library as well.
warning   Warning
If you change the default location of your Favorites folder in Windows 8 or 8.1, your Favorites in Internet Explorer will no longer be available until you move your Favorites back to the default "C:\Users\(user-name)" location.


EXAMPLE: User Folders
NOTE: This is at the default C:\Users\(user-name) location.
User Folders - Change Default Location-example1.jpg

User Folders - Change Default Location-windows_8.1.jpg



OPTION ONE
To Change Main User Profile Folder Location
1. For how, see:
User Profile - Change Default Location

OR

How to Relocate User Profiles to another Partition or Disk in Windows 8



OPTION TWO
To Change User Folders Location from within User Profile Folder
1. If you a part of 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.
User Folders - Change Default Location-homegroup.jpg
2. In Windows Explorer, navigate to where (ex: D: drive) you want to move the default user folder (ex: My Music) location to.

3. Create a New Folder by right clicking or press and hold on a empty space in the main window there, and click/tap on New and Folder. Name the new folder without spaces (ex: "Music" for My Music) for the user folder that you want to move there. (See screenshots below)
NOTE: The name that you type in for the new folder will be what you see as the user folder name in the Start Menu (shell:UsersFilesFolder) location when finished with all of these steps. It would be best to use the same name as the user folder to avoid confusion.
User Folders - Change Default Location-rename1.jpg

User Folders - Change Default Location-rename2.jpg

4. Close this window. (See screenshots above)

5. 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.

6. Right click or press and hold on a user folder (ex: My Music, My Documents, My Pictures, etc.....) that you want to move the default location for, and click/tap on Properties. (See screenshot below)
User Folders - Change Default Location-right_click_on_a_user_folder.jpg
7. Click/tap on the Location tab, and Move button. (See screenshot below)
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8. Navigate to the same location as in step 2 and 3 above, then select the renamed new folder (ex: Music), and click/tap on the Select Folder button. (See screenshot below)
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9. Click/tap on OK. (See screenshot below)
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10. Click/tap on Yes. (See screenshot below)
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11. After a few seconds when the location has been changed, the Properties window (screenshot under step 9) will then close.

12. Check back at the C:\Users\(user-name) location to make sure that the old user folder (ex: My Music) that you moved is no longer there. If it is, then make sure that the contents of the folder were moved to the new location, and delete it. (See screenshot below)
NOTE: If you are unable to delete the folder, then restart the computer and try again.
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13. You will notice that the folder at the shell:UsersFilesFolder location and the new location (ex: D drive) you moved the user folder to, now has the default user folder (ex: My Music) icon. (See screenshot below)
NOTE: The Start Menu in Windows 7 now opens the user folder from the new location (ex: D: drive) that you moved the user folder to.
User Folders - Change Default Location-finished.jpg
14. If you a part of 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 click/tap on Save Changes. (see screenshot below)
Click image for larger version

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Tip   Tip
If you wanted to restore the default location of the user folder, then see:

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


That's it,
Shawn




Related Tutorials

29 Jul 2009   #1
Lee

Win 7 Pro x64, VM Win XP, Win7 Pro Sandbox, Kubuntu 11
 
 

Brink,

Thanks, after finishing reading, I printed it to PDF. That way I can get right the first time. Good info.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jul 2009   #2
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

You're most welcome Lee.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Aug 2009   #3
SHOGuide

Windows 7
 
 

You presented the exact question I was seeking, but your answer illustrates moving a sub-folder of the default user. I installed Windows 7 and provided a username, so the default folder is c:\users\user1. There is a lock icon on this folder. I want to assign this machine to jjones and want the default directory to be c:\users\jjones with all the sub-folders of music, video, documents... I changed the login to jjones(admin), thinking it would change the folders. Maybe I missed a step... Thanks!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


28 Aug 2009   #4
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Hello SHOGuide, and welcome to Seven Forums.

The only way you can change the C:\Users\(user name) folder is to create a new administrator account with a different name than the user1 and jjones that you assigned to the other account. Afterwards, copy the contents of your C:\users\user1 folders into the corresponding new account's C:\Users\(user name) folders. When everything checks out ok, you can then delete the old user account from within the new one.

Hope this helps,
Shawn
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Aug 2009   #5
SHOGuide

Windows 7
 
 

Thank you! This is what I was looking for. I was hopeful that if I just changed the only Admin login from user1 to jjones that Windows would simply prompt me to rename everything that was associated with user1. After thinking about it, that would not be easy for the system to do. I'm still trying to get used to the Libraries folder structure. It has initially been confusing.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Aug 2009   #6
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

You're welcome SHOGuide.

If it helps any, you can think of the Libraries as a collections of shortcuts to make accessing and changing files from different locations easier to do in one location (library) instead.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Sep 2009   #7
churin

W7 Ult x64
 
 

What is UsersFilesFolder in shell:UsersFilesFolder in Setp 3.? I thought it is Favorites when I wanted to relocate this folder but it does not seems to be so.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Sep 2009   #8
Barman58

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 x2 + x86 + Windows 8.1 x64 x2
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by churin View Post
What is UsersFilesFolder in shell:UsersFilesFolder in Setp 3.? I thought it is Favorites when I wanted to relocate this folder but it does not seems to be so.
The shell:UsersFilesFolder is the system identifier for the user folder which appers as the user name in the start menu or explorer.

It is the pointer to the folder c:\users\{user} in the default setup but is not as far as I am aware relocatable using the location function
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Sep 2009   #9
churin

W7 Ult x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Barman58 View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by churin View Post
What is UsersFilesFolder in shell:UsersFilesFolder in Setp 3.? I thought it is Favorites when I wanted to relocate this folder but it does not seems to be so.
The shell:UsersFilesFolder is the system identifier for the user folder which appers as the user name in the start menu or explorer.
My question is what the UsersFilesFolder is. Whereas your answer is shell:UsersFilesFolder is ........ Please provide what goes in place of UsersFilesFolder by a spcific example.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 User Folders - Change Default Location




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