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Windows 7: Renaming "Documents" folder

15 Aug 2018   #1
Larkspur

Windows 7 Pro
 
 
Renaming "Documents" folder

Compared to Windows XP, the Windows 7 "Documents" folder has an absolute boatload of stuff in it, some of which I may never use.

I wanted to rename the folder to "My Documents," (as per XP) and then create a sub-folder named "Documents," which will contain only text files, making the whole thing neater and easier to search through.

But I've already had a bad experience of what might happen if you mess with the way Windows 7 wants things to be. So my question is, can I get away with this without creating a massive headache for myself?

I'm assuming I will have to take ownership of the current "Documents" folder before Windows will let me rename it. But I don't want to proceed without checking, a) if 7 will let me do what I want to do, and b) what unanticipated and undesirable side effects might result.

Thanks in advance for any input,

Larkspur


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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15 Aug 2018   #2
Barman58

Windows 10 Pro x64 x3, Ubuntu
 
 

Don't bother just create a sub folder called "Text Files" and remove the potential for messing up the system later when some application that is designed to work with the Windows 7 file structure fails
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Aug 2018   #3
HAVOC

Windows 7 Professional 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Barman58 View Post
Don't bother just create a sub folder called "Text Files" and remove the potential for messing up the system later when some application that is designed to work with the Windows 7 file structure fails
I've done exactly this. I have subfolders in Documents named "Manuals", "Misc", "Receipts", etc. It makes it so much easier to keep stuff organized.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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15 Aug 2018   #4
Barman58

Windows 10 Pro x64 x3, Ubuntu
 
 

Yes, there are possible methods to rename system folders to more appropriate names but whilst this will work with applications that are correctly written for use with the Windows 7 system, here are many that just hard code the save folder, so the documents they produce have to go to the physical location of the default documents folder. Also there is code present to redirect files from XP / Vista era applications, (or newer versions of these apps that were not updated), that automatically redirect files routed to My Documents to the "new" Documents folder.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Aug 2018   #5
iko22

Windows 7 x64, Vista x64, 8.1 smartphone
 
 

I think you can do something similar to what you are trying to acheive without a massive headache, but not the way you are currently envisaging it possible - directly taking ownership and renaming the folder wont work, for the reasons @Barman58 has suggested.

However there is a tutorial on this site, where you can change the default location of a user folder in a way that you are letting the system know that you are intending to do this.

If the old location (location you want to move from) is called C:\Users\User-Name\My Documents and the new location (location you want to move to) is called C:\Users\User-Name\Documents\My Documents, then you can do this by following Option Two - To Change User Folders Location from within User Profile Folder of this tutorial:

Option Two - To Change User Folders Location from within User Profile Folder

That tutorial may give you the flexibility you require to organise your User the way you want.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Aug 2018   #6
Barman58

Windows 10 Pro x64 x3, Ubuntu
 
 

What I worry about with changing the structure is where Documents is renamed to My Documents and also contains a folder named Documents, which may result in an endless loop . any other naming conventions would work and the technique of using the location variable to rename the Documents folder may work in some cases it may also have some unforeseen issues.

The location option is something I use on every build, for it's designed purpose to move the User folders, (I always leave the actual user folder and it's hidden system folders in place), to a data drive which has a set of identically named folders in place, this is of course to keep the space on the SSD System drive clear for system use
My System SpecsSystem Spec
4 Weeks Ago   #7
Larkspur

Windows 7 Pro
 
 

Thank you all for your many swift replies. Of course Barman58 is correct. I shouldn't be messing with an operating system's foundational file structure. But what if I simply reverse my plan? Leave "Documents" as is, but create a sub-folder named "My Documents" for all my text files? All those previous versions of Windows are so deeply ingrained in me that I kinda like keeping folder names that are familiar to me. Any chance that 7 will object to a sub-folder named "My Documents?"

Thanks

Larkspur
My System SpecsSystem Spec
4 Weeks Ago   #8
Barman58

Windows 10 Pro x64 x3, Ubuntu
 
 

I've just tried what you suggested (on a test system remotely), and it appears to not have any issues with creating a My Documents in Documents or with creating a number of text files in the my documents folder,

To stress it a little I moved the documents tree back to it's Normal location on C:\ users...and back to the to the D:\My Stuff i use for my data and no issues surfaced. After this test I do not see any problems with your plan, but I would suggest that you make a full backup of your data just in case some problem happens in the future
My System SpecsSystem Spec
4 Weeks Ago   #9
Larkspur

Windows 7 Pro
 
 
Renaming "Documents" Folder

Fantastic Barman. I'll do as you suggest.

I appreciate that the members at this forum are so helpful. I have a ton of other issues with 7 to address in future, so you can expect to see me back when I return from my travels.

Again, thank you,

Larkspur
My System SpecsSystem Spec
1 Week Ago   #10
Larkspur

Windows 7 Pro
 
 

New problem I've just encountered. I did create a sub-directory in "Documents" called "My Documents" in which I parked all my text files. I also parked a folder called "PDF files," simply because in XP I was used to finding that folder in along with My Documents.

But when I now try to save a PDF file to that folder within the new directory (My Documents), the stupid Save window will not let me access anything in that new directory. It says "access is denied."

It's worth mentioning that although it clearly shows that this is a file folder, the icon has an arrow on it as if it is a shortcut. There are a number of folders that appear in that same "Save" window which also have an arrow overlaying the icon. All of these folders (Application Data, Local Settings, Nethood, Printhood, Send To and Start Menu are all inaccessible as well).

So why should a sub-directory that I created decide that it should deny me access??? I've done a search, and the folder, "PDF Files" does not appear anywhere else on my C drive, so there should be no confusion or conflict as to where those files belong. Very annoying.

Only way I could save the damn thing was to save it to my desktop and then move it to where it belongs.

Any suggestions as to what might be causing this problem?

Thanks,

Larkspur
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Renaming "Documents" folder




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