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It has been asked on this forum how to move the My Documents folder to a different hard drive in Microsoft Windows. Since I had mentioned it could be done in response to a post, I was asked if I would put together the instructions to help those that want to move the folders to a hard drive from another hard drive or SSD. I am breaking it down for the last three versions of Microsoft Windows.

Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10 and Windows Vista

In Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10 and Windows Vista, there are libraries that are named after your user name. These libraries contain links to the folder locations for Documents, Favorites, Downloads, Music, Videos and Pictures. Any of these can be moved by using the same directions below, by substituting Documents with the item you want to move.

Moving My Documents
  1. On the drive to which you want to move your Documents folder, create the directory Documents or make it a different name.
  2. Click the Start button, and then click your user name. This will bring up the library.
  3. Right-click My Documents, and then select Properties.
  4. Click the Location tab and then click Move.
  5. Browse to the location where you created your folder in step one.
  6. Click the folder you created in step one, click Select Folder, and then click OK.
  7. In the Move Documents box, click Yes to move your documents to the new location.
Restoring Default Location
  1. Click the Start button, and then click your user name. This will bring up the library.
  2. Right-click My Documents, and then select Properties.
  3. Click the Location tab, click Restore Default and then click OK.
  4. Click Yes to recreate the original folder, and then click Yes to move your documents back to the original location.

Windows XP

In Windows XP, all the downloads, music, videos and pictures are contained in the My Documents folder. The Favorites folder is an actual folder in Windows XP rather than a link from the desktop or a library like in Windows 7 and Windows Vista. It is best to leave Favorites in its default location.

Moving My Documents
  1. On the drive to which you want to move your Documents folder, create the directory Documents or make it a different name.
  2. Locate the My Documents icon which is located on your desktop or start menu.
  3. Right-click My Documents, and then select Properties.
  4. Click the Target tab.
  5. Browse to the location where you created your folder in step one.
  6. Click the folder you created in step one, click Select Folder, and then click OK.
  7. In the Move Documents box, click Yes to move your documents to the new location.
Restoring Default Location
  1. Locate the My Documents icon which is located on your desktop or start menu.
  2. Right-click My Documents, and then select Properties.
  3. Click Restore Default, and then click OK.
  4. In the Move Documents box, click Yes to move your documents to the new location, or click No to leave your documents in the original location.



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As a side question, will programs that automatically put stuff into the documents folder and so on put them in the new location? Like say a game puts saved files into documents will it go into the new location?
The "documents" default location is recorded in the Windows Registry. When the folder is moved, the move is also recorded in the registry.

In my experience, all my office, financial and other programs defaulted to the "Documents" location regardless of its location due to the registry pointing to the new location. I would guess that games also look at the registry. They need to in order to see the path since it is different on every computer due to user names being different.
Another method to keep things sort of "clean" is to create a junction link between the My Documents folder and another on another hard drive.

Everything is conserved, the only difference is that your files are now stored in the secondary location but the computer and everything else thinks its still My Documents.

This is also a good method to organize steam games because you can decide whether to keep some games on your primary hard drive or a different hard drive.

Thanks for the info!
(06-24-2012, 11:46 AM)ichigeki Wrote: [ -> ]Another method to keep things sort of "clean" is to create a junction link between the My Documents folder and another on another hard drive.

Everything is conserved, the only difference is that your files are now stored in the secondary location but the computer and everything else thinks its still My Documents.

This is also a good method to organize steam games because you can decide whether to keep some games on your primary hard drive or a different hard drive.

Thanks for the info!

Good additional advice to this thread. I use that method myself even with my documents on drive D.

Is it safe to delete the original folders once you've completed the steps to "move" them?
(03-04-2013, 07:06 PM)skyydragonn Wrote: [ -> ]Is it safe to delete the original folders once you've completed the steps to "move" them?

yes you can delete them if you find it confusing to have 2 of the same folders pointing to different drives. if you ever find yourself wanting them back on C: drive just copy and paste them to C: then re-point them back to to C:.
Windows 8 works similar to Windows 7. You can actually drag the folders to the new location too as that seems to work.
So just to clarify, doing this will have everything save to hdd and save space on the ssd yes? Well everything that would be saved in the folders you redirect at least?
Yes. If you do my instructions above to move documents to a hard drive, they will save space on the SSD. Also, a large hard drive is less money than a large SSD. I do it because I think it is a cleaner setup allowing one to reinstall windows and programs without affecting saved files.
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