Thursday, August 22, 2013

Changing the location of My Documents and the Documents Library

In Windows 7 and Windows 8, there are multiple ways to access “My Documents”: 
  1. Windows 7 and Windows 8 both have the concept of “Libraries” which can allow multiple folders to be associated with the Documents directory that you typically view in Windows Explorer.
  2. However, there is also the traditional form of “My Documents” which lives under the C:\Users\<your user name> directory. 
However, while these 2 directories are indirectly related, one can often end up with multiple folders associated in the Documents Library, but still end up with an orphaned “My Documents” folder that is still used, but only accessible through traversing the Users folder hierarchy.
Therefore, this is the recommended strategy for changing the location of the “My Documents” folder while maintaining the association in the Documents Library.
  1. In Windows Explorer, navigate to the location of the “My Documents” folder (beneath C:\Users\<your user name>)
  2. Right click on the folder and click on Properties
  3. Click on the Location tab
  4. Click on the Move… button to move the directory to another location (preferably on another disk partition or another dedicated data drive)
  5. You may be prompted to move all of the data in the current directory to the new target directory.  If so, click on the Yes button.  
  6. Now, still in Windows Explorer, navigate to the Libraries—>Documents directory and right click on the Documents icon.
  7. Select Properties from the right-click context menu. 
  8. If you have successfully moved your “My Documents” directory, the new directory location should also appear in your Documents Library set of folder locations.
You can apply the above steps to move all of your various personalized directories including “ My Pictures”, “My Videos”, “My Music”, “Desktop” etc.!!

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