General Move or Restore Default Location of Documents Folder in Windows 11


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Documents_folder_banner.png

The Documents folder (shell:personal) is a component of the user profile that is used as a unified location for storing personal data. By default, the Documents folder is a shell folder in the user's profile (%UserProfile%) that is used as a default storage location for saved documents.

If you like, you can move the Documents folder and its content to a location you want it at instead.

If the current Documents folder path is incorrect or is no longer available, you can use the Restore Default option to restore the default path.

See also:

This tutorial will show you how to move or restore the default location of the Documents folder for your account in Windows 11.


Contents

  • Option One: Move Location of Documents Folder in Properties
  • Option Two: Restore Default Location of Documents Folder in Properties
  • Option Three: Restore Default Location of Documents Folder using BAT file




Option One

Move Location of Documents Folder in Properties


1 If you turned on back up Documents folder to OneDrive, then you will need to temporarily turn off back up Documents folder to OneDrive until after you moved the Documents folder.

2 Open File Explorer (Win+E).

3 Navigate to the location (ex: "D") you want to move your Documents folder to, and create a new folder named Documents at this location. (see screenshot below)

Move_Documents_folder-1.png

4 Right click on the Documents folder in the navigation pane of File Explorer, and click/tap on Properties. (see screenshot below)

If you don't see the Documents folder in the navigation pane, then type shell:Personal into the address bar of File Explorer, and press Enter to open the Documents folder no matter where it may be located.

You can then right click or press and hold on an empty area in the opened Documents folder, and click/tap on Properties.


Move_Documents_folder-2.png

5 Click/tap on the Location tab, and click/tap on the Move button. (see screenshot below)

Move_Documents_folder-3.png

6 Navigate to and select the new Documents folder from step 3, and click/tap on Select Folder. (see screenshot below)

Move_Documents_folder-4.png

7 Click/tap on OK. (see screenshot below)

Move_Documents_folder-5.png

8 Click/tap on Yes to move all the files from the old location to the new location. (see screenshot below)

Move_Documents_folder-6.png




Option Two

Restore Default Location of Documents Folder in Properties


1 If you turned on back up Documents folder to OneDrive, then you will need to temporarily turn off back up Documents folder to OneDrive until after you restored the default location of the Documents folder.

2 Open File Explorer (Win+E).

3 Right click on the Documents folder in the navigation pane of File Explorer, and click/tap on Properties. (see screenshot below)

If you don't see the Documents folder in the navigation pane, then type shell:Personal into the address bar of File Explorer, and press Enter to open the Documents folder no matter where it may be located.

You can then right click or press and hold on an empty area in the opened Documents folder, and click/tap on Properties.


Move_Documents_folder-2.png

4 Click/tap on the Location tab, and click/tap on the Restore Default button. (see screenshot below)

Restore_Documents_folder-3.png

5 Click/tap on OK. (see screenshot below)

Restore_Documents_folder-4.png

6 If prompted to create a Documents folder at the default location, click/tap on Yes. (see screenshot below)

Restore_Documents_folder-5.png

7 Click/tap on Yes to move all the files from the old location to the default location. (see screenshot below)

Restore_Documents_folder-6.png




Option Three

Restore Default Location of Documents Folder using BAT file


This option can be very useful if Option Two is not available.

This option will not move the contents of the Documents folder from the old location to the default location. You will need to manually move the contents after restoring the default location if wanted.


1 If you turned on back up Documents folder to OneDrive, then you will need to temporarily turn off back up Documents folder to OneDrive until after you restored the default location of the Documents folder.

2 Click/tap on the download button below to download the Restore_default_location_of_Documents_folder.bat file.


(Contents of BAT file for reference)
Code:
@echo off

taskkill /f /im explorer.exe

timeout /t 2 /nobreak >nul

if not exist "%UserProfile%\Documents" mkdir "%UserProfile%\Documents"

reg add "HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders" /v "Personal" /t REG_SZ /d "C:\Users\%USERNAME%\Documents" /f

reg add "HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders" /v "{f42ee2d3-909f-4907-8871-4c22fc0bf756}" /t REG_EXPAND_SZ /d %%USERPROFILE%%"\Documents" /f

reg add "HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders" /v "Personal" /t REG_EXPAND_SZ /d %%USERPROFILE%%"\Documents" /f

attrib +r -s -h "%USERPROFILE%\Documents" /S /D

timeout /t 1 /nobreak >nul

start explorer.exe

3 Save the BAT file to your desktop.

4 Unblock and run the BAT file.

5 You will now see a command prompt open and close to kill the explorer process, run the commands to restore the default location and attributes of the Documents folder, and restart the explorer process.

6 You can now delete the BAT file if you like.


That's it,
Shawn Brink


 

Attachments

  • Documents_folder.png
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  • Restore_default_location_of_Documents_folder.bat
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Last edited:

ikroot

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10:07 PM
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Windows 11
Enormously helpful! The BAT file approach worked for me after much frustration with other approaches. Thanks!
 

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Brink

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Local time
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Enormously helpful! The BAT file approach worked for me after much frustration with other approaches. Thanks!

I'm glad it could help, and welcome. :shawn:
 

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